Enterprise Minister Micheál Martin has said the Government is prepared to reform Ireland's labour laws as part of the social partnership process.
Mr Martin made the comments today as union leaders prepare to meet the Taoiseach to see if there is a basis for negotiations on a new partnership agreement.
SIPTU, Ireland's largest union, is seeking guarantees that employment standards will be protected in any new deal.
In particular, it wants assurances that labour laws will be strengthened to ensure there can never be a repeat of the recent situation at Irish Ferries.
"There have already been good discussions between officials at my department, the Department of An Taoiseach and the social partners in relation to the monitoring and the enforcement of compliance in relation to Irish labour law," Mr Martin said today.
"We're open for further talks on that. We're very keen to indicate to the social partners that we're up for change, up for reform in that area and we're prepared to do business in that area."