The Labour Court has issued a Notice of Intention to conduct an examination into terms and conditions in the Construction Sector. It will consider terms and conditions relating to remuneration and any sick pay scheme or pension scheme. That is, it intends to implement a new Registered Employment Agreement. Any person wishing to make representations in relation to the examination should do so on or before April 6 2017.
What is a Registered Employment Agreement?
A Registered Employment Agreement (REA) is a collective agreement made either between a trade union or unions and an individual employer, group of employers or employers’ organisation, which relates to the pay or conditions of employment of specified workers. For further explanation, go to the Workplace Relations website / Labour Court section.
Previous REA deemed Unconstitutional
Readers will recall that there was a lot of controversy over the old REAs. This was covered in detail on the Registered Employment Agreements section of the Morgan McManus website where we set out how the terms of the Agreement was imposed on the Construction sector where many Construction companies felt justifiably aggrieved that they had not be consulted on the terms of the Agreement. Ultimately the REA process was deemed Unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the Camlin Electric decision and set aside.
Lack of proper Consultation
The basis of the Camlin decision was summarized in my BLOG Supreme Court declares that Registered Employment Agreements are Unconstitutional in May 2013. Judge O`Donnell of the Supreme Court ruled that provisions under Part 111 of the Industrial Relations Act 1946, by which the REAs were regulated, contravened Article 15.2.1 of the Constitution, stating that : “The sole and exclusive power of making laws for the State is hereby vested in the Oireachtas: no other legislative authority has power to make laws for the State.” This was not the position where “private persons unidentified and unidentifiable” were entitled to make laws on pay regulation which were ultimately enforceable by Criminal sanctions.
Obviously, in any new legislative provision, it would be necessary to show proper Consultation by a properly representative body. Such legislation was covered by The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015. See my BLOG on that Act titled: The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2015 – Reintroduction of Registered Employment Agreements / Reform of Collective Bargaining.
A Consultation has already taken place with regard to the Electrical Services sector – see my BLOG New Registered Employment Agreement for Electricians? – although I cannot find any reference at time of writing on the WRC website of this Agreement having been implemented.
Now for the Construction Sector
Now it appears that the Construction Sector is to be consulted. This was announced on the WRC website – see the recent Notice of Intention to Conduct an Examination into Terms and Conditions in the Construction Sector. With great aplomb and fanfare, the Notice advises:
“Having had regard to the provisions of Section 15 (2) and (3) of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015, the Labour Court hereby gives notice of its intention to conduct an examination of the terms and conditions relating to the remuneration and any sick pay scheme or pension scheme in respect of the Construction Sector. Any person wishing to make representations in relation to the examination should do so on or before April 6 2017.”
One would be forgiven for thinking that they might not want too may replies!
Don`t say you weren`t warned!
Morgan McManus Solicitors
Ph. No.: 00353 47 51011