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  • The Government has announced that an independent review is to be carried out on the statutory wage setting mechanism known as the Employment Regulation Orders (EROs) and Registered Employment Agreements (REAs). For further information go to http://bit.ly/i9s6UV

    REAs were first introduced under the Industrial Relations Act 1946.  Part III of that Act makes provision for employment agreements to be registered with the Labour Court (“the Court”) provided certain criteria are satisfied.  These agreements are entered into between trade unions, representing employees, and employers who are substantially representative of a particular industry.  Once registered, the agreement becomes a legally enforceable statement of minimum rates of pay and/or conditions of employment that is binding on every worker and his or her employer of the type, class or group to which the REA applies, regardless of whether the worker and his/her employer are parties to the agreement. For further information please go to https://www.morganmcmanus.com/employment/registered_employment_agreement.html

    There has been much controversy arising out of concerns by employers` organizations that they have not been properly consulted about the updating / registration of these Agreements, leaving some employers complaining that they cannot afford to pay these Rates. For further information read the judgment of Mr Justice Hedigan in the Camlin Electric case where the Electrical Contractors Association of Ireland and others unsuccessfully disputed the applicability of the REAs to their members – http://www.aeci.ie/classified/highcourt1.doc

    These Agreements also affect Northern Ireland employers taking up Contracts in the Republic of Ireland. This was confirmed in the Camlin Electric case.

    The Review Notice was published in the Irish Times on the 10th February 2011 but only allows Submissions up to the 25th February next – see http://www.deti.ie/publications/employment/2011/pressnotice_reviewEROREA.pdf

    It is extremely important that all interested parties make Submissions to this Review. The National Employment Rights Authority (NERA), which enforces Employment Rights obligations, will always state that it has an obligation to apply the law as enacted. This is an opportunity for employers to have an input on the implementation of that law. This opportunity will not arise again in the short-term.