The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2015 was published on 14 May 2015. The purpose of the Bill is twofold; namely to make provision for the reintroduction of REA`s and secondly to reform the current law on Collective Bargaining.
Reintroduction of Registered Employment Agreements
The Bill provides for the reintroduction of a mechanism for the registration of employment agreements between and employer or employers and trade unions governing remuneration and conditions of employment in individual enterprises. It also provides for a new statutory framework for establishing minimum rates of remuneration and conditions of employment to replace the former sectoral Registered Employment Agreements.
For further information on Registered Employment Agreements and why this new legislation is deemed necessary, read my BLOG published 9th May 2013 titled “Supreme Court Declares that Registered Employment Agreements are Unconstitutional”.
Reform of Collective Bargaining
The Bill also provides for amendments to the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Acts 2001 – 2004 to give effect to the Programme for Government commitment to reform the current law on employees’ right to engage in collective bargaining.
Ireland has a voluntary Industrial Relations system. The proposed legislation will ensure that, where an employer chooses not to engage in collective bargaining either with a trade union or an internal ‘excepted body’, there is a fair mechanism by which disputes regarding remuneration and other terms and conditions of workers can be assessed and determined by the Labour Court, if necessary. It will also ensure that if an employer chooses to collectively bargain with an internal ‘excepted body’, as opposed to a union, that body must pass tests as regards its independence.
For further information, you can read the Explanatory Memorandum.