The Workplace Relations Commission last week issued an update on their services in consideration of the Government’s latest announcements advising of further postponements of all Adjudication Hearings, Conciliation Meetings, Face- to -Face Mediations, and cancellation of on-site Inspections until after Monday 18th May 2020.
While restrictions remain in place Inspections (apart from on-site) will continue where possible. This means that existing inspections will progress, and new inspections may commence with contact made to Employers via phone or written communication. It is worth noting that in the recently published Workplace Relations Commission Annual Report almost 5,000 inspections were concluded involving 127,000 Employees. Of those inspections concluded, €3.9million in wages was recovered, an increase of €800,000 from 2018.
New rules and guidelines have also been introduced by the Labour Court for appeals. These include that any appeal, (with the exception of appeals of Equal Status Complaints which lie to the Circuit Court), shall be initiated by notice in writing, including by email, delivered to the Labour Court within 42 days from the date of the decision being appealed. For affected Employers please note that the date of the decision is day 1 of the 42 day period in accordance with the provisions of the Interpretation Act 2005. Further instruction on appeals submitted by email can be found on the Workplace Relations Commission website.
This announcement serves as a timely reminder to ensure that compliance is an integral part of any decision-making process when it comes to Employee terms and conditions, despite the current restraints on trade and organisational activity. As Employers move into the medium to long term planning phase in consideration of the Government’s roadmap to easing restrictions, it is of paramount importance that HR is part of any decision making process relating to the re-prioritisation of objectives. This is to ensure that legislative compliance and best practice are maintained in order to mitigate against the employment risks that are associated with these types of decisions and the impact on Employee terms and conditions.
Disclaimer - The information in this section should not be interpreted as a legal definition of any of the information provided and is per information provided on the Workplace Relations Commission website. The information provided is correct of May 8, 2020 and is per information on the WRC website as of that date.