Overhaul of Irish Workplace Dispute Adjudication Bodies

9 July 2014

The Government has announced (8th July 2014) its intention to completely overhaul the system by which workplace disputes are adjudicated upon.

These proposals which have been the subject of extensive consultation with interested parties will reform and streamline the existing adjudication system. Replacing five separate bodies with one first instance adjudicator, the Workplace Relations Commission and an appellate body, the Labour Court is intended to shorten waiting times, encourage early resolution of workplace disputes and eliminate “forum shopping” where the same set of events can lead to a multiplicity of claims. It is widely recognised that the current system with delays of up to 2 years in having claims heard is not in the best interests of either the aggrieved employee or the employer. While there have been some concerns raised through the consultation process about the make-up, qualification and proposed processes of the Workplace Relations Commission, it is universally accepted that change is required. The legislation is expected to be adopted before year end 2014 with the new systems to be in operation in 2015.

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