to IBEC's call for an overhaul of the Joint Labour Committee system.
According to Minister Calleary, "In Towards 2016, the Social Partners
committed to measures aimed at modernising and streamlining the Joint
Labour Committee system, including the rationalisation of the number of
committees. The implementation of these measures is now well advanced. As
part of the modernisation exercise, rationalisation of JLCs in a number of
sectors, including contract cleaning, hairdressing, clothing and textile
sectors, have already taken place and an agreement in principle to
amalgamate the two JLCs in the Catering sector has been reached by the
"With a view to continuing the modernisation process, the Government
committed, in the context of the Review and Transitional Agreement, to the
introduction of legislation to strengthen the existing system for the
making of both Employment Regulation Orders and Registered Employment
Agreements and to provide for their continued effective operation,
including, in particular:
• The introduction of legislation to strengthen the existing system for
the making of both Employment Regulation Orders (EROs) and Registered
Employment Agreements and to provide for their continued effective
• Measures to provide for improved operational procedures to include
the nomination of chairmen for JLCs for a fixed term of office and the
continued enhancement of expertise and competencies through the practice of
nominating chairmen on the basis of their experience and qualifications for
"Work on the preparation of the legislation is well advanced and I am very
committed to bringing this forward as soon as possible." said the Minister.
Minister Calleary added, "I am very conscious of the difficulties that many
firms operating in sectors covered by EROs are experiencing as a result of
the current economic crisis. It is my view that the parties represented on
the JLCs are best placed to address the impact of the economic crisis on
employment levels and the viability of services in the sectors. I believe
that the recent experience in the catering trade has demonstrated how a
constructive engagement by the employer and trade union representatives
directly involved in the Joint Labour Committee mechanism can help to
promote a shared response to current problems affecting the viability of
services and the sustainability of employment at sector level. "
The Minister concluded, "the Government is always open to consider
proposals from social partners on any aspects of the industrial relations
legal framework and institutional machinery and IBEC's proposals in
relation to the JLC system can be considered in this context."
(This press release is also available on the Departments website at
Note for Editors
Joint Labour Committee System
Joint Labour Committees (JLCs) are statutory bodies established under the
Industrial Relations Acts 1946-2004 that provide machinery for the fixing
of minimum rates of pay and the regulation of conditions of employment.
JLCs are established by order of the Labour Court. A JLC can be established
by the Labour Court on application from the Minister, or representative
employers or employees.
JLCs operate in areas where collective bargaining is not well established
and wages tend to be low (e.g. hairdressing, hotels sector). They are
composed of representatives of employers and workers in a particular sector
and they meet periodically to discuss and agree terms and conditions to
apply to specified workers in that sector. When a JLC agrees terms and
conditions, it makes proposals to the Labour Court on foot of which the
Court can make Employment Regulation Orders (ERO). EROs are statutory
instruments which set out terms and conditions applying to specified
workers in a particular sector.