News & Events

ELAI survey of practitioners on dispute resolution under the Workplace Relations Act 2015 - One Year On

A survey of employment law and industrial relations practitioners by the Employment Law Association of Ireland on the two-tier workplace disputes system introduced last year by the Workplace Relations Act 2015 has identified significant problems with aspects of how the Workplace Relations Commission is operating.

Substantial numbers of the 139 legal and industrial relations practitioners who responded are dissatisfied with the new system, with one in every two practitioners believing it is worse than the much-criticised, older version. The survey was covered by RTE News, the Irish Times and an opinion piece by ELAI Chair, Colleen Cleary was published in the Irish Examiner.

The infographic below details the main results of the survey which was conducted by Dr Brian Barry, committee member of the ELAI and lecturer in law at Dublin Institute of Technology.

Survey findings  

General views of the new system

• 49% of practitioners said that they were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the new two-tier system, while just 31% said that they were either satisfied or very satisfied. 20% of practitioners said that they were neutral in this regard.

• 48% of practitioners said that the new two-tier system is worse than the much-criticised and complex system for resolving workplace disputes that preceded the reforms under the 2015 Act. 34% of practitioners said that the system had improved while 18% said that system was neither better nor worse.

WRC Adjudication Service

The Workplace Relations Act 2015 introduced a new Adjudication Service to adjudicate on workplace disputes in the first instance. Practitioners were asked for their views on this new service.

• 40% of practitioners expressed satisfaction with the competence of Adjudication Officers at the Workplace Relations Commission, 30% were dissatisfied and 30% were neutral on this point.

• 63% practitioners said that the format of hearings hosted by Adjudication Officers at the Workplace Relations Commission which are now held in private was not consistent from hearing to hearing. 

• 51% of practitioners were dissatisfied with the consistency of Adjudication Officers’ rulings. Just 18% said they were satisfied and 31% said they were neutral in this regard.

WRC Mediation Service

The Workplace Relations Act 2015 introduced a new mediation service as a voluntary alternative to adjudication. 

• More practitioners (34%) expressed the view that they were dissatisfied with the availability of mediators than were satisfied (27%). Many practitioners commented that resources and personnel allocated to the service were insufficient to meet the demand for the new service, leaving many workers and employers without access to mediation. 

Processing complaints at the WRC

• 60% of practitioners expressed dissatisfaction with how the Workplace Relations Commission processed complaints and scheduled hearings. 

Labour Court

Practitioners were asked for their views on the revised Labour Court which now also hears appeals from decisions of Adjudication Officers at the Workplace Relations Commission. 

• 59% of practitioners expressed satisfaction with the competence of the Labour Court. Only 13% expressed dissatisfaction. 

 

Thursday October 13, Workplace Investigations - An Insider’s View

Workplace Investigations - An Insider’s View to be kindly hosted by McCann FitzGerald Solicitors, Riverside One, Sir John Rogerson Quay, Dublin 2. This will be a round table discussion and a real opportunity for ELAI members to gain a meaningful insight from experts who are leaders in this growth area.

Registration is at 6pm with a commencement time of 6.30pm – 8pm.

Our excellent panel of speakers will include;

• Bernadette Treanor- CEO of BEO Solutions, Bernadette is a former equality officer and highly experienced investigator in employment relation issues, including Dignity at Work, Protected Disclosures (whistle-blowers) and disciplinary procedures.

• Julie Fenton is Head of the Fraud Investigations Dispute Section of EY and an Assurance Partner with over 20 years in the delivery of professional services to clients to include forensic accounting, investigations and dispute resolution.

• Paul Glenfield is General Counsel and Head of Risk in Matheson having previously headed up the Employment and Equality Group and has many years’ experience in advising both employers and employees on the conduct of workplace investigations.

If you require CPD you can register on the day. As you know, ELAI relies on the generosity of its members to host their events and on this occasion, it would assist our kind host, McCann FitzGerald, to confirm your attendance by emailing Danielle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Workplace Relations Act 2015 - One Year On: High Level conference in UCD in conjunction with ELAI

The Workplace Relations Act 2015 - One Year On A full day conference will be held in the UCD School of law in conjunction with the Employment Law Association of Ireland on Saturday, 1 October 2016. This will be an excellent conference with an array of eminent speakers, as well as a full report on the ELAI Survey on the operation of the WRC. ELAI members can avail of a reduced conference fee of €100 for a full day conference. For details please see https://www.ucd.ie/law/newsandevents/events/theworkplacerelationsact2015-oneyearon/

Event: Legal Privilege and In-house Counsel - Thursday 16 June 2016

Event: Legal Privilege and In-house Counsel - Thursday 16 June 2016

UPCOMING EVENT on Legal Privilege and In-house Counsel:

ELAI will host an event entitled "Legal privilege and in house counsel". These issues will be discussed in the context of employment law. The seminar will be delivered by our overseas guest Paul Epstein QC and Kevin Kennedy from McCann Fitzgerald.

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Notice of AGM 2016

Notice of AGM 2016

NOTICE OF AGM 2016

Notice of Annual General Meeting 2016

ELAI's AGM will be held at the Conrad Hotel, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2 on Thursday, 7th April 2016 at 6.30pm. Delighted to announce that our guest speaker will be Alex White, SC and Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, who will give us an interesting reflection on:

"Election 2016 - what now for Employment Law and the Irish Workforce?"

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Event on the Workplace Relations Rules and Procedures

Event on the Workplace Relations Rules and Procedures

Following our very successful seminar at A&L Goodbodys on the Workplace Relations Act last year, we will hold our second event outlining the changes to the Workplace Relations Rules and Procedures at 6pm on Wednesday 10 February 2016.

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Submission to the Employment Lawyers Association UK on reforms of UK dispute resolution structures

The ELAI made a submission to the UK Employment Lawyers Association on the reform of UK dispute resolution structure. The ELAI provided a comparative perspective of recent developments in Ireland as follows:

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Seminar on recent legislative changes in Collective Bargaining, TCD, 3 December 2015

The seminar regarding the recent legislative changes in Collective Bargaining, is due to take place on 3 December 2015, between 6 – 8 pm. In attendance at the seminar will be John Douglas, General Secretary of Mandate Trade Union & Maeve McEwee of Ibec in what promises to be a lively debate of the topic.

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