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The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD recently launched the first Strategy Statement of the Workplace Relations Commission.Among the targets and objectives set by the strategy, covering the years 2016-2018, are:

  • The Workplace Relations Commission will reduce waiting times with a target of three months from the time of complaint to hearing, with decisions issued on average within four months of complaint being submitted.
  • WRC will target reduced costs to all parties (including the State) by resolution of more complaints outside adjudication
  • Employers will be notified, on average, within 10 working days of the complaint being lodged, thus increasing the possibility of a resolution being reached without the need for any hearing
  • Promote orderly collective bargaining
  • Enhance Dispute resolution service and delivery
  • Provide highest quality “real-time” adjudication
  • Drive employment legislation compliance
  • Develop and enhance enterprise-level workplace relations
  • Involve stakeholders on operational aspects of the Workplace Relations services

It is interesting to note that WRC Adjudication Hearings are being scheduled within on average 11 weeks at present. Previous experience of claims before the Equality Tribunal saw claimants waiting on average twelve to twenty four months for a hearing with Employment Appeals Tribunal Hearings ranging from one year. This was clearly a source of considerable anxiety for claimants and employers alike. This reduction in waiting time is also welcomed by employment law practitioners alike.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said:

If we are to deliver full employment in the coming years, we must have modern, flexible workplace relations institutions providing world-class services at low cost to employers and employees. That is why I started, in July 2011, the most radical reform of the State’s workplace relations institutions in 70 years, to deliver the top-class institutions which formally went live last October”

A full copy of the press release is available here.