18th December 2018
The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) today published its Strategy Statement Fair and Compliant Workplaces and Equal Treatment in Services 2019 to 2022 together with its annual Work Programme.
Minister Pat Breen TD, welcomed the publication. “The WRC plays an important role in Irish society and across the Irish economy. Its work touches on all aspects of the employment relationship and other areas of Irish life. The WRC has built a solid and well-deserved reputation since its establishment, in the minds of its users and the public more generally. To build on its success to date, challenging targets have been set over the next three years to enhance and improve the efficiency of the overall service delivery alongside a clear implementation agenda.”
The Minister highlighted that “it was particularly helpful that in developing the Strategy, the WRC Board had considered the feedback from the WRC’s ongoing stakeholder engagement; from its Customer Survey; and from its management and staff”.
Dr Paul Duffy, WRC Chairperson, acknowledged that since its inception the WRC had firmly established itself in the workplace relations arena. “The Conciliation and Facilitation Service has processed almost 6,500 collective disputes, mediated on 2,500 individual matters, carried out over 16,000 inspections, recovered almost €7m. in unpaid wages and achieved compliance in most of cases without the need for prosecution. The information service has handled almost 200,000 calls in that time. In terms of adjudication, the Service has received just over 45,000 complaints and virtually cleared its legacy backlog of 4,000 complaints over the same period. Where no requests for postponement are received and submissions are received on time, complaints are being heard and decisions issued in less than six months in nearly all cases. More generally, the median time to get a hearing is less than five months and the median time from receipt of complaint to issuing a decision is less than 9 months. This represents a significant improvement on processing times prior to the establishment of the WRC. Nonetheless, the Board is anxious that these timelines shorten further, and the Strategy Statement and the Work Programme set specific targets in this regard”.
Dr Duffy went on to say that “the targets set out in three-year Strategy and Work Programme for 2019 are undoubtedly challenging, but the Board is anxious that the WRC, informed by its core values of Trust, Independence, Impartiality, and Innovation, fully establishes itself as world leader in delivering an effective, efficient and trusted workplace relations service”.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.
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