11th February 2020
The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen, today formally opened the Ennis Regional Services Office of the Workplace Relations Commission.
Speaking at the event, the Minister said that
This is a very important day. It represents the next step in the WRC plan to provide, to the greatest extent possible, the same range of services to people across the country as are available in Dublin. I believe this to be a very welcome development and one I fully support”.
The Minister acknowledged that the new WRC offices are not the only locations for adjudication hearings –the WRC hosts hearings in Donegal, Mayo, Kerry, Monaghan, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Louth, and Meath.
It is very important that a body like the WRC has regional presence. The WRC is looking at ways to further improve accessibility to its services – particularly for people who, for one reason or another, find travel or dealing with certain situations particularly difficult. Again, this is an initiative I strongly welcome and support.”
Note to the Editor
Workplace Relations Commission
The Workplace Relations Commission was established on 1 October 2015. The main functions of the WRC are to:
- Promote the improvement of workplace relations, and the maintenance of good workplace relations,
- Promote and encourage compliance with relevant employment legislation,
- Provide guidance in relation to compliance with Codes of Practice,
- Conduct reviews of, and monitor developments, in workplace relations generally,
- Conduct or commission relevant research and provide advice, information and the findings of research to Joint Labour Committees and Joint Industrial Councils,
- Advise the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation in relation to the application of, and compliance with, relevant legislation, and to
- Provide information to the public in relation to employment legislation (other than the Employment Equality Act).
With a wide workforce of almost 200 staff with different specialisms and with offices in Dublin, Carlow, Ennis, Cork and Sligo, and operational bases for hearing meetings in many other counties, the WRC mission is to
deliver a quality customer service throughout Ireland, which is speedy, user-friendly, independent, effective, impartial and cost-effective, provides variable means of dispute resolution, redress and effective enforcement, and improves workplace relations generally, all of which are delivered fee free.
By end-September 2019 the WRC had seen -
- 230,000 calls dealt with by the Information Unit,
- 5,000 conciliation conferences with almost 90% of disputes resolved,
- 6,000 disputes mediated or their resolution facilitated in most cases,
- Almost 21,000 inspections undertaken,
- €10 million in unpaid wages recovered,
- The median time to the issuing of an adjudication decision from receipt of the original complaint at just over 8 months - prior to the establishment of the WRC, complainants could be waiting two years just for a hearing, and 90 per cent of these decisions have been accepted by the parties,
- A very successful outreach programme developed using social media and the website to raise awareness around employment rights generally and in specific sectors.
Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI)
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 has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.
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