Electrical Contracting SEO update

Patrick Whelan

March 02 2020

Last year, Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD formally approved two recommendations from the Labour Court for new minimum pay rates in the construction and electrical contracting sectors.

The new pay rates apply to workers in the construction and electrical contracting sectors and came into effect in September and October last year.

NECI legal challenge

Immediately following the announcement of the SEO's, the National Electrical Contractors Ireland (representing employers in the sector) sought a declaration in the High Court to stop the implementation of the Sectoral Employment (Electrical Contracting) Order 2019 (SEO).

The SEO seeks to introduce new minimum conditions of employment for electricians around wages, working hours, sick pay and pension provision.

At the first stage, the High Court granted a partial stay on the implementation of the provisions of the SEO relating to pension and sick pay pending a full hearing of the matter.

What does this mean for employers in the electrical contracting sector?

Employers in the electrical contracting sector do not therefore need to comply with the pension and sick pay terms of the SEO until the High Court delivers its judgment on the matter.

It’s important to note that only the sick pay and pension provision obligations have been deferred. All employers that fall under the SEO must ensure they comply with the other minimum terms of employment in relation to pay and working hours.

Failure to do so exposes non-compliant businesses to civil and criminal sanctions.

We will provide a further update as soon as the High Court delivers its ruling which is expected in the coming months. 

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