Key takeaways from Labour Court’s Annual Report 2020

Gemma O'Connor - Head of Service

July 14 2021

The Labour Court (the Court) published its Annual Report for 2020 on July 13th, 2021. The Labour Court in Ireland resolves disputes under industrial relations legislation and employment rights law.

Here, we look at some of the main points of interest to employers that the Labour Court faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cases heard and determined

Unsurprisingly, the work of the Labour Court was significantly curtailed throughout 2020. However, the Court still received 940 appeals or referrals and scheduled 1,065 hearings. Although this was down from 1,182 referrals in 2019, it was not down as much as expected. The Court also completed 794 cases, though this number includes cases withdrawn or settled as well as those decided.

Changes on 2019

There was a fall in the number of appeals to the Labour Court of over 20%. The most significant reduction was a decrease of 33% in the number of appeals and referrals under the Industrial Relations Acts. The number of appeals under Employment Rights legislation decreased by only 11%.

This reflects the broader trend of moving away from Industrial Disputes and towards the individual rights of employees. The Labour Court expects this trend to continue.

COVID-19 adaptations

The Labour Court migrated much of its business to online hearings. This was a new innovation that was operational from June 2020. While the Court continued to conduct some in-person hearings, 70% of cases from June 2020 to the end of 2020 were conducted virtually. The Labour Court has recently reopened its doors to allow face-to-face hearings.

Joint Labour Committees

The Labour Court conducts 5-yearly reviews of all JLCs. There are currently eight such JLCs in existence. Revisions or adoption of EROs with respect to Contract Cleaning, the Security Industry, and English Language Schools are expected during 2021.

Article: Labour Court establishes new JLC for Early Years’ Service sector

Employment Regulation Orders

A new ERO was adopted in December 2020 in respect of Contract Cleaners. Draft amendments for the ERO for the Security Sector were also submitted.

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If you have questions about the Labour Court’s Annual Report or need help with any HR or health & safety issues, speak with one of our advisors any time day or night on 0818 923 923.

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