Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (149)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

149. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the legislative measures he intends to take on registered employment agreements following on from the recent striking down elements of the Industrial Relations Act 1946 by the Supreme Court in McGowan and others v. The Labour Court, Ireland and the Attorney General; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32494/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

In the judgment delivered on 9 May last in McGowan and others v. The Labour Court, Ireland and the Attorney General, the Supreme Court held that Part III of the Industrial Relations Act 1946 was invalid having regard to Article 15.2.1 of the Constitution.

That Article provides, in effect, that the exclusive power to make laws is vested in the Oireachtas. The Supreme Court took the view that REAs are instruments having the status of laws made by private individuals. While the Constitution allows for the limited delegation of law making functions, the provisions of the 1946 Act went beyond what is permissible under the Constitution.

The effect of this decision is to invalidate the registration of employment agreements previously registered under Part III of the 1946 Act. This is an important issue for many employers and their employees, particularly in relation to rates of pay and tendering for contracts.

I intend as soon as possible to put in place legislation that will be fully informed by the Supreme Court judgment, but will introduce a revised framework to deal with these matters.