Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Questions (13)

Seán Crowe

Question:

13. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the timescale by which he will legislate for registered employment agreements. [33494/13]

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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. The Article provides, in effect, that the exclusive power to make laws is vested in the Oireachtas. The Supreme Court took the view that Registered Employment Agreements are instruments having the status of laws made by private individuals. While the Constitution allows for the limited delegation of law making functions, the provision 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. With these issues in mind, I intend as soon as possible to legislate for a revised framework that will be fully informed by the Supreme Court judgment.