The Labour Court conducts hearings on trade disputes and issues recommendations setting out its opinion on the dispute and the terms on which it should be settled. The Labour Court is a court of last resort in the industrial relations process, and it is expected that the parties come to the process in good faith and consequently are prepared to give serious consideration to the Court’s recommendation.
However, the system of industrial relations in Ireland is essentially voluntary in nature and recommendations of the Labour Court are not legally binding. Neither the Labour Court, nor I, can compel a company to comply with such recommendations. Ultimately, responsibility for the settlement of a trade dispute rests with the parties to the dispute.