The inaugural meeting of the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF) on 5 October last was chaired by An Taoiseach and attended by the sponsoring Ministers of Public Expenditure and Reform, Finance and Jobs Enterprise and Innovation with representatives of employers and trade unions.
The aim of the LEEF is to provide a forum to discuss areas of shared concern affecting the economy, employment and the labour market such as competitiveness, sustainable job creation, labour market standards, equality and gender issues in the workplace.
An economic and fiscal outlook for Budget 2017 presented by Department of Finance formed the centre piece of the discussion at the first meeting, including the latest growth projections and risks such as Brexit. A wide ranging productive discussion and exchange of views ensued covering a range of topics including housing, childcare, international competitiveness, regional development, labour taxation, female participation, third level education and insecure employment.
Following the conclusion of the discussion, it was agreed that the Forum would prove a useful mechanism for ongoing dialogue on challenges facing the country in which all sides had a shared interest and should meet in future on a quarterly basis.
The next meeting is scheduled for Qtr. 1 and arrangements are in hand with relevant parties to agree date and practical arrangements such as Agenda etc. for that meeting.