The Labour Court is an independent statutory office under the aegis of my Department with responsibility for adjudicating on disputes between employers and employees under industrial relations and employment rights legislation. As such I, as Minister, have no involvement when the Labour Court exercises its quasi- judicial functions.
The specific details provided by the Deputy relate to a 2008 recommendation from the Labour Court under the Industrial Relations Act 1946. Recommendations made by the Labour Court under this legislation are not binding on the parties concerned; however, the parties are expected to give serious consideration to the Court's recommendation. The position is that in industrial relations matters under Ireland's voluntary system of industrial relations the Labour Court operates as an industrial relations tribunal. It hears both sides in a case and then issues a recommendation setting out its opinion on the dispute and the terms under which it should be settled.
There is no statutory mechanism by which recommendations of the Labour Court made under the Industrial Relations Acts 1946 to 2015 can be enforced in law. Ultimately, under the Industrial Relations Acts, responsibility for the settlement of a dispute rests with the parties.