Joint Labour Committees (JLCs) are provided for under the Industrial Relations Act 1946 and were reformed by the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2012.
JLC’s may be set up by the Labour Court on the application of (i) the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, or (ii) a trade union, or (iii) any organisation claiming to be representative of the workers or the employers involved.
Section 41A of the Industrial Relations Act 1946 requires the Labour Court to carry out such a review of each Joint Labour Committee at least once every five years. In 2018 the Labour Court carried out a Review and submitted their Report to me on 20 April 2018 with a number of recommendations which I accepted.
Prior to carrying out their Review the Labour Court publishes a notice in national newspapers advising that they are carrying out a review and inviting written submissions to address considerations to be taken into account by the Court in carrying out the Review. A total of 21 submissions were received by the Court and having considered all of the submissions received, the Court concluded that the experience of the sectors involved since the completion of the last review had been one of harmonious industrial relations.
The Labour Court recommended that 6 of the 8 existing JLCs be retained in their current format, and that the remaining 2 (Catering - Dublin City and Dun Laoghaire and Catering - Excluding Dublin City and Laoghaire) be amalgamated.
The constitution and proceedings of JLCs are set out in the Fifth Schedule to the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 and as JLC’s are independent bodies, I as Minister have no role in their ongoing functions.