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.
If an application is submitted to me for the setting up of a JLC, I will examine the merits of the application and due consideration will be given as to whether the JLC will assist in the promotion of harmonious industrial relations and the avoidance of industrial unrest in the sector. If I am satisfied that this is the case I will then make an application to the Labour Court to hold an inquiry.
You may be aware that I recently signed an Order on the 27th November for the establishment of a Joint Labour Committee for the English Language Sector following a request from Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister of State for Higher Education. Following that request in June 2019, I asked the Labour Court, under section 36(a) of the Industrial Relations Act 1946, to consider an application to establish a JLC to address all aspects of the working conditions and pay of employees in English language Schools. The Labour Court followed the procedures as set out and recommended that the establishment of such a JLC was appropriate. On 27th of November under section 39 of the Industrial Relations Act 1946, I signed the establishment order.