A Joint Labour Committee (JLC) is composed of equal numbers of representatives of employers and workers in an employment sector. The Committee meets under an independent chairman and an Industrial Relations Officer of the Workplace Relations Commission to discuss and agree proposals for terms and conditions to apply to specified grades or categories of workers in the sector concerned. If agreement is reached on terms and conditions, the JLC publishes the details and invites submissions from interested parties.
An Employment Regulation Order is then drawn up by the JLC and adopted by the Labour Court. The ERO fixes minimum rates of pay and conditions of employment for workers in specified business sectors: employers in those sectors are then obliged to pay wage rates and provide conditions of employment not less favourable than those prescribed.
The constitution and proceedings of JLCs is set out in the Fifth Schedule to the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. My role as Minister is to give statutory effect to the Labour Court’s recommendation by means of a statutory instrument.