Employment Regulation Orders (ERO), are provided for in the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2012 and set the minimum rates of pay and conditions of employment for workers in a specified business sector.
An ERO is drawn up by a Joint Labour Committee (JLC). A JLC is composed of equal numbers of representatives of employers and workers in an employment sector with an independent chairman. The Committee meets 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.
A JLC can be set up to agree rates of pay and conditions of employment for vulnerable workers in sectors that are not otherwise represented. To become an ERO, the proposals drawn up by the JLC must be adopted by the Labour Court and an Order giving them statutory effect must be made by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. If an ERO is put in place employers are then obliged to pay wage rates and provide conditions of employment to workers that are not less favourable than those set out in the Order.
A review of the JLC structure, as required under the 2012 Act, was undertaken by the Labour Court in 2018. While there is a JLC in place for the agriculture sector, the review noted that it had been inactive since the last review (2013).