Our website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to collect information about how you use this site to improve our service to you. By not accepting cookies some elements of the site, such as video, will not work. Please visit our Cookie Policy page for more information on how we use cookies.

News & Events

Minister Damien English, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, appoints Dr David Begg as Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC)

Minister Damien English TD, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has appointed Dr David Begg as Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

The appointment is made following an open recruitment campaign conducted by the Public Appointments Service (PAS). This is the second appointment to the position of Chairperson since the establishment of the WRC on 1 October 2015.

The Chairperson of the WRC Board is a statutory appointment under section 10 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015. The appointment of Dr Begg as Chairperson is for five years from 1 February 2021 to 31 January 2026.


Note for Editors

Dr David Begg:

Until 2015, Dr Begg was General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU). Dr Begg is Chair of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, he is Adjunct Professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences (MUSSI), Chair of the Pensions Authority and also Chair of the Fire Service National Oversight Implementation Group, Department of the Environment.

Core Services of the WRC:

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) was established on 1 October 2015 under the Workplace Relations Act 2015. The WRC’s core services include the provision of early dispute resolution, mediation, conciliation, facilitation and advisory services, adjudication on complaints and disputes, the monitoring of employment conditions to ensure compliance with and (where necessary) enforcement of employment rights legislation, the provision of information, and the processing of employment agency and protection of young persons (employment) licences.

The core mission of the WRC centres around the promotion and improvement of industrial and employment relations generally, and the maintenance of proper employment standards which, in turn, contributes significantly to the architecture of economic and social development and growth. In this regard, the collective and specialist services of the Commission play a vital role in contributing towards industrial peace, adjudicating on individual disputes and monitoring and enforcing compliance with employment standards across the economy.

The main functions of the WRC:

  • Promote the improvement of workplace relations, and the maintenance of good workplace relations,
  • Promote and encourage compliance with relevant employment legislation,
  • Provide guidance in relation to compliance with Codes of Practice,
  • Conduct reviews of, and monitor developments, in workplace relations generally,
  • Conduct or commission relevant research and provide advice, information and the findings of research to Joint Labour Committees and Joint Industrial Councils,
  • Advise the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment in relation to the application of, and compliance with, relevant legislation, and to
  • Provide information to the public in relation to employment legislation (other than the Employment Equality Act)

Composition and Functions of the Board of the WRC: The Board of the WRC comprises a Chairperson and 8 ordinary members as provided for in the Workplace Relations Act 2015. The Board has two statutory functions, those functions are:

  1. to prepare, in consultation with the Director General of the WRC, an annual work programme for the forthcoming year for the approval of the Minister, and
  2. also, in consultation with the Director General, to prepare and submit a three-year strategy statement to the Minister setting out the WRC’s planned strategy for the next three years.


The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Enterprise, Trade and Employment, press.office@enterprise.gov.ie or (01) 631-2200