News & Events

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation appoints new Deputy Chairman of the Labour Court

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD appointed Ms Louise O’Donnell to the position of Deputy Chairman of the Labour Court with effect from today (Monday 3 July 2017). Ms O’Donnell’s appointment arises following a competitive selection process conducted by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) over recent months.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation wishes to congratulate Ms O’Donnell, currently Ordinary Member of the Labour Court on her selection to fill the position of Deputy Chairman of the Court.

The Tanaiste said “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Louise O’Donnell as Deputy Chariman of the Labour Court. I wish Ms O’Donnell every success in her new role. The Labour Court has earned the trust and confidence of users of its services since its establishment and I believe Ms O’Donnell with the Chair and the support of other members of the Court will continue with that sound tradition.”


For further information:

Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation 01- 631 2200 or

Labour Court

The Labour Court is a quasi-judicial statutory tribunal with responsibility for the investigation of trade disputes and certain other functions under the Industrial Relations Acts 1946-2012. It also has an appellate role in disputes between workers and employers concerning employment rights under various statutes. Following the enactment of Workplace Relations Act, 2015, from 1 October 2015 the Labour Court became the only appellate tribunal in employment rights disputes, taking over the role previously played by the Employment Appeals Tribunal in hearing appeals under various employment enactments made from that date.

The Court fulfils its industrial relations function by providing independent, fair and speedy adjudication in matters of difference between workers and employers. Since its inception the Court has built a strong reputation for impartiality and fair dealing in its investigation of trade disputes and employment rights appeals.

In large measure the Court’s success in that regard is dependent on the trust and confidence which the users of its services have in the Chairman and the Deputy Chairmen of the Court.

The Court acts by division. There are currently four divisions of the Court. A division comprises the Chairman or a Deputy Chairman, a worker member and an employer member. The Court is a collegiate body and all members are equal in its decision making processes. The Chairman and deputy chairmen can be required to sit alone to carry out such functions as are prescribed by the Minister.

Role of the Deputy Chairman of the Labour Court

The responsibilities of the Deputy Chair of the Labour Court include: 

  • The Deputy Chairman is the second most senior position within the Labour Court. The Deputy Chairman’s primary duty, in common with all other members of the Court, is to hear and determine cases assigned to the Division over which she presides;

  • The Deputy Chairman is responsible for managing the division of the Court to which the Chairman is assigned and ensuring that cases are disposed of fairly, efficiently and within a predetermined timeframe;

  • The role of Deputy Chairman also includes filling in for the Chair when required in the management of the administrative functions of the Court;

  • The Deputy Chairman is responsible for ensuring that the duties and targets are met by the Division of the Court over which she presides.