19th June 2017
WRC Regional Services to be rolled out across the country
Minister Joe McHugh T.D., today formally opened the Sligo Regional Services Office of the Workplace Relations Commission.
Speaking at the event, the Minister said that “It is a very significant moment, as it represents the first step in the WRC extending its full range of services across all of its regional offices to ensure that the same services provided in Dublin are available across the country. I believe this to be a very welcome development and one I fully support”.
The Minister added that “this process will be rolled out across the country– the next phase being in Shannon – and the Cork and Carlow offices of the WRC will follow in due course”.
The Minister concluded by welcoming the decision by the WRC to expand the number of its hearing venues through the addition of locations in Donegal, Mayo, Kerry, Monaghan and Kilkenny. “From a rural Ireland perspective, it is important that complainants and respondents do not have to travel punishing distances to have cases heard and this development is good news for everyone concerned.”
The Director General of the WRC, Ms. Oonagh Buckley, Director General of the WRC, noted that this development was important as “the WRC is anxious to ensure that its full range of services – conciliation, adjudication, mediation, and inspection are available to clients in all our offices. This has not been the case to date as the regional offices were essentially internal offices of the inspectorate staff of the National Employment Rights Authority which is now part of the WRC”.
She concluded by saying “such is our commitment to this course of action that we appointed our first regionally-based mediator here in Sligo earlier this month”.
At the launch, the WRC also indicated its commitment to developing further its Mediation Service and significantly increasing the number of mediated settlements of employment disputes.
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NOTES FOR EDITORS
Workplace Relations Commission
The Workplace Relations Commission was established on 1 October 2015. The main functions of the WRC are to:
- 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 and Innovation 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).
With a wide workforce of almost 200 staff with different specialisms and with offices in Dublin, Carlow, Shannon, Cork and Sligo, and operational bases for hearing meetings in many other counties, the WRC mission is to
- deliver a quality customer service throughout Ireland, which is
- speedy, user-friendly, independent, effective, impartial and cost-effective,
- provides variable means of dispute resolution, redress and effective enforcement, and improves workplace relations generally,
all of which are delivered fee free.
Key WRC Metrics from Annual Report 2016
- 63,000 calls dealt with by the Information Unit,
- 86% of collective disputes resolved,
- Almost 5,000 inspections undertaken which covered 75,000 employees – this equates to 1 in 6 employments in the low wage sectors,
- €1.5 million in unpaid wages recovered,
- 75% of adjudication complaints are now heard in five months - prior to the establishment of the WRC, complainants could be waiting two years for a hearing,
- Two-thirds of employment rights disputes resolved at mediation and 85% of workplace disputes are resolved as well,
- 90 per cent of adjudication decisions accepted and, of those appealed, the majority of those decisions were upheld by the Labour Court.
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