WRC Launch Strategy Statement Promoting Early Resolution

The Workplace Relations Commission has launched its Strategy Statement, targeting reduced waiting times and promoting early resolution of disputes.

The Strategy was launched by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, and is aimed at embedding the radical reforms which have been achieved and delivering improved services for business and employees who use its services.

Among the targets and objectives set by the strategy, covering the years 2016-2018, are:

• The Workplace Relations Commission will reduce waiting times with a target of three months from the time of complaint to hearing, with decisions issued on average within four months of complaint being submitted

• WRC will target reduced costs to all parties (including the State) by resolution of more complaints outside adjudication

• Employers will be notified, on average, within 10 working days of the complaint being lodged, thus increasing the possibility of a resolution being reached without the need for any hearing

• Promote orderly collective bargaining

• Enhance Dispute resolution service and delivery

• Provide highest quality "real-time" adjudication

• Drive employment legislation compliance

• Develop and enhance enterprise-level workplace relations

• Involve stakeholders on operational aspects of the Workplace Relations services

WRC Adjudication Hearings are being scheduled within on average 11 weeks at present - this is a huge improvement for many applicants who previously had to go the Equality Tribunal and / or the Employment Appeals Tribunal. In 2014 those bringing cases to the Equality Tribunal had been waiting up to 120 weeks for a hearing, while those that had been going to the Employment Appeals Tribunal had been waiting for over 60 weeks for their case to be scheduled for hearing.

Minister Bruton said: "If we are to deliver full employment in the coming years, we must have modern, flexible workplace relations institutions providing world-class services at low cost to employers and employees. That is why I started, in July 2011, the most radical reform of the State's workplace relations institutions in 70 years, to deliver the top-class institutions which formally went live last October.

"Today we are embarking on the next stage of that journey, by publishing the first formal Strategy Statement of the WRC, laying out the targets and objectives which the organisation will deliver over the period to 2018.

"We are undoubtedly entering a difficult period for our economy, with many serious challenges both external and domestic. If we are to sustain the progress we have made, and achieve our target of sustainable full employment delivering improving living standards for all, we must implement prudent plans and use every lever we have to safeguard our competitiveness.

"The Workplace Relations Commission has a vital role to play in this, in delivering a world-class service to promote a stable industrial relations environment, supporting businesses and employees to retain good workplace relations. I am confident that the team we have at the WRC, and the strategy we are publishing today, will help to deliver on that."


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