SI No 455 of 2017 Sectoral Employment Order (Construction Sector) 2017 was signed into law on 19th October 2017, by Minister Pat Breen.
The order sets out the statutory minimum pay, pension and sick pay entitlements for craftsmen, construction operatives and apprentices employed in the Construction Sector. It is the first Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) made under the new legislative framework that was put in place in 2015.
Category of Worker
The SEO sets out the mandatory pay and conditions of employment for a basic hourly rate for the sector and two higher rates of pay based on the level of skill of the operative concerned. The workers are clearly defined in different categories as per below;
1. General Operative Category 1 Worker – to consist of Skilled General Operatives with More than 1 Years’ Experience working in the Sector
2. General Operative Category 2 Worker – to consist of the following categories of Skilled General Operatives, Scaffolders who hold an Advanced Scaffolding Card and who have four years’ experience; Banks operatives, Steel Fixers; Crane Drivers and Heavy Machine Operators.
3. Craft Workers in the following trades – Bricklayers/Stone Layers; Carpenters and Joiners; Floor Layers; Glaziers; Painters; Plasterers; Stone Cutters; Wood Machinists; Slaters and Tilers; together with a pro rata rate of pay applicable to Apprentices in these trades.
4. Apprentice – to consist of apprentices in the following trades Bricklayers/Stone Layers; Carpenters and Joiners; Floor Layers; Glaziers; Painters; Plasterers; Stone Cutters; Wood Machinists; Slaters and Tilers)
5. New Entrant General Operative to apply to all new entrant General Operatives with less than one year’s service working in the sector.
Rates of Pay
The court recommended the following rates of pay for each category;
• Category 1 Worker €17.04 per hour
• Category 2 Worker €18.36 per hour
• Craft Worker €18.93 per hour
Year 1 33.3% of Craft rate
Year 2 50% of Craft Rate
Year 3 75% of Craft Rate
Year 4 90% of Craft Rate
• New Entrant Worker €13.77 per hour
Overtime Rates of Pay/Unsociable Hours
The SEO has set out minimum overtime rates of pay that were proposed by both the Construction Industry Federation and the Trade Unions.
• Monday to Friday normal finishing time to midnight time and a half
• Monday to Friday Midnight to normal starting time double time
• Saturday (1) first four hours from normal starting time and a half
• Saturday (2) all subsequent hours until midnight double time
• Sunday working double time.
• Public Holidays All hours worked double time plus an additional day’s leave
The SEO pension scheme outlined 18 as the age that employees are entitled to entry into the Scheme. The court recommends that no less favourable terms that are outlined in the Construction Workers Pension Scheme be included:
• Employer €26.63 per week
• Employee €17.76
• Total Contribution weekly into the scheme per worker €44.39
Death In Service Contribution
• Employer €1.11
• Employee €1.11
• Total €2.22
The Labour Court stated that “the industry involves working in difficult environments with hazards that can pose serious threats to the health and safety of workers in the sector. The Court also notes the precarious nature of employment within the sector.
Accordingly, the Labour Court finds that the provision of a sick pay scheme to finance workers through such periods of injury or illness should be a mandatory requirement for all employers in the sector. Such a scheme should be financed by both workers and employers and should address the specific nature of the worker and employment structure in the sector”
The recommended sick pay contribution is as follows for all employees regardless of length of service;
• Employer €1.27
• Employee €0.63
• Total €1.90
Dispute Resolution Procedure
An SEO is required to include a dispute resolution procedure. The court has adopted the procedure recommended by the unions as they stated it complies with the principles of natural justice.
a) The grievance or dispute shall in the first instance be raised with the employer at a local level with a requirement to respond within 5 working days. Notice in writing of the dispute shall be given by the individual concerned or his trade union to the relevant organisation representing employers or to the employer directly.
b) If the dispute is not resolved it shall be referred to the Adjudication Service of the WRC.
c) Either party can appeal the outcome of the Adjudication Hearing to the Labour Court.
a) The grievance or dispute shall be raised in the first instance with the employers with a requirement to respond within 5 working days. Notice in writing of the dispute shall be given by the workers concerned or their trade union to the relevant organisation representing employers or to the employer directly.
b) If the dispute is not resolved the issue shall be referred to the Conciliation Service of the WRC.
c) If the issue remains unresolved, it shall be referred to the Labour Court for investigation and recommendation.
The Court did not recommend the inclusion of travel time in the sector.
If you have any questions regarding employees terms and conditions in the construction industry please don’t hesitate to contact the advice line on 01 886 0350