Electrical Contracting Sectorial Employment Order (SEO)

The question of whether or not further Employment Regulation Orders will be introduced has been at the forefront of employees minds in certain industries, particularly the Electrical Contracting Industry. The Labour Court has recently received requests in accordance with the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act  2015 to ‘examine the terms and conditions relating to remuneration and any sick pay scheme or pension scheme….’ of workers in the Electrical Contracting Industry.

 

The Labour Court has confirmed that they have received a number of submissions from unions arising from this request and a subsequent invitation issued by the Court in accordance with the Act at Section 15(3).

 

Background of Legislation

In August 2015, the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 was enacted. The Act reintroduced Registered Employment Agreements (REAs) along with Sectorial Employment Orders (SEO) which is similar to the REA.

 

Registered Employment Agreements are local agreements that are only binding on the parties who entered the agreement. Sectorial Employment Orders, however, are binding agreements on entire industries.

 

In order for the Labour Court to conduct a review of pay, pension and sick pay within a certain industry, an SEO needs to be created by either a trade union or employers body that represents a substantial number of employees within the industry. The Labour Court will review the SEO, taking into account economic factors.

 

If they agree with the recommendations in the SEO it will be referred to the Minister and recommended that it be introduced. The Oireachtas must approve the SEO prior to it being introduced in an industry.

 

Current Situation for the Electrical Industry

The Labour Court is in the process of reviewing the submissions made by unions. Some of the submissions are requesting for the following;

  • Rates of pay, sick pay and pension (upon retirement) that is consistent throughout the sector and protected by the state
  • Stability, through the universal application of an order to ensure that all contractors can compete for work on a level playing field while workers continue to receive their entitlements
  • Harmonious industrial relations supported by a dispute resolution mechanism

 

Unions have put forward a number of proposals such as;

  • Minimum hourly rates for apprentices, electricians and supervisor electricians
  • Extension of rest periods with pay and to add travel time to the working day, when calculating the total hours worked, in order to ensure rest periods are in line with the requirements as per the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997
  • Requests for a travel time scale to be introduced that outlines how much pay an employee should receive for distance travelled. Furthermore, a proposal for increased subsistence be paid to employees
  • Requests for a minimum contribution rate for pensions be introduced
  • To provide dispute resolution procedures

 

The next step would be for the Court to call a date for a public hearing.

 

This had been expected for some date in September, however, a High Court judicial review challenge which has been lodged by NECI (National Electrical Contractors Ireland) against the process of establishing a Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) for electrical contracting will be heard before then.

 

As outlined previously, prior to an SEO being introduced throughout the electrical sector, the Labour Court will be required to recommend to the Minister that changes should be introduced. Further to the recommendation of the Minister the Oireachtas will then need to sign off the SEO.

 

Graphite HRM will keep you updated on the progress of the SEO if you have any queries regarding this articles please contact the advice line on 01 886 0350

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Latest Resources

Probationary periods and employment contracts affected by new rules

As January is a quiet time for many business owners, it can be a good time to do some HR jobs that have been put […]

Handling employee resignation and notice periods in Ireland

Employee resigning with documents and belongings
How to handle employee resignation and notice periods in Ireland From time to time, an employee resigns to pursue a career outside of your organisation. […]

Employer’s guide to the Organisation of Working Time Act

Employer’s guide to the Organisation of Working Time Act The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. What does this legislation set out to do and […]

Nora Cashe

Peninsula

Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

Nora has extensive experience representing clients at Employment Tribunal hearings, Conciliation / Mediation meetings before both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. 

Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

Deiric McCann

Genos International Europe

Deiric McCann leads Genos International Europe – The EU division of a world-leading provider of emotional intelligence solutions. 

With over two decades experience at the highest levels of management, Deiric supports clients to develop the resilience, emotional intelligence, psychological safety and engagements of their employees.

Rhiannon Coyne

Graphite HRM

Rhiannon Coyne is a Senior HR Consultant at Graphite HRM and will be providing an overview of best practice on how to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 

With a number of recent updates to employment laws, Rhiannon will take a closer look at employment equality and how it is interlinked to Health & Safety and what employers can learn from recent case laws.

David Begg

Workplace Relations Commission

David Begg was appointed Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in January 2021.

David is also a professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences. Mr Begg’s extensive history in the trade union movement included leading the ESB Officers Association and Irish Congress of Trade Unions, stepping away from the latter in 2001 to chair international aid agency Concern.

David Begg was also previously a director of the Central Bank of Ireland between 1995 and 2010.