In advance of bringing legislative proposals to Government to radically reform the State’s five industrial relations and employment rights bodies, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovationtoday published a detailed reform plan he has submitted to the Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, for its consideration and discussion next week.
Among the measures in the plan which the Minister will be bringing to the Oireachtas Committee are:
- A single body of first instance, called the Workplace Relations Commission, to adjudicate on all complaints. All hearings will be heard by a single adjudicator, replacing the three-person tribunals currently in existence in some cases.
- A single route for appeal, to an expanded Labour Court (also incorporating the appeals functions of the EAT).
- A single time limit for first instance complaints, and a single time limit for appeals
Three month time-limit from complaint to hearing, replacing the current two-year wait in some cases 28-day target from hearing to decision
- Reasoned, written decisions of all adjudications will be published
- Better enforcement of awards, including provision for a Determination Order enforceable at civil or criminal law
- Rigorous, best practice, performance reporting arrangements between the new body and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
A series of measures will be put in place to reduce the number of cases which end up at formal hearings:
- An Advisory and Information Service in the WRC to provide enhanced information services, better adherence to codes of practice, template workplace dispute procedures and other measures to help encourage resolution of more disputes in the workplace
- An Early Resolution Service, based on best international practice, including interventions and alternative dispute resolution services to encourage resolution of disputes before formal adjudication
- Improved compliance measures, including the use of Compliance Notices and Fixed Charge Notices.
Since its launch just four months ago, the Hireland initiative has received over 4,000 pledges with an estimated 2,000 people having found work through the system so far.
A study conducted by Amárach Research last week found that employers that have pledged jobs via Hireland.ie have on average pledged three jobs, with two out of every three jobs pledged having already been filled and one in five being filled later this year. Of these one third are off the Live Register.
We talked with Co-founder of the Hireland initiative, Lucy Masterson, about how this initiative has exploded in Ireland and why small business has embraced it so much.
The CEO of the Irish Integration Center has has said that highly skilled immigrants, that
could be of great benefit to firms, are working below their skill set or are unemployed because of difficulties having their qualifications verified or recognised in Ireland.
Killian Forde said that there was a need for professional representative organisations to work more closely with the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) to develop protocols which accelerate validation.
“It is time to start thinking outside the box and work together to create the opportunities necessary to kick-start our economy. The lack of conversion courses available to up-grade qualifications to the Irish standard, as well as limited opportunities for migrants to acquire a sufficient level of professional English, are barriers to the successful use of skill-sets which could be overcome without excessive cost,” said Mr Forde.
A new survey, released by e-recruitment software firm Candidate Manager, has shown
that employers continue to use non-traditional means to advertise job vacancies. The main ways appear to be corporate websites and online job boards.
Just 5% believe “networking and using local press” is the most effective way to fill positions. These methods were previously seen as the best ways of attracting new staff. 14% of those polled use social media sites to scout for talent.
LinkedIn is most popular at 92% while 43% use Facebook and 32% use Twitter. The research found that more companies had a company page on Facebook (77%) than LinkedIn (66%).
A quarter of those surveyed said it took two months or more to hire a new member of staff. Half of the survey respondents found that it took four weeks to hire a new member of staff.