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Blog  »  January 2017  »  Annual Progress Report from WRC: 2015 - 2016 - Blog
Jan 17

Posted by
Jennie Hussey

Annual Progress Report from WRC: 2015 - 2016

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has recently published a progress report on its first year in operation (October 2015 - Septetmber 2016). The report outlines the statistics and trends of labour law over the 12 month period and gives some insight into the types of cases being dealt with and how the WRC operates in practice.

Customer Support

The WRC Information and Customer Service department received more than 62,000 calls, ranging from queries related to work permits, working hours, payment of wages, etc. 69% of the calls were made by employees working in a range of different industries.

Top most popular queries

  • Employment permits
  • Working Hours
  • Complaint Enquiries
  • Terms of Employment 
  • Payment of Wages

Caller Type Breakdown

  • Employees = 69%
  • Employers = 21%
  • Citizens Information Centres = 4%
  • Employee Representatives = 3%
  • Employer Representatives = 2%
  • Other = 1%

Conciliation Service

The WRC Conciliation Service received a total of 1,124 referrals in the 12 months, of which 163 disputes were then referred to the Labour Court. The Conciliation Service helps employers and their employees resolve disputes when they have failed to reach agreement during their own negotiations by allowing parties avail of a neutral and impartial third party to assist them in resolving their differences. Prior to the restructuring of the WRC all of these disputes would have ended up being referred to the Labour Court - thus demonstrating how effective the new WRC service is in reducing the numbers clogging up the courts unnecessarily.

Inspection and Enforcement Services

The report also showed that the WRC Inspection and Enforcement Services closed 5,221 inspections and out of those 2,050 employers were found to be in breach of employment legislation. 13 fixed-penalty notices were issued in those 12 months relating solely to failure by the employer to provide a written statement of wages and over €1.5 million of unpaid wages were recovered.

Employment Hearings

Finally, the report highlights a significant reduction in waiting times for hearings and determinations, and a substantial reduction in the backlog of cases, with the employment rights cases being reduced by nearly 50%, all very positive signs pointing towards the success of the WRC since its introduction. 


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