Joint Labour Committees regulate conditions of employment and set minimum rates of pay for employees in certain sectors, by means of Employment Regulation Orders (EROs).
A Joint Labour Committee (JLC) is established by a statutory order of the Labour Court under the Industrial Relations Act 1946. It is an independent body made up of equal numbers of employer and worker representatives appointed by the Labour Court, with a chair appointed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
Any of the following can apply to the Labour Court to set up a JLC:
The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2012, which reformed reforming the Joint Labour Committees’ wage-setting mechanisms, came into force on 1 August 2012. The Act provides for the Labour Court to adopt an Employment Regulation Order drawn up by a JLC. The ERO is then given statutory effect by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
The Act's provisions include:
There are new EROs for the contract cleaning and security industries – see below.
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Previously some employments were covered by agreements made by Joint Labour Committees. Following a High Court decision Employment Regulation Orders ceased to have statutory effect from 7 July 2011.
Employees who were covered by an ERO have existing contracts of employment which govern their pay and conditions of work. If an employer reduces an employee’s rate of pay this would be a change in their contract of employment and normally such changes require the employee’s consent.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.