Joint Labour Committees


Joint Labour Committees regulate conditions of employment and set minimum rates of pay for employees in certain sectors of employment. 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 Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
  • A trade union
  • An organisation claiming to represent the workers or employers involved.

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.

Reform of JLC system

The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2012 reforming the Joint Labour Committees and Registered Employment Agreements (REAs) wage-setting mechanisms came into force on 1 August 2012.

The Act's provisions include:

  • JLCs have the power to set a basic adult rate and 2 additional higher rates
  • Companies may seek exemption from paying ERO and REA rates due to financial difficulty
  • JLCs no longer set Sunday premium rates. A new statutory Code of Practice on Sunday working is to be prepared by the Workplace Relations Commission
  • When setting rates JLCs will have to take into accounts factors such as competitiveness and rates of employment and unemployment

New EROs for the contract cleaning and security industries came into effect on 1 October 2015.

List of Joint Labour Committees

  • Agricultural Workers
  • Catering (excluding Dublin City and Dun Laoghaire)
  • Catering (Dublin City and Dun Laoghaire)
  • Contract Cleaning
  • Hairdressing
  • Hotels (Others excluding Cork)
  • Retail, Grocery and Allied Trades
  • Security Industry

EROs and REAs

Agreements on pay and conditions are known as Employment Regulation Orders (EROs) or Registered Employment Agreements (REAs). EROs are made by Joint Labour Committees (JLCs) and REAs are Collective Agreements made between trade unions and employers which were registered with the Labour Courts. Following a decision of the Supreme Court, all Registered Employment Agreements ceased to have statutory effect from 9 May 2013. The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 provides for a system of registered employment agreements and sectoral employment orders.

Prior to 9 May 2013, there were REAs for the following sectors: Drapery, footwear and allied trades (Dublin and Dun Laoghaire); Construction industry; Printing (Dublin); Electrical contracting; Contract Cleaning; Overhead power line contractors.

Further information

Workplace Relations Commission

Information and Customer Service
O'Brien Road
R93 W7W2

Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90
Fax:(059) 917 8909

Page edited: 12 October 2015



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