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Social partnership agreements


Social partnership is the process by which the Government, employers, voluntary and community organisations and trade unions work out a plan that covers wages, industrial action, housing, transport, education and other issues that affect the country's social and economic development.

There is a list of current social partners in ‘Further information' below.

Regular contact takes place between government Departments and representatives of civil society/social partner organisations on issues of concern. These take place through bilateral contacts or consultation structures across relevant Government Departments.

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is the lead Department in respect of industrial relations matters.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is the lead Department in respect of public sector pay policy and the Croke Park Agreement.

Current partnership agreement

The most recent social partnership agreement is Towards 2016: Ten Year Framework Social Partnership Agreement 2006 - 2015 (pdf).

The agreement was reviewed and amended by Towards 2016: A Review and Transitional Agreement 2008 - 2009 (pdf).

Towards 2016 deals with the economy, the environment, infrastructure and social policy. It also gives direction on pay, the workplace and employment rights.

Previous agreements

The first social partnership agreement was made in 1987. Since then there have been 6 further agreements:


Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

Tel:+353 1 631 2121
Locall:1890 220 222
Fax:+353 1 631 2827

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Government Buildings
Upper Merrion Street
Dublin 2

Tel:01 676 7571
Locall:1890 66 10 10

Further information

The negotiating parties to the social partnership agreement Towards 2016 included the Government, trade unions, employers, environmental organisations, farming organisations and the community and voluntary sector, as follows:

  • Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)
  • Service Industrial Professional and Technical Union
  • Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation (IBEC)
  • Small Firms’ Association (SFA)
  • Irish Exporters’ Association (IEA)
  • Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC)
  • Irish Hotels Federation
  • Chambers Ireland
  • Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA)
  • Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA)
  • Irish Co-Operative Organisation Society Ltd. (ICOS)
  • Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association
  • Macra na Feirme
  • Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU)
  • Congress Centres Network
  • CORI Justice Commission
  • National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI)
  • National Association of Building Co-Operatives (NABCO)
  • Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH)
  • Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
  • Age Action Ireland
  • The Carers Association
  • The Wheel
  • The Disability Federation of Ireland
  • Irish Rural Link
  • The Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament
  • The Children’s Rights Alliance
  • Protestant Aid
  • Community Platform
  • National Women's Council of Ireland
  • Environmental Pillar
Page updated: 24 July 2013



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