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