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Written Answers - Employment Rights

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 127.  Deputy John Deasy Information on John Deasy Zoom on John Deasy  asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton  the reason for the delay in obtaining a decision from the Employment Tribunal for a hearing held in September 2011 in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Wexford; and when a decision will be made in this regard. [3223/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) is independent in the exercise of its quasi-judicial function and I have no direct involvement in its day-to-day operations. However, having made inquiries, I understand that in the case of the person referred to, a Determination issued to the parties on 12 January 2012.

Delays currently being experienced in the EAT are a regrettable consequence of the significant increase in its caseload that has occurred in recent years. Between 2007 and 2009, the number of claims referred to the EAT trebled and this has increased the time it takes for cases to be heard and for subsequent determinations to issue.

While various short-term steps have been taken to address these delays, the functions of the EAT will be more comprehensively addressed in the context of my planned reform of the State’s employment rights and industrial relations structures and institutions. As part of this, I am chairing an Implementation Group charged with overseeing the restructuring of five existing employment rights and industrial relations bodies into a simplified two-tier structure. This reform and streamlining project is aimed at producing measurable improvements in the quality of services provided to users of the State’s employment rights and industrial relations dispute resolution services and reduce the burden of accessing such services for users and reduce costs to the State. The project has already provided some early improvements including the development of a single complaint form for use in all existing bodies; the establishment of a single contact portal for centrally administering the receipt of complaints; and the creation of a centralised website containing information on all relevant bodies. Further improvements are planned for early 2012.


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