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Sunday 21 September 2014

New deal on drawing up pay rates for construction

Published 02/08/2014 | 02:30

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The previous legislation dated back to the 1940s and covered up to 300,000 workers
The previous legislation dated back to the 1940s and covered up to 300,000 workers

A NEW system for agreeing pay rates for skilled craftspeople and construction workers will be drawn up by the Government.

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The new form of Registered Employment Agreements (REAs) comes after the Supreme Court declared the old system of setting wages and conditions for workers in certain sectors was unconstitutional.

The judgment last year was significant as it affected several employment sectors and the court said the agreements "passed unmistakably into the field of legislation which was the sole preserve of the Oireachtas".

The previous legislation dated back to the 1940s and covered up to 300,000 workers.

The new laws will mean unions and employers will be able to apply to the Labour Court to start a review of pay or pension or sick pay terms of workers in a particular sector.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the new REAs would provide certainty for staff and businesses tendering for contracts, promote industrial peace, and ensure firms were not placed at competitive disadvantage.

"However, it is also crucial to ensure that these systems do not become rigid and inflexible, and do not become an impediment to job creation in a fast-changing economic environment," he said.

Irish Independent

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