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Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD has published his consultation paper on the reform of the State’s employment rights and industrial relations structures while he has also invited submissions from interested parties by September 16.

The bodies at stake include the Labour Relations Commission, the Equality Tribunal, the National Employment Rights Authority, the Employment Appeals Tribunal and the Labour Court.

The proposals published include a new integrated two-tier structure to replace the five existing employment rights bodies, individuals would always be able to take their own case and would not have to rely on a legal representative or others, the development of shared services and integration of back office functions to ensure greater efficiency and savings, support to ensure that speedy resolution can occur at workplace level, all related cases would be taken at the same hearing, the system will have only one entry point and finally the system would be easy to understand and use.

The employment rights bodies were, according to the Minister “not fit for purpose” and developed in a “haphazard way”. An effective system, the Minister continued “would see more grievances resolved in the workplace”.

On July 18 last, the first steps in the process were announced by Minister Bruton including the LRC taking responsibility for the management of NERA, an industry expert being named with responsibility for coordinating the process and the establishment of an implementation group.