Following legal submissions from NECI the TEEU has withdrawn its application to the Labour Court for it to carry out an examination into the terms and conditions of employment in the electrical contracting sector. This examination was to be the first step of introducing the first Sectorial Employment Order (SEO) under the terms of the flawed Industrial Relations Amendment Act 2015 (2015 Act).
In a strong submission prepared by our legal team, NECI raised concerns that the Labour Court had failed to correctly carry out the checks and balances required by the 2015 Act before any investigation is commenced.
NECI believe that our excellent submission highlighting the Labour Courts non-compliance with the basic requirements of the 2015 Act and particularly its failure to correctly assess if the TEEU is in fact actually substantially representative of electricians in the sector contributed to the withdrawal.
The NECI believes that this development is as big a blow to the TEEU as the loss of the unconstitutional REA in 2013. Many electrical contractors will remain unaware of how close they came to returning to the bad old days when the Labour Court enforced the terms of the REA on small electrical contractors following applications made to it by the TEEU. NECI will never again be dictated to by an agreement made between other employer bodies and an unrepresentative trade union. If other employer bodies want to make their companies uncompetitive by paying exorbitant salaries which are not recoverable from their customers, that’s their own business.
For the avoidance of any doubt, there is currently no legally binding agreement of any description operating in the Electrical Contracting Sector. Employers and Employees are free to agree any terms and conditions they want to, as long as they comply with all current employment law.
The remnants of the old Registered Employment Agreement which are labelled incorrectly by the TEEU as a National Collective Agreement are at best described as a gentleman’s agreement. NECI will continue its watching brief of the activities between TEEU and ECA/CIF and AECI. Any further attempts to impose unrealistic agreements on our members will be resisted with the same immediate proactive actions as we used following this attempt.
NECI Submission: NECI Submission
Labour Court Letter: Labour Court confirm withdrawal