We are all aware of the difficulties experienced by all contractors when the Labour Court oversaw the previous Registered Employment Agreement (REA) which was found invalid by the Supreme Court in May 2013 and policed by the company EPACE.
It is time to stand and be heard again in relation to the terms and conditions within our industry. It never has been a one size fits all Industry.
We would encourage everyone to recall the Good, The Bad and The Ugly of the previous terms and Conditions of the REA as this is an application to establish a new SEO (Old REA) under the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 which was enacted on 22 July 2015 and came into force on 1 August 2015.
The Act makes provision for three main areas, namely:
1. it creates a new regime for registered employment agreements (“REAs”);
2. it makes provision for sectoral employment orders (“SEOs”);
3. it adjusts the Labour Court’s jurisdiction, created by the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2001, to make legally binding determinations affecting employers who do not engage in collective bargaining with trade unions.
What are SEOs?
SEOs are Sectoral Employment Orders made by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, on the recommendation of the Labour Court and approved by resolution of both Houses of the Oireachtas, which set out the minimum rates of remuneration and the minimum pension and sick pay entitlements of workers of a particular class, type or group within a specified economic sector. They are similar to REAs but their application is not confined to employees of the employer(s) party to them and their scope is confined to pay, sick pay and pensions.
What is the effect of an SEO?
An SEO will apply to every worker of the class, type or group in the economic sector to which it is expressed to apply and to their employers. If the contract of employment of a worker to whom an SEO relates provides for a lower rate of remuneration or less beneficial sick pay or pension entitlements than those set out in that SEO, the more favourable SEO provisions will be substituted for the equivalent provisions in the contract of employment.14 In addition, an employer must not penalise an employee for relying on their rights in relation to the SEO system.
This NEW SEO will be applied to every worker of the class, type or group as defined in Appendix 2 and in the economic sector as defined in Appendix 1.
Appendix 1 Sector Definition:
An Electrical Contractor is defined as the proprietor of a business whose main activity is the performance of electrical work on a contract or sub-contract basis for any third party.
The work carried out within the Electrical Contracting Industry is defined as “ The installation, alteration, repair, demolition (de-install), Fabrication & Pre-fabrication, commissioning or maintenance of electrical and electronic equipment, including the marking off and preparing for the wiring (whether temporary or permanent) of all electrical and/or electronic appliances and apparatus fitting and erecting all controllers, switches, junction section distribution and other fuseboards and all electrical communications, bells, telephone, radio, telegraph, x-ray, computer and data cabling, instrumentation, fibre optics and kindred installations; fitting and fixing of metallic and other conduits, perforated cable trays and casing for protection of cables, cutting away of walls, floors, and ceilings etc. , for same; erection, care and maintenance of all electrical plant, including generators, motors, oil burners, cranes, lifts, fans, refrigerators and hoists; adjustments of all controls, rheostats, coils and all electrical contacts and connections; wiring of chassis for all vehicles; erection of batteries and switchboards; erection of crossarms, insulators, overhead cable (LT and HT); fitting of staywires, brackets, lighting arrestors etc. and underground mains having regard to any advances in technology and equipment used within the industry.”
An order shall apply to all workers who carry out the duties of Electricians and their Apprentices employed in the Electrical Contracting Industry.
This application for an SEO will not apply to:
• State employees and semi-state employees who are engaged in similar activities and are covered by other agreements
• Electricians and Apprentices who are employed directly by manufacturing companies for the maintenance of those companies’ plants only.
• New build one-off houses
• Low density new housing developments of 3 units or less (totality of project)
• Existing single private residential and domiciled units for the purposes of repair. Replacement and modification of electrical systems and equipment
Appendix 2: Class, Type or group of workers to which the request relates to:
The work in this sector is carried out by highly skilled electricians and their apprentices who are trained to standards which are governed by the minimum educational qualifications associated with the Statutory Apprenticeship system.
1. Electricians: The Electrician must have successfully completed the statutory apprenticeship and therefore hold a National Craft Certificate (or equivalent).
These qualifications may be required in order for an employer to establish his/her status as an “Electrical Contractor”
2. Apprentice Electricians: The Apprentice must be registered with SOLAS within two weeks of commencing employment as an apprentice and must complete 7 phases of training (on the job and academic studies combined) over a minimum period of 4 years in training. Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship training the individual will receive the National Craft Certificate or equivalent.
Have you continued in business since the Supreme Court ruling in May 2013?
Have you witnessed or experienced the race to the bottom?
Has the greenshoots of recovery following the worst recession in the history of the State found you?
NECI will be completing a submission to the Labour Court.
Be heard and complete your submission on the Electrical Contracting Industry that you work in to ensure your voice is heard.
The deadline for submissions is the 26th June, 2017.
Any such representations should be sent by post to The Secretary, The Labour Court, Tom Johnson House, Haddington Road, Dublin 4,
or by E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A reminder that any person wishing to make representations in relation to the examination should do so on or before 26 June 2017.
Representations received after that date shall not be considered. Any such representations should be sent by post to The Secretary, The Labour Court, Lansdowne House, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4, or by E-mail to email@example.com
Please note that it is the Court’s intention to publish all submissions received on its website at www.workplacerelations.ie and parties making submissions should ensure that all material submitted complies with all relevant regulatory legislation including Data Protection Legislation.