Wednesday 9 June 2021

Enhanced Protections and Greater Transparency for Employees

Ministers of State in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Robert Troy T.D. and Damien English T.D., published the Plan for Action on Collective Redundancies following Insolvency which sets out Government’s work to enhance protections and ensure transparency for employees in insolvency situations.

The Plan follows the commitment in the Programme for Government to review whether the legal provisions surrounding collective redundancies and the liquidation of companies effectively protect the rights of workers. It outlines short-term and medium-term measures that will further enhance the protection of employees in a way that does not overly impede businesses and their operations.

In developing the plan, the Department considered several matters including investigating whether there were gaps or deficiencies in company and employment law that could be addressed to improve the position of employees who find themselves in a redundancy situation due to company insolvency. The process included consultation with trade unions and business representative bodies.

The main provisions of the Plan include commitments to:

  • Introduce amendments to a range of legislation in areas of employment law and company law dealing with matters relating to collective redundancies following company insolvency, and
  • Develop a Guidance Document which will provide clear and accessible information in relation to the rights and remedies available to employees facing a collective redundancy situation following a company insolvency,

And, separately, in the area of employment law more broadly to:

  • Establish an independent Employment Law Review Group, comprising expert stakeholders, which will help shape the formulation of policy and legislation to ensure that Ireland’s employment law framework remains fit for purpose and adapts to the evolving contemporary workplace.

The intention is that this complementary range of measures will promote the provision of quality information, enhance participation and transparency for those workers facing a collective redundancy following company insolvency, and will also provide for continued development of employment law in general.

Work will continue, with ongoing engagement with trade unions and business representative groups, against the timeframes outlined in the Plan for Action. Government will be ready to respond as the plan progresses.