It’s Good to Talk… Isn’t it? Legislating for Information and Consultation in the Irish Workplace

It's Good to Talk...Isn't It? Legislating for Information and Consultation in the Irish Workplace (2008) 30 Dublin University Law Journal 120

17 Pages Posted: 19 May 2012

Date Written: August 18, 2008

Abstract

The Irish industrial relations (IR) system has traditionally been characterised as “voluntarist”. This means there is a relative absence of legal intervention in collective employment relations. There is no obligation on employers to recognise a trade union for collective bargaining purposes, for example, and collective agreements are generally not legally binding. Regardless of whether or not a trade union is present in a workplace, legally grounded employee rights to information and consultation, or to input into organisational decision-making, in Ireland have been traditionally rather limited. In this context, the passing, in 2002, of the Information and Consultation Directive (Directive 2002/14/EC) opened up the possibility of considerable adjustment to the Irish model of IR. This article examines the transposition of the Directive by means of the Employees (Provision of Information and Consultation) Act 2006 (hereinafter “the Act”) and assesses the extent to which the legislation is likely to be successful in securing robust information and consultation rights for Irish employees in both unionised and non-unionised workplaces. In the case of the former, the implications of the legislation for trade unions will also be considered. The article is set out as follows. First, the voluntarist model will be outlined in more detail. Second, the background and context of the Directive and its transposition (in terms of the key provisions of the 2006 Act) will be assessed. Finally, the implications of the Act for greater employee involvement and input at organisational level (and its potential to “plug” the voluntarist gaps identified) will be examined.

Keywords: Employee rights, information and consultation, Ireland

Suggested Citation

Doherty, Michael, It’s Good to Talk… Isn’t it? Legislating for Information and Consultation in the Irish Workplace (August 18, 2008). It's Good to Talk...Isn't It? Legislating for Information and Consultation in the Irish Workplace (2008) 30 Dublin University Law Journal 120, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2062198

Michael Doherty (Contact Author)

Maynooth University ( email )

Maynooth, County Kildare
Ireland
+353 1 7086638 (Phone)

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