April 15, 2021
Legislative changes needed to remedy constitutional issues following workplace relations ruling – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Louise O’Reilly TD has said today’s Supreme Court ruling in the case of Tomasz Zalewski and The Workplace Relations Commission outlined the need for a number of issues to be addressed.
 
Teachta O’Reilly said:
 
“The ruling today by the Supreme Court in the case of Tomasz Zalewski and The Workplace Relations Commission outlined a number of issues in relation to the Workplace Relations Act 2015, and the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977, which are inconstant with the Constitution.
 
“While the Supreme Court rejected the challenge to the Workplace Relations Commission last week, finding that it was not offensive to the constitution, the seven-judge panel has today ruled that aspects of certain legislation are inconsistent with the Constitution.
 
“It is imperative that changes are made to the referenced legislation as soon as possible to ensure that their operation is brought in line with the Constitution.
 
“It is for that reason that I have written to Minister Damien English, the Minister of State for with responsibility for Employment, providing him with legislation I have drafted, which I believe will address these issues and pull both the Workplace Relations Act 2015 and the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 in line with the Constitution.
 
“Following the ruling of the Supreme Court, I have sought to address the issues such as the ban on public hearings before the WRC, the absence of a requirement to give evidence on oath, and the lack of a specific reference in the legislation to a right to cross-examine anyone giving evidence, amongst others, by way of the Workplace Relations (Amendment) Bill 2021.
 
“There is no doubt that rectifying these issues is an area where opposition and Government are in agreement, and that solutions be enacted as soon as possible.
 
“I have asked Minister English for a meeting at the earliest available opportunity in relation to these matters and how we can work together to address the issues identified by the Supreme Court.”

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