INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT 1990
|INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT 1990
The Act's main purposes are twofold:
(a) to amend and update the law on industrial conflict; and
(b) to re-organise the State's dispute resolution machinery.
The Act's provisions on industrial conflict essentially retain the previous framework of the Trade Disputes Act 1906, with some amendments. As before 1990, Irish trade disputes law is based on a system of statutory immunities which are triggered by action "in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute" (the "golden formula" ). However, some of the "gateways to immunity" have been narrowed: for example, the definition of "trade dispute" no longer includes "worker v. worker" disputes, disputes about an individual's employment must first go through statutory or collectively agreed resolution procedures, private residences can no longer be picketed, secondary action is restricted, and trade unions must have rules providing for secret ballots before industrial action is taken. On the other hand, the ability of employers to get labour injunctions is restricted where there has been a secret ballot and strike notice has been given.
The Act further established the Labour Relations Commission , and set out its functions, with their implications for existing institutions and machinery. Under the Act the Labour Court retains its functions of investigating disputes and hearing employment equality cases, but the conciliation function goes to the Labour Relations Commission.
Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.