On 1 July 2022, the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) published its seventh annual report outlining the challenges faced by the WRC in 2021 and the ways in which it worked through the challenges that the global pandemic continued to present.
Some of the key highlights include:
- 5,993 complaints made to the WRC comprising 12,014 specific or individual complaints.
- Pay accounted for 25% (3,009). Making up the main five types of complaints, this was followed by:
- Unfair dismissal – 14% (1,688)
- Discrimination – 13% (1,596)
- Hours of Work – 11.5% (1,382)
- Trade dispute/ IR – 10% (1,207)
- 3,320 adjudication hearings were held in 2021 with 1,549 decisions or recommendations issued.
- Almost all hearings were held virtually.
- 689 requests for Conciliation services with Pay accounting for 44% of issues heard.
- 95 disputes were referred to the Labour Court where full resolution was not achieved/ possible at conciliation.
- Of the complaints received, 1,760 noted that mediation as an option and in 63% of these cases with over half (52%) of these resolved.
- 3,433 inspections were carried out by the WRC Inspectorate.
- The WRC Information line dealt with 55,810 calls in 2021.
The WRC have traditionally relied on face-to- face interaction between the parties to mediation and conciliation. It was noted that technical difficulties and variable broadband quality of some attendees was an undesirable burden in the negotiation process. For the reasons outlined above the WRC expressed its intention to return predominantly to face-to-face engagement.