Minister O’Gorman recommends establishment of Joint Labour Committee for the Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School-Age Childcare (SAC) sector

From Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth 

Published on 12 March 2021

Last updated on 12 March 2021

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., has written to the Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English T.D., recommending the establishment of a Joint Labour Committee (JLC) for the early learning and care (ELC) and school-age childcare (SAC) sector.

The Programme for Government commits to supporting the establishment of a JLC for the sector.

The recommendation follows an 8-week pre-JLC consultation process initiated by the Minister in partnership with SIPTU and CSI/IBEC, and independently chaired by Dr Kevin Duffy, former Chair of the Labour Court. As part of the process, interested parties were invited to discuss how best to address issues of pay and conditions in the sector and how a JLC might support this.

Following the conclusion of the pre-JLC consultation process, Dr Duffy submitted to the Minister a report which recommends the establishment of a JLC.

If established, a JLC would provide an opportunity for SIPTU and CSI/IBEC to engage in negotiations on an Employment Regulation Order which could ultimately establish binding rates of pay and conditions for the sector.

Minister O’Gorman stated:

“I was pleased to read Dr Duffy’s report on the very positive progress that was made in the ‘Pre-JLC’ process that I initiated in partnership with SIPTU and CSI/IBEC. I would like to thank Dr Duffy and all the parties involved for their efforts and commitment.

“While there is still a distance to travel, today marks an important milestone in our journey towards improved pay and conditions for those working in the sector.”

He continued:

“Finding an appropriate mechanism to address pay and conditions is key to the ongoing professionalisation of the sector, and will underpin the delivery of quality services for children and families.”

Under the Industrial Relations Act 1946, the Minister for of State for Business, Employment and Retail has the power to apply to the Labour Court for the establishment of a JLC, and it is the statutory role of the Labour Court to determine the appropriateness of establishing a JLC in a given sector.

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