Ministers Breen and Mitchell O’Connor announce the establishment of Joint Labour Committee for the English language education sector

Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD, has formally accepted the recommendation of the Labour Court for the establishment of a Joint Labour Committee for the English language education sector. He made the announcement today together with Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD.

Giving effect to this recommendation, Minister Breen has signed an establishment order that shall come into effect on 2 December 2019.
Minister Breen said: “I welcome the recommendation of the Labour Court and I am happy to announce the establishment of this new Joint Labour Committee. The JLC provides an opportunity to address many of the employment related issues that have damaged the reputation of this sector in recent years and to place the industry on a stronger footing for the years ahead.”

JLCs provide a wage-setting mechanism that determines terms and conditions of employment, as well as setting minimum rates of pay for workers in certain sectors. In the sectors represented, the terms and conditions may be given effect in law by means of Employment Regulation Orders made by the Minister.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “I would like to thank Minister Breen and the Labour Court for their efforts on this issue. I am extremely supportive of the establishment of a JLC to address all aspects of the working conditions and pay of employees in English language schools with a view to the issuing of an Employment Regulation Order for the sector.

“The relationship between strengthening employment standards for teachers and staff working in this sector and enhancing Ireland’s considerable reputation as a quality learning destination for international students was strongly highlighted in the debates – in both the Seanad and the Dáil – on the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Act 2019 which I successfully brought through the Oireachtas prior to the summer recess.

“I would encourage bodies representing both employers and employees in this sector to engage with the JLC process. This can guarantee Ireland as a premier destination for English language education.”

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