February 19, 2024
Sodium Valproate (Epilim) Inquiry
In November 2020, the Minister for Health, Mr Stephen Donnelly, announced that an inquiry would take place into the historical licensing and use of the epilepsy drug Sodium Valproate (also...
In July we reported that the Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) introduced a number of changes while awaiting legislation, following the Supreme Court decision in the case of Zalewski v. Adjudication Officer and The Workplace Relations Commission, Ireland and the Attorney General  IESC 24 (“Zalewski”). Read more here.
The Oireachtas has now enacted the Workplace Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 (“the Act”). The Act came into effect on the 29th of July 2021.
Changes in the WRC as a result of the Act
Below are some of the changes to procedures and requirements when bringing cases before the WRC, that we can expect as a result of the Act.
(i) on summary conviction, to a class B fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both, or,
(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or both.”.
The WRC has issued guidelines with information for witnesses, and in light of current health guidelines, the party who wishes to swear an oath should provide their own physical or e-version of the text which they wish to refer to in their oath.
The list is non-exhaustive, and it will remain to be seen how exactly the Adjudication Officers will apply the above. The WRC has stated for example, that neither both parties wanting a case to be heard in private, nor the possible impact of a public hearing on someone’s reputation, are automatic reasons for the matter to be heard in private.
Employers should be aware that the changes apply to cases even if they were lodged with the WRC before the Supreme Court decision and the Act came into place.
About the Author: Emer Murphy, Senior Associate on the Employment Team
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