Industrial Relations Acts 1946 to 2015
The Industrial Relations Acts 1946 to 2015 establish the basic institutional machinery of the Irish system of industrial relations, namely the Workplace Relations Commission, the Labour Court, Rights Commissioners, Adjudication and Mediation Officers and Joint Labour Committees (JLCs) and Joint Industrial Councils (JICs).
The legislation that governs the legal framework of trade unions is the:
· 1937 Constitution (Bunreacht na hÉireann);
· Trade Union Acts 1871 to 1990
· Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2015.
The main legislation setting out procedures for resolving disputes is the:
· Industrial Relations Act 1990;
· Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2001;
· Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004;
· The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015.
The principal employment tribunals in recent years have been the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT), the Labour Court and the Equality Tribunal. These have been consolidated as part of the recent reform of the employment rights bodies into two main bodies – a body of first instance, called the Workplace Relations Commission which encompasses mediation and adjudication and an appellate body, being the newly expanded Labour Court. A Social Welfare Tribunal has a limited role in relation to Social Welfare Acts and unemployment payments in the context of industrial action. All act as quasi-judicial bodies, exercising specific powers.