Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, has formally accepted the recommendation of the Labour Court for
the establishment of a Joint Labour Committee (JLC) for the Early Years’ Service sector.
Giving effect to this recommendation, the Minister has today (Monday 21 June) signed an establishment order that shall come into effect on 1 July 2021.
Minister English said:
"I welcome the recommendation of the Labour Court and I am happy to announce the establishment of this new Joint Labour Committee which fulfils the Programme for Government commitment to support the establishment of a JLC in the childcare sector."
JLC’s 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 English added:
"I would encourage bodies representing both employers and employees in this sector to engage with the JLC process as it can yield positive benefits for the sector as a whole. An agreement on a new set of terms and conditions of employment will help maintain and grow the talented pool of people working in the sector as well as providing security and opportunity for career development in the Early Years’ and Childcare sectors."
This JLC resulted from collaboration with Childhood Services Ireland, SIPTU, and the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), Roderic O’Gorman TD, who initiated the process and appointed Dr Kevin Duffy, the former Chair of the Labour Court as the independent chair of this process. Dr Duffy concluded that all parties involved agreed that the establishment of a JLC is the most appropriate means by which pay and conditions of employment in the sector can be addressed.
Minister O'Gorman said:
"I'm delighted to see progress being made on the establishment of the Joint Labour Committee. Those working in early learning and childcare services deserve recognition for the hugely important work they do and the benefits their work brings for children, families and society. COVID-19 has reinforced just how essential these services are. High-quality early learning and childcare depends on a well-qualified workforce that is supported and valued. More favourable wages and working conditions are necessary to attract and retain qualified staff. The government is committed to supporting this through the JLC process and through major projects underway in my department to develop a new funding model and a new workforce development plan for this sector."