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 1. Mass exodus to Irish EWC jurisdiction
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Post-Brexit EWCs in “precarious position” unless they can effectively access WRC/Court

Dated: 11-03-2021


The country’s largest trade union has complained to the director general of the European Commission’s department responsible for employment, that unless there are changes made to legislation in Ireland, all European Works Councils here “may find themselves in a very precarious position”.

In its letter to Mr Joost Korte, seen by IRN, SIPTU says it is seeking his department’s assistance “with a very serious matter in relation to the implementation of the above Directive in Ireland regarding European Works Councils (EWCs)”.

The union says that with Brexit in place, many companies are using Ireland as their legal base for their European Works Councils. “Ireland is an attractive option for these companies because Irish legislation offers no rights to collective bargaining and very limited (if any) legal remedies in matters pertaining to EWCs”, it says.

SIPTU explains to Mr Korte that it had written to the Irish Government regarding this matter and that the Government gave an undertaking to “examine the current legislative framework to ensure that it is robust”.

But as of today (Friday, March 5, 2020), the union says, “there has been no further correspondence from the Irish Government on the matter”.



State’s dispute mechanisms only “rational” way to handle disputes in EWCs re-locating to Ireland

Dated: 04-02-2021


Due to the increasing number of multinational companies switching the location of their European Works Councils (EWCs) from the UK to Ireland - because of Brexit - the Government has been advised to address deficiencies in current legislative arrangements for dealing with disputes involving these EWCs. Access to state’s dispute machinery would resolve the problem, the Government has been told.

Because of Brexit, non-EU firms will no longer be able to be able to locate their European Works Councils within the United Kingdom as they are governed by the Directive that gave effect to these works councils, making the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) the ultimate arbiter in disputes concerning compliance with its provisions. “Non-EU” now also includes UK-headquartered firms such as Rolls-Royce and BT.

A proportion of these large multinationals have already re-located their EWCs from the UK to Ireland, with more expected to follow suit.

This will concern enterprises considering relocating their EWCs to Ireland.