Government to appeal High Court ruling on sectoral employment orders

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar

The government has said it will appeal a High Court judgment striking down the law providing for sectoral employment orders (SEOs) setting out minimum pay and conditions for certain workers.

The ruling, which found provisions of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 to be unconstitutional, is likely to have serious implications for thousands of workers in certain sectors, including electrical contractors, construction workers, some engineers and contract cleaners.

The case was brought to the High Court by the National Electrical Contractors of Ireland (NECI) in opposition to a sectoral employment order for the electrical contracting sector.

In a statement to the Dáil yesterday, Tánaiste and Business Minister Leo Varadkar told TDs: “I can confirm to the House that it is our intention to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court.”

The State has until Tuesday 14 July to formally lodge its appeal. The High Court ruling will not have any effect until the Supreme Court has heard the matter and made a judgment.

He added that ministers would work “in the background on a plan B” in the event that the Supreme Court upholds the ruling.

“Of course work will be done on contingencies that might arise from a judgment of the Supreme Court, but none of us know for sure what that judgment will be,” Mr Varadkar said.

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