What is the Workplace Relations Commission?
The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in an independent statutory body. It was sent up under the Workplace Relations Act 2015.
The WRC are responsible for:
- Promoting improvements in workplace relations
- Providing guidance in relation to codes of practice
- Conducting research in relation to workplace relations
- Providing advice, information and the findings of research to joint labour committees and joint industrial councils, the public.
What sort of cases does the WRC hear?The WRC can hear a vast array of complaints including:
- Unfair Dismissal
- Constructive Dismissal
- Pay Disputes
- Penalisation and Victimisation claims
- Discrimination/Equality claims
- Disputes re terms and conditions of employment
- Disputes re working hours
- Industrial Relations Issues
- Issues regarding the Transfer of Undertakings
- Disputes relating to fixed term, part time and agency contracts
- Disputes relating to Notice periods
Who can represent me in the WRC?You can represent yourself in the WRC or you can get someone else to represent you. Representatives are not limited to legal professionals, though it is increasingly common to see solicitors and barristers instructed in complex cases.
How do legal costs work at the WRC?There are no costs awards in the WRC. This means that unlike in the traditional courts, the adjudication officer will not award costs to the winning side. Instead, each side will bear their own costs of representation.
What is the Statute of Limitations in WRC cases?
The statute of limitations in the WRc varies depending on the specific case you are taking. For example, the statute of limitations for an unfair dismissal case is usually six months from the date of termination. If you are outside this period you may have still have a breach of contract claim where the statute of limitation is six years but this would be a civil case in the Courts.
On this basis, we strongly advise you to seek further advice at as early a stage as possible to ensure your claim is not statute barred.
For further information, please see our article on specific time limits in the WRC.
What is the procedure for a hearing in the WRC?The procedure for hearings in the WRC has changed recently since the 2021 Supreme Court ruling in Zalewski. The most important change brought about by this decision was that hearings in the WRC must now be conducted in public, and both the complainant and respondent’s names will be published in the decisions, which are available freely online. Evidence is required to be given under oath.
How do I submit my claim to be heard by the WRC?The Claim is filed on the common claim form available from the workplace relations. It is important that the claim is correctly calibrated as certain claims can only be taken under certain acts.
How long does the WRC process take?There is a considerable backlog caused by Covid and it can take a number of months for a hearing.
Can I appeal the decision of the WRC?An appeal is available to the Labour Court within 6 weeks of the decision.
Setanta Solicitors advise both employers and employees on employment law. Please contact us to schedule a no obligation consultation at email@example.com or 01 215 0168