New Sectoral Employment Order

As of the 19th of October 2017, a new Sectoral Employment Order was introduced and in effect allowing up to a 10% pay rise for Construction Workers. The Order provides mandatory terms and conditions in the Construction Industry regarding pay, pension and sick leave. It replaces the old Registered Employment Agreement (REA).

Of course with the introduction of this new order, there are questions surrounding it such as how did this Order come into effect, who pushed for it and who does it affect?

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) first submitted an application to the Labour Court at the end of 2016 requesting a review of the terms and conditions of workers in the Construction Industry. Following this, the Labour court reviewed this and finalised their suggested Order with submissions from the CIF, Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Trustees of the Construction Workers Pension Scheme. The Order then had to be passed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the two houses of the Oireachtas.

Following much debate and discussion in July, the anticipation for the approval of the Sectoral Employment Order was at an all time high. The Order was welcomed by the Minister and both Houses of the Oireachtas and came into effect on the 19th of October. But, who does this affect and how?

This order applies to all employers within the Construction Industry in Ireland regardless of whether or not they are members of the Construction Industry Federation. This includes both ‘Building Firms’ and ‘Civil Engineering Firms,’ involved in construction, repair, painting and decorating to name but a few.

The Sectoral Employment Order is the first of it’s kind to be introduced in Ireland and is in contrast to the REA. Within the Order, minimum wage requirements for different stages of experience were specified such as:

  • Category 1 Workers (General Operatives with 1+ years experience): €17.04 p/h
  • Category 2 Workers (Skilled General Operatives): €18.36 p/h
  • Craft Workers: €18.93 p/h
  • Apprentice:
    • Year 1 – 33.3% of Craft Rate
    • Year 2 – 50% of Craft Rate
    • Year 3 – 75% of Craft Rate
    • Year 4 – 90% of Craft Rate
  • New Entrant Workers: €13.77 p/h

This is almost a 10% increase for each job in the sector

As for changes in the pension scheme and workers’ sick leave, the order provides that employers must offer pension benefits to the same standard of the terms given in the Construction Workers Pension Scheme. It also states that employers must give mandatory sick leave to workers in the sector in recognition of the health and safety risks which they face.

At Sherlock Recruitment, we would strongly recommend that, if not already completed, all employees review their payment practices to ensure compliance with all new requirements.