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Ireland not confirming entirely to European Social Charter
Pic: RollingNews.ie

22 Mar 2023 / employment Print

Ireland not compliant with European Social Charter

The 46-nation Council of Europe has published its latest annual conclusions, assessing member states’ compliance with provisions of the European Social Charter on labour rights.

It finds Ireland in breach in nine areas – including the right to carry over leave from one year to the next.

The European Social Charter is the social and economic counterpart to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which is binding under international law.

The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), which is part of the Council of Europe, is led by President Aoife Nolan, and the report covers the period from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2020.


Decisions and conclusions of the European Committee of Social Rights must be respected by the states concerned: even if they are not directly enforceable in the domestic legal systems, they set out the law and can provide the basis for positive developments in social rights through legislation and case-law at national level.

As well as the carryover of annual leave, other areas of non-conformity included the following items:

1.   Employee representatives should be consulted regularly on the conditions relating to night work, and on measures taken to reconcile employees’ needs and the special nature of night work.

2.   Minimum wage paid to workers of 18 and 19 does not ensure a decent standard of living.

3.   Right to increased remuneration for overtime work is not guaranteed to all workers.

4.   Obligation to recognise and respect the principle of transparency of remuneration in practice is not complied with.

5.   Periods of notice applicable to workers and civil servants are manifestly unreasonable.

6.   Safeguards preventing workers from waiving their right to limits to wage deductions are inadequate.

7.   Certain closed-shop practices are authorised by law, and domestic law does not protect all workers against dismissal on grounds of trade-union membership or involvement in trade-union activities. During the reference period, military representative associations were prohibited from joining national employees’ organisations.

8.   Only authorised trade unions, their officials and members are granted immunity from civil liability in the event of a strike; the police are denied the right to strike, and an employer may dismiss all employees for taking part in a strike.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland