Press Release

SIPTU welcomes Supreme Court ruling confirming SEO legislation is constitutional

Date Released: 18 June 2021

SIPTU representatives have welcomed the judgement of the Supreme Court today (Friday, 18th June) which confirms that the legislation underpinning the Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) structure is constitutional.

SIPTU TEAC Division Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “This is a good day for construction workers. The initial decision by the High Court on this matter had the capacity to deal a devastating blow to workers in the construction sector by removing the terms and conditions they had successfully secured as part of the SEO for the industry.

“The SEO structure is valuable not just for workers but for the industry in general as it takes wages out of competition in the tendering system and prevents rogue employers from undercutting the majority of decent employers on the basis of having the lowest paid workers.” 

She added: “It also provides a stable structure by which pay can be determined collectively, thus improving the terms for all workers covered by an SEO across the entire industry. The value of this, in an industry where work is insecure and on a project to project basis, cannot be underestimated.

“The Supreme Court ruling now paves the way for a pay review for construction workers before October 2021 when a wage increase will become due under the terms of the SEO.” 

SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “This ruling brings an end to the argument from smaller construction firms and related employers who claimed they were not covered by the SEO for the industry. This decision will positively impact on thousands of workers across the country. SIPTU representatives will be to the forefront in ensuring that construction and related workers get the full benefit of the SEO terms.” 


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