Press Release

EU Commission serves infringement notice on government over failure to apply EWC Directive

Date Released: 19 May 2022

The EU Commission has today launched an infringement notice against Ireland over the Government’s failure to properly transpose the EU Directive on European Works Councils (EWC). The notice was issued following a complaint made by SIPTU representatives, according to its EWC expert, Denis Sheridan.

He said: “We tried on a number of occasions to engage with the Irish government regarding the transposition of the EU Directive on EWCs. 

“However, the legislation introduced by the Government in relation to the Directive was not fit for purpose. As a consequence of the inadequate transposition of the Directive, the new Irish law made it attractive for multi-national companies to move their legal base to Ireland, in order to avoid meeting their obligations under EU law. 

“Following Brexit, a significant number of companies have moved operations to Ireland and have taken advantage of the inadequate application of the EWC Directive in this State. 

“We complained to the Government that the weak legislation would not be sufficient to deal with disputes that would arise between worker representatives across Europe and management in these companies.

“Failure by the Government to act left the Union with no alternative but to make an official complaint to the European Commission concerning the inadequate nature of the transposition of the Directive. As a consequence the EU Commission has today issued an infringement notice on the Government, which has two months to respond and take the necessary corrective measures. 

He added: “In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may take legal action. SIPTU representatives are available to meet with the Government to assist with making the required changes.”


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