27 Nov 2019

Social Dialogue Articulation and Effectiveness

Country Report for Ireland

Mehtap Akgüç / Leonie Westhoff

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This report presents a case study analysing the articulation and effectiveness of social dialogue in Ireland. The analysis relies on desk research and interviews with key stakeholders including social partners, aiming at obtaining deeper insights into how issues are articulated in social dialogue, actors are interacting, and social dialogue outcomes are achieved – and ultimately implemented. Following a brief historical background on the industrial relations system and the evolutions in the Irish economy in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the report then provides both a cross-sectoral overview of social dialogue articulation and the interaction with European-level social dialogue. It also offers a sectoral perspective by looking at four sectors with a particular focus on four occupations within these sectors: commerce (sales agents), construction (construction workers), education (teachers) and healthcare (nurses). The research suggests a diversity of experiences both in cross-sectoral and sectoral social dialogue articulation and their effectiveness depending on the type of actor (e.g. trade union, employer organisation or else) as well as on the topic of priority. Interactions with European-level social dialogue and social partners is considered as important (particularly in some sectors), but the intensity of the interaction is limited when it comes to involvement in the European Semester process.

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