High Court Decision - Thursday 15th August

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The NECI, with our legal team of Ms Helen Callanan SC, David O'Brien BL and Harry Carpendale Solicitor has attended the High Court on Thursday 15th August in Dublin for the Judgement of Justice Meenan on the NECI Interlocutory Injunction application.

We received a very significant judgement from Mr Justice Meenan with regard to the NECI Interlocutory Injunction application.


In effect, the judgement of the High Court (Meenan J) stays what is a mandatory legal obligation contained within Statutory Instrument 251 of 2019 - Sectoral Employment Order (Electrical Contracting Sector) 2019, that all employees affected by the SEO as of 1st September 2019 must "be entered by his or her employer into a pension scheme the terms of which shall be no less favourable than those set out in the Construction Workers Pension Scheme".

Whilst Mr Justice Meenan has not granted all reliefs sought by NECI. The High Court refused to injunct the SEO from coming into full operation on 1st September 2019, however it did stay the aspect of the SEO which relates to pensions obligations pending the determination of the substantive Judicial Review proceedings.

We are reviewing the Judgement of Mr Justice Meenan to determine how best for employers in the Electrical Contracting Sector to proceed.

It is our initial understanding that rates of pay and terms and conditions of employment included in the SEO will be legally binding from the 1st September 2019.

IMPORTANTLY Mr Justice Meenan has granted a stay on the implementation of the compulsory provision of a pension and sick pay scheme for all workers in the electrical contracting sector pending the determination of the substantive Judicial Review proceedings.

This is a major success for the NECI given the extremely high legal threshold required to stay the application of an existing law.

Mr Justice Meenan concluded that given the issues involved and the livelihoods of both employers and employees in this economic sector it is very desirable that an early trial of the substantive Judicial Review proceedings take place.

We are now awaiting the date for the NECI Judicial Review proceedings of the substantive issues concerning Statutory Instrument 251 of 2019 - Sectoral Employment Order (Electrical Contracting Sector) 2019, to be set.

We strongly feel that the terms of the SEO offend Article 15.2.1 of the Constitution and are unsustainable in law in which it delegates the power to prescribe mandatory minimum pension contribution rates to a private body, without any supervision, guidance, oversight or means of appeal.

A Good Day for NECI members.

We will keep you updated on all further developments.

Thank you for your continued support. Keep spreading the word, together we are stronger.

Please engage with our fellow contractors and request that they join the NECI and help ensure a fairer and more balanced industry for Irish electrical contractors. Please join us here.

In Good Company