Members of the Employment Appeals Tribunal to be paid after rulings are issued

Thursday 21 February 2013 18.28
Minister Richard Bruton wants to link the payment of fees to the "finalisation" of cases
Minister Richard Bruton wants to link the payment of fees to the "finalisation" of cases

The Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation has confirmed that in future, members of the Employment Appeals Tribunal will only be paid after they issue a ruling.

At present, the three members hearing an individual case, including unfair dismisssals cases at the EAT, are paid after the hearing is held.

RTÉ revealed two weeks ago that some claimants have been waiting for up to two years for a determination to be issued after a hearing.

That comes on top of an average waiting list for a hearing of 75 weeks in Dublin, and 83 weeks around the rest of Ireland.

Up to now, the payment of EAT fees was not linked to the issuing of a determination.

However, in response to a query from RTÉ News, the Department said it was the intention of Minister Richard Bruton to link the payment of fees to the "finalisation" of cases.

The Department noted that the EAT had seen a major increase in referrals and productivity due to the economic downturn.

It stated that the number of cases disposed of had risen from 2,807 in 2007 to 7,624 in 2012, which is an increase of 172%.

Each EAT case is heard by three members from a panel, including lawyers and nominees from trade unions and employer bodies.

They are paid a daily rate.

The EAT chair receives a daily hearing fee of €591.10, and a daily consultation fee of €140.76.

The vice chair of the EAT receives a daily hearing fee of €381.34 and a daily consultation fee of €113.

An EAT member gets paid a daily hearing fee of €193.24 and a daily consultation fee of €97.57.

These fee levels reflect the public service pay cut of 2010.

EAT members also receive travel and subsistence at normal civil service rates where necessarily incurred.

Department sources pointed out that the EAT is due to be abolished under Government proposals to streamline employment rights bodies.

Legislation to create the new Workplace Relations Commission will be published shortly and its hoped the new system will come into operation in the middle of the year.