The Government has confirmed that a planned pay increase for workers in the security sector, which was due to take effect from Monday 29 August, will not go ahead due to a High Court injunction.
In a statement this evening, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment said it had received notification of the High Court ruling.
"Accordingly, the increases of minimum pay rate increases for the security industry which Minister Damien English announced on 3 August 2022 will not now have statutory effect from 29 August 2022," according to the statement.
Yesterday, the High Court blocked the introduction of an Employment Regulation Order (ERO) to increase pay for security guards.
Lawyers for three security companies, Top Security, Morbury and Las Security, challenged by way of judicial review the minister's decision and the proposals of the Labour Court.
The High Court heard that the three applicant companies considered that the Joint Labour Committee process supported the interests of the big rather than the smaller employer, produced an anti-competitive outcome and tended to reduce employment in the industry by encouraging clients to turn to cheaper technology solutions and fewer static guards.
Ms Justice Nuala Butler, granting the injunction and staying the introduction of the new regulations, adjourned the judicial review proceedings until early November.
The trade union SIPTU today called on the Government to immediately act to ensure that the terms of the Employment Regulation Order were honoured saying that the High Court injunction was denying low paid security workers a pay increase.
"This is a slap in the face for workers who have been on the frontline throughout the pandemic," said SIPTU Contract Services Sector Organiser, Ed Kenny.
The union said that if the Government didn't take immediate action to have the injunction overturned it will consider all options including balloting SIPTU members on industrial action in pursuit of pay increases and other improvements to terms and conditions.
Security company Manguard Plus described the blocking of the pay increases as 'unfair and unjust’.
The firm's Managing Director Sean Hall said he was seeking an urgent meeting with Minister of State Damien English.
"The Minister must do all he can to try and have this High Court injunction lifted ahead of the judicial review this November," Mr Hall said.
"It is incomprehensible that 16,000 security personnel, who were expecting a pay rise next Monday, now won’t get it," he added.