The growing concern of TDs about cases brought against them at the Workplace Relations Commission

There is growing concern at Leinster House over a perceived trend of employment cases being brought against TDs to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

he Dáil voted quietly last week to authorize legal defense spending on “proceedings”. [that] derive solely from the exercise of the parliamentary functions of the member concerned as a member of Dáil Éireann’.

The case is understood to be separate from a case brought before the WRC a year ago in which a member of the public complained about a TD’s efforts on their behalf as if the TD had an employment obligation to a member of the public.

In this case, the voter brought an action under the Equality Act after asking the TD for representation on a disability issue but not being satisfied with the outcome.

“Questions are being asked about a pattern in which the Industrial Relations Commission is running these cases,” said a TD with insight into the matter yesterday, while insisting on anonymity.

Meanwhile, the Houses of the Oireachtas themselves declined to comment, saying such cases are themselves “anonymized”.

The latest issue is believed to relate to more standard pursuits on the Leinster House campus.

However, a source said: “The question is being asked if we’re going to be looking at this all the time now.”

TD Joe Carey, a member of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, tabled a government motion on Thursday that the Dáil “hereby authorizes the Commission to defend the proceedings of the Workplace Relations Commission against a member of the Dáil Éireann”.

It is the second such order, but Leinster House officials declined to reveal whether the previous matter had been settled, as some TDs found it annoying. Mr Carey refused to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile the reveal that the Houses of the Oireachtas are also ready to defend themselves in another pension-cut issue due to be heard next month.

An usher at Leinster House has filed a complaint alleging his pension cut was unlawful after the person changed jobs from another place in the public service.

Deduction describes a reduction in the pension of a person who is re-employed in the public service after their pension has been paid from a previous position. In their new role, they must not be paid more than the full-time salary of the position they left, whatever it is now.

In other words, the combined income from both sources must not exceed the “upscale” equivalent of their old job.

But the argument against is that the restriction prevents people from improving their lot and potentially violates their constitutional right to earn a living.

The case has repercussions across the public service, particularly in the health sector, where the government has sought to reinstate retired nurses and other staff. The same implications apply to retired Gardaí and members of the Defense Forces.

If a case of alleged wrongful dismissal should go before the Workplace Relations Commission, the expectation is that the affected TD will be named in the due process. The growing concern of TDs about cases brought against them at the Workplace Relations Commission

Fry Electronics Team

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