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Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) will host their first "Walk Through Working Life" Exhibition at National Ploughing Championships

Opportunity for employers and employees to learn about key stages of employment from starting employment to retirement

The Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), Oonagh Buckley today announced the launch of a significant new information and outreach programme for employers and employees, that will be unveiled at this year’s National Ploughing Championship.

The “Walk Through Working Life” programme takes the format of a “walk” through key stages of the employment relationship that will be of very real value to employees and employers.

“The Workplace Relations Committee is tasked with solving problems in the workplace” said Oonagh Buckley, Director General of the WRC. One of the most effective ways to do that is to give employers and employees - both current and prospective - the information that they need to solve their own issues.”

The “Walk Through Working Life” offers support to people leaving school or college and starting their first job who need to know what their rights are in terms of their contract, hours of work expected of them and so on. Similarly, people currently in employment who are dealing with life challenges outside work might like to know what time-off is available to them for example, or people with problems in work might like to know what avenues are open to them to get them resolved.  Information will also be provided to employees who are coming towards retirement – particularly those who might like to stay on in work – and the options that are open to them.

Oonagh Buckley stressed that “the “Walk Through Working Life” is of equal value to employers in SMEs or people in start-up businesses thinking of taking on their first employee, in the agri-food sector and the broader economy. The “Walk” will provide some simple tips and basic information for employers and prospective employers about what you need to do when employing someone for the first time, what records you have to keep, how to deal with staff issues that come up from time to time, and how to approach employee retirement discussions.’’

Ms. Buckley urged all persons visiting the Championships, employers, employees, parents and relatives as well, to “take ten minutes out from the wonderful distractions of the Ploughing to visit us – it could save you a lot of time and difficult conversations in your workplace further down the line”.

Concluding the announcement Ms. Buckley said that “This exhibition marks a first for the WRC by proactively putting information into the hands of the people who need it. More importantly, we know that presenting what often seem to be complex employment issues in a concise and straightforward manner will be of very real benefit to current or prospective employees and employers, who for one reason or another, are unaware of their entitlements and/or responsibilities”.

For further information contact: or 631-2200


Note for Editors: Walk Through Working Life This exhibition will be a central pillar in the WRC outreach programme which will be rolled out regionally in a variety of contexts over the next 18 months and is designed to identify key employment issues in a brief and understandable manner for both current and prospective employers and current and prospective employees.

The “Walk Through Working Life” exhibition will be held in Block 4, Row 14, Stand 321


Functions of the Commission

The main functions of the WRC are to:

  • Promote the improvement of workplace relations, and the maintenance of good workplace relations,
  • Promote and encourage compliance with relevant employment legislation,
  • Provide guidance in relation to compliance with Codes of Practice,
  • Conduct reviews of, and monitor developments, in workplace relations generally,
  • Conduct or commission relevant research and provide advice, information and the findings of research to Joint Labour Committees and Joint Industrial Councils,
  • Advise the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation in relation to the application of, and compliance with, relevant legislation, and to
  • Provide information to the public in relation to employment legislation (other than the Employment Equality Act).

With a wide workforce of almost 200 staff with different specialisms and with offices in Dublin, Carlow, Shannon, Cork and Sligo, and operational bases for hearing meetings in many other counties, the WRC mission is to

  • deliver a quality customer service throughout Ireland, which is
  • speedy, user-friendly, independent, effective, impartial and cost-effective,
  • provides variable means of dispute resolution, redress and effective enforcement, and
  • improves workplace relations generally,

all of which are delivered fee free.  

WRC Key Performance Outcomes: 2016

  • 63,000 Calls To WRC Infoline

  • Almost half a million website Visits

  • 75,000 employees covered by WRC inspections (1:6 of employees in “Low Wage” economy)

  • Unpaid Wages Recovered €1.5m

  • 86% Of Collective Disputes Resolved At Conciliation

  • Almost Two-Thirds Of Employment Rights Disputes Resolved At Mediation

  • 85% Of Workplace Disputes Resolved

  • 90% Of Adjudication Decisions Accepted