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Covid-19 Update – 26 May 2021

Hearings in Lansdowne House COVID-19 Protocols

COVID 19 Update Tuesday 26th May 2021

The Labour Court will, with effect from Tuesday 1st June 2021, resume hearings in a physical Court room in Lansdowne House, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4.

This means that with effect from 1st June 2021 the Court will convene hearings in a combination of physical Court rooms and in virtual Court rooms. Notification letters to Parties will set out whether the hearing will take place in a physical in-person hearing or a virtual court room.

The Court’s physical Court rooms have been configured to provide a safe environment for hearings. It is essential that all parties attending the Court premises wear face coverings upon entry and moving around the building and practice strict social distancing.

It is also essential that people follow the building specific protocols clearly signposted throughout the Court premises. The Court will provide all parties with a document setting out the Court’s Covid protocols prior to their attendance at Lansdowne House. These protocols must be strictly adhered to by all persons attending the Court’s premises.

The COVID-19 protocols can be viewed here.

Parties attending a hearing in the Court’s virtual Court room will need internet access, and one of either a smart phone, a laptop, a tablet, a desktop or any internet enabled device. Full instructions for accessing and connecting to a virtual courtroom hearing will issue to participants prior to the date of their hearing.

Should an issue be raised in relation to fair procedure during the course of a virtual courtroom hearing the Court will take whatever steps it deems necessary, including adjourning to a physical in-person hearing at a later date.

The Labour Court is a designated State Body empowered under the Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 to convene hearings in a virtual Court room.

Please note that virtual courtroom hearings already scheduled are unaffected.

The Court has prepared a user’s guide to virtual Labour Court Hearings and it is available here.

Attendance by Members of the Public/Media at Labour Court Hearings

Employment Rights Hearings

In the ordinary course, members of the public, including members of the media, are permitted to attend Labour Court hearings under the various employment rights statutes. However, due to the current Covid-19 related health and safety measures in place in Lansdowne House for physical in-person hearings, members of the public, including the media, are NOT, until further notice, permitted to attend hearings in Lansdowne House.  To ensure adequate physical distancing, numbers attending hearings in Lansdowne House are limited to essential attendees only.

There are a number of employment rights matters being heard remotely in virtual courtrooms, which members of the public, including members of the media, may be permitted to attend and observe.  The Court publishes on its website a list of all employment rights matters to be heard the following week.  Should you wish to attend a listed hearing designated as a remote hearing in a virtual courtroom, please submit a request to info@labourcourt.ie.

 Industrial Relations Hearings

All Labour Court hearings convened under the Industrial Relations Acts, whether in a physical in-person courtroom or in a virtual courtroom, are private sittings.  Attendance is confined to the parties to the hearing, their representatives and other essential attendees.  Members of the public, including members of the media, are therefore not permitted to attend hearings under the Industrial Relations Acts.