Employment outreach programme to be unveiled at Ploughing Championships

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) is set to unveil its new employment outreach programme at the National Ploughing Championships.

The launch of the programme for employers and employees was announced by the Director General of the WRC, Oonagh Buckley, yesterday (September 8).

Entitled the “Walk Through Working Life” programme, it is set to take the format of a “walk through” of the key stages of the employment relationship for both the employer and the employee.

It is hoped that this programme will provide real value for both players in the employment relationship, Ms. Buckley said.

The WRC is tasked with solving problems in the workplace. 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.

It is hoped that the programme will offer support to people leaving school or college and who are starting their first job. Key information such as their rights in relation to the terms of their contract, hours of work expected of them and so on will be included in the programme.

Similarly, the programme will also be relevant to people currently in employment who are dealing with life challenges outside of work.

Queries such as what time-off is available to employees, for example, will be dealt with. Alternatively, people who are having problems in work might like to know what avenues are open to them to get these problems 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.

Meanwhile, Ms. Buckley stressed that the programme is of equal value to employers in small and medium-sized businesses – which includes farm businesses.

It may be of particular interest to businesses in the agri-food sector or broader economy which are thinking of hiring someone for the first time, she added.

The programme provides some simple tips and basic information for employers and prospective employees about what you need to do when employing someone for the first time.

It is set to cover what records employers have to keep, how to deal with staff issues that come up from time to time, and how to approach employee retirement discussions.

Concluding, Ms. Buckley said: “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 seems 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.”