Public policy engagement at the CIPD involves both engaging with ministers and other policy makers and engaging our members to ensure that we draw on the knowledge and expertise within our 140,000-strong membership to inform our views to government. This two-way engagement can help influence policy making and day-to-day people management practice, for example by ensuring members are aware of changes to legislation or new practitioner guidance developed in response to our public policy work.

The CIPD is the leading independent voice on workplace performance and skills. We draw on our extensive research and the expertise and experience of our members on the front-line to highlight and promote new and best practice and produce practical guidance for the benefit of employers, employees and policy makers.

On a macro-economic scale, our expertise and the data we gather from our membership gives us an unrivalled capacity to accurately forecast labour market trends and to consider the impact of employment legislation across all sectors and sizes of organisation.

Our recent engagement

National Women’s Strategy

The Department of Justice and Equality has launched a consultation process: Towards a new National Women’s Strategy 2017-2020.

CIPD Ireland put in a submission on the strategy in January 2017 and commented on the fact that women have a lower rate of pension coverage than men. We also identified that maternal gaps in labour market participation exacerbate this problem and called on the government to take action which not only addresses the State’s overall pensions funding gap, but also the bigger pension gap experienced by women. We called on the National Women’s Strategy to acknowledge this concern, how it contributes to greater poverty among older women in Ireland, and to consider funding mechanisms to cover employment gaps and build a more equitable society.

A 2017 Age Action research report has shown that the State pension scheme itself is unfairly affecting women. Changes in 2012 resulted in thousands of retired workers losing more than €1,500 a year, with women pensioners suffering the most, commonly for taking time out of the workforce to care for their families. CIPD supports Age Action’s call for the 2012 cut to be reversed and for the incomes of these pensioners to be restored.

CIPD urges:

  • The government to reverse the 2012 pension changes and for the incomes of these pensioners to be restored.
  • The Department of Justice and Equality to outline actions to address the pension inequalities for women as a central plank of the forthcoming National Women’s Strategy.
  • The Department of Social Protection to implement process to both review and future-proof pension provision to ensure that it does not inadvertently effect those who may have be out of the workforce, whether though parenting or illness.
  • The government to ensure that proposals on universal pension coverage take account of the lower pension coverage by women, their lower wages and gaps in employment, and provide funding supports to deliver equitable pension coverage.

You can download our submission below.

Pensions

In December 2016, experts from the Department of Social Protection met with the CIPD National Committee to share their examination of private sector pensions as they start the process of exploring options to deal with the future pension crisis that Ireland is facing. Ireland has 47% supplementary pensions coverage rate (35% in private sector) and needs to build a model that can provide adequate and sustainable pension coverage.

Brexit

On 30 January 2017, we engaged in the all-island Brexit Forum being hosted by the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation. Our HR practices in Ireland survey made it very clear that HR professionals in Ireland want the government to work to maintain the status quo, and maximise the maintenance of free movement of labour and free trade between Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland.

For more information on our activities in this area, see our Brext hub.

Healthy Ireland

Workplace Wellbeing Strategy

As part of Healthy Ireland, work has commenced on building a national Workplace Wellbeing Strategy. In December 2016, Mary Connaughton and Michelle Staunton attended the consultation forum on Healthy Me looking at absence and attendance at work. In January 2017, we contributed views around the consultation process on the strategy. We will organise consultation among members as this work progresses.

Healthy Workplace Framework

CIPD Ireland is also supporting Healthy Ireland with their nationwide consultation about a new Healthy Workplace Framework.

At the end of March 2017, Minister for Health Promotion, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD, and Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen TD, launched a public consultation on the framework. The aim of the consultation is to gather the views of stakeholders on priority issues to be addressed in the framework. The framework will provide guidance, which can be adapted to any workplace setting, to help create and sustain healthy workplaces throughout Ireland.

Make sure HR has a voice

Take a few minutes to contribute your views via the online consultation. Complete the survey which is open until 31 June 2017. The aim of the consultation is to gather the views of stakeholders on priority issues to be addressed in the framework and CIPD Ireland is keen to ensure that your experience is part of the plan to sustain healthy workplaces throughout Ireland.

As part of building on this aspirational agenda for the future of workplace health and well-being, CIPD Ireland plans to develop a collection of thought pieces to highlight the issues and practices in Ireland. For further information contact Mary Connaughton.

Excellence through People

CIPD has contributed to the NSAI review of the Excellence through People scheme which, under the leadership of Michelle Browne, aims to modernise it and revitalise the standards.

JobBridge

The Minister For Social Protection announced the closure of the JobBridge scheme in October 2016. CIPD has been invited to engage with the Department of Social Protection in relation to a new scheme to replace JobBridge.

CIPD members with a specific interest in any of these issues can let us know by emailing info@cipd.ie.

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