Attendance by Members of the Public at WRC Hearings
Following delivery of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Zalewski v. Adjudication Officer and WRC, Ireland and the Attorney General  IESC 24 on 6 April 2021, and the consequential orders made on foot thereof on 15 April 2021, a number of procedural changes are required to procedures at the WRC. For further information see: Supreme Court judgment in relation to the Workplace Relations Act 2015 and related statutes - Workplace Relations Commission
Hearings in Public
The WRC must now operate on the basis that all hearings, save where the investigation or hearing does not amount to the administration of justice, are to be open to the public.
Employment and Equality Rights cases
In the ordinary course, members of the public, including members of the media, will be permitted to attend hearings under the various employment and equality rights statutes, subject to technical arrangements being put in place. However, due to the current Covid-19 related health and safety measures, the WRC is currently only permitted to hold remote hearings. In order to render remote hearings accessible to the public. In this transition period, a person may submit a request to attend a particular hearing by email to email@example.com and the WRC will then share the WebEx link with members of the public, or media. Requests should be submitted two days in advance of the hearing date (excluding weekends).
If the numbers wishing to attend is significant and has an impact on the quality of the IT connection, then Adjudication Officers may decide to limit the number of external participants and must in any event mute observers for the duration of the hearing.
Industrial Relations Disputes
All WRC hearings convened under the Industrial Relations Act 1969, whether in a physical in-person hearing room or in a virtual hearing, 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.
Diary of Upcoming Hearings - Interim arrangements
A schedule of hearings will be published every Friday showing hearings scheduled for the following week. As an interim measure, the Schedule will contain the date, time and hearing reference number only as parties who had submitted complaints to the WRC for adjudication, prior to the recent Supreme Court judgment (Zalewski v. Adjudication Officer and WRC, Ireland and the Attorney General  IESC 24), would have done so in the expectation that these hearings would be heard in private and not scheduled publicly.