The Director General of the WRC, Oonagh Buckley, acknowledged that there is a change in work patterns as contingency work gets more recognition, demographics are changing, and a growing concern on how people will support themselves into retirement. The new code of practice on longer working produced by the WRC is a guide which set out good governance and practice for employers and employees to follow in retirement. She also highlighted the key achievements of the WRC in the last two years which includes 4,750 inspections, 85% resolution of collective disputes and 92% of adjudication processed within a period of six months.

The various speakers highlighted changing work patterns, the role of technology, changing demographics, longer working and human rights, a greying European and global labour force, the changing nature of the economy, more complex legal arrangement and the impact these have on the employees now and in the future. 

Tim Duggan of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection delivered a presentation on pension policy. He shared key statistics that shows the need for urgency on pension reforms. The working age/pensioner ratio which was 5:1 in 2015 (5 people of working age for every pensioner) and is expected to reduce to 2:1 (2 people of working age to one pensioner) by 2045 indicating less resources while people of pension age will double from 586,000 to 1,193,000. He highlighted the importance of a pension system that is sustainable into the future and capable of helping people to sustain themselves when they retire and keep people out of poverty. To achieve this, the government intends to bring changes and reform to pension policy by introducing a new pension automatic enrolment system. 

The CIPD as the professional body that champions better work and working lives believes these are significant issues that needs continued focus. The CIPD supports the automatic enrolment system as the 2018 Private sector pay survey conducted by CIPD Ireland in conjunction with IRN revealed that 80% of the HR profession agreed or strongly agreed that a pension auto enrolment scheme should be introduced in Ireland. This response is consistent with the 2017 result signifying strong support. Through our research and policy dialogue with relevant stakeholders, the CIPD is committed to ensuring work and the world of work continues to be a force for good now and into the future. On your behalf, we will be involved in submissions, recommendations and dialogue on the pension related reforms. 

See the full report of the seminar

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