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WRC Publishes Annual Report for 2023

The Workplace Relations Commission (the “WRC”) has recently issued its Annual Report for 2023. The Report is 100 pages long and contains a significant level of detail on the work of the WRC.

Set out below is a high level summary of some information contained within the Report which professionals practicing in employment law and employers may find useful to be aware of.

Complaints and Adjudication Hearings

Most complaint forms contain more than one legal claim by the employee. The average is two complaints per complaint form. This is something that is useful for an employer to be aware of as it suggests that if an employee is minded to bring a claim over one particular issue then in many cases when they lodge the claim they will also likely add on one or more additional legal claims.

Employers may be interested to note that Payment of Wages claims and Unfair Dismissal claims accounted for the highest number of claims in 2023 with employment equality claims coming in third. Gender, Disability and Race were the top three discriminatory grounds cited within the referrals to the WRC.

Interestingly, there was a notable reduction of 66% in referrals under the ground of Age.

Significantly protected disclosure related claims were up 201% in 2023.

There was a 13% increase in WRC hearings in 2023

The number of WRC decisions that issued in 2023 were up 50% on 2022.

While remote and hybrid hearings remain an option when the interests of justice and fairness point in their favour, the vast majority of WRC hearings in 2023 were held in person.


Of the 2951 decisions issued by the WRC in 2023, approximately 11% were appealed to Labour Court. Of that 54% (176) were upheld, 22% (68) were varied and 23% (75) were overturned. 

New Complaint Form

The WRC began developing a new e-Complaint Form in 2023. When the form goes live in 2024 it will enable the public to submit complaints in a more efficient manner. The new e-Complaint Form will be accessible across all digital platforms, from mobile and tablet to desktop and it will also have a document upload facility.

WRC Accessible List of most commonly cited decisions

Using AI the WRC has engaged in an exercise of analysing over 10,000.00 cases in order to establish the 150 most commonly cited decisions from other courts and tribunals (including the Supreme Court, High Court, Labour Court and various other courts and tribunals). The document was published in July 2023 and contains copies of all 150 decisions.

The document is available at the below link and is likely to prove an extremely useful resource to complainants and respondents alike:


Parties no longer need to send the WRC copies of cases upon which they rely if they appear in the list which will be reviewed periodically. However, parties must still explain why a case is relevant to their arguments and cite the relevant sections of the case authorities upon which they rely.


WRC mediations were up 19% in 2023 compared to 2022 and 57% compared to 2021. The resolution rate for WRC mediations in 2023 was 56%.


4,727 workplace inspections were completed in 2023 compared to 3,943 in 2022. There were 3,662 unannounced inspections. The Report confirmed that inspections generally focused on sectors where a risk of non -compliance has been identified or where previous non-compiance has been detected through intelligence and information provided by other bodies or persons or in response to specific complaints made directly to the WRC.

Employment Agency Licences

Interestingly employment agency licences increase significantly by 10% in 2023.

Link – https://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/news-media/workplace_relations_notices/workplace-relations-commission-publishes-2023-annual-report.html 

Author – Laura Killelea


Anne O’Connell Solicitors

19-22 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2


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