The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) recovered close to €1 million in unpaid wages last year, according to its annual report.
The 2021 report showed that around €964,281 in unpaid wages for workers was recouped.
In total, the WRC carried out 3,433 inspections over that period. In addition to carrying out its primary function in relation to employment rights, it assisted the Health and Safety Authority in relation to monitoring the Return to Work Safely (RTWS) Protocol.
It said that over the course of 2021, some 12,000 individual complaints were received and the number of hearings held increased by 75 per cent on the previous year – almost all the hearings were held virtually.
Almost 90 per cent of disputes dealt with at the WRC through its conciliation service were resolved.
Operating remotely, its information line dealt with 55,810 calls in 2021: an increase of almost 6 per cent on 2020.
Speaking about the report, Minister of State for Employment, Damien English said: “Last year the WRC worked through the challenges that the global pandemic continued to present, and I commend everyone involved for ensuring that their services were maintained despite the difficult operational environment.
"The WRC delivered a robust workplace relations service and employment rights framework for employers and workers across Ireland for the betterment of the economy.”
“I am confident that the WRC will continue to deliver its statutory remit while also pushing to innovate, improve, refine and reshape its services - ultimately delivering fair and compliant workplaces for all.”
Meanwhile, Dr David Begg, chairperson of the board of the WRC said: “The report indicates the successes of the year which were achieved not only in relation to the many challenges presented during the year, but which were very much in line with the Board’s broader strategic goals for the organisation”.
“The experience of the last two years and the ability of the staff of the WRC to respond agilely had very much fed into the Board’s new Strategy Statement which was devised and submitted to the Minister in 2021."
Liam Kelly, director general of the WRC, indicated that the trajectory of the pandemic across the year required the WRC to continuously fashion its services to changing circumstances and that he felt that the WRC had been particularly successful in this regard.