Taoiseach chairs first meeting of Labour Employer Economic Forum

5th October, 2016

The Taoiseach today chaired the inaugural meeting of the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF) which brought together representatives of employers and trade unions with Government Ministers to discuss economic, employment and labour market issues.

The aim of the LEEF is to provide a space to discuss areas of shared concern affecting the economy, employment and the labour market on a thematic basis, such as competitiveness, sustainable job creation, labour market standards and equality and gender issues in the workplace.

An economic and fiscal outlook for Budget 2017 formed part of today’s discussion, including the latest growth projections and risks such as Brexit. A productive discussion ensued with all sides contributing their perspective on the latest economic developments and risks.

It was agreed that the Forum would prove a useful mechanism for ongoing dialogue on challenges facing the country in which all sides had a shared interest and should meet in future on a quarterly basis.

Speaking after the meeting the Taoiseach said: “I was delighted to chair the inaugural meeting of the Labour Employer Economic Forum. The Government’s top priority is to make people’s lives better and working with representatives of employers and trade unions we can make a real difference to the lives of workers. I was encouraged that progress was made today on better understanding the common challenges we face in relation to protecting the economy and the labour market. I have directed that the Forum continue to meet on a quarterly basis to take these discussions forward.”


Notes to Editors
§ The Labour Employer Economic Forum is jointly sponsored by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD; the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD; and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD.

  • IBEC organised the employer representation which included Chambers Ireland and the Construction Industry Federation.
  • ICTU organised the labour representation.
  • The Forum is a non-binding consultative forum.
  • Issues concerning pay will not form part of discussions.
  • The LEEF will meet on a quarterly basis and be chaired by the sponsoring Ministers. An Taoiseach will chair the first meeting annually. Meetings between times will be handled at official level.