ELECTRIC.IE • The Magazine & Website for the Irish Electrical Industry • 9 Industry News High court quashes sectoral employment order for electrical contractors NECI, which operates as a trade association for electrical contractors, claimed the SEO for electrical workers was flawed on several grounds. Represented by Helen Callanan SC, the NECI had brought judicial review proceedings against the Minister for ർ�On October 25, Mr Justice Charles Meenan of the High Court was informed that the State was not objecting to an order sought by Náisiúnta Leictreach Contraitheor Eireann (NECI) to quash the SEO, which had come into effect at the start of February 2022. The Sectoral Employment Order is no longer the law of the land. 96% of construction companies report increase in cost of materials The increasing cost of materials was cited as the top concern for companies over the next three to six months (86%), followed by access to skilled labour and cost of labour (both 72%), securing a healthy profit margin (69%) and the cost of fuel (67%). Just 12% of companies believe that the Government’s inflationary measures introduced between January and May 2022 have been effective. CIF believes the primary reasons for this are a lack of engagement and awareness from contracting authorities. 88% hold the view that the increased cost of building new homes will have a negative impact on housing supply in 2023. ർ�96% of construction companies have reported a rise in the cost of building materials between June and August 2022, with 85% expecting cost rises to continue to year end, according to the latest Construction Industry Federation Economic Outlook research. Despite the challenging trade environment, the industry remains resilient, with a significant number of companies expecting to increase their turnover and staff. 76% of construction companies reported that their turnover has stayed the same or increased over the last three months, with over one third reporting an increase (35%). 82% of companies surveyed reported that staffing levels had increased or stayed the same, with this trend expected to continue for the remainder of the year. Director General of the Construction Industry Federation, Tom Parlon, said: “Cost increases are having a significant impact on the construction industry, with rises in the cost of materials, labour and energy. Current indicators from our research are that the outlook is stable for construction companies this year, which have weathered the impact of Brexit, Covid shutdowns and supply chain disruption. But there are challenges ahead, particularly for housing targets. “To support the industry to continue to deliver on critical housing and infrastructure for the Irish people, the Government should continue to invest counter cyclically and put in place measures to effectively manage inflation in the sector as we look towards 2023.” Enterprise, Trade and Employment. It had previously been granted permission by the High Court to bring its challenge, and the case had been awaiting a trial date. However, when the matter was discussed before the court on Tuesday 25th October, Mr Justice Meenan was informed that an order could be made quashing the SEO.