Employment Law in Ireland
Employees in Ireland are protected in a number of ways under the many pieces of Employment legislation that apply. A summary of available rights for employees is set out in the following list:
- The right to a written contract setting out the terms of employment, pay, hours, annual leave etc.
- Where a contract is not immediately available, the right to a five day statement with summary of key terms of employment
- Employees meeting the minimum threshold of time in an employment cannot be unfairly dismissed. A failure by an employer to prove a dismissal was fair can result in often significant compensation for the employee.
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 affords employee a lot more control over their personal data.
- As of 2018 “zero hour” contract are banned in most situations. Employee can insist on minimum payments and banded hours.
- The employment and working conditions of children and young people is regulated by legislation
- Employees in Ireland are entitled to a national minimum wage, currently €10.50 per hour
- Employees have the right to a pay slip showing their gross wages and details of any deductions.
- The amount of notice employees are entitled to prior to the termination of employment is set out in legislation
- Since 2015 a framework exists for workers looking to improve their terms and conditions of employment, where collective bargaining is not recognised by their employer. Registered Employment Agreements (REAs) have been replaced with Sectoral Employment Orders (SEO).
- Employment conditions including maximum working hours, night work, annual leave and public holiday leave are set down in legislation.
- Employers must keep records of the number of hours employees work on a daily and weekly basis, the amount of leave granted to employees in each week as annual leave or as public holidays and details of the payments in respect of this leave. Employers must also keep weekly records of employees starting and finishing times.
- Employees are entitled to maternity leave, ante natal classes, the right to return to work, in the same role, facilities for breastfeeding, and importantly the health and safety of pregnant employees before taking leave and after their return to work.
- Employees have the right to two week Paternity Leave within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption of a child.
- Adoptive leave from employment principally by the adoptive mother and for her right to return to work following such leave is set out in legislation.
- Legislation provides for a period of unpaid parental leave for parents to care for their children
- There is a limited right to paid leave in circumstances of serious family illness (known as ‘force majeure’).
- Employees are entitled to avail of temporary unpaid carer’s leave so they can care for someone who requires full-time care and attention.
- Employers are subject to sanctions if they breach requirement to maintain a safe workplace
- Legislation prohibits discrimination in a range of employment-related areas on grounds such as gender, civil status, family status, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and membership of the Traveller community.
- Employers are equally obliged to prevent workplace harassment by other employees.
- Discrimination has been extended to the areas of retirement and age, religious, medical and educational institutions on religious grounds, and indirect discrimination.<.li>
- There are also provisions in legislation to protect part-time employees, the use of fixed term employment contracts as a means to circumvent unfair dismissal rights, the selection of employees for redundancy, the protection of agency workers, the use of “self employed” or “consultant” arrangements to circumvent the rights of the employee, the protection of whistle-blowers and the protection of employees on the sale of a business or company.
Every employee should be fully aware of his/her rights and the obligations of their employer to ensure the employment is compliant with the law. Every employer must act wihtin the code of employment law and equality law to avoid a significant sanction being imposed on their business.
The network of professionals in the Abacus Legal Network are highly experienced and effective employment law experts. Each practitioner has been selected for their proven track record in this area. If you need someone to advise you, deal with your query or indeed vigorously act to protect your interest, your employment, your reputation or your right to compensation, our trusted professionals are the people to talk to. We have someone in your area ready to assist.
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