Factsheets

Factsheets

Our factsheets provide an introduction to the law relating to the key aspects of the employment relationship and explain the most important codes of practice.

General employment law


Updated December 2016

Reviews legislative developments during 2016, a busy year in the employment law sphere. Recaps on some of the highlights including the introduction of paternity leave and benefit, new legislation on spent convictions, the need to justify retirement ages under the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 and changes to the minimum wage recommended by the Low Pay Commission.

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Updated January 2017

Gives introductory guidance on the current rates and limits on payments and awards. It covers maternity, paternity and adoption pay, parental leave, entitlement to pay when ill, redundancy pay, National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates, income tax exemption limits, tax credits and taxable rates and bands, PRSI, the USC and the maximum WRC awards.

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Updated June 2015

Gives introductory guidance on the Workplace Relations Act 2015. Covers how the new system works, time limits for bringing a claim, how disputes and appeals are handled, how compliance and fixed payment notices are used, fees for using the service, sharing information on employers breaching the law and an amendment to the working time legislation on annual leave while on sick leave.

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Terms and conditions of employment


Updated June 2016

Gives introductory guidance on employee contracts and handbooks. Discusses the reasons for having a written contract of employment and the law governing terms and conditions of employment. Then sets out the terms and conditions that need to be provided to employees in writing under the legislation. Finally compares employment contracts and employee handbooks.

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Updated April 2015

Gives introductory guidance on the Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act 2012 which was signed into law on 16 May 2012. Covers qualifying periods, retrospection, who the Act applies to,; the effect of the legislation, exceptions, the hirer's obligations under the Act, the anti-avoidance clause, redress for contravention of the Act, and recent case law.

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Updated November 2016

This factsheet, written by the Pensions Authority, gives introductory guidance on the obligations which apply to employers under The Pensions Act (as amended). It covers the role of the Pensions Authority and describes the pension system in Ireland including the Standard PRSA, remittance of contributions, 'on the spot' fines and employers' obligations for trustee training.

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Updated March 2016

Gives introductory guidance on the transfer of undertakings. Explains how the regulations are derived from EU law and when they apply, how insolvency affects TUPE and that the transfer must involve a change of employer. Also defines an undertaking, describes the employers' obligation to inform and consult, and which rights and obligations transfer.

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Updated February 2016

Gives introductory guidance on the law relating to fixed term workers. Covers the use of fixed term contracts, definitions of the relevant terms used in the legislation, why employers cannot use successive fixed term contracts, access to pension schemes, training and facilities by fixed term employees, the consequences of non renewal of a fixed term contract and the remedies available.

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Working time and time off


Updated August 2016

Gives introductory guidance on working time. Lists the key entitlements under the working time regulations and covers the 48 hour week, breaks during work, daily rest entitlement, weekly rest periods, compensatory rest, annual leave, Sunday working and night work in more detail. Explains the provisions of the General Exemption Regulations. Also covers case law and working time records.

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Updated March 2017

Gives introductory guidance on maternity leave entitlements. Covers the length of maternity leave, payment, continuity of service and annual leave, notice periods, termination while on maternity leave, the right to return, postponement of maternity leave, sickness while on maternity leave, bonus payments, right to appraisals and fixed term and agency workers.

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Updated November 2016

Gives introductory guidance on the law relating to holidays and time off. Covers statutory rights to annual leave, public holidays, maternity leave, adoption leave, paternity leave, parental leave, force majeure leave, carer's leave, leave for jury service and paid time off to find other employment when given notice of redundancy. Also looks at contractual entitlement to compassionate leave and sick leave.

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Updated August 2016

Gives introductory guidance on the law relating to paternity leave. Includes frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the key provisions of the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016, including entitlements, who can apply, when the leave can be taken and penalisation for taking the leave. Also includes tips for employers on what to do in preparation for its commencement.

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Employment equality


Updated March 2016

Gives introductory guidance on equality and discrimination law. Lists the nine types of discrimination recognised by the legislation and explains the difference between direct and indirect discrimination. Also covers how harassment and victimisation are treated under the legislation. Then looks at discrimination due to disability, pregnancy and age. Finally explains the burden of proof and the level of redress.

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Updated July 2012

Summarises the code of practice on sexual harassment and harassment at work revised by the Irish government on 31 May 2012. It introduces the code, defines harassment, explains employers' obligations, sets out an employee's right to information and remedies for contravention, and gives advise on preparing an harassment policy.

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Updated February 2016

Gives introductory guidance about the law relating to disability. Covers the disability legislation, the definition of disability, the obligations on an employer when employing a person with a disability, reasonable accommodation, the scope of employer's statutory duties under the legislation, disproportionate burden and discrimination through association.

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Updated April 2016

Gives introductory guidance on bullying. Covers the definition of bullying, the employer's duty to provide a work environment which protects the health, safety and welfare of their employees, risk assessment including the risks of bullying in the workplace leading to a safety statement, HSE and WRC Codes of Practice on bullying, legal action and recent case law.

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Updated February 2008

Summarises the provisions and implications of the 2007 Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work. Covers risk factors for bullying in the workplace, employees' rights and duties, bullying and the health and safety statement, managing work activities, the bullying policy as a living document and how complaints are investigated.

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Updated July 2016

Provides introductory guidance on retirement ages in Ireland. Covers: rationale for a retirement age in a contract of employment, retirement ages and the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 including the new requirement for objective justification under the new Act and tips for employers on to protect themselves from challenges to their retirement age clauses.

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Data protection and information technology


Updated March 2017

Gives introductory guidance on the legal implications of the increasing use of email, the internet and social media. Covers the risks to employers, privacy rights and staff monitoring, Irish case law, recruitment through social media, harassment and discrimination, and tips for employers. Highlights the need for employers to implement a comprehensive policy regulating the use of IT facilities.

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Updated December 2014

Gives introductory guidance on how data protection impacts on Irish employment law. Covers the law, general principles, retention of documents, rights of employees, outsourcing of data processing, transfer of data outside of the EEA, employment references, new provisions of the Data Protection Acts, the Data Protection Commissioner's guidance notes and the draft EU Regulation.

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Updated February 2015

Gives introductory guidance on the legal implications of bring your own device (BYOD), where employees use their own mobile devices for work, for employers. Covers the four issues a BYOD policy should address: data protection and data security, personal use, the procedure when an employee leaves the company, and ownership. Also explains why employers adopt BYOD.

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Health and safety


Updated April 2017

Gives introductory guidance on health and safety legislation. Covers: the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 including the safety statement, general duties, employees' rights and duties, and penalties; the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, bullying, sector specific legislation and recent developments.

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Updated June 2015

Gives introductory guidance on the law relating to stress. Covers: the importance of prevention; management of the problem when stress is identified; possible legal action by the employee affected including the High Court's position; and provisions under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Acts 2005 to 2014 focusing on risk assessment and preparation of a safety statement.

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Employee relations


Updated December 2015

Gives introductory guidance on the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015. Covers the old regime, the need for change and the key provisions of the Act including a new definition of collective bargaining, excepted bodies, new principles and policies to assist the Labour Court, protection for employers, protection against victimisation and Registered Employment Agreements (REAs).

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Updated January 2016

Gives introductory guidance on strikes and picketing. Explains how strike action can be considered a breach of contract, special rules for unfair dismissal during strike action, work to rule, the role of trade unions, picketing and secret ballots. Also includes a checklist for employers of the issues to consider when they are the subject of a threat of industrial action and key takeaways.

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Updated May 2016

Summarises the main points of the new whistleblowing regime for Ireland set out in the Protected Disclosures Act 2014. Covers key aspects of the Act including who is protected, what a 'protected disclosure' is, disclosure channels and protections, contracting out and compensation, Code of Practice on whistleblowing, takeaways and the CIPD whistleblower advice line.

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Information and consultation


Updated May 2015

Gives introductory guidance on the law relating to employee information and consultation. Covers the general framework set out in the legislation, consultation for individual redundancies, collective redundancies and transfer of undertakings (TUPE), health and safety, transnational information and consultation and the consolidation of three EU Directives.

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Updated November 2012

Summarises the Code of Practice on Employees (Provision of Information and Consultation) Act 2006 launched by the Irish government on 20 March 2008. It aims to assist employers, employees and their representatives to develop effective arrangements for information and consultation in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

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Termination of employment


Updated October 2015

Gives introductory guidance on discipline and grievance procedures. Covers the Labour Relation Commission (now Workplace Relations Commission) Code of Practice including the stages required in dealing with grievance and disciplinary matters and the sanctions allowed under the Code from an oral warning to dismissal, warnings. and disciplinary hearings.

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Updated April 2017

Gives introductory guidance on dismissal law. Defines unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal and explains how claims can arise and the remedies that courts can award to employees. Also covers the growing use of interlocutory injunctions especially by senior executives to prevent their dismissal before a trial. Finally stresses the importance of employers having fair procedures in place.

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Updated May 2015

Gives introductory guidance on redundancy law. Defines redundancy and explains employees' rights including notice of redundancy, redundancy pay and time off. Also covers redundancy top-up payments, collective redundancies including notifying the Minister and employees' representatives and consultation requirements, taxation, and challenging a redundancy related dismissal.

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