Employment protection developments 1993-2007The following is a summary of the legislation that has been introduced in this period concerning employment protection:
- : This legislation establishes a redundancy panel to consider certain proposed collective redundancies. The Act also removes the upper age limit for entitlement to redundancy payments.
- : This Act updates the introducing the Green Card permit and revising the legislation on work permits and spousal permits.
- : This legislation sets establishes minimum requirements for employees' right to information and consultation about the development of their employment's structure and activities. From 23 March 2008 it applies to employers with at least 50 employees.
- parental leave for parents to care for their children and for a limited right to paid leave in circumstances of serious family illness (force majeure). amends the which provides for a period of unpaid
- health and safety law. Changes include the provision for higher fines for breaches of safety legislation. This legislation replaced the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare Act, 1989 when it came into operation on 1st September 2005. It consolidates and updates the existing
- adoptive leave from employment principally by the adoptive mother and for her right to return to work following such leave. It amends the which provides for
- ante-natal classes, additional maternity leave, breastfeeding making significant improvements to the which covers matters such as maternity leave, the right to return to work after such leave and health/safety during and immediately after the pregnancy. It includes new provisions relating to
- This legislation makes significant amendments to the which prohibits discrimination in a range of employment-related areas. The prohibited grounds of discrimination are gender, marital status, family status, age, race, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation and membership of the Traveller community. The Act also prohibits sexual and other harassment. The Equality Act also amends the Equal Status Act 2000 to extend the definition of sexual harassment and shift the burden of proof from the complianant to the respondent.
- transfer of an undertaking, business or part of a business from one employer to another employer as a result of a legal transfer (including the assignment or forfeiture of a lease) or merger. Employees rights and entitlements are protected during this transfer. . This legislation applies to any
- fixed term contracts. Under the Act employees can only work on one or more fixed term contracts for a continuous period of four years. After this the employee is considered to have a contract of indefinite duration (e.g. a permanent contract). This legislation protects fixed-term employees by ensuring that they cannot be treated less favourably than comparable permanent workers and that employers cannot continually renew
- . The main purpose of this EU Regulation is the requirement by employers to keep a record of the number of hours worked by employees on a daily and weekly basis, to keep records 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 starting and finishing times of employees.
- part-time workers where such exists. It aims to improve the quality of part-time work, to facilitate the development of part-time work on a voluntary basis and to contribute to the flexible organisation of working time in a manner that takes account of the needs of employers and workers. It guarantees that part-time workers may not be treated less favourably than full-time workers. - this replaces the Worker Protection (Regular Part-Time Employees) Act, 1991. It provides for the removal of discrimination against
- carer's leave to enable them to care personally for persons who require full-time care and attention. - this provides for an entitlement for employees to avail of temporary unpaid
- national minimum wage. - introduces an enforceable
- maximum working hours, night work, annual and public holiday leave. - regulates a variety of employment conditions including
- employment and working conditions of children and young persons. - replaced previous legislation dating from 1977 and regulates the
- - updated previous legislation relating to the provision by employers to employees of information on such matters as job description, rate of pay and hours of work.
- unfair dismissals law and amends previous legislation dating from 1977. - updates
Complaints/breach of rightsEmployment law in Ireland provides strong protection for employees who feel their rights have been breached. Complaints, disputes and grievances are heard before a Rights Commissioner who will listen to both sides before completing an investigation of the complaint and issuing a recommendation. Recommendations issued by the Rights Commissioner can be binding or non-binding, depending on the type of law under which the case is heard.
Claims under equality legislation are brought to the
Often, disputes between employers and employees can be resolved using mediation. Mediation means that the Labour Relations Commission is contacted and appoints an independent person to meet with both parties and listen to both sides. This free service is available to all employees and employers (except members of the Gardai, and ). Meetings are held privately and all discussions are confidential.
How to applyRequests for mediation services should be made to the .
Complaints, disputes or grievances regarding breaches of employment rights under certain legislation can be heard before a Rights Commissioner. Before you apply to have your complaint heard, you must notify you employer of your intention to contact the Rights Commissioner service. Where legal entitlements are involved, you should try and resolve the matter locally before referring to the Rights Commissioner service.
The following application forms must be completed and forwarded to the Labour Relations Commission in advance of a hearing before a Rights Commissioner.