1. Employment Contracts:
Under The Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 an employer is obliged to provide an employee with a statement in writing no later than two months after the commencement of employment containing the following particulars:
(a) the full names of the employer and the employee,
(b) the address of the employer in the State or, where appropriate, the address of the principal place of the relevant business of the employer in the State or the registered office (within the meaning of the Companies Act, 1963 ),
(c) the place of work or, where there is no fixed or main place of work, a statement specifying that the employee is required or permitted to work at various places,
(d) the title of the job or nature of the work for which the employee is employed,
(e) the date of commencement of the employee's contract of employment,
(f) in the case of a temporary contract of employment, the expected duration thereof or, if the contract of employment is for a fixed term, the date on which the contract expires,
(g) the rate or method of calculation of the employee's remuneration,
(h) the length of the intervals between the times at which remuneration is paid, whether a week, a month or any other interval,
(i) any terms or conditions relating to hours of work (including overtime),
(j) any terms or conditions relating to paid leave (other than paid sick leave),
(k) any terms or conditions relating to—
(i) incapacity for work due to sickness or injury and paid sick leave, and
(ii) pensions and pension schemes,
(l) the period of notice which the employee is required to give and entitled to receive (whether by or under statute or under the terms of the employee's contract of employment) to determine the employee's contract of employment or, where this cannot be indicated when the information is given, the method for determining such periods of notice,
(m) a reference to any collective agreements which directly affect the terms and conditions of the employee's employment including, where the employer is not a party to such agreements, particulars of the bodies or institutions by whom they were made.
Employers need to be particularly careful if they wish to alter the terms and conditions of employment in order to avoid a breach of contract claim.
The Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004 prohibit discrimination on nine grounds. The grounds are gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race /colour/ nationality / ethnic or national origins and membership of the traveller community. The Act prohibits discrimination in employment and, in particular, access to employment, conditions of employment, training or experience for or in relation to employment, promotion or re grading or classification of posts.
3. Dignity at Work/Bullying:
The Labour Relations Commission has defined Workplace Bullying as“repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work. An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work but, as a once off incident, is not considered to be bullying.”An employer must take measures to ensure that employees are not subject to verbal or physical bullying or harassment in the workplace. Employers can very often find themselves defending employee cases involving stress as a result of bullying. An employer should adhere to a clear policy and take active steps to discharge their obligation and fulfil their duty of care in this matter.
4. Unfair Dismissal Law:
Under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007 an unfair dismissal can occur where:
(i) An employer terminates an employee’s contract of employment, with or without notice; or
(ii) An employee terminates his or her own contract of employment, with or without notice, due to the conduct of their employer. This is known as constructive dismissal.
If an employee is dismissed from their employment, they may, under certain conditions, bring a claim for unfair dismissal against their employer. The Unfair Dismissal Acts are based on two fundamental principles;
(i) Substantial grounds must exist to justify the termination of a contract for employment.
(ii) Fair procedures must be followed in effecting the termination.All employees who have one year's continuous service with the employer and who have not reached normal retirement age for employment are included under the Act.
A dismissal is deemed not to be unfair dismissal if it resulted wholly or mainly from the redundancy of an employee. Redundancy is therefore an absolute defence to a claim for unfair dismissal, provided the employee has been fairly selected for redundancy. To be eligible for a redundancy payment under the Acts, an employee must satisfy the following requirements:
(i) They must be aged 16 or over. (Since 8 May 2007 there is no upper age limit of 66.)
(ii) They must be in employment that is insurable under the Social Welfare Acts. Full-time employees under the age of 66 must be paying Class A PRSI. This insurability requirement does not apply to part-time workers.
(iii) They must have worked continuously for your employer for at least 104 weeks over the age of 16.
19 February 2015