Navigation path

Share on 
	Share on Facebook
  
	Tweet it
  
	Share on google+
  
	Share on linkedIn
  
    
      E-mail
Set page to normal font sizeIncrease font size by 200 percentBookmark this pageChoose high-contrast version

Ireland

Staff welfare

Updated 12/2012

Legal requirements

Irish employment law and practice is based on a number of sources including Irish and EU-based legislation, decisions of the courts and custom and practice in this area.

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise, - and Innovation - (-DJEI) is the lead government department in this area.

The National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) strives for a national culture of employment law rights compliance. It was created as a result of the "Towards 2016" Social Partnership Agreement.

You must ensure your employees receive certain basic employment rights.

It is considered necessary to introduce certain policies and procedures within a company, such as discipline, grievance, or dignity at work (including bullying and harassment). Others such as data protection and absence policies are considered best practice. This will vary in importance for employers depending on the type of business involved.

Social rules

Non-discrimination, equal treatment and gender equality

In Ireland the Employment Equality Act aims to promote equality by prohibiting discrimination on nine grounds:

Health and safety at work

You are required by law to ensure the safety, health and welfare at work, of your employees. The principal legislation in force is the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. The Act provides for substantial fines and penalties for breaches of health and safety legislation.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) administers and enforces a wide range of occupational safety and health and chemicals legislation and associated codes of practice. The HSA operates under the auspices of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation (- DJEI).

Labour law

Contract law

People are taken on under either contracts of service or contracts for services. Only a person hired under a contract of service will be an employee and therefore protected by the full range of employment legislation.

Although full employment contracts do not have to be in writing, some terms and conditions of employment must be put in writing under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994, within two months of starting employment. These typically include the method of calculating pay and whether or not there is a sick pay scheme in operation, among other conditions.

If a contractor is freelance or self-employed, he/she will have a contract for services with the party the work is being done for. The type of contract a person works under can have serious implications for both employer and employee in matters such as employment protection legislation, legal responsibility for injuries caused to members of the public, taxation and social welfare.

Employees should also receive a written statement of pay or 'payslip'. The payslip should set out gross pay and list all deductions made from it, under the Payment of Wages Act 1991.

Labour relations and Labour protection

You must also pay a Minimum wage - most experienced adult workers in Ireland are entitled to be paid €8.65 per hour gross. There are however some exceptions to the minimum wage, including those employed by close relatives, those aged under 18 and trainees or apprentices.

There are also certain industries in Ireland where a higher minimum wage applies, including the construction industry.

You must ensure that employees are given adequate rest. The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 sets down the rules governing maximum working hours, daily and weekly rest breaks, annual leave and public holiday entitlements.

You are obliged to allow employees (who meet relevant qualifying criteria, if any) to take certain statutory protective leave, such as maternity, health and safety, parental, adoptive and carer's leave. There is specific legislation setting out the rules for each entitlement.

Your obligations and duties as regards providing and maintaining a safe working place and safe working practices are covered by the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. The Act includes provision for the instruction, training and supervision of employees in this area.

Both employees and employers are obliged to give notice in the case of termination of employment.

Employees who have been in continuous employment for at least 13 weeks are obliged to provide their employer with one week's notice of termination of employment. If a greater amount of notice is specified in the employee's contract of employment, then this notice must be given.

You must give employees notice dependent on the length of the employee's service. If you do not require the employee to work out any part of their notice, you are obliged to pay the employee for that period.

Litigation

The Labour Relations Commission (LRC) provides a number of services including a Workplace Mediation Service.

The Rights Commissioners service operates under the LRC but is independent in its functions. The Rights Commissioners investigate disputes, grievances and claims that individuals or small groups of workers bring under specific legislation.

Employees who think their employment rights have been infringed can refer a claim to the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

The Labour Court provides a service for the resolution of industrial relations disputes and deals also with matters arising under employment equality, organisation of working time, national minimum wage, and part-time work legislation. It is not a court of law but operates as an industrial relations tribunal.

Mandatory social rules complete the requirements related to managing staff.

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum social legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Non-discrimination, equal treatment and gender equality

The Equality Tribunal, the Labour Court and the Circuit Court all have roles in relation to claims of discrimination. All claims (except for gender discrimination claims) must be referred in the first instance to the Equality Tribunal (Gender discrimination claims have the option of going to the Circuit Court).

The Equality Tribunal is the quasi-judicial body established to investigate, hear and decide on claims for discrimination.

Health and safety at work

You/your company must have either a Safety Statement or an Approved Code of Practice. The Safety Statement spells out how safety and health is managed in the workplace.

Health and Safety Authority (HSA) Inspectors carry out reactive and pro-active inspections of workplaces.

It is your responsibility as the employer/manager to ensure that your employees are safe and safety aware. The HSA has developed 'BeSmart' - a free risk assessment tool that allows small business to generate health and safety risk assessments and safety statements through a simple, online walk-through process.

Social insurance

You must pay a Pay-related Social Insurance (PRSI) contribution in respect of full-time employees and part-time employees. The payment consists of an employer's and, where due, an employee's share of PRSI. The PRSI contribution is a percentage of the employee's reckonable earnings. It may be made up of some or all of the following parts:

Universal Social Charge 2011:
The Finance Act 2011 abolished the income levy for 2011 and subsequent years and provided for the introduction of the Universal Social Charge.

The Universal Social Charge (USC) is payable on gross income from all sources (relevant employments and relevant income). The charge is calculated before tax reliefs, losses or pension contributions. Relief is allowed for legally enforceable maintenance payments and certain capital allowances.

You can register for Employer's PAYE (Pay As You Earn) / PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance) with the Revenue service.

You are not legally bound to pay an employee who is off work sick. As an employer you can formulate your own policy on sick pay. However some industries are covered by registered employment agreements (REA's) and Employment Regulation Orders (ERO's), which may contain regulations regarding sick pay.

All accidents in the workplace should be reported to the employer. You must then record the details of the incident. You, the employer, are also obliged to report any accident that results in an employee missing three consecutive days at work (not including the day of the accident) to the Health and Safety Authority.

An employee who has suffered an injury at work cannot seek compensation from you, the employer, under healthy and safety legislation but they can make a personal injury claim through InjuriesBoard.ie. The Board gives an independent assessment of personal injury claims for compensation following an accident (only in cases where the liability/legal issues are not disputed). If either you (the employer), or the employee rejects the assessment the Board will issue an authorisation allowing the employee to make a claim through the civil courts.

Resources

Ireland's National Employment Rights Authority has produced a helpful guide for employers.

Taking Care of Business is the Health and Safety Authority's (HSA) wide ranging initiative to support and assist Small Business to deal with health and safety in their workplaces

The HSA also has a range of other documents for download including information on safety in specific industrial sectors.

Business access to state information and services (BASIS) delivers government information and services to businesses online. The information is structured around the lifecycle of a business.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

Country

Austria

Feldkirch

Graz

Innsbruck

Klagenfurt

Linz

Salzburg

Wien

Belgium

Antwerpen

Arlon

Brugge

Brussels

Charleroi

Gent

Hasselt

Leuven

Libramont

Liège

Mons

Namur

Nivelles

Bulgaria

Dobrich

Plovidiv

Ruse

Sandanski

Sofia

Sofia

Stara Zagora

Vratsa

Yambol

Croatia

Osijek

Rijeka

Split

Varazdin

Zagreb

Cyprus

Nicosia

Czech Republic

Brno

Liberec

Ostrava

Ostrava

Pardubice

Plzen

Praha

Usti nad Labem

Denmark

Aalborg

Copenhagen

Herning

Kolding

Viborg

Estonia

Tallinn

Finland

Helsinki

Oulu

Tampere

Turku

Vantaa

France

Amiens

Annecy

Aulnat

Besançon

Bordeaux

Bourg en Bresse

Caen

Cayenne

Chalons-en-Champagne

Chambéry

Dijon

Fort-de-France

Grenoble

Lille

Limoges

Lyon

Marseille

Marseille

Marseille

Montpellier

Montpellier

Nancy

Nantes

Orléans

Paris

Pointe-à-Pitre

Poitiers

Privas

Rennes

Rouen

Saint-Denis

Saint-Etienne

Strasbourg

Toulouse

Valence

Germany

Berlin

Bremen

Bremenhaven

Chemnitz

Dresden

Düsseldorf

Erfurt

Frankfurt/Oder

Freiburg

Hamburg

Hannover

Kaiserslautern

Kiel

Konstanz

Leipzig

Magdeburg

Mannheim

Mülheim an der Ruhr

München

Potsdam

Reutlingen

Rostock

Saabrücken

Stuttgart

Trier

Ulm

Villingen-Schwenningen

Wiesbaden

Greece

Athens

Heraklion

Ioannina

Kavala

Kozani

Thessaloniki

Tripolis

Volos

Hungary

Budapest

Debrecen

Győr

Nyíregyháza

Pécs

Szeged

Székesfehérvár

Zalaegerszeg

Ireland

Dublin

Italy

Abruzzo

Aosta

Apulia

Apulia

Ascoli Piceno

Basilicata

Bologna

Bologna

Cagliari

Calabria

Calabria

Campania

Catania

Catania

Florence

Genova

Gorizia

Milano

Milano

Milano

Molise

Naples

Naples

Palermo

Palermo

Perugia

Pesaro

Pordenone

Ravenna

Rome

Rovereto

Sassari

Sicily

Terni

Torino

Torino

Torino

Trieste

Trieste

Udine

Venezia

Venezia

Venezia

Latvia

Riga

Lithuania

Kaunas

Klaipėda

Vilnius

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

Malta

Pieta`

Netherlands

Den Haag

Nieuwegein

Norway

Ås

Oslo

Stavanger

Tromsø

Poland

Bialystok

Gdańsk

Kalisz

Katowice

Kielce

Konin

Kraków

Lublin

Lublin

Olsztyn

Opole

Poznań

Rzeszów

Szczawno-Zdrój

Szczecin

Szczecin

Toruń

Warsaw

Warsaw

Wroclaw

Zielona Góra

Łódź

Portugal

Aveiro

Braga

Coimbra

Évora

Faro

Funchal

Lisboa

Ponta Delgada

Porto

Romania

Arad

Bacau

Bucuresti

Cluj-Napoca

Constanta

Craiova

Galati

Iasi

Ramnicu Valcea

Timișoara

Slovakia

Bratislava

Prešov

Slovenia

Koper

Ljubljana

Maribor

Spain

Albacete

Alicante

Badajoz

Barcelona

Bilbao

Bilbao

Ciudad Real

Donostia- San Sebastian

Ferrol

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Llanera

Logroño

Madrid

Murcia

Oviedo

Palma

Pamplona

Paterna (Valencia)

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santander

Santiago de Compostela

Sevilla

Toledo

Valencia

Valladolid

Vitoria- Gazteiz

Zaragoza

Sweden

Borlänge

Göteborg

Jönköping

Kramfors

Luleå

Malmö

Örebro

Östersund

Stockholm

Umeå

Västerås

Växjö

United Kingdom

Belfast

Bristol

Cambridge

Cardiff

Coventry

Inverness

London

Manchester

Newcastle

Yorkshire and Humber

Enter your message here

* required field (you must enter data here)