Expert employment law solicitor Cork, providing legal advice and assistance to employers across Ireland.
Employment Contracts – Employment Law
When an employee starts a new position within a company, the employer needs to provide the employee with a written contract within 2 months of their start date. This contract or written statement should contain information relating to the following (the following list is not exhaustive):
- Official start date of new position.
- Official job title
- Information relating to their duties.
- Hours of work required on a weekly/montlhy basis and the structure of these hours, e.g. 9-5 Monday to Friday.
- Paid leave.
- Any relevant terms and conditions relating to the employment.
Where an employee is starting work under a temporary contract. The employee needs to include the following information in the written document.
- Duration of the contract or the expiration date of the first contract.
- This also applies to fixed term contracts and any changes to this contract must be notified in writing to the employee.
If at any time the employer or employee wishes to make changes to the contract, this must be notified in writing and signed by both parties.
Employment Law Solicitor Cork and Dublin
Some of the points the working Act of 1997 include are:
- No more that 48 hours working time per week on average.
- A resting period of at least 11 consecutive hours per working day.
- Breaks throughout the working day.
- At least one rest break of 24 hours (consecutive) per week.
- If the employee is working throughout the nighttime hours, then a maximum shift of 8 hours should apply (on average).
- For every 4 hours of consecutive time worked, the employee is entitled to a fifteen minute rest time and a thirty minute break for every 6 hours worked.
It is possible for a 48 hour work week to be averaged and in the case of seasonal work, the average can be calculated over a six month period.
Contracts Solicitor Ireland
Full-time workers are entitled to four working weeks paid annual leave per year. Generally part-time workers are entitled to 8% of the hours worked in the leave year, subject to a maximum of four working weeks.
Unfair Dismissal Law – Employment law
There are two fundamental principles covered by the Unfair Dismissals Act of 1997.
- When terminating an employment, there must be sufficient grounds to justify this step.
- When terminating an employee, procedures which are fair should be followed.
In cases where the employee has at least one year of service (continuous) with the company and they have not reached the age of retirement, then they must be included in the rules as laid out by this act. It is vital that employers are aware of this and that they act accordingly. Should an employer act outside of these guidelines, and fail to follow procedures, they could find they employee has grounds to take a case for unfair dismissal. The guidelines set out by the Act should be followed at all times to avoid legal action being taken.
If an employee has been dismissed as a result of a redundancy and all procedures have been followed, then this is a fair dismissal. In circumstances where an employee is made redundant, the employer must strictly adhere to the definition of redundancy as set out in the Act.
Dignity at Work / Bullying
It is the responsibility of every employer to ensure that bullying and harassment is not part of the working environment. This includes physical, emotional and verbal harassment from all who work at the organisation, from top level management through to every level of employee.
Should an employer receive a complaint of bullying or harassment from an employee, this should be given the attention it deserves and treated in a manner that shows this behaviour is taken seriously within the organisation. Any investigations undetaken following a complaint should ensure care is taken to avoid further distress to the complainant.
It is imperative that the employer in receipt of the complaint fulfils their duty of care to the employee and others in their employ.
All employers should have a detailed workplace policy in relation to bullying and harassment in the workplace.
When we look at the Employment Equality Act of 1998/2004, we can see it prohibits discrimination on numerous grounds.
These include but are not limited to:
- Family status
- Race, colour and ethnicity
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Religious beliefs
- Nationality or National Origin
- Being a member of the travelling community.
The Employment Equality Act also prohibits discrimination once employment has commenced. This includes access to employment, employment conditions, access to the relevant training, access to work experience, promotional opportunities and job classification.
Under the Act, it is important to note the minimum notice period for termination as it applies to employees in your organisation.
Where a contract is in existence between the employer and the employee, this should clearly set out the notice period for termination of employment. In instances where a contract is not in place, the length of service with the company should determine the amount of termination notice. Where an employer fails to provide the employee with appropriate notice of termination, they are obliged by law to pay the employee in full for this period of time.
Fixed Term Workers and Part-Time Workers
When an employee is employed on a fixed term basis, this means they have been specifically hired to complete or work on a certain task. Once this task has been completed, the contract is complete. The contract should always have a very clear start and end date, which can be adjusted with the agreement of both parties in a written document. It is important to note that a fixed term contract can not run on indefinitely and there are limitations on the time periods you can continue to issue fixed term contracts.
Part Time Employees
Part-time employees are defined as workers who may work less hours that full-timers, however they do compete comparable work duties and should be afforded the same benefits, terms and conditions as those who work full-time for your company.
Health & Safety Law
Every employee is entitled to be provided with a safe place of work, safe equipment and safe systems of work.