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Workplace advice (ROI)

Ireland workplace rights

The system of industrial relations in Ireland is essentially voluntary in nature. There has been agreement on all sides that the terms and conditions of employment of workers is best determined by the process of voluntary collective bargaining between an employer or employers' association and one or more trade unions, with the intervention of the State being kept to a minimum.

Under this process, standard matters like wages or hours of work are determined and, in addition, some collective agreements lay down procedural rules that govern the conduct of industrial relations between the parties.

Over the years, however, legislation has been enacted in certain areas (such as minimum rates of pay, holidays, working hours, minimum notice, redundancy, dismissals and employment equality) laying down certain minimum standards that may be improved upon by collective bargaining, but cannot be taken away or diminished. See below for further detail.

The State's role in industrial relations in Ireland has been largely confined to facilitating the collective bargaining process through establishing by legislation institutions to assist in the resolution of disputes between employers and workers.

The main mechanism for resolving collective disputes is the Labour Court, which adjudicates on collective industrial disputes. Responsibility for promoting good industrial relations in Ireland now rests with the Workplace Relations Commission, which provides a range of industrial relations services around preventing and resolving workplace disputes and disagreements involving groups of workers, individual workers, employers and their representatives.

The Labour Relations Commission deals with individual and collective issues.

Individual cases can be dealt with through mediation or, if that is not possible, by an Adjudication Officer. The Adjudication Officer makes determinations in relation to breaches of employment rights and their decisions can be appealed to the Labour Court.

A useful source for information is the Citizens Information.


Terms of Employment Minimum Entitlements Provided by Law

The employer is required under the Terms of Employment (Information) Acts, 1994 and 2001 to give all employees certain information in writing - the important elements of terms of employment - within two months of commencing employment. This information must include:

  • The full names of the employer and the employee
  • The address of the employer
  • The place of work, or where there is no main place of work, a statement indicating that an employee is required or permitted to work at various places
  • Job title or nature of the work
  • Date of commencement of employment
  • If the contract is temporary, the expected duration of employment
  • If the contract is for a fixed-term, the date on which the contract expires; if the contract is for a fixed purpose, then the details of the occurrence of that specific purpose
  • The rate of pay or method of calculating pay
  • Whether pay is weekly, monthly or otherwise
  • Terms or conditions relating to hours of work, including overtime
  • Terms or conditions relating to paid leave (other than paid sick leave)
  • Terms or conditions relating to incapacity for work due to sickness or injury
  • Terms or conditions relating to pensions and pension schemes
  • Periods of notice or method for determining periods of notice
  • A reference to any collective agreements which affect the terms of employment

Minimum Wage

An experienced adult employee is entitled to a minimum rate of pay under the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000. An experienced adult employee is an employee who has been in any employment in any two years from the date of first employment over the age of 18. Lesser rates apply to other categories of employees. The two years employment referred to here does not have to be with the same employer, or in the same industry, or even in Ireland.

For information on the current rates log onto www.workplacerelations.ie.

Wages and Wage Slips

Under the Payment of Wages Act, 1991 the employer must give the employee a written statement of gross wages and details of all deductions made, along with their wages.

The Payment of Wages Act also protects against unlawful deductions from wages.

Working Hours, Holidays, Rest Breaks

The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 sets out rights of employees in respect of the following:

  • Maximum Weekly Hours of Work
  • Minimum Rest Times/Breaks
  • Sunday Work: Employees are entitled to a premium payment or
  • paid time off in lieu for Sunday work.
  • Holidays and Public Holidays

Dismissal

The Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007 outline rights and procedures in the event of dismissal from work. Generally, an  employee must have at least 12 months continuous service with his/her employer before he/she is entitled to bring a claim for unfair dismissal under the Acts. An employee does not require 12 months service where the dismissal results wholly or mainly from any of the following grounds:

  • employee’s trade union membership or activity.
  • an employee’s entitlements, future entitlements, exercise or proposed exercise of rights under the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000.
  • employee pregnancy, giving birth or breastfeeding (or any matters connected).
  • the exercise or proposed exercise by the employee of rights under the Maternity Protection Act, 1994, the Adoptive Leave Act, 1995, the Parental Leave Act, 1998, or the Carer’s Leave Act, 2001.

Minimum Notice

The Minimum Notice Acts, 1973 to 2005 provide that every employee who has been in the employment of his/her employer for at least 13 weeks is entitled to a minimum period of notice before that employer may dismiss him or her. This period varies from one to eight weeks according to the length of service.

Statutory Employment Rights and Protections of Non-Nationals Working in Ireland

Non-Irish nationals working legally in Ireland are entitled to the full range of statutory employment rights and protections in exactly the same manner as an Irish employee.

Redress/Complaints Procedures

Employees can bring complaints to the Rights Commissioners or the Employment Appeals Tribunals where they feel they are not getting their statutory rights.

Please note

The information in this section provides guidance and some basic details of employment rights. They do not attempt to be comprehensive, and should not be taken as an authoritative statement of the law. For latest advice and guidance, please contact our Helpdesk.

TSSA Helpdesk

0800 328 2673 United Kingdom

1800 805 272 Republic of Ireland

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Member advice from our Helpdesk

If you are a TSSA member and are looking for advice or assistance in connection with your employment or membership, you can contact our Members’ Helpdesk.

We can advise on a range of workplace issues including; discipline and grievance hearing, maternity rights and redundancy.

Helpdesk opening hours: 09:00 - 17:00 Monday - Thursday  |  09:00 - 16:00 Friday

Please note: we cannot undertake to provide advice to non-members, to members of other unions, or to members on behalf of their partners/friends. If you are not yet a member, please join TSSA online.