7 Things You May Not Know About Employment Legislation in Ireland

A Guide to Employment Legislation in Ireland

Employment legislation in Ireland can be extremely difficult to navigate, for both employers and employees. With some many laws and amendments, it can be difficult to keep up to date with the latest developments in Irish employment law. So, with that in mind, here’s 7 things you may not already know about employment law in Ireland.  

1. Minimum Wage

As of January 2017, the minimum wage is €9.25. However not everyone is entitled to minimum wage. To qualify for minimum wage you must be classified as an experienced adult worker. That means you must be over 18 years of age and have been in any kind of employment within a two year period.

2. Maternity Leave

All women are entitled to 26 weeks maternity leave. The state payment is based on PRSI credits and extends to part time, full time and casual workers. A further 16 weeks unpaid leave may be availed of, providing the correct protocol is followed and employers are made aware within the specified time frame, set out in the law. Employers are not legally obliged to pay employees their usual salary while on maternity leave, however some employers opt to include this in their employment contracts.

3. Majeure Leave

Irish employers and employees may not be aware that under employment legislation in Ireland, employees are entitled to take forced majeure leave. Such leave may be as a result of an urgent family emergency, such as an injury or illness. Force majeure leave must not exceed 3 days in a 12 month period.

4. Sick Pay

Despite what many people may think, according to employment legislation in Ireland, employers are not obliged to provide statutory sick pay for their employees. Employers are not legally obligated to pay employees who cannot work due to illness. However, many employers opt to do this anyway.

5. Unfair Dismissal

In order to put forward a case of unfair dismissal, employees must first have been employed with the company for a minimum of 12 months continuous service. The time limit for beginning a claim for unfair dismissal is 6 months from the date of the dismissal. If there is reasonable cause you may be allowed to extend this period up to 12 months from the date of dismissal. However, this must be reasonable cause – saying you did not know the law will not suffice.

6. Breaks

In general workers are entitled to a fifteen minute break after a 4.5 hour work period. Following a 6 hour work period you are entitled to a 30 minute break. This may include that 15 minutes. There is no entitlement to be paid during these breaks, as they are not considered working hours.

7. Holidays

In general, full time workers are entitled to four weeks paid holidays (20 days). However, employment contracts may vary on how many holidays they award their employees and may offer more than the minimum of four weeks in order to offer prospective employees a more attractive employment package.

If you’re an employer and require help with an employment law issue, or if you’re an employee and wish to file an employment law complaint, get in contact with Anthony Joyce solicitors. We have years of experience dealing with employment legislation in Ireland. So, our team    can advise you on the best course of action when navigating Irish employment law. 

Anthony Joyce

Anthony founded Anthony Joyce & Co. Solicitors in March 2004 in the oldest part of Dublin known as the Liberties (originally a tax free part of Dublin!!). He is focused on building the practice in certain niche areas of law such as financial litigation and personal insolvency. Entrepreneurship is in his blood and he is on the board of a number of start-ups. If Anthony is not available he could be watching a SpaceX rocket launch, spending time with his two children or playing 5-a-side.

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