Q. Who is covered by the Unfair Dismissals Acts?
The Unfair Dismissals Acts apply to employees over age 16 with at least 12 months continuous service. They do not apply to state employees, close relatives of the employer, those who live and work in the same private house or farm, Garda or Defence Force Members and Fas apprentices who have been dismissed within 1 month of the end of their apprenticeships.
Q. Can an Employee claim unfair dismissal with less than 12 months continuous service?
Yes, if the dismissal results from one or more of the following.
1. Trade Union Membership.
2. Any issues relating to pregnancy, giving birth or breastfeeding.
3. An employee exercising their rights under the maternity protection acts.
4. An employee exercising their rights to Parental Leave, Force Majeure Leave or Carer’s Leave.
5. Employees exercising their rights under the Adoptive Leave Act 1995.
Q. What written details must an Employer present to a new Employee?
Employers must provide their employees with a written statement of the terms and conditions relating to their employment within 2 months of commencing employment.
Q. Who is responsible for preparing Risk Assessments and Safety Statements?
All Employers are required to prepare Risk Assessments and a Safety Statement. Consultation should take place with employees to ensure they understand and take ownership of the Health & Safety measures.
Q. Do Employers have to pay Sick Pay?
Sick Pay is not a statutory entitlement. A Policy in relation to sick pay may be decided by an Employer and agreed as part of the employees terms and conditions of employment.
Q. What is meant by Equal Pay?
Employment Equality legislation provides for equal pay for like work. Like work is defined as “that is the same, similar or work of equal value”. Equal pay claims can be taken on any of the nine discriminatory grounds.
Q. What is Workplace Bullying?
Bullying behaviour can be verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more people, at a place of work that undermines an individuals right to dignity while they work. A once incident is not considered bullying but may be considered an affront to dignity at work. Examples include;
Q. What happens when an Employer does not have a Bullying & Harassment Policy and Procedure in place?
Employees may make a formal complaint to the Health & Safety Authority who will then request a copy of the policy from the employer. If this policy is deficient in any way they will issue recommendations on what changes are to be made. The employee will then be instructed to follow the new procedure.
Q. If an employee makes a complaint to his/her employer in line with existing policy and procedure, but nothing happens and the bullying continues. What happens next?
The Employee can then contact a Rights Commissioner at the Labour Relations Commission and request a ruling.
Q. Who is covered by the Employment Equality Acts?
The Employment Equality Acts apply to full-time, part-time and temporary employees in all sectors and in vocational training. They also cover the self-employed, partnerships and people employed in another persons home.
Q. If an Employer receives a request for part-time working. Do they have to grant it?
There is no automatic entitlement to part-time working in Ireland. However, an Employer should be seen to consider the request in relation to the job requirements before making a final decision. If the role cannot facilitate a part-time arrangement, the employee should be informed of the reasons why it is not possible.