Terms of Employment
Terms of Employment (Information) Acts, 1994 – 2012
This legislation expects employers to give a detailed explanation to employees setting out certain fundamental terms of employment.
The Act applies to any individual working under an agreement of employment or apprenticeship or employed through the administration of the State or an employment agency.
The statement enumerating the required terms and conditions of employment must be given to a new employee within 2 months of starting work.
Data to be incorporated into the statement by virtue of the Act:
- Employer and employee full names
- The employers address in the state
- The work place or a statement demonstrating that the employee will be required to work in different places. See if they can change it later.
- Job title as well as nature of the work
- Date of starting work
- If it’s a temporary contract and its duration
- If it’s a fixed term contract, the date on which the agreement terminates
- The remuneration rate and how it is calculated
- Details of how remuneration is paid i.e. week by week, month to month and so on, together with the confirmation that an employee may ask for documented details of his/her hourly rate of pay.
- Terms and conditions related to work hours (overtime inclusive)
- Terms and conditions about paid leave
- Terms and conditions pertaining to incapacity
- Terms and conditions relating to pensions and pension schemes if pertinent
- Notice period which the employee is entitled to receive and should be given upon termination
- A reference to any collective agreement which influences the term of employment
- Breaks and rest periods details
- References to any Registered Employment Agreements or Employment Regulation Orders which apply to the employee, along with the confirmation of where these can be obtained.
The agreement contract must be signed and dated by the employee or by someone on his behalf.
The employer is obliged to keep this statement for a 1-year period after the employment has been terminated. Changes to any terms and conditions required by the Act must be told to the employee within 1 month of taking effect.
The employer may incorporate extra terms and conditions at its own discretion, and depending on the employee’s seniority, for instance:
- Requirements with respect to work shifts
- Grievance procedure
- Disciplinary procedure including the rules and regulation of the company
- Payment deductions
- Provision for short/lay off time
- Additional benefits
- Post-termination restrictive covenants
Furthermore, employers must give new employees within 28 days of their commencing work, a written summary of procedures that would be used should it become necessary to dismiss them in accordance with the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2007
Referral of Complaints
A complaint may be presented a to a Rights Commissioner by the employee if there is an impression that his employer has neglected to give a full and precise written statement of the particulars of the employment terms or has neglected to notify the employee of any changes to the particulars in the statement.
A Rights Commissioner recommendation can do one of the followings:
- Declare that the complaint was or was not very much founded and confirm any of the particulars contained in an employment statement or modify the terms of same to correct omissions or inaccuracies;
- Require the employer to give or cause to be given to the concerned employee a written statement containing such particulars as might be indicated by the Rights Commissioner;
- Order the employer to pay to the employee compensation of such sum (if any) as is fair and equitable having taken everything into consideration, but never exceeding a maximum of a month’s remuneration.
A complaint will be statute-barred if made over a half year after termination of employment. A concerned party may appeal to the Employment Appeals Tribunal from the recommendation of a Rights Commissioner, and a further appeal to the High Court, but in accordance on a point of law only. Inspectors appointed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation are empowered to give employers directions in relation to compliance with the Act.
What are the main terms and conditions of a contract of employment?
There is always a contract between an employee and employer. You might not have anything in writing, but a contract still exists. This is because your agreement to work for your employer and your employer’s agreement to pay you for your work forms a contract. Your employer has to give you a written statement within 2 months of you starting work. The statement must contain certain terms and conditions.
The rights that you have under your contract of employment are in addition to the rights you have under law – for example, the right to be paid the National Minimum Wage and the right to paid holidays.
Generally, you and your employer can agree to whatever terms you want in the contract, but you can’t agree to a contractual term which gives you fewer rights than you have under law.
Why is a contract of employment important?
A contract of employment is a two-way document between you and each staff member you employ. It protects you and reduces the risk of legal action, and it regulates your employees’ behaviour in the workplace. For staff, it offers peace of mind and security. If they have negotiated better terms for themselves, they’ll want them in their contract to make sure they get them. A well-drafted document means all parties know where they stand and can help avoid disputes at a later stage.