The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 came into effect on the 4th March 2019.

The Act imposes significant new obligations on employers and provides for enhanced rights and protections for employees.  One of the key changes is that employers must give employees core terms of employment within 5 days of an employee starting work. These terms are;

  • Names of employer and employee;
  • Address of employer (or the address of the principal place of business);
  • In the case of a temporary contract the expected duration of it or if fixed term the end date;
  • The method of calculating pay and the pay reference period for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000; and
  • the number of hours which the employer reasonably expects the employee to work per normal working day and normal working week.

The remaining terms of employment are to be furnished within 2 months.

What happens if you don’t issue a Day 5 Statement to your employee?   

Where an employee has been employed for 1 month and an employer fails to provide an employee with a Day 5 Statement (without reasonable cause), an employee may then bring a claim to the WRC. The WRC may award compensation which is just and equitable up to a maximum of 4 weeks’ remuneration.  Failure to provide the information within one month can give rise to a criminal offence.

Other Key Changes that you should note include;

Zero hours contracts will be restricted

Under the new act, zero-hour contracts will be prohibited except in the following circumstances:

  • Where the work is of a casual nature
  • Where the work is done under emergency circumstances
  • Short-term relief work to cover routine absences for the employer.

Minimum payments for people called into work but sent home without work

With the new 2018 Act, if an employee is called to work and sent home without receiving the hours expected, the employee is entitled to a minimum payment of three times the national minimum hourly rate of pay or three times the minimum hourly rate of pay set out in an Employment Regulation Order (if one exists and for as long as it remains in force).

This new minimum payment will be payable on each occasion an employee is called in to work but does not receive the expected hours of work.

New concept of “banded hours” introduced

If an employee’s contract (over the previous 12 months) do not reflect actual hours worked, they will be entitled to request to be placed in a band of hours that better reflects the hours they have worked.  The employee will have to submit their request in writing. The employer then has four weeks to consider it.

According to Welfare.ie, the band of hours are as follows:

Band From To
A 3 hours or more Less than 6 hours
B 6 hours or more Less than 11 hours
C 11 hours or more Less than 16 hours
D 16 hours or more Less than 21 hours
E 21 hours or more Less than 26 hours
F 26 hours or more Less than 31 hours
G 31 hours or more Less than 36 hours
H 36 hours or more  

An employer has the right to refuse the request for any the following reasons:

  • The facts do not support the employee’s claim
  • Significant changes have impacted the business. For example, if the business lost an important contract, this can be a reason to refuse the employee’s request
  • Emergency circumstances that have impacted the business. For example, adverse weather conditions that have impacted the business
  • Where the hours worked by the employee were due to a genuinely temporary situation.

Strong anti-penalisation provisions for employees

The Act also provides strong anti-penalisation provisions whereby an employer may not penalise an employee for exercising their rights under the 1994 Act. Penalisation is defined to mean any detriment to the terms and conditions of employment.

National Minimum Wage Rates for younger people

Another important change as a result of the Act is in relation to the National Minimum Wage rates for younger people

The National Minimum Wage rates have been simplified to age-based rates. Training rates will also be fully abolished and follow the amended rates below.

Category of employee Hourly rate (1/1/2019) Category of employee (from 04/03/2019) Hourly Rate (Age-related from 04/03/2019
Experienced adult worker €9.80 Experienced Adult Worker €9.80
Under 18 years €6.86 Under 18 €6.86
In the first year after the date of first employment over 18 years €7.84 Aged 18 €7.84
In the second year after the date of first employment over 18 years €8.82 Aged 19 €8.82

According to the 2018 Act, a person aged under-18 will be entitled to a rate of €6.86 per hour and €7.84 for an employee aged over 18.   Once a person turns 20, they will have to be paid the full national minimum wage of €9.80 per hour.

Need assistance ensuring that your contracts for employment are up to date and compliant?  Comment below and we’ll get back in touch with you.