Employers are legally obliged to provide workers with a written statement of the employment agreement between the two parties (the contract) within two months of the employee commencing employment.
Have you heard of NERA?
The National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) delivers unprejudiced information on employment rights legislation to employers and employees in Ireland. NERA is charged with monitoring the employment rights of employees within the country. NERA inspectors perform various checks around the country and investigate suspected breaches of employment rights – it is important to bear in mind that a significant number of these inspection are unannounced. If NERA finds that an employer is not complying with employment rights legislation inspectors will seek reparation from the employer on behalf of the employee. In certain circumstances prosecutions against the employer may result.
NERA has the power to chase awards made by the Labour Court, the Rights Commissioner or the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
In order to pass a NERA inspection; employers must have provided their employees with clarity on the terms and conditions of their employment. The contract should explain the relationship between the employer and employee and should not leave any room for misinterpretation or confusion.
A contract outlines the requirements of the position and conditions the person must work against. In the event of poor performance the employer can refer to the contract and all conditions contained therein, and manage the employee against such conditions.
Having a contract in place will offer protection to the company in the event of a dispute or issue arising. This document will safeguard the company in the event of employee litigation or labour court hearings.
Items that must be included in the written terms of employment are:
•Full name of employer
•Full name of employee
•The address of the employer
•The place of work (if there is no permanent place of work, a statement specifying that the employee is required or permitted to work at various places)
•Appointment/job role – The title or description of the job or the nature of the work for which the employee is employed
•The date of commencement of the contract
•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, the method of calculation and the frequency of payment (this clause should also include provisions on any permissible deductions in accordance with the Payment of Wages Act, 1991
•The period of notice required from each party to terminate the contract
•The terms and conditions applicable to sick pay, if any
•The terms and conditions applicable to pension schemes, if any
•The terms and conditions relating to paid leave if any
•The terms or conditions relating to hours of work, including overtime
•Reference should be made to any collective agreement affecting the terms of the contract, whether or not the employer is a party to the agreement, including information about the institutions or organisations which drew up any Collective Agreement which affects the terms of the contract to which the employer is not a party.
An Employee Working Abroad is also entitled to details of the following:
•The period of employment outside the State
•The currency in which they will be paid
•Any other benefits-in-kind or cash that will be provided
•The terms and conditions applicable on the employee’s return home
Here are examples of some further terms and conditions of employment that are not required by law but are highly recommended:
•Probationary Period and Probation Policy
•Hours of work / additional hours / overtime / shift liability / weekend liability / night work liability / public holiday liability
•Performance related bonuses
•Holidays, public holidays, all other forms of leave
•Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures
•Phone and Mobile Phone Usage
•Right to Inspect / Search
•Drugs & Alcohol Policy / Right to Test for Intoxicants
•Company Rules and Regulations
•Bullying and Harassment / Respect and Dignity at Work
•Internet, Email & Social Media Usage
•Use of Company Vehicles
•Suspension without pay
•Break and rest periods / exemption provision for employer for recording breaks
•Return of company property