Cheryl Treanor, Executive, Industrial Relations and Employment Services, with CIF outlines what the new Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018, which comes into effect next week means for you and your business.
The new legislation on zero-hour contracts and precarious work will come into force on 4th March 2019. The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 will impact employers as follows:
- The enforcement of information requirements on all employers
The legislation places a new information requirement on employers as it requires employers to furnish employees with a written statement of five core terms of employment within five actual days (not business days) of their commencement of employment.
- The prohibition of “Zero Hour” Contracts
The legislation prohibits “zero hour” contracts, ensuring employment contracts for a certain number of hours of work shall be greater than zero, save in limited circumstances, such as genuine casual work where there is no mutuality of obligation, emergency circumstances or short-term relief work to cover routine absences.
- The introduction of new minimum payments
There will be new minimum payments for workers who are called into work and then sent home having worked less than 25% of their contracted hours. The worker is entitled to a minimum payment of 25% of their contracted hours or 15 hours, whichever is less, calculated at three times the national minimum hourly rate.
The minimum payments requirement will not apply where workers are placed on temporary lay-off or short -time, exceptional or emergency circumstances, or where the employee concerned would not have been available to work.
- The introduction of banded hours
The provisions on banded hours applies to workers who are contracted to work less than a full working week, including part-time workers.
The Act creates a new right for employees to request a band of contractual hours where they habitually work more than what their current contract provides. Such employees will be entitled to be placed in a band of hours that better reflects the hours they have worked over the previous twelve months.
- The enforcement of strong anti-penalisation provisions
New anti-penalisation provisions will be introduced by the legislation by way of amendments to the Organisation of Working Time Act and Terms of Employment Act protecting employees who exercise their rights under the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018.
- The introduction of sanctions that include criminalisation of employers
Employees may be awarded compensation of a maximum of four weeks’ remuneration under the amended Terms of Employment (Information) Act and up to two years’ remuneration under the amended Organisation of Working Time Act. Separately, employers may be exposed to a fine of up to €5,000 or a term of imprisonment of up to 12 months for non-compliance with the new information requirements set out above.
The Industrial Relations & Employment Services Department of the CIF have up to date template contracts of employment for members. If you require an updated contract of employment or if you have any queries on the implications of the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018, please contact the CIF Industrial Relations Department on (01) 4066000.