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Employment & Benefits 12 Days of Christmas - Casual Employees

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In today’s article we look at an employment law wolf in a sheep’s clothing that will change employers’ contractual relations with certain types of casual worker.

Transparent and predictable working conditions

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 (“the 2018 Act”), which came into force on 4 March 2019, may have a non-descript name but arguably it has made the most significant changes to Irish employment law this year.  The 2018 Act seeks to improve the situation of casual workers and to increase the predictability of their work by making several amendments to existing legislation.  Three of the most notable changes are as follows:

  1. Employees may request a contract that better reflects the hours that they have actually worked over the preceding 12 months.
  2. Employers must provide employees with a written statement of core terms within the first 5 days of their employment.
  3. An employer must compensate an employee if it requires that person to be available and ready to work but does not provide them with work. 

If you want to know more about these rights or the other changes to the law that were made by the 2018 Act, you can read our articles on the subject by clicking here and here.

The 2018 Act signals further changes to the law that will be required to implement the European Union’s directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions, which was adopted in June 2019 (“the Directive”).  The final date for implementing these changes is 1 August 2022.  Some of the key measures in the Directive include the following:

  1. Employers will be required to supply additional information to employees about their engagement, including details of any terms relating to unpredictable working patterns e.g. how much notice the employer must give to the employee of a work assignment or its cancellation.
  2. A 6-month limit on the length of probationary periods.
  3. Restricting the use of clauses preventing an employee from working for another employer

Making Irish employment law compliant with the Directive means that the government will have to tweak what are already complex legislative provisions.  We will bring you news on how the Directive will be implemented when this becomes available.


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