Irish Employment Law Developments 2023
New and upcoming developments in 2023 for employment law in Ireland

This article looks at new legislation set to change the employment law landscape in 2023. 

Topic & Legislation  Key Changes Explanation  Commencement Date 
Sick Leave

Sick Leave Act 2022 (the Act)

See William Fry article here.
 For the first time, Ireland has legislated for an entitlement to sick pay for employees generally. The Act provides a scheme of statutory sick leave by employers.
It initially entitles employees to be paid sick leave by their employer for three days (maximum) per calendar year. This is due to increase to five days in 2024, seven days in 2025 and ten days in 2026.  Currently the benefit is limited to 70% of a worker’s wage to a maximum of €110 a day.

The Act sets a minimum level of protection for low-paid employees without entitlement to company sick pay schemes. It does not apply when an employer provides a sick leave scheme that confers more favourable employee benefits.
The Act came into force on 1 January 2023. 

Protected Disclosures

Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022 (the 2022 Act). 

See William Fry article here.

 The 2022 Act requires employers to establish, operate and maintain whistleblowing reporting channels and procedures for workers to make protected disclosures. 

The deadline is on a phased basis as follows depending on employee numbers: 


  • Employers with 250 or more employees – 1 January 2023
  • Employers with 50 - 249 employees – 17 December 2023
  • Employers with less than 50 employees – not affected by the Act, unless falling under a carve-out as set out below.

However it applies immediately to certain employers regardless of employee numbers (such as certain regulated employers).

 The 2022 Act commenced on 1 January 2023.
 Gender Pay Gap (GPG) Reporting

Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2022
Employment Equality Act 1998 (Section 20A) (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2022 (the 2022 Regulations). 

See William Fry article here.

 The 2022 Regulations require organisations with 250 or more staff to select a 'relevant date' in June each year on which they will report  information relating to the following over the preceding 12-month period:

  • Mean hourly remuneration 
  • Median hourly remuneration 
  • Bonus remuneration and BIK
  • Quartile pay bank 

Employers must publish a statement outlining the reasons for the GPG and measures they will take to eliminate or narrow the GPG.

 The 2022 Regulations commenced on 3 June 2022. 

GPG Reporting began in December 2022 for companies with 250 or more employees - reducing to 150 or more in 2024 and 50 or more in 2025. 
Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions

The European Union (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022 (the Regulations). 

See William Fry article here

 The Regulations standardise certain employment practices, such as terms and conditions relating to probationary periods. Among the new provisions, an Employer must:

  • Provide an expanded list of 'Core Terms' to employees within five working days of their start date and a list of the other terms within one month. 
  • Provide notice of changes to terms and conditions of employment on the day the change(s) take effect.
  • Not restrict an employee from working for another employer outside their work schedule. This is subject to exceptions. 

Probationary periods may only last up to six months except in exceptional circumstances.  Probation may be suspended if an employee is absent from work during the probationary period on certain forms of leave, such as protected family leave. 

 The Regulations commenced on 16 December 2022.
 Work Life Balance / Remote Working 

Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 (the Bill).  

See William Fry article here.
 Provides additional statutory entitlements to parents and carers to support a better work-life balance and statutory entitlement to paid domestic violence leave. 

The Bill obligates employers to maintain a written remote work policy, and to have regard for the Code of Practice developed by the WRC when considering requests.

The Bill also contains provisions for termination of remote working arrangements, postponing/amending/curtailing the arrangement, and anti-penalisation provisions. 
The Bill is currently before the Seanad.

Enactment is expected later IN 2023. 
 Flexible Working

Right to Flexible Work Bill 2022 (the 2022 Bill) 

See William Fry article here.

 The 2022 Bill provides employees with a right to flexible work. It requires employers to:

  • Respond to a request for flexible work within a fixed period
  • Maintain a policy on flexible work
  • Give reasons for refusal and right of appeal

The 2022 Bill is currently before Seanad Eireann (2nd Stage), and will likely be enacted toward the end of 2023.


Code of Practice to be published by the WRC.


Central Bank (Individual Accountability Framework) Bill 2022 (the IAF Bill).  

See William Fry's dedicated Individual Accountability & SEAR webpage here.
 The IAF Bill provides new regulation-making power for the Central Bank to strengthen and enhance individual accountability in the financial services sector. 

The IAF Bill will implement SEAR (the Senior Executive Accountability Regime). SEAR places obligations on senior individuals in the financial services sector designed to promote greater transparency and facilitates holding these individuals to account. 
 The IAF Bill is progressing through the Houses of the Oireachtas and has cleared all stages in Dáil Eireann.

Enactment expected later in 2023. 


Contributed by Lisa Shannon

Key Contacts

Jeffrey Greene Partner

Lisa Shannon Senior Associate

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