Key development

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 (the Act) was signed into law on 25 December last.

The Act imposes significant new obligations on employers and provides for enhanced rights and protections for employees. The purpose of this alerter is to flag a key change which employers need to be aware of. When the Act commences (no later than the first week in March) employers will have to provide employees with a statement of 5 core terms of employment in writing within 5 days of starting employment.

Previous position

Currently under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994- 2014 employers must furnish to employees a written statement containing 15 core terms of employment within 2 months of commencing employment. Failure to do so may result in an employee bringing a claim before the Workplace Relations Commission (the WRC).

New Statement of Core Terms

Employers will be required to notify employees within 5 days of 5 core or basic terms of employment. 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.

If an employee has been employed for 1 month and an employer fails to furnish the statement of core terms within this timeframe, 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. Offences are tried summarily and fines on conviction are subject to a Class A fine (ie a fine not exceeding €5,000).

The Act also provides anti penalisation provisions whereby an employer may not penalise an employee for exercising their rights under the 1994 Act.

Impact

The requirement to furnish a statement of terms within such a short time frame is onerous from an administration and compliance perspective. Employers should review their HR, payroll and other systems to ensure they are in a position to comply with the new 5-day requirement as soon as the Act commences.