KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2017
The potential implications of Brexit
Following the UK’s vote in favour of Brexit, it is unclear what impact this will have on the free movement of workers as between the UK and Ireland, employment permits and whether it will result in changes to employment legislation.
Increase in the National Minimum Wage – move towards a living wage
Following an increase in 2016 of 50 cents from €8.65 to €9.15, the government has announced its intention to increase the statutory minimum wage to €9.25 per hour.
Data Protection – preparation for the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation
The General Data Protection Regulation came into force on 25 May 2016 and introduces substantial changes in the area of data protection and severe sanctions for non-compliance. It will apply in all EU Member States from 25 May 2018.
Religion, dress codes and the workplace
A recent ECJ decision has found that it was not direct discrimination to ban headscarves but it was capable of constituting indirect discrimination, therefore, the debate will continue in 2017.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2016
Changes to laws in relation to retirement and equality laws
The Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 continues to allow employers to set compulsory retirement ages but only if they are ‘objectively and reasonably justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary’. In addition, the Act brings in restrictions to derogations from equality laws for religious run education, medical and religious institutions
The Government announced its intention to introduce a Family Leave Bill
The Government announced its intention to introduce a Family Leave Bill, which will consolidate in one legislative enactment current legislative provisions regarding maternity, adoptive, parental, and caregiver’s leave.
New paternity leave right for parents
The commencement of the long awaited Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 which now provides for two weeks’ paternity leave for all “relevant parents”.
With thanks to Michael Kennedy of Byrne Wallace for his invaluable collaboration on this update.