The National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) has published its latest quarterly update which covers developments to September 2010. The bulletin notes that NERA remains an important source of information for both employees and employers with over one million web pages visited by more than 220,000 visitors in the period January to September 2010. The most popular guides downloaded from their website were as follows:

  1. Holidays and public holidays - Organisation of Working Time Act 1997
  2. Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001
  3. Organisation of Working Time Act 1997
  4. Payment of Wages Act 1991
  5. Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 – 2007

NERA conducts targeted sectoral campaigns on an ongoing basis. The September edition notes that in the coming months it will be targeting domestic workers i.e. those persons employed in private residences on domestic or other duties. NERA will be carrying out inspections in this area of employment and seeking to assess the level of compliance with employment legislation in this sector.

To the end of September 2010, NERA inspectors carried out inspections of some 3,903 employers and recovered €742,848 in unpaid wages due to employees.

NERA is operating on an interim basis and will continue to do so pending enactment of the Employment Law Compliance Bill 2008. The impending demise of the current government and the issue of its successor raise a question however over the survival of the Bill. In such circumstances the future of NERA itself may also be up for consideration. The Department of Enterprise Trade and Innovation (DETI) may have to consider proposals for the future viability of NERA as set out in the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (the McCarthy Report). The Report recommended that the inspectorate division of NERA would merge with the Health and Safety Authority to form one workplace inspectorate.

We will monitor any developments in this area and bring details of updates when they become available.