It is important to seek the best possible legal advice in relation to your employment rights either as an employee or an employer. The most common areas of employment rights in Ireland are unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and bullying or harassment at work.
Unfair dismissal can occur where an employee has been dismissed unfairly, i.e. for no reason, and/or without fair notice, and/or without a hearing or right of appeal. Unfair dismissal can also occur where an employee is unfairly selected for redundancy. When an employee’s work conditions are so intolerable that he/she must terminate his/her employment, this can give rise to a claim for constructive dismissal which is another form of unfair dismissal.
Bullying & Sexual Harassment at Work
Harassment at work can take many forms, both verbal and non-verbal, both physical and psychological. An employer has a duty to investigate all claims of bullying & harassment at work and must deal with all such claims using fair procedures in accordance with the employer’s grievance & disciplinary procedures.
Equality & Discrimination at Work issues
The law protects all employees from discrimination at work on grounds of gender, ethnicity, nationality, disability or sexual orientation. Employers must ensure that the workplace is free from discrimination.
Data protection requests and issues
Employers must protect all personal data of their employees and customers. They must also deal promptly with any data access requests.
Employment Contracts and Terms of Employment
Berwick Solicitors strongly advise both employers and employees to have written terms of employment in place as it prevents confusion as to rights and duties of both parties in their employment relationship.
Working Time Regulations
There are strict legal limits to the amount of hours that an employee can work on a weekly basis. These regulations also set out the various minimum rest breaks that an employee must be given. Allowances in terms of pay must also be made where an employee works on Sundays and on public holidays.
Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures
It is essential that a clear, written and comprehensive disciplinary and grievance procedure be put in place to provide an employee with all the necessary information where he/she has a grievance in their employment or where they face disciplinary action in respect of their employment. Failure to either have such procedures in place or failure to follow such procedures if in place can give rise to a claim for unfair dismissal.
Payment of Wages
Employees are entitled to a pay slip and to be paid extra wages for working overtime or on public holidays or Sundays. The Payment of Wages Act 1991 allows for a claim to be made to the Rights Commissioner where an employer has failed to pay overtime or to pay normal wages.
Redundancy and re-organizations
Where an employee is made redundant, he/she is entitled to be paid two weeks’ salary for every year of service plus one week’s pay on top of that sum. There are very strict rules for making someone redundant and employers should seek advice before embarking on a redundancy process to avoid unnecessary claims for unfair selection for redundancy being made. If an employee has been selected unfairly for redundancy, then a claim for unfair dismissal can arise.
Transfer of Undertakings
Where one company or business is taken over by or merged with another company, the employees of that company are entitled to have their rights, entitlements and accrued service carried forward in to the new company.
Restrictive covenants and confidentiality clauses
Most employment contracts now have clauses requiring employees to maintain confidentiality and preventing an employee from moving to a competitor within a specific geographical area and within a specific period of time. There is a huge amount of case law on this area as there a quite a number of exceptions in respect of confidentiality and restrictive covenant clauses.
Trade Union law and collective issues
Employees are entitled to have union representation and conversely, employees also have the right to not be a member of a union.
Health & Safety in the Workplace
There is a very large body of legislation and regulations governing the health and safety of employees.
We have considerable experience in advising employers on how to set up proper employment contracts and disciplinary & grievance procedures which, if drafted and implemented properly, will minimize employee claims and unfair dismissal cases. We also represent employers in cases before the Workplace Relations Commission, the District Court, the Circuit Court and the High Court.
If you are looking for advice on an Employment Law matter consult Berwick Solicitors.
- Employment law Solicitors Dublin and Galway
- Employment rights Ireland
- Contract of employment
- Unfair dismissal cases