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  • THE WORK PLACE RELATIONS ACT 2015.

    The legislation forms part of the most radical restructuring of Irish employment legislation over the last 70 years. The Workplace Relations Act 2015 provides for the following key measures:

    The establishment of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), which will see the combined functions of the Labour Relations Commission, Rights Commissioner Service, the Equality Tribunal, the Employment Appeals Tribunal and the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA). In addition to this the Labour Court will be reconfigured in order to hear appeals.
    The establishment of the Office of Director General of the WRC.

    - The establishment of the WRC Board with responsibility for strategic objectives and the annual work programme.
    - A new emphasis on early resolution, mediation & adjudication of complaints under employment & equality legislation.
    - Employees of the WRC consisting of individuals from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
    - A more transparent system for the appointment of adjudicators of the WRC and Chairman, Deputy Chairs and members of the Labour Court.
    - The appointment of additional Deputy Chairmen and Members to the Labour Court to facilitate the increased volume of complaints – in the new system.
    - A statutory basis for the use of innovative measures such as Compliance Notices and Fixed Charge Notices to enhance the compliance functions of the WRC.
    - A standardised statement of the powers of inspectors under Employment & Equality Legislation.
    - A standardised system where procedural matters across suite of Employment Rights/Employment Equality Legislation will be put in place.

    • As of the 8th March 2013, Regulations giving effect to EU Directive 2010/18/EU on Parental Leave increased the entitlement to Parental Leave from 14 week to 18 weeks. This entitlement is for each child up to the age of 8, or up to age 16 in the case of a child with a disability. In a situation where a child is adopted between the ages of 6-8, the leave may be taken up to two years from the adoption order.
      Under the Regulations, where both parents of the same child work for the same employer, they may request a transfer of the leave entitlement between each other, but this is subject to agreement by the employer.

      Another change to Parental Leave under the Regulations is that a parent returning to work from the leave can request a change in his/her working hours. Whilst the employer must consider such requests, there is no obligation to grant the change.

      Other conditions regarding Parental Leave remain as per the Parental Leave Act 1998 and the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2006. Employers should review their policy in the area in light of the new Regulations and ensure that they have a transparent system in place for the evaluation of request for revised work patterns or hours from returning employees.

    • Under the Organisation of Working Time Act, it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that all employees take their statutory annual leave entitlement within the leave year, or within 6 months of the leave year upon mutual agreement?An employer is entitled to determine when annual leave is taken, as long as one months notice is given and there has been due consideration of the employees need to reconcile work and family commitments.

    • As of 5 December, 2011, all Temporary Agency Workers are entitled to equal treatment in pay and basic working conditions as if they were directly recruited to the same job by the employer.The requirement for equal treatment is effective from day one of employment. This is despite attempts by Minister Burton to get agreement with the Social Partners for a derogation allowing for a service period to be reached before equal treatment applies.

    • Employers are required to provide employees with a statement of terms and conditions of employment (commonly a contract) within two months of joining the organisation.The Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994 lays down the specific requirement of such a statement. Employees who joined an organisation prior to June 1994 are only entitled to a contract within two months of requesting one.

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      It is now all the more important to ensure that, as an employer, you limit your exposure to potential claims by being fully compliant in your procedures. You would not run your business with proper accounts, so take the same care with HR policies and procedures. GIVE US A CALL ON 086 8588600 or SEND AN EMAIL TO info@hrcompass.ie FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

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