Changes to Zero Hour Contracts

Changes to Zero Hour Contracts

On May 2nd 2017 the Irish Government approved draft legislative proposals brought forward by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, and the Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen, in response to the commitment in the Programme for Government to address problems caused by the increased casualization of work and to strengthen the regulation of precarious work.
The draft proposals, which address zero hour contracts, low hour contracts, banded hours and related matters, are targeted at low-paid workers in particular.
The proposals include an amendment to the Organisation of Working Time Act which will prohibit zero hour contracts in most circumstances.
The zero hour contract has been a controversial topic in Ireland over the last number of years. Employees often feel unhappy with their uncertainty as to hours they will work in the coming weeks. A recent survey conducted by the CIPD states how 46% of employees on zero-hour contracts have had shifts cancelled at very short notice.
The Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen TD, said that “Developing policy proposals on employment rights is a complex matter. A balance needs to be found between protecting the rights of employees and avoiding unintended consequences on business, particularly small and medium-sized businesses.”
Currently, 15 terms of employment are required to be given by employers to employees within two months. Instead, it is proposed that employers must inform employees in writing, within 5 days of commencement of employment, of the following 5 core terms of employment:
  • The full name of the employer and employee
  • The address of the employer
  • The expected duration of the contract (where the contract is temporary or (fixed-term)
  • The rate of method of calculating pay, and
  • What the employer reasonably expects the normal length of the employee’s working day and week will be
The draft legislation will now be referred to the Office of the Attorney General for priority drafting of a Bill.
If you have any questions in relation to Zero Hour Contracts, please call us on 01 886 0350

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Latest Resources

Notice periods: an employer’s guide

First published: April 26th, 2021Last updated: March 27th, 2023 Businesses are constantly having to adjust their workforce planning. Whether it’s employees looking for different career […]

Recruiting and retaining talented employees

Recruiting and retaining
First published: March 20th 2023 Last updated: March 20th 2023 In the current tight labour market conditions, attracting and retaining top talent is more critical […]

How to handle an employee appeal

handle employee appeal
First published: March 10th 2023 Last updated: March 10th 2023 Managing a disciplinary issue is a difficult scenario for an employer to handle. Even when […]

Olga Shevchenko

Director/Advocate, Immigration Advice Bureau

Olga Shevchenko specialises in immigration advocacy and consultancy, in particular, employment permit, visas, family reunification, citizenship, etc, for those seeking to visit, reside or invest in Ireland.

Olga provides extensive information, knowledge, and support to her clients, enabling access to positive solutions for people struggling to handle the immigration law.

Minister Neale Richmond

Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Neale Richmond TD was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with special responsibility for Employment Affairs and Retail Business and the Department of Social Protection in January 2023.

Much of his work at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is with businesses, workers, their representative bodies and the State Agencies to ensure that the economic recovery and growth extends to all parts of the country. He works closely with the SME sector, including retail, on building resilience and on the transition to the green and digital economies.

Mark Carpenter

Director of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Sky

Mark Carpenter is Director of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs at Sky Ireland. In this role he has responsibility for External and Internal Communications, Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs and the company’s ‘Bigger Picture’ (CSR) programme. He also works closely with Sky Group teams on a variety of matters, in particular our partnerships with domestic broadcasters.

Prior to working at Sky, Mark worked as a Policy Officer in Houses of the Oireachtas and as a Management Consultant at Accenture. He has a BA in History from Oxford University and a PhD in Political Science from Trinity College Dublin.

Nora Cashe

Litigation and Compliance Manager, Peninsula

Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

Nora has extensive experience representing clients at Employment Tribunal hearings, Conciliation / Mediation meetings before both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. 

Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

Deiric McCann

Managing Director, Genos International Europe

Deiric McCann leads Genos International Europe – The EU division of a world-leading provider of emotional intelligence solutions. 

With over two decades experience at the highest levels of management, Deiric supports clients to develop the resilience, emotional intelligence, psychological safety and engagements of their employees.

Rhiannon Coyne

Senior HR Consultant, Graphite HRM

Rhiannon Coyne is a Senior HR Consultant at Graphite HRM and will be providing an overview of best practice on how to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 

With a number of recent updates to employment laws, Rhiannon will take a closer look at employment equality and how it is interlinked to Health & Safety and what employers can learn from recent case laws.

David Begg

Chairman, Workplace Relations Commission

David Begg was appointed Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in January 2021.

David is also a professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences. Mr Begg’s extensive history in the trade union movement included leading the ESB Officers Association and Irish Congress of Trade Unions, stepping away from the latter in 2001 to chair international aid agency Concern.

David Begg was also previously a director of the Central Bank of Ireland between 1995 and 2010.