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28.02.2019

Employers must issue “Day 5” statements from 4th March

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 (the 2018 Act) will come into force on the 4th of March 2019. The 2018 Act introduces a number of important reforms which employers must comply with to avoid various penalties including criminal sanctions.

The “Day 5” Statement

Perhaps the most important reform for you to note is the requirement to issue a “Day 5” statement. The Day 5 statement must be issued in writing to employees within 5 days of employment commencing. Failure to provide the Day 5 statement within one month of employment commencing will be a criminal offence punishable by a €5,000 fine or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months, or both.

The five core terms of employment are:

  1. The full names of the employer and the employee;
  2. The address of the employer;
  3. The expected duration of the contract, in the case of a temporary contract, or the end date if the contract is a fixed-term contract;
  4. The rate or method of calculation of the employee’s pay;
  5. The number of hours the employer reasonably expects the employee to work per normal working day and per normal working week.

A Day 5 Statement must be issued in addition to a statement of main terms

It is important to note that employers are still required to issue all employees with a statement of main terms of employment within 2 months of employment commencing. Best practice would be to issue the five core terms in an offer letter before employment commences and then to issue the statement of main terms of employment when the employee commences employment (or at minimum within 8 weeks of employment commencing). By implementing this practice, you can ensure that your organisation remains compliant with the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 (1994 Act) as amended by the 2018 Act.

Anti-penalisation

The 2018 Act strengthens anti-penalisation provisions to protect employees who seek to exercise their rights under the 1994 Act. If an employee claims to have been penalised for asserting his/her rights under the 1994 Act, they will be entitled to make a claim in the WRC and receive an award of compensation of up to four weeks’ remuneration. This penalty is in addition to the redress the employee may receive for failure to receive their written statement of terms of employment (the maximum penalty for this offence is also four weeks’ remuneration). The total compensation an employee may receive under the 1994 Act is therefore 8 weeks’ remuneration.

Reform of Organisation of Working Time Act

The 2018 Act also makes major changes to the Organisation of Working Time Act which include a prohibition on zero hour contracts and the introduction of an employee right to request to be put in a band of hours which reflects the actual hours worked over a 12-month period.

For more information on the changes to the Organisation of Working Time Act, click here.

With new employment laws coming into force, now is an important time for you to review your employment practices.

Please contact the advice line on +353 1 886 0350 to speak with a consultant regarding the new laws or any other HR issue affecting your organisation.

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