2019 Changes to Employer Obligations

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 comes into force in just three weeks, on 4 March 2019.

Prohibiting the use of Zero Hour contracts and upping employer obligations, the bill is intended to improve security for those workers with variable hours. Failure to comply with the terms of the new bill might result in fines of up to €5,000, and/or up to 12 months of imprisonment – so it’s imperative for employers to take note, and be aware of the new rules.

As well as prohibiting the use of Zero Hour contracts (except in certain circumstances), creating a new entitlement to ‘Banded Hour’ contracts, and providing minimum payments to employees ‘on call’ but not actually called in to work, the new bill introduces the ‘Day 5’ statement. What this means is that, within five days of somebody commencing employment, the employer must notify the new employee in writing of the following:

  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.

As such, the Act introduces two new offences relating to this ‘Day 5’ statement:

  • An employer who, without reasonable cause, fails to provide an employee with the Day 5 statement within one month of commencement of employment will be guilty of an offence.
  • An employer who deliberately or recklessly provides false or misleading information as part of the Day 5 statement will be guilty of an offence.

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