Temporary Changes to Redundancy Payments Act

Many businesses have been forced to lay off staff or reduce their working hours temporarily during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Current regulation

Considering the current situation, the law on claiming redundancy from your employer if you have been temporarily laid off, or temporarily put on short-time work was changed during the COVID-19 emergency period. Normally, if you are laid off or put on short-time hours, you could claim redundancy from your employer after 4 weeks or more, or 6 weeks in the last 13 weeks. Read more “Temporary Changes to Redundancy Payments Act”

Unfair dismissal- obligation to mitigate your losses

Duty on dismissed employee

A recent decision of the WRC has highlighted the strict obligation on Complainants to mitigate financial loss following the end of their employment, even where the reasons for termination are in dispute.
For example, where an individuals’ employment ends, by way of alleged unfair or constructive dismissal and they have submitted a Complaint to the WRC, they should not wait until the outcome of hearing to seek new employment.

Read more “Unfair dismissal- obligation to mitigate your losses”

When you are asked not to come to work during COVID-19 (Coronawirus)


When employee is asked not to come to work as the employer is unable to provide work for you, does not have sufficient work for everybody or is temporarily closing down or is forced to close for a period of time, such a period is called a lay-off.

Employer is allowed to lay-off employee according to the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967–2014. The regulation however provides that the believe must be that this is a temporary situation and you must be notified of the lay-off before work finishes.

Read more “When you are asked not to come to work during COVID-19 (Coronawirus)”

Constructive Dismissal- before you resign

Constructive Dismissal

Constructive dismissal arises when you terminate your contract of employment, with or without prior notice, due to the conduct of your employer. Your employer’s conduct must have been such that it would have been reasonable for you to terminate your contract without giving notice. Read more “Constructive Dismissal- before you resign”

Constructive Dismissal

Constructive dismissal arises when you terminate your contract of employment, with or without prior notice, due to the conduct of your employer. Your employer’s conduct must have been such that it would have been reasonable for you to terminate your contract without giving notice. Read more “Constructive Dismissal- before you resign”

koronawirus prawa pracownika

Employee rights during COVID-19 coronavirus

Employee rights during COVID-19 coronavirus

If you have COVID-19 or you were asked to self-isolate 

Those infected may be entitled to their wages during period of sickness if same is provided in their contract of employment. Some employment contracts provide for a certain number of weeks during calendar year wages during period of sickness (in full amount or as a part payment/ top up to Social Welfare payments). In general however there is no legal obligation to be paid during period of sickness or self-isolation when work is not performed.

Those affected or subject to self-isolation (quarantine) may apply for enhanced illness benefit which has just been introduced by Irish government. The following is the outline of most important info:

  • it applies to person diagnosed or directed to quarantine by their GP and as a result absent from their employment and not entitled to wages
  • it is paid in a higher weekly rate of €305 (standard illness benefit is currently €205)
  • it is paid for period of 14 days or during the period of sickness from those positively diagnosed
  • the current 6-day waiting period for Illness Benefit will not apply to anyone who has COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or is in medically-required self-isolation

If you need to take time off work to care for a person affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

IF you are a parent and you are unable to perform work due to the need to look after your child, Irish government asked employers to assist in such situations and to be as flexible as possible

An employee is entitled to paid leave, known as ‘force majeure leave’ to provide urgent care for an immediate family relative such as a child. Force majeure is limited to a total of three days in a 12 month period or five days in a 36 month period. In the exceptional circumstances of Covid-19 it is expected that employers will, if at all possible, facilitate people by allowing them to take the full 5 days entitlement in one block, as required.

You may also apply for parental leave. Employers were asked to be flexible and to waive the obligation to apply for same 6 weeks in advance. Parents are entitled to take up to 22 weeks unpaid parental leave to care for each child up to 12 years of age (16 years of age in the case of a child with a disability).

Parental leave is not a paid leave so you may try to make an application for supplementary welfare allowance.

If the employer does not have work or have less working hours.

Employer may decider to send employees to a forced leave known as lay-off. Irish law allows employer to do so when there is no work available which the employee may perform and there is no need to obtain employee consent. Lay-off is unfortunately unpaid leave in most cases unless payment is provided in your contract of employment. If you are sent on lay-off you should apply to Social Welfare for job-seeker’s benefit or job seeker’s allowance.

Employer may also cut a part of your weekly hours. We are of the view that cutting hours by less then half (ie. form 39 hours a week to 30 or 25 hours) requires employee consent (unlike in situation of short-time described below). We recommend in those uncertain times to put a written objection to your employer if your hours are cut in such amount and apply to Social Welfare for Short Time Work Support (you must fulfill criteria for job-seeker’s benefit and your working time shall be limited to minimum 3 days from the full time).

Employer may also put employee on sort-time which means that the working time is cut by at least half. Similarly to the lay-off it is allowed by legislation and no consent form employee is needed. You shall apply for Short Time Work Support if you are put on short-time.

If lay-off or short-time occurs, employer shall notify you of same using Form RP9. That form has information explaining your rights. In general, after expiry of 4 weeks of lay-off or short-time (or mixture of both) you may notify your employer in writing, that unless offer of full time work is made withing 7 days of receipt of your notification (and the work in fact is provided withing 4 weeks) you will be entitled to terminate your employment and be entitled to redundancy payment.

Parental leave -what’s new

The Parental (Amendment) Act 2019

Parental leave is entirely separate to maternity benefit and entitles both parents to take unpaid leave from work to spend time looking after their children. Eligible parents may avail of unpaid Parental Leave additional to their paid Maternity Leave and paid statutory Annual Leave in order to assist them in raising their young families while maintaining their employment.

Parental leave can be used in a variety of ways; a continuous period of leave, two separate blocks (must be a minimum of 6 weeks each) or if your employer consents, it may be split into working days and/or hours.

Your employer cannot refuse parental leave to an eligible parent. While you are not entitled to be paid during this leave, you are still employed and all other employment rights will stand.

The Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 introduces several changes to parental entitlements in this area. Prior to this amendment, eligible parents were entitled to 18 weeks of unpaid leave per eligible child and the leave had to be taken prior to the childs eighth birthday.

What’s new

The main changes introduced by the 2019 act which came into effect from the 1st of September 2019 are as follows;

  • Parents can now avail of 22 weeks of unpaid Parental Leave per eligible child (increased from 18 weeks).
  • The age of eligible children is increased from 8 years to 12 years, meaning the leave must can now be taken up to the date of the childs 12th

Further changes

From September 2020 the act will allow for 26 weeks of unpaid parental leave per eligible child. The increase is being introduced on a phased basis in order to allow employers to adapt to the change.

Ireland currently offers one of the lowest levels of Parental Leave in the E.U and these amendments aim to bring Ireland further in line with EU standards.


Agency workers win a case for equal back pay

With the EC Directive and its Irish implementation introduced in 2012, all agency workers were to receive the same rates of pay as the direct employees. Our clients were ensured by their agency that they will be paid back their money for the year 2012. Agency ensured them for a long time, until in August 2013, when they chose to bring their case to the employment courts.

Read more “Agency workers win a case for equal back pay”