Employment Bill Passes Both Houses of the Oireachtas

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Employment Bill Passes Both Houses of the Oireachtas

Groundbreaking reform will commence in early March 2019 and profoundly improve the security and predictability of working hours for employees on insecure contracts

Wednesday, 19 December 2018: The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill was today passed by both houses of the Oireachtas and will now be presented to the President for his signature. Commencing in the first week of March 2019, the Bill seeks to address the challenges thrown up by the increased casualisation of work and to strengthen the regulation of precarious employment.

Hailing the Bill as is one of the most significant pieces of employment legislation in a generation, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D. today said:

“I am delighted that we have managed to clear this Bill through the Oireachtas before the end of the year and I would like to thank the politicians of all parties who have supported its passage.  This is one of the most significant changes to working conditions in a generation and, crucially, will improve the security and predictability of working hours for employees on insecure contracts and those working variable hours. In a changing world, this reform ensures that the legal protections for all workers will match the conditions experienced by a modern workforce and make a real difference in the lives of thousands of workers.”

The main provisions of the Bill are as follows:

  • Employers must give employees basic terms of employment within five days;
  • Prohibits zero hour contracts except in situations of genuine casual employment and where they are essential to allow employers to provide cover in emergency situations or to cover short-term absence;
  • A new minimum payment for employees called in to work but sent home again without work;
  • Banded Hours provisions: a new right for employees whose contract of employment does not reflect the reality of the hours they habitually work whereby they will be entitled to be placed in a band of hours that better reflects the hours they have worked over a 12 month reference period;
  • Anti-penalisation provisions: The Bill provides strong anti-penalisation provisions for employees who invoke their rights under this legislation.

To assist and inform employees who will benefit from this legislation, as well as employers who need to be made aware of its provisions, the Minister has stated that her Department will work closely with the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in the provision of information about the changes being introduced in the Bill, ahead of commencement.

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

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Last modified:19/12/2018