As busy employers it can be difficult to keep up-to-date with the constant changes in employment law.
Bright Contracts by Thesaurus Software is hosting a free employment law webinar on Thursday 22nd February. Our employment law experts will discuss what is new in employment law, recent Workplace Relations Commission cases and have a look at the most frequently asked questions that come through our support line.
If you are unable to attend the webinar at the specified time, simply register and we will send you the recording afterwards.
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Thesaurus Software had an interesting morning yesterday as we had our first Employment Law breakfast meeting. We met with a number of our customers at the Pillo Hotel in Ashbourne for a two hour employment law seminar.
The morning had a particular emphasis on our HR software Bright Contracts and the importance of having employment contracts and employee handbooks in the workplace. The topics under discussion throughout the morning included:
• Managing sick leave
• How to handle workplace theft
• Employee dismissal - what you need to know
• Employment law update: The Whistleblowing Bill and The Workplace Relations Bill
We were delighted with the turnout for the event and really enjoyed meeting our customers and answering their queries. With the morning being a great success, we are starting to plan more breakfast meetings in various locations across Ireland.
As we enter the summer holiday season employers need to ensure that they are paying their employees correctly during annual leave.
A recent decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will impact how some annual leave pay is calculated.
Do you pay employee’s commission? Is the commission calculated based on the amount of sales made or actual work carried out? If yes, according to the ECJ, holiday pay should include commission pay.
The decision was made in the case of Locke v British Gas Trading and Others. Locke was a Sales Representative whose commission made up approximately 60% of his remuneration. After taking two weeks leave in 2011, Locke suffered financially as he was unable to generate sales for the period he was on annual leave.
The ECJ ruled that the purpose of annual leave is to allow a worker to enjoy a period of rest and relaxation with sufficient pay. By not including commission payments with holiday pay, employees are less likely to take annual leave so as to avoid financial hardship.
It has been left to the national courts to determine how to calculate the commission to which a worker is entitled, however the court did suggest that taking an average amount of commission earned over a certain period, e.g. the previous 12 months.
Employers are advised to review their commission policies to establish which, if any, payments need to be included in annual leave pay.
CPA Ireland held their Practitioners Conference in Carton House Friday 20th & Saturday 21st September 2013. Laura Murphy and Audrey Mooney from Thesaurus Software attended the conference. Laura and Audrey enjoyed meeting existing Thesaurus Payroll Manger and Solutions Plus customers – getting their feedback and comments.
It was also an opportunity to show Bright Contracts and our new payroll product BrightPay.
This July the Government published the Protected Disclosures Bill 2013, commonly known as the “Whistleblowing Bill”. The aim of the bill is to combat corruption and promote a culture of public accountability and transparency. The Bill encourages workers to disclose information relating to wrongdoing in the workplace by offering protection against penalisation should they make a protected disclosure / blow the whistle.
When the Bill is enacted, likely to be later this Autumn, a whistleblower’s protection will include protection from dismissal or any form of penalisation by their employer. If an employee is found to have been dismissed unfairly for having made a protected disclosure, employers could be faced with compensation payments of up to 5 years remuneration. The usual service level of 1 year for cases of unfair dismissal will not apply to Whistleblowing cases.
In preparation of this new legislation, employers are advised to start reviewing their internal policies and procedures and to start considering establishing a robust whistleblowing policy to suit their business. Should you require assistance, Bright Contracts will be providing template policies and guidance on how deal with whistleblowing complaints.
Below you will find a handy employer’s checklist for a NERA (National Employment Rights Authority) inspection:
1. Do you have your employer’s registration number with the Revenue Commissioners?
2. Have you a list of all your employees together with their PPS numbers and addresses?
3. Have you the dates of commencement of employment for all employees? (And dates of termination if applicable?)
5. Have you the employees’ job classification?
6. Have you a record of their annual leave and public holidays taken by each employee?
7. Have you a record of hours worked for all employees?
8. Have you a record of all payroll details?
9. Can you prove that you provide your employees with a written statement of pay?
10. Have you a record or register of all employees under the age of 18?
11. Have you employment permits where applicable?
12. Have you filled out the template letter details that you will receive from NERA advising you of the inspection?
The National Minimum Wage Act, 2000 states that the NMW is €8.65 per hour, there are some exceptions to this.
Where employees are under the age of 18 or within the first 2 years after the date of their first employment over the age of 18, the rate is €6.06 per hour
In the first 2 years after the date of first employment over the age of 18, the rate is €6.92 per hour in the first year and €7.79 per hour in the second year
Where a trainee is doing a course which complies with S.I. No. 99 of 2000 for the 1st one third of the period the rate is €6.49 per hour, the 2nd one third the rate is €6.92 per hour, and the 3rd one third the rate is €7.79 per hour.
S.I. No 99 of 2000 is the Statutory Instrument which forms part of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000
For the protection of both employees and employers a Contract of Employment, which is now a legal requirement, should be given to each employee as this will state clearly what is expected of both sides and will minimise or hopefully prevent issues arising that lead to ill feeling or disputes in the workplace.