Feb 2019

22

Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty has confirmed the new Employment Bill, which has been in the pipeline now for a number of years, will come into force on the 4th March. The Bill is being introduced to ‘improve the security of working hours for employees on insecure contracts and those working variable hours’, common in (but not exclusive to) service industries such as hospitality, tourism and retail. These industries often rely on flexibility in the employment contract and therefore the introduction of this new Bill will require them to take note.

The new Act makes certain breaches a criminal offence; where the employer does not comply with the new obligations in the Bill to provide the required information within one month, can lead to criminal prosecution. Fines on conviction could be up to €5,000 or imprisonment of up to twelve months or both. Directors, managers, secretaries or other officers of a company can be individually liable, i.e. be prosecuted individually for offences.

  • In summary, the new Act will:
  • Prohibit the use of Zero Hour contracts, save for exceptional circumstances
  • Obligate employers to notify new employees of five core terms of employment in writing within five days of commencing employment
  • Create a new entitlement to ‘Banded Hours’ contracts
  • Provide for minimum payments to employees who are required to be available to work but are not actually called to work

The Act also introduces an anti-penalisation provision whereby an employer may not penalize an employee for exercising their rights under the 1994 Terms of Employment Act. An employee who is penalized can be awarded compensation of such amounts as the WRC considers just but will not exceed four weeks remuneration.

The new Act will bring significant changes for Irish employers and employees and according to Minister Regina Doherty; the Act is a “once-in-a-generation reform of our labour market.”

 

Please visit Brightcontracts.ie for more information on the new Employment Bill which has been in the pipeline now for a number of years and is to be enacted on 4th March 2019.

 

Related Articles:

What are "banded hours"?

How to avoid PAYE Modernisation mistakes

Back to Basics - Disciplinary Steps and Sanctions

 

Thesaurus Payroll Software | BrightPay Payroll Software | Bright Contracts

Posted byJennie HusseyinBright Contracts NewsEmployment Update


Feb 2019

19

What are “banded hours”?

The Employment Act 2018 creates a new right for employees whose employment contract does not accurately reflect the reality of the hours they work on a consistent basis. After a reference period of 12 months, employees will be able to request in writing to be placed in a band of hours that better reflect their average weekly hours worked. In response, employers are obliged to place the employee in the appropriate band and should do so within four weeks of receiving the employee’s request.

The appropriate band is determined by the employer on the basis of the average number of hours worked by the employee per week during the reference period.

The appropriate bands are laid down in law as set out in the below table.

   Band A:       3 to 6 hours   
   Band B:       6 to 11 hours   
   Band C:       11 to 16 hours   
   Band D:       16 to 21 hours   
   Band E:       21 to 26 hours   
   Band F:       26 to 31 hours   
   Band G:       31 to 36 hours   
   Band H:       over 36 hours   


An employer may refuse to place an employee in a band in one of the following circumstances:

  • Where there is no evidence to support the employee’s claim
  • Where there have been significant adverse changes to the business during or after the reference period
  • Due to exceptional circumstances, an emergency or unforeseeable circumstances beyond the employer’s control
  • Where the average hours worked by the employee were affected by a temporary situation that no longer exists

In determining the 12 month reference period, a continuous period of employment immediately before the legislation is to be enacted on 4th March 2019 will be reckonable towards the 12 month reference period. Please visit Brightcontracts.ie for more information on the new Employment Bill which has been in the pipeline now for a number of years.

The Bill is being introduced to ‘improve the security of working hours for employees on insecure contracts and those working variable hours’, common in (but not exclusive to) service industries such as hospitality, tourism and retail. These industries often rely on flexibility in the employment contract and therefore the introduction of this new Bill will require them to take note.

BrightPay Payroll Software | Thesaurus Payroll Manager | Bright Contracts

Posted byJennie HusseyinEmployment ContractEmployment Update


Nov 2017

24

Premature births & maternity benefit

From 1st October 2017, the period for which Maternity Benefit is paid has been extended in cases where a baby is born prematurely. A premature birth is described as one at less than 37 weeks’ gestation. It is estimated that every year in Ireland approximately 4,500 babies are born prematurely.

Currently, under the Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004, a mother is entitled to 26 weeks’ maternity leave and 16 weeks’ unpaid leave. Maternity leave normally starts two weeks before the babies expected due date or on the date of the birth of the child should it be earlier.

Under the new amendment, where a child is born prematurely the mother’s paid maternity leave will be extended by the equivalent of the duration between the actual date of birth of the premature baby and the date when the maternity leave was expected to start. For example, where a baby is born in the 30th week of gestation the mother would have an additional entitlement of approximately 7 weeks of maternity leave and benefit i.e. from the date of birth in the 30th week to the two weeks before the expected date of confinement. This additional period will be added onto the mother’s normal entitlement to 26 weeks of maternity leave and benefit, where the mother meets the ordinary qualifying criteria.

Mothers of preterm babies are advised to contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP), email maternityben@welfare.ie, to arrange the additional payment.

Babies surviving from the earliest gestations, such as 23 weeks, can spend months in a neonatal unit in hospital, by the time a premature baby gets to go home, a mother’s maternity leave can almost be used up. This new change has been heralded as a positive step in supporting parents during a difficult time.

 

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Nov 2017

13

Maternity Leave & Benefit Extended for Mothers of Premature Babies

Paid maternity leave has been extended in cases where a baby is born prematurely.

Up until now, mothers in Ireland were entitled to 26 weeks maternity leave with 16 weeks additional unpaid leave which must be taken immediately after the end of the maternity leave.

This meant that for some mothers of premature babies, their leave could be almost used up by the time they get their baby home from hospital.

However under the new arrangements, mothers of premature babies will be entitled to an additional period of paid maternity leave.

From 1st October 2017, the period for which Maternity Benefit is paid is being extended in cases when a baby is born prematurely. The benefit will extend for the duration between the actual birth date of the premature baby to the date when the maternity leave was expected to commence. This will extend the existing 26 weeks of paid maternity leave, so that mothers of premature babies can give their children the care and attention that they need.

This change will benefit nearly 4,500 women annually.

You can view more information about Maternity Benefit on the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s website.

 

 

 

 

Thesaurus Payroll Software | BrightPay Payroll Software

Posted byCaoimhe ByrneinEmployment UpdatePayroll


Oct 2017

2

Are you ready for PAYE Modernisation?

To raise awareness about forthcoming PAYE Modernisation in 2019, Revenue has commenced its awareness campaign by releasing an information leaflet “PAYE Modernisation – Are You Ready”. 
This leaflet highlights the vital steps for new and existing employers to undertake in advance of 1st January 2019, in order to succeed in the imminent taxation system revolution.

The key idea behind PAYE Modernisation is that all communication between employer and Revenue will happen in “real time”. In order to effectively overcome the upcoming challenges, employers are being encouraged to focus on the quality and accuracy of the data they provide to Revenue.

In preparation for PAYE Modernisation, employers are advised to follow several easy steps to guarantee its overall success when it does come into effect in 2019:

  • Register as an employer (for new employers)
  • Verify the PPSN provided by employees (e.g. check it against a Public Services Card, P45 or other Revenue or DSP correspondence) and where the employee does not hold a PPSN, they should contact the DSP to apply for one.
  • Register all employees with Revenue (i.e. P45(3) or P46 where the employee has no P45). Where the new employee has not worked in Ireland before, the employee must register the employment online using the Jobs and Pension service available in myAccount. The Jobs and Pension service can also be used by employees who are changing from one employment to another. Once the employment has been registered, Revenue will issue a tax credit certificate.
  • Issue a P45 when an employee ceases employment and submit it to Revenue.
  • Ensure an up-to-date tax credit certificate has been received for each employee. The leaflet outlines the basis of tax which should be applied on the first payday of a new tax year in the event that an up-to-date tax credit certificate for that year is not received.
  • Ensure a complete PAYE, PRSI and USC record for each employee is held at the end of the tax year.

 

At Thesaurus Software & BrightPay, we have always strived to deliver excellence in customer service and professional expertise in both Irish and UK payroll. We widely welcome the upcoming PAYE changes. As Paul Byrne, director of Thesaurus Software Ltd, stated during the Revenue's public consultation process held in December 2016:


“Whatever system is adopted, it is important that it represents a step forward for all parties. We are already committed to not charging our customers for the additional development involved. In addition, we are considering making a free version of our software available for micro employers, those with one or two employees.”

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Posted byAlena AmelyanchukinEmployment UpdateNew FeaturesPAYE Modernisation


Jul 2017

19

National Minimum Wage Proposed Increase of 30c per hour

The Low Pay Commission has recommended that the National Minimum Wage be increased by 30c per hour, from €9.25 per hour to €9.55 per hour from 1st January 2018. An employee working a 40 hour week will see their gross wage increase by €12.00 a week. Since 2011 this is the fourth increase in the national minimum wage.

In the report the Low Pay Commission has published it has explained with necessary data of its recommendation of the increase, including international competitive and risks to the economy research. In The Low Pay Commission’s findings submissions from interested parties and consultations with employees and employers in relevant economic sectors had taken place.

This increase will affect around 120,000 employees, increasing their national minimum wage by 3%. 10.1% of employees were earning the National Minimum Wage or less last year according to figures published from the Central Statistics Office last April.

While Taoiseach Leo Vardakar said ‘The Government welcomes the recommendation from the Low Pay Commission to increase the National Minimum Wage by 30c to €9.55 per hour’, the Programme for Government commitment for a minimum wage of €10.50 per hour is still a few steps off.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinEmployment UpdatePAYEWages


Nov 2014

12

Join our Free Employment Law Breakfast Meetings!

Here at Thesaurus Software, we like to look after our customers. That's why we are offering FREE Employment Law Breakfast Meetings to assist our customers with some topical employment law updates. Our employment law experts will also talk attendees through how to best manage these employment law issues in the workplace.

The two hour seminar will cover a range of topics including:

  • Managing Sick Leave
  • How to handle workplace theft
  • Employee dismissal - what you need to know
  • Employment Law Update

Following positive feedback from attendees at previous seminars we have decided to run a series of similar events across Ireland. Our next breakfast meetings will be held later this month in Cork and Kilkenny, as follows:

  • Thursday 20th November: Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork
  • Thursday 27th November: Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny

At both venues, registration will take place from 8.30am - 9.00am, complimentary tea/coffee and pastries will be provided. The seminars will run from 9.00am until 11.00am.

If you would like to attend one of these events, please email Rachel@thesaurussoftware.com with your name, company name and phone number.

Book early as places are limited and booking out fast!

 

Posted byRachel HynesinEmployee ContractsEmployee HandbookEmployment UpdateEvents


Jun 2014

4

Changes to Holiday Pay Calculations

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.

BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted byLaura MurphyinAnnual LeaveContract of employmentEmployment UpdatePay/Wage


Aug 2013

30

Whistleblowing Legislation – Be Prepared

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.

Bright Contracts – Employment contracts and handbooks
BrightPay – Payroll Software

Posted byLaura MurphyinCompany handbookContract of employmentEmployment ContractEmployment Update