Minimum Notice, Dismissals etc.
The Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts, 1973 to 2001 provides that employees in continuous service with the same employer for at least 13 weeks are entitled to a minimum period of notice before the employer may dismiss them.
The period of notice to which an employee is entitled varies according to length of service as follows:
Length of Service - Minimum Notice
- Thirteen weeks to two years - One week
- Two years to five years - Two weeks
- Five years to ten years - Four weeks
- Ten years to fifteen years - Six weeks
- More than fifteen years - Eight weeks
The Acts also provide that employers are entitled to at least one week’s notice from employees who have been employed by them for thirteen weeks or more.
Notice entitlements under the contract of employment may exceed the minimum periods stipulated in this Act but any provision in a contract of employment for shorter periods of notice than the statutory minimum periods has no effect. The Acts do not, however, preclude an employer or employee from waiving their right to notice or accepting payment in lieu of notice.
The Acts do not affect the right of an employer or employee to terminate a contract of employment without notice due to the misconduct of the other party.
REDUNDANCY PAYMENTS SCHEME
The Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967-2003 impose a statutory obligation on employers to pay compensation to employees dismissed
for reasons of redundancy. This arises where an employee’s job ceases to exist and he or she is not replaced for such reasons as the financial position of the firm, because there is not enough work, the firm closes down altogether, or because of re-organisation.
The Acts basically provide as follows: -
(i) An employee with 104 weeks’ continuous service, aged between 16 and 66, and whose employment is terminated because of redundancy is entitled to a redundancy lump-sum payment.
(ii) The lump-sum redundancy payment is calculated as follows:
*two week’s pay for each year of service, and in addition one single week’s pay.
*A week’s pay is subject to a ceiling of € 600.00 a week (€31,200 per year)
(iii) The lump-sum must be paid by the employer direct to the employee.
The Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2001 provide protection for employees from being unfairly dismissed from their jobs by laying down criteria by which dismissals are judged to be unfair and by providing an adjudication system and redress for an employee whose
dismissal has been found to be unjustified.
The Acts provide that every dismissal of an employee will be presumed to have been unfair unless the employer can show substantial grounds justifying the dismissal.
In order for a dismissal to be deemed fair the employer must have had fair reasons for the dismissal and must have followed fair procedures.
Furthermore, there is a legal obligation on all employers to supply all employees, not later than 28 days after commencing employment, with written procedures that the employer will observe before dismissing an employee. These procedures are generally contained with the Disciplinary Procedure. Further information on disciplinary procedures can be found at www.brightcontracts.ie.