You’ve moved to Dublin, settled into your new home and found a job. How can you be sure that you’re being treated fairly? Ireland’s employment law is transparent and applicable to all workplaces. Here are a few resources that will help you check that your boss is on the level.

The Workplace Relations Commission

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) is your one-stop-shop for your rights at work. It publishes a comprehensive Guide to Employment, Labour and Equality Law, which provides guidance on every aspect of industrial relations in Ireland.

However, your first port of call should be their Employment Law Explained booklet. This is an accessible outline of employment law in Ireland and will provide most people with all the information they need to navigate the labour market. All workers in Ireland are covered by employment law, with special exceptions for the Gardaí (police), the Defence Forces and people who work for their families.

Your employer’s obligations

The WRC outlines your employer’s obligations under Irish law. Your employer must:

  • only hire people who have permission to work in Ireland
  • provide you with a written statement of terms and conditions of employment
  • give you a payslip – a written statement of your pay
  • pay you a salary that is equal to or more than the statutory minimum wage rates
  • comply with the maximum working week
  • provide you with breaks and rest periods during working hours
  • give you annual leave from work
  • give you a minimum amount of notice before they terminate your employment (see table below)
  • maintain records about employees and their entitlements.

The minimum wage

Since 1 January 2018, the minimum wage in Ireland for an experienced adult employee is €9.55 per hour.

The working week

The maximum average working week is set at 48 hours in Ireland. This is calculated over four months for most workers. It is calculated over two months for night workers and six months for employees in seasonable jobs, where there is a foreseeable surge in activity. Other arrangements for calculating the working week might be agreed to in certain industries.

Breaks and rest periods

You are also entitled to rest periods during the week – 11 consecutive hours during each 24-hour period. You must receive 24 hours off per week, in addition to the 11 daily hours of rest. During the workday, you must receive 15 minutes for every four and a half hours you work, or 30 minutes for every six hours.

Annual leave

For each day that you work in Ireland, you earn time off in annual leave. Typically, you will receive four weeks of annual leave for each year that you work, unless it is a year in which you change employment. Your annual leave allowance is calculated on a proportional basis – you earn 1/3 of a working week for each calendar month or 8% of the hours that you work in a year.

Termination of employment

Your employer must give you notice before they terminate your employment. The longer you have worked with your employer, the longer the notice period should be.

Length of service Notice period
13 weeks – less than two years One week
Two years – less than five years Two weeks
Five years – less than 10 years Four weeks
10 years – less than 15 years Six weeks
More than 15 years Eight weeks

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