Anyone who works for an employer with a regular wage has a contract of employment whether it is in writing or not. An employer is required under the Terms of Employment (Information) Acts 1994 – 2014 to provide an employee with a written statement of terms and conditions of employment within the first 2 months of commencement of employment.
Key things to consider
It can be a costly exercise not giving your staff contracts. The easiest way to protect your business is to give staff what they are entitled to under employment legislation.
- The penalty for not providing a written statement is compensation to the employee of up to 4 weeks salary.
- There are bigger concerns to consider. Defending claims of unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal are very difficult without written statements of terms and conditions of employment.
What should be in the statement?
- The full name of employer and employee
- The address of the employer
- The place of work
- The title of job or nature of work
- The date the employment started
- If the contract is temporary, the expected duration of the contract
- If the contract of employment is for a fixed term, the details
- Details of rest periods and breaks as required by law
- The rate of pay or method of calculation of pay
- The pay reference period for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000
- Pay intervals
- Hours of work
- That the employee has the right to ask the employer for a written statement of his/her average hourly rate of pay as provided for in the National Minimum Wage Act 2000
- Details of paid leave
- Sick pay and pension (if any)
- Period of notice to be given by employer or employee
Further things to consider
It is important to seek advice if you are implementing written statements of terms & conditions of employment for the first time. There are key steps that will ensure the successful implementation of the terms of employment, which if followed will then protect the company against claims down the line. Remember, it is vital the company adheres to its policies and procedures to avoid losing cases based on procedural fairness. Contracts should be signed and a copy kept on file. An employer must be able to prove that they have given staff a copy. Any changes to terms and conditions should be documented on file by the employer and signed by the member of staff.
If you would like to know more about putting employment contracts in place and your HR obligations as an employer contact UHY Farrelly Dawe Whites Expert HR Consultant, Áine Fox on 086 3807206.