Sunday, 8th December 2019

Contracts of Employment

ECJ may find that obesity is a disability – Employers beware.

ObesityLast Thursday, 12th June, the European Court of Justice heard a landmark discrimination case that was brought by Karsten Kaltoft of Denmark. Mr. Kaltoft alleges that he was discriminated against when he was dismissed by his employer because of his weight (approximately 25 stone). The case is the first of its kind to be referred to the EU and could have extensive consequences.

The Danish man was employed by his local authority – Billund local authority - as a child-minder. Kaltoft claims that his weight did not affect his ability to perform his child-minding duties; however, the Court heard that he was unable to do tasks like tying a child’s shoe laces without a colleague’s help.

The question that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) must consider is whether Mr Kaltoft’s obesity falls within the classification of a “disability” under EU law.

The Court’s decision, which is expected in a few weeks, will alter the EU’s Directive on Employment Equality which outlaws discrimination on disability grounds.

The Court’s decision will be binding across all EU member states, including Ireland.

If Kaltoft is successful in his arguments, obesity will be redefined so as to be categorised as a disability.


The USA has already seen several individual workers receive compensation from their former employers as a result of being dismissed due to their obese status.

Until now, the UK courts have rejected obesity as a disability in its own right; however, if the ECJ finds that Mr. Kaltoft was, in fact, unfairly dismissed, employers throughout Europe will be bound by the ECJ ruling and will be forced to treat obesity as a disability going forward. Such a decision would, in future, force employers to make ‘reasonable’ adjustments - for instance, they may have to provide preferential access to parking (as is currently the case for disabled drivers). The ECJ ruling could also restrict employers from rejecting job candidates because of their weight.

According to a 2011 Oireachtas Library & Research Service report, ‘Obesity – a growing problem’, a staggering 61% of adults in Ireland are overweight or obese.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated based on a person’s weight and height. Anyone with a BMI of 30 or more is classed as clinically obese.

Employers must pay attention to the ECJ decision in the Kaltoft obesity case as it may establish a precedent across all EU member states which could have major implications for employers.

Read More »

Employing Young People – Under 18s Register

Under 18 RegisterThe Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996 is designed to protect the health of young workers and places restrictions on their employment. The basis for this is to guarantee the protection of young people and to ensure the workload assumed is not jeopardising their education.

The law sets minimum age limits for employment. It also sets rest intervals and maximum working hours, and prohibits employees under the age of 18 from working late at night. Employers must also keep specified records for those workers who are under the age of 18.

During a National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) assessment the inspector will request access to the company’s register of employees under the age of 18 (if the company employs workers in this category). 


There are strict rules that employers must adhere to when employing those under the age of 18.

According to the Act employers cannot employ children under the age of 16 in regular full-time jobs. 

Children aged 14 and 15 may be employed on a controlled basis.

Some rules to pay attention to:

•They can do light work during the school holidays – 21 days off must be given during this period.

•They can be employed as part of an approved work experience or educational programme where the work is not harmful to their health, safety or development.

•They can be employed in film, cultural/advertising work or sport under licences issued by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

•Children aged 15 may do a maximum of 8 hours of light work per week during the school term. The maximum working week for children outside of the school term is 35 hours (or up to 40 hours if they are on approved work experience).

•The maximum working week for children aged 16 and 17 is 40 hours with a maximum of 8 hours per day.

 Under 18s

There are many obligations on the employer when he or she employs a young person – here is a list of some of the items that employers must be vigilant of:

An employer must be provided with a copy of the young person’s birth certificate (or other documentation proving age) prior to the commencement of employment.

Break rules are: 30 minutes break after working 4.5 hours

Before employing a child an employer must obtain the written permission of the parent or guardian of the child.

An employer must maintain a register of employees under 18 containing the following information:

•The full name of the young person or child

•The date of birth of the young person or child

•The time the young person or child commences work each day

•The time the young person or child finishes work each day

•The rate of wages or salary paid to the young person or child for his or her normal working hours each day, week, month or year, as the case may be, and

•The total amount paid to each young person or child by way of wages or salary

Download your copy of our Under 18s Register here:


Under 18s Register


An employer and parent/guardian who fails to comply with the provisions of the Act shall be guilty of an offence. 

Some other notable rules the employer must adhere to when employing a young person or child are as follows:

•The employer is obliged to ensure that the young person receives a minimum rest period of 12 consecutive hours in each period of 24 hours.

•The employer is obliged to ensure that the young person receives a minimum rest period of 2 days which shall, where possible, be consecutive, in any 7 day period.

•The employer cannot require or permit the young person to do work for any period without a break of at least 30 consecutive minutes.

For a comprehensive guide to employer responsibilities and the rules and regulations governing the employment of young workers please refer to the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996

You must give employees a copy of the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act

docs/Protection of Young Persons Employment Act 1996.pdf


Under 18 Employees

The national minimum wage for an experienced adult employee is €8.65 per hour.  An experienced adult employee for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act is an employee who has an employment of any kind in any 2 years since the age of 18.

The Act also provides the following sub-minimum rates;  

    • An employee who is under 18 is entitled to €6.06 per hour (this is 70% of the minimum wage)
    • An employee who is in the first year of employment since the age of 18 is entitled to €6.92 per hour (80% of minimum wage)
    • An employee who is in the second year of employment since the date of first employment over the age of 18 is entitled to €7.79 per hour (90% of the minimum wage)


Read More »

Advice for Employers during World Cup 2014

World Cup - Employment IssuesAs  I am sure you are aware, World Cup 2014 is starting today and we want to ensure that you are prepared as an employer, in the event that employee issues arise as a result of this tournament, particularly attendance at work during games and on the day following games.

The World Cup is commencing today, 12th June, and runs until 13th July. Employees should have requested this time off by now or in the coming days if they wish to take annual leave during this time for matches.

The main issues that could arise as a result of World Cup 2014, for employers, is that employees will be seeking additional time off either as annual leave or unscheduled time off. Unauthorised absence/increased sick leave may also be an issue for employers. Most games will be in the evening time - those employers who have evening/night shifts will need to be particularly prepared and pre-empt absence.

You as an employer, will first need to establish what your policy is to be during this period. Once you have decided the stance you wish to take with employees during this period, you will need to ensure this policy is clearly outlined to employees in the coming days to ensure they are clear about what is expected of them.

Sick Leave resized 600


In deciding what you want to enforce for employees, you should pay attention to the following:

  • Inform employees that, if they wish to take time off, they must apply for annual leave immediately - and let them know that it will be on a first come, first served basis

  • Perhaps give staff the opportunity to swap shifts with colleagues who may not be interested in the matches - ensure all shifts are adequately covered.

  • Be mindful of your employees who are not football lovers and do not want to take any time off during these games. Ensure there is fair treatment between all staff and ensure football fans are not getting special treatment and additional time off over those who do not follow the game.

  • Make it clear that all employees are expected to be in work as normal, unless they have requested time off etc., during World Cup 2014. Outline that you expect productivity and attendance etc., to remain as it is currently.

  • You could outline that for any absences during this time (within reason), due to illness; employees are required to provide a medical certificate upon their return.

  • Employees may also arrive to work still under the influence of alcohol. If this is discovered, you need to act fast. Send the employee to the company doctor immediately to be checked by the doctor to establish if the employee is under the influence of alcohol. If the employee is found to be under the influence he/she should be sent home.  It may be time to engage a disciplinary process with the employee at this stage.

  • If applicable, you may consider screening the games in house as a goodwill gesture to employees.  

    • Be mindful if there are a number of matches on, you will need to allow employees have their say on which match is shown..

  • Employees may attempt to stream matches online on work computers, the company’s internet usage policy should be outlined to employees and the company’s expectations also outlined to employees here.

The key to avoiding any issues during World Cup 2014 is to make sure you clearly outline to staff (in advance), what is expected of them and that absences etc., will not be tolerated.

The above advice is courtesy of Lorraine Byrne, Senior Account Manager at The HR Company.

Read More »

Loss of Twilight Hours Premium – UNITE Secures Compensation from HSE

Evening ShiftA dispute arose recently between HSE South – Waterford Regional Hospital and UNITE Trade Union over the payment of a “Twilight Hours” premium.

The evening shift for 22 Catering Attendants employed by the HSE in Waterford Regional Hospital was Outsourced to Agency Workers and, resulting from this, as of the 28th April 2013, the Twilight Hours premium ceased to be paid.

Management’s opinion was that it was unreasonable to expect payment for a shift that was no longer worked by the Catering Attendants, however, UNITE argued that, in accordance with Section 8: Service Delivery Options of the Public Service Agreement (PSA), their members should continue to receive the payment.

As the dispute could not be resolved at local level, it became the subject of a Conciliation Conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. Agreement was not reached at this stage and, on 18th June 2013, the case was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.

Standard HR Services from The HR Company


A Labour Court Hearing took place on 15th April, 2014 where UNITE argued that the workers suffered reduced wages due to the outsourcing of the evening shift even though the PSA stated that such procurement would not result in a worsening of pay rates for employees.

The Union also argued that the payment should have continued on a personal-to-holder basis or, at the very least, compensation, calculated on the actual loss over a 12 month period beginning on the 29th April 2013, should be paid as per the PSA.

The HSE argued that it was forced to consider outsourcing as an option because the level of Catering Staff had diminished considerably and there was no alternative to this. The Employer argued that the decision was not taken lightly and its view was that the move did not worsen rates of pay as the “Twilight Hours” payment was a premium payment and the basic pay for the Catering Employees was not affected by the HSE’s decision to outsource the evening shift.



Management’s view was that the Haddington Road Agreement took precedence over the PSA and that compensation for loss of earnings should be paid to the employees for the 2 months from 29th April (when the payment ceased) to 1st July 2013, rather than 12 months as argued by UNITE.

The Court noted that the premium was no longer paid because the hours were no longer worked due to the decision to outsource. The loss was calculated as €1,430.00 per annum per Claimant and, after considering the submissions of both parties, the Court recommended that the issue be dealt with via the compensation formula provided for under the terms of the PSA 2010-2014. This meant that 50% of the identified loss should be paid with effect from 29th April with the remaining 50% payable 6 months later.

Read More »

Employees Compensated €35,000 for 22km Relocation – Labour Court

CompensationA food production company that moved its warehouse 22km for logistics purposes was forced to pay seven staff members a total of €35,000 between them in relocation expenses.

The move, from Causeway to Tralee, Co. Kerry, impacted the workers differently depending on where the individuals lived. Services Industrial Professional Technical Union (SIPTU) sought relocation expenses but the dispute could not be resolved at local level as the Kerry food producer was concerned that conceding would have knock-on effects within the entire Group. The Company also felt that the move was not far enough to warrant paying out relocation expenses and that paying a large sum in compensation would be excessive given the economic climate at the time.

The dispute became the subject of a Conciliation Conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission, however, as agreement was not reached, it was referred to the Labour Court on 31st January 2014. In accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990, a Labour Court Hearing took place on 17th April 2014.

The Court considered the submissions of the Company as well as the Union and noted that, while the distance was not a particularly significant one, the workers were entitled to receive some sort of compensation in response to the warehouse relocation. The Court also noted that employees personally helped the Company by transferring stock from the original premises to the new one. The workers involved exhibited a significant level of cooperation with their employer and the Court recommended that the Company should pay a figure of €5,000 to each of the seven claimants in full and final settlement of their claim.


Standard HR Services from The HR Company


Read More »

Do you know how long you need to retain employee information for?

Data ProtectionThe Data Protection Acts state that personal information held by a data controller (the Company/Organisation) should only be retained for as long as necessary for the purpose(s) for which the data was obtained.  If the personal information is no longer needed, the data should be disposed of in a secure manner or deleted.


However, as the Data Protection Acts do not specify what the different retention periods are for the various types of data, companies are required to pay attention to the statutory obligations imposed on them through Employment Legislation when determining the relevant retention periods.

According to the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, employers are required to keep several records in relation to employees’ leave and rest periods – Employers are obliged to record and keep details of Annual Leave, Public Holidays, Carer’s Leave, the hours worked by each employee each day as well as detailed records of start and finish times.

There are various requirements in terms of timeframes for the retention of these records, for instance;

  • Annual Leave and Public Holiday records must be kept for 3 years

  • Carer’s Leave records must be retained for 8 years

  • Similarly, Parental Leave records and Force Majeure Leave records must be kept for 8 years

While there is no set period for the maintenance of Maternity or Adoptive Leave records, employers should ensure that they hold on to these details for a period not less than 12 months in the event that a dispute arises leading to a case – the time limit varies from 6 months to 12 months (in exceptional circumstances).

Clock in Clock out system resized 600


If, as an employer, you do not record employee working hours electronically (via a clock-in/clock-out system) you are required to complete a special form (an OWT1 form or a form not dissimilar to this) on a daily/weekly basis.

In relation to retaining hardcopy documents, it would be best to keep any original, signed documents on file as per the timeframes outlines above.

The key here is to ensure that the documents are available in the event that an inspection is announced. The records must be presented in a format that an inspector could easily understand.

Employers who fail to keep records as outlined above are liable, on summary conviction, to pay a fine of up to €1,900.

Data Records


As an employer, you must be able to prove that you have informed each worker of his or her rights to rest/breaks. You must also be able to show that you have informed each worker that untaken breaks must be reported to you as the employer (or a representative of yours e.g. a manager).

If an employee claims that he or she was unable to take a break during work then the employer is obliged to look at the reasons for this. The employer is also responsible for looking at any health and safety issues that could have arisen as a result of this. As soon as is reasonably possible, the employer must allow the employee to take the rest period that was due to them. If the employee does not take the rest period at this stage then the matter is closed as the employer has fulfilled his or her duty by allowing the employee to take it.

Employers must even keep records on candidates who have aplied for positions within their company - even where the applicants have not been successful. The Data Commissioner considers a retention period of one full year to be appropriate in situations like this. 


Remove Threats Download HR e-Book

Read More »

Disabled Employee not Accommodated by Employer Awarded €30,000!

Employer ResponsibilitiesAs redress for infringement of her statutory rights and breaches of the Employment Equality Acts, former employee of a Multi-National Retailer receives compensation in the amount of €30,000.

The Director of the Equality Tribunal delegated this case to Orlaith Mannion, Equality Officer on 13th August 2013.

The specific case concerned a claim by Ms. H against her employer, a Multi-National Retailer. Ms. H claimed that she was discriminated against on the grounds of disability in terms 6(2)(g) of the Employment  Equality Acts 1998-2011. The claimant stated that her employer failed to provide appropriate measures to allow her to continue to be employed in her original role with the retailer.

The claimant had worked on the customer service desk for 30 years and enjoyed her position there. In 2001 Ms. H had an operation to remove her colon and, after that, had some medical issues including episodes of diarrhoea. A few years after this operation, Ms. H once again had surgery – this time on her knees as a result of osteoarthritis and had issues with the toilet facilities in her place of work after this as the one suitable toilet in the store was upstairs. One toilet located on Ms. H’s floor required that she walk across the shopping centre to access it. This toilet did not offer a huge improvement for Ms. H as she had to hoist herself up and down onto the toilet by gripping the doorframe.


When the store was being revamped, the claimant suggested that her employer take the opportunity to install a toilet for people with disabilities – customers and employees alike. No disabled toilet was installed and Ms. H said she heard many excuses for this throughout her service with her employer.

Ms. H claimed that in 2009 she was informed that a disabled toilet was due to be installed. Ms. H went on holidays shortly after hearing this news and, unfortunately, broke her leg while away. Ms. H was a wheelchair user for a period of 6 months and underwent more surgeries in January and July 2010. When she was back on her feet Ms. H wanted to return to work and was medically certified as fit to do so in July 2011. Ms. H’s doctor made some recommendations that would allow Ms. H to return to work –

The doctor recommended that Ms. H should return on a phased basis, that she should be able to sit for periods during her working day and that she have access to a disabled toilet.

The employer responded stating that the claimant returning on a phased basis would be facilitated. However, they were not able to fulfil the other recommendations of the doctor. According to the store management, Ms. H’s role (behind the kiosk) had changed during her absence and, although a chair had been available there previously, the store was no longer able to facilitate a chair behind the kiosk and therefore they could offer her a role at the checkout when she returned to work instead of Ms. H returning to her previous role. A checkout role would not have been practical for Ms. H to take as she would have been required to lift heavy grocery items and this was something that she was not able to do (and had not been required to do as part of her Customer Service role).

Disabled EmployeeAlso, according to the management, because the store revamp had been suspended, so too had the provision of a disabled toilet. However, the respondent did offer the claimant extra time to use the shopping centre’s disabled toilet and the management of the store felt as though this was reasonable.

Ms. H felt that the checkout role was unsuitable and would have been a demotion. She also felt that the toilet scenario was unacceptable as there was often queues at this toilet and her condition did not allow for her to wait in queues for long periods. Ms. H raised a formal grievance which was heard in August 2011. The complaint was not upheld and neither was Ms. H’s appeal. Ms. H felt that her employer ignored her disabilities since her surgeries in 2005 and felt as though her employer had failed in their duty of care to her.

The respondent refuted any claims of discrimination and claimed that the employee had been out of work for a much longer period than the doctor had originally advised (6-9 months). More than one year after Ms. H broke her leg on holidays she attended a return to work meeting and the respondent pointed out that Ms. H was outside of her support period and recommended that she attend the company doctor. Ms. H did so the following month and the Occupational Health Advisor recommended that she return to work on a phased basis in approximately 3 months' time. The Health Advisor also recommended that a risk assessment should take place and anything like slippy or uneven floors should be attended to in order that another fall was prevented.

Equality Tribunal

The respondent was satisfied for Ms. H to return when recommended by the Occupational Health Advisor (in approximately 3 months). However, as the Customer Service desk role had changed in the two years that Ms. H had been absent from work and (for various reasons e.g. lack of space) no chair was situated there any longer, the respondent was not especially fit for that particular role any longer. Ms. H and her doctor felt that the checkout operator role was not a valid alternative.

The Equality Officer found that Ms. H had been discriminated against by her employer. While her doctor’s request for her to return to work on a phased basis had been upheld, other notable recommendations were not fully adhered to.

MS. H was supposed to be allowed to sit for periods during the working shift – the customer service role would not have allowed for this and, while the checkout operator role allowed her to sit, it required lifting of heavy groceries. The Equality Officer found that providing a reasonable disabled toilet for Ms. H would have cost the respondent approximately €22,600.00 and this would not have imposed a burden on a company that, in 2013, reported revenue in Ireland as £2,315 million Sterling.

The employer did not show genuine engagement with the process of finding effective and practical measures to allow the claimant to return to work.

Therefore, the Equality Officer found in favour of the claimant.

In accordance with Section 82 of the Act, she ordered the respondent:

(a) pay the complainant €30,000 (the approximate equivalent of a year’s salary) in compensation for breaches of the Employment Equality Acts. The award is redress for the infringement of Ms H’s statutory rights and, therefore, not subject to income tax as per Section 192A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (as amended by Section 7 of the Finance Act 2004).

(b) conduct a review of its employment policies and procedures to ensure that they are in compliance with these Acts with particular reference to how employees with disabilities are treated.


Standard HR Services from The HR Company

Read More »

Important Points for Employers re Data Protection

The Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 provide rules that apply to the collection, use, disclosure and transfer abroad of information about individuals. The Acts cover the principals that companies must follow when processing personal data about employees as well as information about clients/residents.

The Acts also give individuals certain rights in relation to personal data that is held about them. 

If you as a Company collect, host or process data about people on any type of computer or structured filing system, then you are considered a data controller under the Acts.

Every Company holding information about individuals should have a Data Protection Policy in place and should ensure that all IT administrators and employees with access to personal/confidential information are fully trained on the rights and responsibilities associated with that access.

data protection

Billy Hawkes, the Data Protection Commissioner, ensures that companies that keep personal data are in compliance with the Acts. The Commissioner has a range of enforcement powers to help guarantee that the provisions of the Acts are observed. The Commissioner can serve legal notices compelling data controllers to provide information needed to assist with his enquiries. He can also compel data controllers to implement provisions of the Acts in a particular prescribed manner.

He may investigate complaints made by members of the public and can authorise officers to enter sites with the aim of inspecting the type of personal information kept as well as how it is processed and the security measures that the data controller has in place. Companies are required to co-operate fully with such data protection officers.

Data controllers who are found guilty of offences under the Acts can be fined up to €100,000 on conviction and may be ordered to delete all or part of their database.

The Data Protection Commissioner publishes a report annually naming, in certain cases, data controllers who were investigated by his office.

On 12th May 2014 Billy Hawkes launched his Annual Report for 2013. The report contains a summary of the activities of the Office of the Data Commissioner during the entire year.

The Annual Report highlights a huge number of individual complaints that were referred to the Office regarding difficulties in gaining access to personal data. According to the report these were as a result of poor customer service standards by commercial entities.

data protection

It appears as though individuals who feel as though they are not receiving sufficient customer service from a commercial entity are exercising their data protection rights more regularly and are more frequently requesting a copy of all personal data held by that entity.

If the initial query or request had been comprehensively dealt with in the first instance then perhaps they would have been less likely to exercise their data protection right to request a copy of all personal data held about them.

Employers should note that telephone call recordings are considered personal data. The Office has seen as increase in the number of access requests to data controllers by individuals seeking a copy of telephone recordings. Organisations are obliged to inform data subjects that their call may be recorded if a call recording system is in operation.

Throughout the course of 2013 the Office opened more than 900 complaints for investigation. More than 500 of these complaints (56.8%) were from individuals who experienced difficulty when gaining access to their personal data held by organisations. This was a record high for this type of complaint which is indicative of the increased level of awareness among the general public of their statutory right of access.

Last year the Office dealt with 1,577 Data Security Breach notifications. The 2013 Annual Report contains a variety of case studies regarding Data Security Breach investigations. One such case study involved the taking of a client list by a former employee to a new employer. This has emerged as a regular issue in recent years and is a serious breach that is a big concern for all employers.

employer responsibilities, data protection

Civil sanctions may result where a person suffers any damage as a consequence of failures on the part of a data controller to meet his/her obligations.

In November 2013 it was discovered that the personal information of more than 1,500,000 people was compromised by a major security breach at a Co. Clare based Company. In an RTE Morning Ireland interview at the time, Mr. Hawkes admitted that “cyber-criminals have become extremely sophisticated and it can be quite difficult to actually identify that your system has been perpetrated.” This was one of the worst data breaches in Irish history.

The Society for Chartered IT Professionals in Ireland, known as the Irish Computer Society (ICS), carried out a recent survey on data protection in Ireland and the results, which were published in January 2014, were astonishing.

256 Irish based companies were surveyed and a record number of data breaches were reported to have occurred in 2013. Findings revealed that one in two of the surveyed companies experienced a data breach during the last 12 months. In fact, more than 20% of the companies contacted by the ICS reported multiple breaches. These statistics mark a significant increase on last year’s figures when 43% of companies examined reported a breach.

According to the results, one third of employees are not fully aware of data protection issues and many receive insufficient data protection training or, alarmingly, no relevant training whatsoever.

data controllers, data protection policy
Several IT managers admitted that Data Protection policies are not implemented at all in their Company or they are only partially adhered to. The survey has highlighted the need for companies to manage their data processing environment much more carefully and provide additional training for their IT administrators and all employees who have contact with personal information pertaining to employees/clients. According to the ICS survey, negligence on the part of employees accounted for 77% of the reported incidents. Hackers seeking to obtain data and unencrypted laptops were also cited as major threats.

According to Fintan Swanton, Chairman of the Association of Data Protection Officers, “Clear policies and procedures are vital, with regular refresher training and timely reviews to ensure that staff are complying with the structures.”

It is important for employers to be aware that new data protection legislation will require most organisations to appoint a Data Protection Officer.

Read More »

The Role of NERA in our Workplaces

NERA resized 600In the 6 month period between January and June 2013, The National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) conducted 2,755 workplace inspections. A staggering 1,458 (53%) of these inspections were unannounced!

NERA’s update on activity from January to September 2013 illustrated the following:

*In the first 9 months of 2013 the NERA Customer Service Unit provided information to more than 48,484 people. The vast majority of people who received information from the Customer Service Unit were employees or former employees (an estimated 71%).



*Redundancy, Working Hours, Conditions and Terms of Employment, Payment of Wages and Unfair Dismissal were the main topics/issues dealt with during the period.



*The Workplace Relations Customer Services (which deals with complaints in relation to all employment rights bodies) received 11,787 Employment Rights Complaints between January and July of 2013. This number represents a significant increase on the same period in 2012 when 9,809 complaints were received.



*4,009 workplace inspection cases were completed in the first 9 months of 2013. These cases involved more than 44,100 employees. This represents a significant increase on the 2012 figure of 3,140. The amount of unpaid wages recovered totalled €583,650.



*In the period between January and September 2013, 33 cases were referred for prosecution. 47 convictions were recorded in cases heard by the Courts during the first 9 months of last year.


Read More »

EAT Annual Report Highlights Shocking Statistics for Employers

The 2012 Annual Report of the Employment Appeals Tribunal has highlighted some astounding statistics 

  • According to Chairperson Kate T O’Mahony’s foreword “there are presently approximately 5,000 cases awaiting a hearing, of these 37% are unfair dismissals cases.”
  • According to the Chairperson’s foreword, “In its appellate jurisdiction the Tribunal deals with disputes about matters occurring during the course of the employment relationship. A notable trend in recent years has been the steady increase each year in the percentage of the Tribunal’s appellate work which, significantly doubled from 12% in 2011 to 24% in 2012.
  • In 2012, employees had some sort of additional representation at the hearing before the Employment Appeals Tribunal on 1,917 occasions – employers, however, only had representation in 1,116 cases. It is clear that unfair dismissal cases see the highest level of representation but it is interesting to note that employee parties had representation in 1,071 cases and employer parties only had representation on 740 occasions.

Unfair Dismissal, EAT

  • In 2012, the Employment Appeals Tribunal received 5,623 cases.


  • The number of appeals against the recommendations of the Rights Commissioners received in 2012 was 1,349 – this number represents a 38% increase on the previous year and a staggering 81% increase on the 2010 total.
  • The top 3 categories of cases referred to the Employment Appeals Tribunal in 2012 were Unfair Dismissal (1,742), Redundancy (1,239) and Minimum Notice & Terms of Employment (929).


  • In 2012, the Employment Appeals Tribunal awarded almost €7million in 377 Unfair Dismissal cases. The average compensation awarded was more than €18.5k. *96 claimants received more than €25k


  • The number of Payment of Wages cases disposed of in 2011 was 154 – this number rose by 164% to 407 in 2012.
  • The number of Maternity Protection Acts appeals rose from just 2 in 2011 to 11 in 2012.


Standard HR Services from The HR Company
Read More »