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Latest HR News

Dealing with lateness in work – what should you do as an employer?

lateness in work

Employers should include clear codes of practice regarding tardiness in the workplace in the employee handbook and this should be given to each employee on commencement of their employment.

Timekeeping is very important, particularly when it comes to punctuality and reliability in work related activities.   


The employee’s working hours should be specified prior to the start of the employment relationship and he or she should ensure to be ready to start work (not just arrive) at the appointed time.


Employers should attach great importance to consistent punctuality as clients and other key stakeholders rely on the availability of the employees at particular times.


If an employee is going to be late for work he or she should contact their manager immediately giving the reason and their approximate time of arrival. Notification should be made personally. Notification by text message or email is not professional and should be discouraged. 


Employers should not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those that are late to work – in fact, rather than ignore it or “let it go”, the best thing to do is to raise the topic with the employee to make them conscious that you are aware of the punctuality issues and to show your dissatisfaction with the behaviour – this will usually nip it in the bud before it becomes a habit that is difficult to shake.


One way to deal with lateness is to withhold payment for the period that the employee was not present and available to work. A disciplinary procedure can also be initiated, up to and including dismissal, if there is constant lateness or non-attendance as this is a serious offense that disturbs other colleagues, management and clients.  


If the tardiness is recurring employers should reach out to the employee, particularly if this behaviour is out of character. There may be an issue that the employer should be made aware of. If the employee is experiencing personal problems he or she should be encouraged to utilise the services of the employee assistance program, should this be available in the company.


If there is a need to adjust the required hours of work of an employee due to changing market and business requirements as much notice as possible should be given to the employee.


For guidance on the best approach to grievance issues visit connect with The HR Company.

The HR Company provides an abundance of human resources expertise at a very affordable price and will manage all work associated with reducing working hours/redundancy steps and everything in between.

The HR Company interprets all employment legislation and delivers all disciplinary recommendations - even writing the disciplinary letters for you. (These will be customised; no samples or templates). 

Did you know that NERA inspectors are currently carrying out investigations to ensure that businesses are compliant with employment legislation and that labour inspectorates have the right to request access to employment records such as, Hours of Work, Public Holiday Benefits, Annual Leave, Wage Sheets and Legally Compliant Contracts?

The HR Company ensures companies are NERA compliant to avoid fines and damaging repercussions.

The experienced HR professionals will issue all customised contracts of employment for your employees and will prepare an employee handbook specific to your company.

Your dedicated account manager will manage any conflict in the organisation including bullying & harassment in the workplace as well as giving recommendations in response to performance issues.  

The HR Company will keep you up to date with all changes in employment legislation.





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Parental Leave Entitlements under Irish Employment Legislation

Employers – did you know that as of Friday 8th March 2013 parental leave has been increased from 14 to 18 weeks?

Here is a breakdown of the points that employers should take note of:

Any employees who have a current or future entitlement to Parental Leave will increase from the current 14 week allowance to 18 weeks going forward.

The directive affords a parent returning to work the right to ask for a change in work pattern for a set period thereafter – the employer is only obliged to consider the request not to adhere to it.


An employee seeking a change in work pattern should make the request as soon as is reasonably possible (no later than 6 weeks before the proposed commencement).


Where the employer refuses the request, the employer must within 4 weeks of receiving the request, inform the employee in writing that the request has been refused.


There is no obligation on the employer to explain why the request was denied.


Where the changes are granted the employee should be asked to sign an agreement specifying the changes to the employee’s working hours or patterns of work and the duration of same.


Additional Important information:

Parental leave is available for each child.


Unless the employer agrees to a longer period where an employee has more than one child, parental leave is constrained to 18 weeks in a 12 month period. There is no obligation on the employer to conform to such a request.  


Bear in mind that parents of twins or triplets can take more than 18 weeks of parental leave in a year.


The 18 weeks per child may be taken in one continuous block or, alternatively, in 2 separate periods of a minimum of 6 weeks each. There must be a gap of at least 10 weeks between the 2 periods of parental leave per child.


Separating the parental leave entitlements in to shorter periods of days or even hours can be agreed on an individual basis – this is at the discretion of the employer and is based on the operational needs of the business - there is absolutely no obligation on the employer to agree to shorter periods. The employer should maintain detailed reports of all parental leave as it is used.


It is important to note that both parents have an equal, separate entitlement to parental leave.


It is not possible to transfer leave between parents unless they both work for the same employer and the employer agrees to this set-up.


Any employees that are currently entitled to parental leave are covered by this extension from 14 to 18 weeks.


It is permissible to avail of parental leave in respect of a child up to 8 years of age.


There are special allowances for children that were adopted between the ages of 6 and 8 – leave in this instance may be taken up to 2 years after the date of the adoption order.


Similarly, in the case of a child with a disability leave may be taken up to 16 years of age.


Where illness or other incapacity prevented the employee taking the leave within the normal period exceptional allowances may be made.


Employees must have 12 months continuous service to avail of parental leave; however, a percentage of the leave is available to employees with shorter service in certain circumstances.


Parental Leave remains as being an unpaid leave from employment. However, employers should be aware that employees retain their right to accumulate annual leave while on parental leave and also employees retain their entitlements for Public Holiday’s while on Parental Leave.


The company may postpone the parental leave on the basis that the leave would have a substantial, adverse effect on the operation of the business or due to the number of employee’s taking leave at one time.


For more information on the Council Directive 2010/18/EU on parental leave visit:


For guidance on all your HR related questions and for Employment Law expertise visit The HR Company and we will arrange a complimentary consultation to assess your exposure with respect to employment legislation, contracts of employment and much more. 


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What to do to avoid Harassment and Workplace Bullying

Employers - Did you know that you can be held accountable for bullying or harassment in the workplace?…Not being aware of it does not get you off the hook!
Here is an overview of the basics:
Bullying defined…

Bullying in the workplace is any recurring inappropriate conduct that undermines a person’s right to dignity at work. Bullying can be carried out by one person or several people - it is aimed at an individual or a group where the objective is to make them feel inferior or victimized. Bullying can come in the form of a verbal or physical assault and can also take place over the internet – this is known as cyber bullying and can be performed via many methods - Mobile phones, social networking sites, emails and texts are all common vehicles for cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is becoming more and more prevalent in society.

 bullying harassment in the workplace

Keep in mind that harassment based on civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community is considered discrimination.

Bullying isn’t always obvious – in fact it can come in many shapes and forms – some examples are:

  • Social exclusion or isolation
  • Damaging someone’s reputation through gossip or rumour
  • Any form of intimidation
  • Aggressive or obscene language or behaviour
  • Repeated requests for unreasonable tasks to be carried out


Employers Beware:


Under current Irish employment legislation (The Employment Equality Acts 1998-2011) companies are accountable when it comes to bullying and harassment in the workplace or workplace disputes. It is vital for employers to be mindful of the legislation as companies are answerable for the actions of employees, suppliers and customers even in cases where the company is not aware that bullying or harassment is taking place.


To defend itself a company must illustrate how it did everything reasonably practicable to prevent bullying and / or harassment from taking place in the workplace. The company must also show that when an instance of bullying or harassment occurred the company took immediate, fair and decisive action.


There is a huge risk of exposure if companies do not adhere to the strict Regulations. Those found in violation of the Act may be liable for fines and in severe circumstances imprisonment on summary conviction.


Bullying creates a very hostile work environment and can negatively affect employee performance – it can also cause a company to lose key members of staff. Bullying can affect both the safety and the health of employees – this violates the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.


It is abundantly clear that it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to prevent bullying in the workplace.


In order to avoid bullying and harassment an employer should include harassment-related policies and procedures in the Employee Handbook. This will clarify what is expected of employees and what the protocol is if bullying takes place.


For advice on what to do refer to the Labour Relations Commission’s Code of Practice detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace:


For further employment legislation and HR advice or to arrange a complimentary consultation/audit with a HR expert at your premises contact us at The HR Company



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Recent Labour Court Cases