Updates to Employment, Labour and Equality Law

Starting Employment – Day five statement

Within five days of starting work, all employees must get a written statement of the following core terms of employment:

  1. the full names of the employer and the employee
  2. the address of the employer
  3. the expected duration of the contract, in the case of a temporary contract, or the end date if the contract is a fixed term contract
  4. the rate or method of calculation of the employee’s pay
  5. the number of hours the employer reasonably expects the employee to work per normal working day and per normal working week

This is as well as the full written statement of terms of employment which must be given within two months of starting the job.

Working Hours – Zero Hours

The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 (OWTA) is amended to prohibit zero hour contracts except in the following circumstances:

  • where the work is of a casual nature
  • where the work is done in emergency circumstances
  • where short-term relief work is used to cover routine absences for the employer

Minimum payment in certain circumstances

A new minimum payment will apply when an employee on a zero hours contract, is called in to work and does not receive the expected hours of work.

The minimum payment is calculated as three times the national minimum hourly rate of pay or three times the minimum hourly rate of pay set out in an Employment Regulation Order (if one exists for that sector and for as long as it remains in force).

The already existing method of payment (at least 25% of the contract hours or 15 hours) continues to apply overall

Banded Hours provisions

  • Employees whose contract of employment or statement of terms of employment does not reflect the reality of the hours they habitually work are entitled to request to be placed in a band of hours that better reflects the hours they have worked over a 12-month reference period.

The bands of hours are as follows:

Band From To
A 3 Hours 6 Hours
B 6 Hours 11 Hours
C 11 Hours 16 Hours
D 16 Hours 21 Hours
E 21 Hours 26 Hours
F 26 Hours 31 Hours
G 31 Hours 36 Hours
H 36 Hours and over


  • If you are an employee, you must be working for your employer for at least a year before making this request

Annual leave and certified sick leave

From the first day in a job, employees are building up holiday entitlements even if they are on certified sick leave and whether they are part-time or full time. If an employee is on certified sick leave at the end of the leave year the annual leave they have earned and have not been able to take is carried over and available to take for the next 15 months.

Family friendly leave

Maternity leave and premature birth

Mothers of premature babies born over two weeks before their due date are entitled to extend their maternity leave by the difference between the birth date and the date maternity leave was due to start. Ordinarily maternity leave commences no later than two weeks before the due date.

Paternity leave

Paternity leave of two weeks is available to a relevant parent within 26 weeks of the birth of their child. A paternity benefit payment is available for qualifying relevant parents from the Department of Employment and Social protection.

Parental leave

The maximum period of parental leave increased from 18 to 22 weeks from 1 September 2019, and increases again to 26 weeks from 1 September 2020. The age of the child for which parental leave is available has increased from 8 to 12 years. For a child with a disability the parental leave age threshold remains unchanged and is available up to the age of 16.