Workers Rights

5 Rights You Do Have

1.       Your conditions of work

You should be told, in writing, the conditions under which you are being employed. The Terms of Employment Acts requires employers to provide written terms and conditions within 5 days of you starting work.

2.       Dismissal

You do have protection from dismissal. You are entitled to Minimum Notice if you are being let go: 1 week after 13 weeks in the job, 2 weeks after 2 years and 4 weeks after 5 years.

The Unfair Dismissals Act protects you against unfair dismissals.

  • It usually applies after a year in the job and stops your employer from dismissing you for the following reasons: religious or political opinions; being a traveller; race, colour, sexual orientation, age; taking legal action against your employer; availing of rights under legislation to maternity leave, adoptive leave, paternity leave, carer’s leave, parental leave or force majeure
  • From day one in the job, you have legal protection against dismissal for being in a union or being pregnant or engaging in

3.       Wages

You have the right to a minimum wage of €9.80 if you are aged 20 or over. Lower rates apply to those younger than 20. The rate is €6.86 for those under 18s; €7.84 for 18-year-olds; and €8.82 for workers aged 19.

You are also entitled to a pay slip each time you are paid that states gross pay and any deductions. The only deductions allowed are for PAYE, PRSI and USC and deductions agreed by you or stated in your contract. The employer cannot take money for other purposes out of your pay without your consent.

4.       Working time

The Organisation of Working Time Act, sets out the average maximum working week cannot exceed 48 hours. You are entitled to a break of 15 minutes after 4.5 hours work.

In general, you should also get 11 consecutive hours of rest in any period of 24 hours and a day off every 7 days.

Under new legislation, which came into force in March 2019, zero-hour contracts are prohibited in most cases. You must receive minimum payments if called into work but sent home without work.

When your current employment contract does not accurately reflect the average hours that you actually work, you are entitled to a banded contract which reflects the reality of the hours you work.

5.       Holidays and leave

If you work on a public holiday, you are entitled to a paid day off within a month or an additional day off or an additional day’s pay.

Full-time workers are entitled to 4 weeks annual leave a year: part time workers get leave proportional to amount of time they work.

Other forms of leave include maternity leave (see below), paternity and parental leave, currently unpaid and force majeure leave when you have a family emergency. From November 2019, parents will be entitled to 2 weeks paid parental leave but only at the flat rate payment of €245 per week.