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Upcoming Irish Employment Legislation

Given how swiftly Irish employment legislation can change, employers may find that what they were doing yesterday is no longer permissible today. Ireland has now set in place a substantial body of employment legislation and as our obligations continuously develop and alter it is vitally important that all employers keep on top of upcoming Irish employment legislation proposals and developments. We consider these below.

Acts:

  • Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) (Amendment) Act 2013
    • This Act will remove legislative obstacles to redeploying staff within the public service.
  • Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013
    • This Act will increase (a) the awards payable by the District Courts in personal injury claims to €15,000, and (b) the awards payable by the Circuit Courts in personal injury claims to €60,000 and to €75,000 in civil proceedings.

Statutory Instruments:

  • Education Act 1998 (Unregistered Persons) Regulations [SI No 32 of 2014]
    • This will add rules regarding teachers who are not registered with the Teaching Council.
  • Joint Labour Committee Establishment (Amendment) Orders 2014
    • New statutory instruments have re-established the Joint Labour Committees for Contract Cleaning, Hairdressing, Hotel, and Security industries.
    • These JLCs may now form to create Employment Regulation Orders (EROs)
  • European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications relating to the Professions of Dentist, Medical Practitioner, Nurse and Midwife) Regulations 2014 [SI No 7 of 2014]
    • This will formerly recognise certain Professional Qualifications obtained from the former Yugoslavia.
  • Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable  Persons) Act 2012 (Prescribed Organisations and Prescribed Persons) Order 2014, SI No. 197 of 2014
    • This SI means it will be an offence to withhold information in relation to certain offences against children and vulnerable persons.
    • There are certain protections afforded to employers and employees who provide services for such persons (e.g. crèches, nursing homes)
  • Private Security (Licensing and Standards) (Security Guard Monitoring) Regulations 2014, SI No.190 of 2014
    • This Act will regulate the control and supervision of employers and employees who work in security services.
    • It introduces two new regulatory bodies: the Private Security Authority and Private Security Appeal Board.
  • Public Service Management (Sick Leave) Regulations 2014, SI No.124 of 2014
    • These are the new public sector sick leave Regs.
    • They will reduce the paid sick leave periods but provide some exceptions, such as critical illness or serious injury situations.
  • Public Service Pension Rights Order 2014, SI No. 199 of 2014
    • This Order will preserve certain pension rights of persons employed as a public servant as of 1 July 2013 but will cease to be a public servant on or before 31 August 2014.

 

Bills:

  • Children First Bill 2014
    • This Bill, when enacted, will place reporting obligations on persons providing child care services. Incidents will be reported to the Child and Family Agency.
    • Such persons will undergo a risk assessment and produce a child safeguarding statement.
    • Professions governed include medical practitioners, counsellors, crèches etc.
    • Safeguarding statements cover procedures to deal with (a) staff conduct issues re: children, (b) recruitment and selection, (c) appropriate staff training on identifying harm.
  • Employment Equality (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2013
    • This Bill will provide additional requirements in respect of discrimination and prohibited acts.
    • This includes extending the definition of the religious ground, added protection under sexual orientation, and more express protection for civil partnerships.
  • Employment Equality (Abolition of Mandatory Retirement Age) Bill 2014
    • This Bill will serve to abolish the provision of the Equality acts which currently permits employers to have a retirement age policy.
    • If introduced, the employer will need to show “actuarial or other evidence that significantly increased costs would result” if the employee were to continue working.
  • Employment Permits (Amendment) Bill 2014
    • This Bill will allow non-nationals who have no work permit to take “civil” claims against their employer.
    • The Bill goes on to provide new rules in respect of how permits may be granted/renewed.
  • Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Bill 2014
    • This Bill will dissolve the Equality Authority and Irish Human Rights Commission.
    • The two bodies will be replaced by the new Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
  • Protected Disclosures Bill 2013
    • This Bill will provide protection for whistle-blowers making disclosures in the public interest.
    • Specific protections will exist for employees who make disclosures about their employers.
  • Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012
    • This Bill will remove obstacles that may prevent persons with spent convictions from securing employment.
    • Exceptions will exist for employers, particularly concerning the nature of employment as against the nature of the conviction.

It can be an arduous task for employers to keep on top of updates in employment legislation. However, the Peninsula 24 Hour Advice Service is available for you around the clock 365 days a year on 01 8555050 to assist you with your queries.

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