What information should be included in an Employment Contract?
The Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994 and 2001 requires an employer to provide an employee with a written statement / contract regarding the following particulars of the terms of employment:
- The full names of the employer and the employee
- The address of the employer in the State or, where appropriate, its principal place of business or, the registered address of the employer as registered with the Companies Registration Office
- The place of work or where there is no main place of work, a statement indicating that the employee is required or permitted to work at various places;
- Job title or nature of the work
- Date of commencement of employment
- If the contract is temporary, the expected duration of employment
- If the contract is for a fixed term the date on which the contract expires
- The rate of remuneration or method of calculating remuneration
- The pay reference period for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000
- Whether remuneration is paid weekly, monthly or otherwise
- Terms or conditions relating to hours of work (including overtime and breaks)
- Terms or conditions relating to paid leave (other than paid sick leave)
- Terms or conditions relating to incapacity for work due to sickness or injury
- Terms or conditions relating to pensions and pension schemes
- Periods of notice which the employee is entitled to receive and required to give on termination of employment; where this cannot be indicated when the contract is given, the contract must state the method for determining the period of notice to be given
- A reference to any collective agreements which affect the terms of employment. Where an employer is not a party to the agreement, the contract must indicate the bodies or institution which made the agreement.
Other Requirements Relating to the Written Statement / Contract
The contract must be signed by or on behalf of the employer. It must be retained by the employer during the employment and for 1 year after the employees employment has ceased.
Even if the employee leaves the employment within the 2-month period for giving a contract, the contract must still be given to the ex-employee.
What Constitutes Redundancy?
- Employer has ceased or intends to cease to carry on the business at all or in place employee was employed.
- Requirement of business for work of particular kind have ceased or expected to cease or diminish.
- Employer has decided to carry on business by fewer or no employees.
- Employer has decided work should be done in different manner for which employee not sufficiently qualified or trained.
- Employer has decided work should be done by person capable of doing other work for which employee not sufficiently qualified or trained.
“Redundancy” arises where an employer wants to reduce its total number of employees or wants to close down a business completely.
In the case of reduction of the number of employees this normally happens either because (a) the work of particular employees is no longer required or (b) the work of particular employees can be spread around other employees without taking on additional employees. Other examples include circumstances where the job changes and the job requires particular skills and/or qualifications which the employee does not have or the business moves to a new location.
Minimum Notice – Employer to Employee
- 13 weeks – 2 Years 1 week
- 2 Years – 5 Years 2 weeks
- 5 Years – 10 Years 4 weeks
- 10 Years – 15 Years 6 weeks
- 5 Years or More 8 Weeks
Whenever a redundancy is being considered an employer will be expected to consult with the employee(s) about the decision. In particular:
- options open if any
- the reasons for the decision
- alternative employment options
This should take place before the employee(s) is advised they are to be made redundant.
The Recommended Redundancy Process
1. Use an objective selection process
Criteria can include:
- Length of service
- Business requirements / skill mix
- Performance (must be quantifiable)
2. Identify the person you believe will be affected
3. Meet with the person and outline:
- the reasons why redundancies
- other measures that have been considered
- the reasons why the specific post to be declared redundant was chosen
- alternative employment options looked at
- the alternative options available, if any
4. Allow the person the opportunity to consider what has been said and agree a time to meet again
5. Discuss any questions they may have and the details of the redundancy package
6. Advise that if they wish to be accompanied by someone that is fine
7. Meet employee and discuss any issues they wish to raise. Ascertain if those issues have any merit
8. Issues, if any, are addressed then proceed to issue notice letter:
- Confirming the redundancy
- Confirming the consequences of the redundancy, e.g. whether the em-ployee will be required to work out the notice period, what date the em-ployee will actually cease employment, whether an ex-gratia payment will be made to the employee and when the employee will get paid
- Attached to the letter should be a detailed calculation of the gross figures setting out the tax deductions, the tax exemption limits and finally the “cash in hand” payment that the employee will get
- The letter should also set out any company property to be returned
- Employees should be reminded of any continuing obligations such as the obligation of confidentiality if contained in their contract of employment or any other restrictive covenants
- If an ex-gratia payment is to be made to the employee consideration should be given to include in the letter the terms on which the ex-gratia payment is being made, e.g. it may be in full and final settlement of all claims that the employee may have against the company arising out his or her employment or its termination
9. Where service exceeds two years the employee is entitled to be given a form RP50 at least two weeks before the date of redundancy.
Redundant Employees Rights
2. Time off (paid) to look for work
3. To request early departure
4. Redundancy pay
To qualify an employee must:
- Have at least 2 years continuous employment
- Be over the age of 16
- Be an insurable employee under the social welfare legislation
Employee is entitled to:
- 2 weeks pay per year of service
- 1 additional weeks pay
- A weeks pay is a maximum of €600
- An employee may lose entitlement to redundancy if they are offered reasonable alternative employment (conditions apply) which will com-mence not later than 4 weeks after the date of expiry of the notice. Any offer should be made in writing.
Employees with less than two years service are not entitled to a statutory redundancy payment and are only entitled to notice.