• Mid-year Employment Law update 2022

    Michelle McDonagh, HR & Client Relationship Manager, Adare Human Resource Management

    The Government had given commitments to enact a number of pieces of employment legislation ahead of the summer recess but what Bills have been signed into law and what is the status of others?

    Bills recently signed into law

    Payment of Wages (Amendment) (Tips and Gratuities) Act 2022: legislates for how tips should be treated by Employers in terms of being distributed to Employees. The Bill has passed all stages in both the Dáil and the Seanad and was signed into law by the President on 20th July 2022, though a date of implementation has yet to be announced.

    The Act place tips and gratuities, but not mandatory service charges, outside the scope of a person’s contractual wages and obligates Employers to pass these payments onto Employees in a fair and transparent manner. Employers must also distribute tips that are received in electronic form i.e. through debit or credit cards and provide a statement of the distribution of tips to their Employee within 10 days to outline the total amount of tips and gratuities distributed during the period, and the amount received by the Employee.

    Under the Act, Employers are required to display a Tips and gratuities notice in their business in order to explain:

    · if tips or gratuities are distributed to Employees

    · the manner in which they are disturbed a, and the amounts distributed

    · whether mandatory charges such as service charges are distributed, and if so, in what manner

    · how the above is applied to contract workers

    Sick Leave Act 2022: legislates for statutory sick pay for Employees at a percentage of their pay starting with three days per year once the Bill is enacted, it will rise to five days in 2024, seven days in 2025, and ten days in 2026. An Employee has to obtain a medical certificate to avail of statutory sick pay, and the entitlement is subject to the Employee having a minimum of 13 weeks service. The Bill has passed all stages in both the Dáil and the Seanad and was signed into law by President on 20th July 2022, though a date of implementation has yet to be announced.

    To support Chamber members, we have a Sick Leave and Fitness to Work policy template that can be used as a basis for your own policy. You can download the template here.

    Parent’s Benefit: It’s worth noting that Parent’s Benefit has increased from 5 weeks to 7 weeks as of 1st July 2022. Parent’s Benefit is paid to parents who take leave from work in the first two years after a child’s birth or adoption and is covered by PRSI. The seven weeks can be taken together or as separate weeks of leave.

    It is important that Employers regularly review and update their relevant HR policies, procedures and Employee handbooks to ensure they are fully compliant with any new legislation or changes. It is also important that any changes are communicated to Employees.


    Current Status on other Bills

    The Right to Request Remote Working Bill 2022: There has been plenty of coverage of this Bill, which provides the legal framework for Employers and Employees on how requests should be made and managed. It had been initially envisaged that the Bill would be enacted before Summer Recess but there have been a number of recommended amendments put forward by the Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment. It is now expected that these changes will be made over the summer months with the Autumn now the earliest when the legislation will be put in place.

    Right to Flexible Work Bill 2022: Not to be confused with the Right to Request Remote Working Bill, this Bill entitles Employees to the right to flexible working arrangements as per the EU’s Work Life Balance Directive. The Bill is currently before the Seanad at Second Stage.

    Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Bill: When enacted, parents and carers will have the right to request flexible or compressed work hours. There will also be an entitlement for paid breastfeeding breaks as well as introducing paid leave for victims of domestic violence.

    The Bill is also as a result of the Government implementing the EU’s Work-Life Balance Directive, which is due to be transposed by August 2022. Member states had 3 years from 2019 to transpose the Directive into their national law. It had been expected to be enacted before Summer Recess, but it is not clear when this is likely to happen.

    We will issue updates to Chamber members if and when new employment legislation is introduced.

    Ensuring your employment contracts, policies and procedures are being updated is essential to maintaining compliance. If you would like to setup a call with a member of our team to understand how we can help you stay compliant and protect your business against unnecessary costs, email adarechambers@adarehrm.ie or click here to book a call.

    Adare Human Resource Management is a team of expert-led Employment Law, Industrial Relations and best practice Human Resource Management consultants.

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