Statutory Sick Pay will now be available from 1st January 2023 and not in 2022 as originally anticipated, following the signing of the Sick Leave Act in July 2022.

A tailored Employee Handbook to support the contract of employment is vital in every workplace, and can greatly assist the smooth operation of a wide range of people management matters at work.

With the enactment of the Sick Leave Act 2022 due shortly, after it was approved on July 22nd 2022, all employers will now have to pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they currently do not or do not have a comparable Scheme.

The standard for successful constructive dismissal claims remains high with it being essential that employees use internal grievance procedures prior to resigning.

Lots of useful lessons in this WRC decision for employers in proper and fair disciplinary handling as well as making a reasonable and proportionate decision before deciding to dismiss. In this case poor procedures were very costly with €329,000 awarded.

The Code of Practice has been prepared by IHREC with the approval of the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and after consultation with relevant organisations representing equality interests. The code seeks to promote the development and implementation of policies and procedures that establish working environments free of harassment.

The importance of always adhering to fair investigation procedures was highlighted in a recent Labour Court case that upheld the Complainant’s appeal of the quantum awarded of €2,544 made by an Adjudication Office, increasing the compensation payable to €5,000 (Ref UDD2167).

In this recently published decision, yet again an employer fell short on how it implemented a dismissal of an employee who, had less than 5 months service, resulting in an award of €6,000 being recommended despite breaching a clause that prevented her working in any manner outside of her employment that could be prejudicial to her employer. (Ref ADJ-00028843).

As the WRC and Courts have continued to highlight deficiencies in workplace investigation practices, and employers have to deal with the implications and costs of inadequate investigations, this short article summaries some key points to consider when setting up a workplace investigation.

The recently published Labour Court determination against Costa Coffee in respect of a sexual harassment case taken by a former employee should provide a stern reminder for employers in respect of their responsibilities to not only have in place appropriate anti-harassment and bullying polices, but to ensure that they are communicated properly and understood and that managers are fully trained in their responsibilities with regard to the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace.

The standard time limit for submission of complaints to the WRC is generally six months from the date of the contravention that the complaint relates to as per Section 41(6) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015, and as per Section 41 (8), this may only be extended for a further six month period, if reasonable cause is presented for the delay.

This recent WRC decision highlighted the importance of a robust investigation stage that is not predetermined, when a betting shop manager from a retail and online gaming operation, was awarded almost €11k after being unfairly dismissed due to a number of procedural flaws in both the investigation and disciplinary stages. (Ref ADJ-00026144)