With the recent passing of the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill, employers now need to start reviewing their policies with a number of new leave entitlements due to be introduced on a phased basis over the next few months, including the long awaited right to request remote wokring.

As we head into the fourth public holiday of the nine statutory public holidays available to employees each year, here is a quick summary in respect of public holiday entitlements in the workplace.

A recent case of A Caretaker versus a Supermarket (ADJ-00033611) dealt with some interesting legal points vis a vis whether reasonable cause was presented for failing to submit the unfair dismissal claim within 6 months, as well as the related issue of proportionality in determining whether the matters under review ultimately did amount to gross misconduct that reasonably justified a summary dismissal and the non-payment of notice.

There are some important legal changes in place since the end of 2022, which employers need to be aware of when drafting and managing probationary period clauses or risk the WRC award 4 weeks pay if a successful complaint is brought, as well as the correction of any misapplied terms of employment in this regard.

With the Christmas party season well underway, employers would be advised to take note of the potential cost of claims, when things can go wrong, particularly after too much drink has been taken.

Two WRC Decisions published this month make useful reading on the necessity for employees to have exhausted internal grievance procedures before resigning, in order to succeed with a constructive dismissal claim. There is also a useful summary of relevant case law in the first decision reviewed.

Gross misconduct dismissals have a much higher standard to meet than a standard dismissal to demonstrate that the employment relationship cannot continue with immediate effect and that notice does not need to be paid.

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.

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