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Working Hours & Breaks

Here is a quick summary of the main general legislative provisions regarding working hours and breaks in the workplace.

No Disciplinary Process But Dismissal Held To be Fair

Despite the absence of a proper disciplinary process that afforded the required due process and rights to an employee who was the subject of a gross misconduct allegation, the dismissal was deemed to be fair.

Managing Absenteeism

A recent report published by the Small Firms Association indicated that over 4 million days had been lost in 2014 due to absenteeism at a cost of €490 million and that back and neck pain was the reason that was noted on medical certs in over 14% of all absences. Employers need to ensure that they manage absenteeism correctly in the workplace to minimise the potential costs to the business.

Sports Store Manager Awarded €20k for unfair dismissal despite a number of unauthorised absences !

The EAT did not agree that with the Respondent Company's view that a store manager had an example to set to other staff and said she was unfairly dismissed in respect of a number of short un-authorised absences over a three day period in December 2012.

Fixed Term Contracts

The use of fixed term contracts continues to cause untold problems for employers and the Protection of Employees (Fixed Term Work) Act 2003 has been well and truly tested with the mis-use of temporary contracts often proving to be very costly for employers. Read my useful tips on how to correctly use temporary contracts and avoid problems.

How long is an employer expected to keep a job open if employee absent due to illness?

In a recent case(UD 1758/2012)the EAT determined that an employer had acted reasonably after it dismissed an employee who had been absent for over two years.

When Will An Extension Be Granted to Time Limit To Bring Employment Claim ?

The Labour Court determined in a recent referral (ref EET 146) that medical evidence supplied by the claimant provided sufficient grounds to allow her to bring a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 - 2011 despite lodging her complaint three days late.

Adverse Weather Policies

Whilst the bad weather can cause all sorts of problems generally there are specific issues that employers need to consider in respect of employees attendance at work when weather conditions are extreme. A policy setting out what is required when the snow starts to fall will be helpful.

Contracts of Employment

There are many benefits to having a contract of employment in place for all employees including that 4 weeks salary may be awarded as compensation to employees who have not been issued with a statement of their terms and conditions of employment.

Nursing Home Chef Awarded €30k for Unfair Dismissal

In a recent case (UD1425/2012) a chef who had worked in a nursing home for almost 4 years was awarded €30,000 as the disciplinary process conducted was fundamentally flawed and prejudicial to the claimant.

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