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Making Remote Work

With the publication of the government's strategy last Friday on remote working, which includes the planned introduction of the right for employees to request a permanent remote working arrangement, many employees will be delighted that this could be the case, with others desperately waiting for a return to the office, and to get out of the house again every morning. In the meantime, a quick reminder of some useful practical tips for making remote working as easy as possible, for as long as it will remain necessary, in the short term at least, under Covid restrictions.

Working Time - Right To Disconnect

As we approach the Christmas holiday season, this article briefly reviews the issue of the right to disconnect, which has come to the fore once again, as a result of the unexpected move to remote working for many employees during the Covid 19 Pandemic, and the establishment of a pattern of working, which may remain a standard feature of working life for many going forward.

Accrual of Annual Leave During Sick Leave

A recent award under the Organisation of Working Time Act should be noted when the Adjudication Officer not only made and an award of €5,483.40 for annual leave accrued during long term sick leave, but a further €5,000 compensation for an employer's refusal to pay the leave when requested by an employee on termination of her employment. (Ref ADJ - 00025283)

Temporary Lay Off & Short Time

As temporary lay off and reduced working hours has become the new normal working arrangement for many employers due to Covid 19, this short article deals with some of the practical issues regarding accrual of leave and selection of employees for lay-off or reduced working hours.

Will You Be Checking Your Emails Over Xmas?

As we approach the Xmas shut down period when a significant number of employees will be on a break from their workplace, the issue of employees digital rights is very much on the agenda at the moment, with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation committed to exploring putting the right to disconnect on a potential statutory footing, as we all potentially can remain always "switched on" with our smart phones never too far away.

€15,000 awarded for breaches of The Working Time Act 1997

Following on from my last article on break and rest entitlements that employees have under the working time legislation, a recent Labour Court decision is note worthy in that an award of €150 by an Adjudication Officer was increased significantly to €15k on appeal (Ref DWT 1914 - Sandra Cooney's Home Care Ltd & Deirdre Morgan).

Breaks & Rest Entitlements When Working

This article outlines a quick summary of the key provisions that apply in respect of employees' entitlements to breaks and rest periods when working, and in particular it must be stressed that records to support that breaks are being taken are required . A recent WRC decision awarded €1k compensation to a retail employee, when it was determined their records were inadequate.

Public Holiday Entitlement

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.

Forced Retirement Was Discrimination on Grounds of Age

Another recent case dealing with the issue of the forced retirement of a legal secretary who had 40 years service, once again highlights the difficulties that employers face in implementing retirements, when they have not established a fixed retirement age, on objective grounds, either contractually or through custom and practice (Ref ADJ - 00016645).

Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018

The much talked about Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 finally comes into effect today 4th March 2019, and whilst the focus of discussion to date has often been on the restriction on zero hours contracts, there are other noteworthy provisions being introduced that employers need to be aware of.

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