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Contracts of Employment

Why Have A Contract Of Employment?

A contract of employment is an essential tool to assist with managing the employment relationship effectively. Whilst legally there is no requirement to provide a full contract of employment in writing, other than a written statement of terms and conditions of employment (as per the Terms of Employment & Information Acts 1994 - 2012), employers are strongly advised to put in place a comprehensive contract that is relevant to their business to help ensure that there is completely clarity around the rights and obligations of each party to the employment relationship.A clear contract of employment will also help ensure mi-understandings are avoided from the outset and that there is a framework in place for dealing with issues that may arise.

Statement of Terms & Conditions of Employment

As outlined above an employer is obliged to provide an employee with a written statement of their terms and conditions of employment within the first two months of commencement of employment (does not apply if employing someone for less than a month). The following information must be supplied in the statement:

  • Full name and address of employer
  • Name of employee
  • Place of work
  • Job title or nature of work to be carried out
  • Employment commencement date
  • Expected duration of contract and details if employment is temporary
  • Hours of work
  • Rest periods and breaks
  • Rate of pay or method of calculation of pay and pay intervals
  • Pay reference period and right of employee to request written statement of average hourly rate of pay
  • Paid leave provisions
  • Sick pay & pension arrangements if applicable
  • Notice periods
  • Reference to any relevant collective agreements that apply to employment

Working Outside The State

Under the Terms of Employment & Information Acts 1994-2012, in the event that an employee is required to work outside the Sate for periods of not less than one month, they must be given the following additional details in writing prior to their departure:

  • How long they will be required to work outside the state;
  • Currency in which they will be remunerated;
  • Fringe benefits that apply; and
  • Details of the terms and conditions of repatriation.

Apart from the practical benefits of documenting the key terms that govern the employment relationship, it is worth noting that four weeks compensation may be awarded to employees who have not been provided with the statutory statement of their terms and conditions of employment.

Additional Essential Contract Clauses

The legal requirement to issue a statement of terms and conditions of employment does not deal with a wide range of other matters in the employment relationship that should be defined at the outset in order to ensure full clarity about mutual obligations and rights.Therefore, it is strongly recommended that a more comprehensive contract of employment should be issued (to include the statutory requirements under the Terms of Information Acts).Some or all of the following clauses may be relevant and it is critical that each business has a contract in place that is tailored specifically to their requirements:

  • Probationary Period
  • Retirement Age
  • Mobility Requirements
  • Medical Review
  • Pay in Lieu of Notice or Garden Leave
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Conflict of Interest & Exclusivity
  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
  • Confidentiality
  • Right to Search
  • Lay off & Short Time
  • Deductions
  • Health & Safety Obligations
  • Training & Professional Requirements
  • Grievance & Disciplinary Procedures
  • Variation of Terms & Conditions

Contracts of employment should always be issued prior to employees starting and signed before commencement of employment. Part time and casual staff should also have contracts of employment tailored to reflect the specific working arrangements that apply to them.

If you would like further information on the benefits of having contracts of employment in place in your business, please email carmel@hrsolutions.ie or Telephone (071) 9642748.

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