An Employer’s Obligation to Issue Contracts of Employment to Employees
At present, the Terms of Employment Information Act 1994 sets out an employer’s obligation to provide a written statement of employment, within two months of an employee’s start date.
On 7th December 2017 the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, published the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017.
If the bill is enacted, employers will be obliged to provide a written statement outlining five key terms of employment within five days of employees start date, as well as complying with their obligations as per the Terms of Employment Act 1994. The five terms are as follows;
- The full names of employer and employee
- The address of the employer
- The expected duration or expiry date of their employment
- The method of calculating pay
- The number of hours they are reasonably expected to work per day and per week.
Under current legislation, if an employer fails to provide a written statement within two months the employee can take a Terms of Employment claim.
The maximum compensation that can be issued to the employee for a breach of this piece of legislation is four weeks’ pay. However, if The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 passes, employers could also be exposed to a criminal offence if the core terms of employment are not issued within 5 days of the employee’s start date.
The criminal offence could result in a 12-month prison sentence for the employer. If passed, the risk of not issuing core terms and conditions to employees increases significantly, employers will need to ensure they are compliant with the two pieces of legislation.
Going forward it would be advisable to issue all new starters with an offer letter that contains the five key terms as outlined in the bill. Further details of terms and conditions of employment and policies and procedures can then be issued within the two month period.
If you have any questions regarding this article please do not hesitate to contact the advice line on 01 886 0350