Littler Global Guide - Ireland - Q1 2019

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

View all Q1 2019 Global Guide Quarterly updates   Download full Q1 2019 Global Guide Quarterly

So Long Zero Hours Contracts

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Emmet Whelan, Partner – ByrneWallace

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018, which came into effect on March 4, 2019, requires employers to provide new recruits with five core terms of employment in writing within five days of starting employment and prohibits the use of zero hour contracts, except in very limited circumstances. Further, it introduces a new entitlement to banded hours which better reflect actual hours worked in a reference period, and provides for certain minimum payments to employees who are required to be available for work and work is not provided. Employers who breach the Act may face criminal convictions and complaints by employees to the Workplace Relations Commission.

Update on Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Proposed Bill or Initiative

Author: Emmet Whelan, Partner – ByrneWallace

On March 8, 2019, the Government announced that it had agreed to the text of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill, to be published shortly. This follows the publication of a General Scheme to the Bill last year and a subsequent Joint Committee Report on the General Scheme. The Bill seeks to require certain employers to publish information relating to the pay gap between male and female employees. The reporting requirement will apply on a phased basis, beginning with employers of more than 250 employees, then reducing to employers of more than 150 employees and then to employers of more than 50 employees. Further, the law will cover both full-time and part-time employees and extend to bonus payments and benefits-in-kind.

Brexit & the Common Travel Area


Author: Emmet Whelan, Partner – ByrneWallace

The Common Travel Area (CTA) is an arrangement between Ireland and the United Kingdom which allows Irish citizens to freely travel, work and access social welfare benefits and health services in the UK (and UK citizens to have reciprocal rights in Ireland). The CTA pre-dates Irish and UK membership of the EU, and is not dependent on it. In this way, Ireland is in a different position to other EU countries in respect of its relationship with the UK, and specifically in terms of the right to travel and work following Brexit. There is good reason for this special arrangement, including the significant cross-pollination between Ireland and the UK. Irish census statistics in 2016 estimated that approximately 103,113 UK nationals were living in Ireland. British census statistics from 2011 estimated that 430,000 Irish born people were residents in Great Britain. Many thousands of people also commute daily between Ireland and the UK for work. Concerns have been expressed related to the CTA in Brexit negotiations. While it has been confirmed in guidance from the Irish and UK Governments that the CTA will be protected, we await the final outcome of the UK’s withdrawal process, and note that a failure to protect the CTA would cause havoc for employers in both Ireland and the UK. Another item to add to the long list of Brexit-related employment concerns.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.