Important: The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act lands today

Read on to discover what’s changed and how you can be compliant.

BrightHR Team

Fancy spending 12 months behind bars? Or forking out €5,000 of your own money?

Thought not.

That’s why you need to get up to speed with the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018. And you need to do it fast.

It’s a new law that comes in today, and it brings new protections for people on insecure contracts or who work variable hours. And if you don’t take action now, you could end up out of pocket or even worse, in prison.

Here’s how the law has changed and what you can do to comply.

  1. Five core terms for new staff

You must give all new starters five core terms of employment in writing, within five days of starting work. And you mustn’t forget your current staff, either.

The five core terms are:

  1. Your full name and your employee’s name
  2. Your business’s address
  3. The expected length of your employee’s contract (if temporary or fixed-term)
  4. The amount you’ll pay them and how you’ll calculate it
  5. The expected length of your employee’s normal working day and week

If you haven’t issued a written statement of core terms within one month, you’re committing a crime and could face time in prison.

  1. Zero hour contracts are banned

Well, not quite. There are two exceptions.

You can still employ staff on a zero hour contract in certain specific circumstances. And by that we mean if it’s an emergency, or you need to arrange short-term relief work to cover routine absences.

If you currently employ zero hour workers for any other reason, you’ll probably have to change these contracts.

  1. New payment rules for staff who are not called into work

This new law protects the pay of employees not called into work.

So say you ask an employee to be available on a certain week. But then later on, you decide that you don’t need them.

This employee is now entitled to 25% of their weekly contractual hours. This weekly payment must not be less than three times the National Minimum Wage, or three times the Employment Regulation Order hourly rate.

  1. Staff can request ‘banded hours’

From today, you’re probably going to get a lot of requests (mostly from part-time or variable hour employees) to be placed in a band of hours. But what does that mean?

It’s a little complicated. But a band of hours is the range of hours your employee has actually worked over a 12 month period. And it can be different to what’s on their contract.

For example, your employee might be contracted to work 10 hours a week, but instead they’ve worked as much as 26 hours a week in the last 12 months. If this employee asked for banded hours, you’d put them in the ‘21 to 26 hours’ bracket.

This new law could have a big impact on your payroll. As staff with banded hours are now entitled to get paid for the minimum number of hours in their band.

How can I make my business compliant?

If you’re not already compliant with the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018, you’ve got a lot of work to do.

You need to draft the ‘five core terms’ for all new recruits and current staff, amend any zero hour contracts, and prepare for banded hour requests. And that’s just some of your growing ‘to-do’ list.

If you fail to comply with the Act, you could face 12 months in prison or a €5,000 fine. And it’s not just you that’s at risk.

Your directors and senior managers could face prosecution if you turn a blind eye to this new legislation. So don’t put them or your business at risk.

Speak to one of our employment law specialists today. They’ll answer any of your Miscellaneous Provisions Act questions and offer essential advice to help you be compliant.   

Call BrightAdvice now on 1800 279 841