Green and Associates employment solicitors have extensive experience advising employers and employees on all aspects of the employment relationship, from recruitment to retirement, remuneration to redundancy and workplace disputes to dismissal. Our employment solicitors have a track record of achieving successful client outcomes through formal and informal mechanisms.
Employment law plays a critical role in protecting the rights and interests of employees, ensuring fair working conditions, and promoting harmonious relationships between workers and employers. This introduction provides an overview of employment law, exploring its key principles, areas of regulation, and the importance of maintaining a balance between the needs of employers and the rights of employees.
Key Principles of Employment Law
Employment law encompasses a wide range of legal principles, but some fundamental concepts serve as its pillars:
1. Equal Opportunity
Employment law promotes non-discrimination in the workplace, ensuring that individuals are not treated unfairly based on characteristics such as race, gender, age, disability, religion, or sexual orientation.
2. Employment Contracts
The law establishes the rights and obligations of both employers and employees through employment contracts, which outline terms and conditions of employment, including wages, working hours, leave entitlements, and termination procedures.
3. Health and Safety
Ensuring a safe and healthy working environment is fundamental to employment law. Employers must provide a workplace free from hazards and comply with relevant health and safety regulations.
Areas of Regulation
Employment law covers various aspects of the employer-employee relationship, including:
1. Hiring and Termination
The law governs the recruitment process, prohibiting discriminatory practices and setting guidelines for fair hiring decisions. It also regulates termination, protecting employees from unfair dismissal and establishing procedures for redundancy and severance.
2. Wages and Working Conditions
Employment law sets minimum wage standards, regulates overtime, and ensures employees receive fair compensation for their work. It also addresses issues related to working hours, breaks, holidays, and rest periods.
3. Workplace Discrimination and Harassment
Legislation prohibits discrimination, harassment, and victimization based on protected characteristics. Employers are required to foster a work environment free from any form of discrimination or harassment.
4. Collective Bargaining and Trade Unions
Employment law recognizes the right of workers to join trade unions, engage in collective bargaining, and protect their interests through collective agreements. It establishes rules governing strikes, picketing, and other union activities.
Importance of Balancing Employer and Employee Rights
Employment law strives to strike a balance between protecting employees' rights and recognising employers' legitimate interests. It acknowledges that businesses need flexibility to succeed while safeguarding workers' rights to fair treatment, job security, and a voice in the workplace. This balance fosters healthy employer-employee relationships, promotes job satisfaction, and supports overall economic stability. Furthermore, employment law contributes to social cohesion by addressing power imbalances between employers and employees. It ensures that vulnerable workers are not exploited and that individuals have access to legal remedies when their rights are violated.
Employment law serves as a vital framework for promoting fairness, equality, and stability in the workplace. Establishing key principles, regulating various aspects of employment, and maintaining a delicate balance between employer and employee rights safeguards the interests of all parties involved. As society evolves, employment law continues to adapt, responding to new challenges and striving to protect the rights and well-being of workers in an ever-changing labor landscape.
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Green & Associates have a team of highly qualified employment law solicitors. Those solicitors are dedicated to providing employers with practical, prompt and knowledgeable advice. We can assist you wherever your issue is in Ireland.Green & Associates Solicitors are leaders in their field. They provide advice about every aspect of employ
Green & Associates have a team of highly qualified employment law solicitors. Those solicitors are dedicated to providing employers with practical, prompt and knowledgeable advice. We can assist you wherever your issue is in Ireland.Green & Associates Solicitors are leaders in their field. They provide advice about every aspect of employment law. Our solicitors also have industry-specific knowledge. They will focus on your business and how it operates.Also, they will provide you with practical strategic advice concerning solving your employment issues. In addition, we can help improve how you deal with employment law issues that arise in the future.We are known for our expert advice about employment litigation cases. Continually achieving positive results for our clients, sometimes without needing to go to the WRC or Court.Alternative dispute resolution is a crucial element of the advice that we provide. Our ADR unit deals with both domestic and international mediations and arbitrations. We provide strategic, pragmatic advice that is cost-effective for our clients.
Green & Associates acts for individual employees and groups of employees that are in conflict. For employees, we understand that it is not only your job that we are dealing with but your future career and income. Your point of view is critical.We must find a practical solution that works for you. In complex negotiations, we like to give
Green & Associates acts for individual employees and groups of employees that are in conflict. For employees, we understand that it is not only your job that we are dealing with but your future career and income. Your point of view is critical.We must find a practical solution that works for you. In complex negotiations, we like to give both legal and commercial advice. Let's look at all the options together and weigh up your case's positives and negatives. We want to set realistic goals for our clients whilst looking to achieve the best possible outcome.The Solicitors at Green & Associates have worked on many significant employment law cases. Every individual we represent, from senior executives and partners to junior employees, receives exceptional service together with the greatest of care and consideration at all times.
We have acted for employees and employers in the WRC and the High Court. Of course, many cases involve unfair dismissals, redundancy Pensions and disciplinary matters. We must be pragmatic and seek solutions that work for our clients. On the other hand, we are more than prepared to be assertive and come to achieving the best result fo
We have acted for employees and employers in the WRC and the High Court. Of course, many cases involve unfair dismissals, redundancy Pensions and disciplinary matters. We must be pragmatic and seek solutions that work for our clients. On the other hand, we are more than prepared to be assertive and come to achieving the best result for you. Indeed, very often, both personal and commercial circumstances have a major in both the solution and compensation. Many of our cases have resulted in compensation for employees, still in employment. In addition, it is often appropriate to look to settle matters early. Of course, that depends on your instructions and the circumstances of the case.
Without a doubt, we are a specialist corporate and commercial firm that has niche expertise in employment law. Frequently, we deal with foreign companies and understand the difficulties of operating in foreign jurisdictions. Green & Associates acts for clients that have employees in numerous jurisdictions. Whether you are about to set u
Without a doubt, we are a specialist corporate and commercial firm that has niche expertise in employment law. Frequently, we deal with foreign companies and understand the difficulties of operating in foreign jurisdictions. Green & Associates acts for clients that have employees in numerous jurisdictions. Whether you are about to set up in Ireland or are already established, we are a safe pair of hands. Our approach is to take the hassle out of complex employment issues. Above all, our solicitors are highly skilled and pragmatic. They can put together an effective employment strategy for your business. Moreover, it is about listening to clients and understanding clients' needs. Without a doubt, we can give you targeted advice that will solve your employment law issue. Of course, the risk is a significant factor in all businesses. We look to provide you with a strategic solution to reducing your risk concerning your employees. The strategic solutions that we provide are commercial, practical solutions. Most importantly, we do not forget the importance of being cost conscious.
If you are dismissed from work, the dismissal is automatically considered to be ‘unfair’ if you are forgiven for:
Unfair dismissal happens where:
Your dismissal from work is not ‘unfair’ if it results from:
The Workplace Relations Commission handles claims for unfair dismissal. You can bring a claim for unfair dismissal if you meet the following requirements:
It would help if you complained about an unfair dismissal within six months of the discharge. Under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, the ‘date of your dismissal’ is the date your notice expires.The 6-month time limit may be extended for six months, but only if you have a ‘reasonable cause for the delay.
Length of Service
Usually, you must have at least 12 months of continuous service with your employer before you can bring a claim for unfair dismissal.
Exceptions to the ‘length of service’ rule
If you have worked for your employer for less than 12 months, you may still bring a claim for unfair dismissal if you were dismissed for:
If you have less than one year’s service and your employer has not followed fair procedures when dismissing you, you may be able to claim under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1969. However, any recommendation from the Court is not legally binding on the employer.
Dismissal based on discrimination
Dismissal based on any of the following nine grounds for discrimination is illegal:
For example, if you have been employed for less than a year, you may not be able to bring a claim under the unfair dismissal legislation. But, you may be able to make a complaint of ‘discriminatory dismissal’. Read about handling discrimination disputes.
To be considered an ‘employee’, you must work for an employer under a ‘contract of service’. This is different from a ‘contract for services, where a contractor or self-employed worker per favour service in return for payment. Read more about understanding your employment status.If you work for an agency, you can generally bring a claim under the Unfair Dismissals Act against the employer who hired you from the agency. Read about agency employees.
The fact of dismissal
You must have been dismissed to bring an unfair dismissal claim too. The only exception is in cases of constructive dismissal, where you claim your employer’s actions towards you forced you to resign from the job.If your employer disputes that a dismissal occurred, you must proveconfirmit did. Once you prove the release happened, your claim for unfair dismissal can continue to the WRC.
You cannot bring a claim for unfair dismissal if you are:(a) An employee under 16, or an employee who has reached the average retirement age of 65, or who is not covered by the Redundancy Payments Acts because of your age(b) Working for a close relative in a private house or farm, where you both also live in the same place or farm(c) A member of the Defence Forces(d) A member of the Garda Síochána(e) Taking part in full-time training or an apprenticeship(f) An officer of education and training boards, a county or city manager, or the chief executive of the HSE(g) Employed under a fixed-term/specified-purpose contract – this contract will be in writing, signed by you and your employer, and will state the Unfair Dismissal Acts do not apply if you are only dismissed because the fixed-term contract has ended(h) An employee who works outside the State (unless, while the contract is in force, you are resident or domiciled in the State or are domiciled in the State and your employer is resident in the State)(i) A statutory apprentice who is dismissed within six months after beginning your apprenticeship or within one month of completing the apprenticeship(j) An employee on probation or undergoing training for up to a year at the beginning of employment, where the duration of your probation or training is specified in the written contract of employment(k) An employee who is dismissed while training to qualify or register as a nurse or other specified para-medical employment
If points (b), (e), (i), (j) or (k) apply to you, you can still claim for unfair dismissal if the dismissal results from:
If points (a) or (d) apply to you, you can still claim unfair dismissal if you are dismissed for taking parental leave, force majeure leave or carer’s leave.If points (d) or (e) apply to you, you can still claim for ir dismissal if you are dismissed for making a protected disclosure.
Note: You cannot claim unfair dismissal if your employer told you in writing when you started work that your employment will end when another employee returns from maternity, adoptive, paternity, or carer’s leave.
If you meet certain conditions (see ‘Can I bring a claim for unfair dismissal?’ above), you can bring a claim against your employer.If your employer accepts they dismissed you, they must show that there were fair grounds for the dismissal. A dismissal is automatically presumed unfair unless your employer can show substantial grounds (reasons) to justify it. This does not apply in cases of constructive dismissal.Ask your employer for a written statement of the reasons for your dismissal. Your employer should give you the information within 14 days of your request. Once you get this written statement, you can bring your complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
Bring a claim for unfair dismissal using the WRC’s online complaint form.You must make your complaint within six months of the dismissal (that is, six months from the date your notice ends). The time limit may be extended for six months, but only if you have a ‘reasonable cause for the delay.Read more about how to make a complaint, including details of the WRC adjudication process.
At the WRC, an adjudication officer (also called an adjudicator) will arrange a hearing to decide whether your dismissal was fair.The adjudicator can make witnesses attend the hearing and give evidence in your case.If the adjudicator finds you have been unfairly dismissed, you may either:
If you are unhappy with the adjudicator’s decision, you can appeal it to the Labour Court.
If your claim is successful
If your claim for unfair dismissal is successful, the WRC (or the Labour Court) may award you either reinstatement, re-engagement or compensation.
Reinstatement means you are treated as if you had never been dismissed.If you are reinstated, you have a right to repay for earnings lost between the dismissal date and the hearing date. You also have a right to any favourable changes in terms of employment during that period, such as a pay rise.
Re-engagement means you get your job back from a particular date, such as the date of the WRC decision. This means you do not have a right to compensation for any loss of earnings.Re-engagement is used when the adjudicator feels the employee contributed to the dismissal, even though the actual was unfair.
Compensation is where you get paid for your financial loss (you do not get your job back). It is the most common outcome in unfair dismissal cases.Generally, the maximum compensation is two years and two pay. But, if you were dismissed for making a protected disclosure, the maximum is five years’ pay. You cannot claim compensation for injury to your feelings or stress caused by the dismissal.When awarding compensation, the WRC takes the following factors into account:
Your current loss of earnings
This is your loss of earnings from the date of the dismissal to the hearing of your claim. Any money you earn during this period is deducted from the compensation amount, and any payment you instead of notice (instead of information) when you were dismissed. By law, you must try to lessen your losses from dismissal to the hearing. You do this by being available for work and seeking alternative employment. If you have no actual loss because, for example, you took up other employment immediately after your dismissal, you have a right to get a token compensation of 4 weeks’ pay.
Your future loss of earnings
Your future loss of earnings is issued based on how long it’s likely to take you to get a new job.
Your pension loss (if any)
This calculates how the unfair dismissal has affected your pension entitlements.
Your loss of statutory protection
This calculation deals with any protection you may have lost under the unfair dismissals, redundancy and minimum notice legislation.
Any contributory conduct
This calculation takes (behaviour) by you that contributed to the dismissal, even though it was unfair. The ‘degree of contribution’ (the level at which you contributed to the dismissal) is stated as a percentage, and the same rate reduces your overall compensation.
Dismissal from fixed-term or specified-purpose contracts
A fixed-term contract is a contract of a specific length agreed by you and your employer. A specified-purpose contract is also limite and ends when the job is completed (but neither you nor your employer knows from the outset how long it will take).
Dismissal at the end of a contract
Dismissal at the end of a fixed-term or specified-purpose contract may be considered ‘unfair’ under the Unfair Dismissals Acts. However, the employer can prevent this by meetingthree3 conditions:
If these three conditions are not met, you can apply for unfair dismissal (as long as you meet the usual eligibility criteria – see ‘Can I bring a claim for unfair dismissal?’ above).
If you had successive fixed-term contracts
Employees cannot be employed on a series of fixed-term contracts indefinitely.You cannot be kept on successive fixed-term contracts for more than four years. This does not include a single fixed-term contract. For example, you can get a 5-year fixed-term contract, but you cannot give fivefive5 one-year fixed-term contracts.If your employer wants you to continue in the job, they must employ you under an open-ended contract (also called a contract of indefinite duration).The only exception is where your employer has objective grounds justifying the renewal of your fixed-term contract. The employer must prove that a further renewal is appropriate and necessary to achieve a legitimate objective.The Unfair Dismissal Act have particular provisions to ensure that successive temporary contracts are not used to avoid the employee being protected from the unfair dismissal legislation. Where a fixed-term or specified-purpose contract ends, and you are re-employed within three months, you are deemed to have continuous service.So, even if the employer excludes the unfair dismissals legislation in the manner described above, an adjudicator at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) will consider whether using such contracts was wholly or partly to avoid you having the protection of the unfair dismissals legislation. If the WRC finds this was the case, the contracts were not separated by more than three months, and the job was similar, your issue can be dealt with as if you were in continuous employment. The employer must then justify your dismissal in these usual.
The law on unfair dismissal is set out in the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015. The law does not protect you from dismissal; it allows you to appeal your dismissal and question its fairness. Get information about unfair dismissals from email@example.com of work.
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