You’ve moved to Ireland, settled into your new home and found a job working in Dublin. But how can you be sure that you’re being treated fairly? Are you doing a normal working week? What are your holiday entitlements? Well, fortunately, Ireland’s employment law is transparent and applicable to all workplaces.

Here’s some basic information, as well as a few resources, that will help you understand your employee rights.

The Workplace Relations Commission

In Ireland, the Workplace Relations Commission is the go-to organisation for your rights at work.

It has a number of useful resources which delve into every aspect of industrial relations in Ireland. There’s this detailed booklet and a comprehensive guide to Employment, Labour and Equality Law.

These are accessible reads and will provide most people with all the information they need to navigate the labour market. But if you’re just looking for a brief introduction to employment law in Ireland, we cover the basics below.

With the exception of the Gardaí, the Defence Forces and people who work for their families, all workers in Ireland are covered by the same employment law.

Your employer’s obligations

The WRC outlines each employer’s obligations. Under Irish law, your employer must:

  • Only hire people who have permission to work in Ireland
  • Provide you with a written statement of the terms and conditions of your employment
  • Give you a payslip – a written statement of your pay
  • Pay you a salary that is equal to or more than the statutory minimum wage
  • Comply with the maximum working week
  • Provide you with breaks and rest periods during working hours
  • Give you annual leave from work
  • Give you a minimum amount of notice before they terminate your employment
  • Maintain records about employees and their entitlements.

We take a closer look at some of these points below.

The minimum wage in Ireland

Since January 2021, the minimum wage in Ireland for an adult employee is €10.20 per hour.

The working week

The average working week in Ireland is set at a maximum of 48 hours. This is calculated over four months for most workers.

However, it is calculated over just two months for night workers. And for employees in seasonable jobs where there can be surges in activity, it is calculated over six months.

Some other arrangements for calculating the working week can be in place within specific industries too.

Breaks and rest periods

As well as maximum working hours, employment laws are also in place to set out minimum rest periods.

To ensure workers can enjoy a sustainable work life balance, they are entitled to rest periods during the week. You can expect at least 11 consecutive hours away from work during each 24-hour period. You must also receive 24 hours off each week, in addition to your 11 daily hours of rest.

During the workday, you’re also entitled to a 15 minute break for every four and a half hours you work. If you work more than six hours, you’re entitled to a 30 minute break. (This includes the first 15-minute break.)

Holiday entitlements

For each day that you work in Ireland, you earn time off in annual leave.

Typically, full-time workers receive four weeks of annual leave each year. But if you change employment, this figure can be affected. Your holiday entitlements are calculated on a proportional basis. So you earn 1/3 of a working week off for each calendar month you work. Or, in other words, 8% of the hours that you work in a year.

These holiday entitlements should be provided in addition to any time you get off work for public holidays, sick leave and maternity leave or paternity leave.

Termination of employment

Under employment law in Ireland, your boss must provide you with notice before terminating your employment. The longer you have worked somewhere, the longer the notice period should be.

Here’s the break down:

Length of Service Notice Period
13 weeks – less than two years One week
Two years – less than five years Two weeks
Five years – less than 10 years Four weeks
10 years – less than 15 years Six weeks
More than 15 years Eight Weeks

It’s also worth noting that if you decide to leave a job, you need to provide your boss with a week’s notice under Irish employment law. However, individual employment contracts can stipulate that you provide longer notice periods.

If you have lost a job, check out our information on redundancy rights and unemployment benefits in Ireland too.

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