Ireland: The Employment Law Review 2015

Last Updated: 7 April 2015
Article by Bryan Dunne

I INTRODUCTION

The employment relationship in Ireland is regulated by an extensive statutory framework, much of which finds its origin in European Community law. The Irish Constitution, the law of equity and the common law remain relevant, however, particularly in relation to applications for injunctions to restrain dismissals and actions for breach of contract. The main legislation in the employment law area in Ireland includes the following statutes:

a the Industrial Relations Acts 1946–2012;

b the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967–2012;

c the Protection of Employment Act 1977;

d the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973–2001;

e the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977–2007;

f the Terms of Employment (Information) Acts 1994 and 2012;

g the Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004;

h the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997;

i the Employment Equality Acts 1998–2011;

j the National Minimum Wage Act 2000;

k the Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001;

l the European Communities (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations 2003;

m the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003;

n the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005;

o the Employees (Provision of Information and Consultation) Act 2006;

p the Employment Permits Acts 2003–2014;

q the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007

r the Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act 2012; and

s the Protected Disclosures Act 2014.

Employment rights under Irish law can be enforced by any one of a variety of statutory tribunals and bodies, depending on the nature of the particular claim, or by the civil courts in appropriate cases. The process of determining which body or court will have jurisdiction in a particular case will depend on the legislation under which the claim is being pursued (or whether or not it is being pursued at common law), although employees will frequently have a choice of forum.

In general terms, employer's liability (i.e., personal injury) claims and claims of breach of contract are dealt with in the civil courts, as are applications for injunctive relief in relation to employment matters, whereas statutory claims (i.e., those made, for example, under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977–2007 or the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997) are heard by any one of the various specialist bodies referred to below (depending on the legislation under which the claim is brought).

i Civil courts

The civil judicial system in Ireland is tiered, based on the monetary value of particular claims. At the lowest level, the District Court deals with claims not exceeding €15,000 and this court rarely hears employment-related disputes. Also the District Court has no equitable jurisdiction, and cannot therefore hear applications for injunctive relief. The next level is the Circuit Court, the jurisdiction of which is generally limited to awards up to €75,000 (except for personal injury actions when the jurisdiction is limited to €60,000), although in circumstances where a case has been appealed to the Circuit Court from the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT), it has jurisdiction to exceed this limit and make awards up to the jurisdictional level of the EAT. The Circuit Court also has potentially unlimited jurisdiction in relation to gender equality cases. Where the sums involved in a contractual claim exceed €75,000, the action must be brought in the High Court, which has unlimited jurisdiction. Only the Circuit and High Courts can hear applications for injunctive relief.

ii Labour Court

The Labour Court is principally involved in the resolution of industrial disputes involving groups of employees but also has jurisdiction to hear certain individual claims relating to equality, organisation of working time, national minimum wage entitlements, part-time work and fixed-term work. The Labour Court generally only has an appellate jurisdiction and will not, other than in certain limited circumstances, hear a dispute until it has received a report from the Labour Relations Commission, stating that the body cannot resolve the matter and that the parties require the Labour Court's assistance. The Labour Court, having investigated a trade dispute, may make a recommendation setting out its opinions on the merits of the dispute and the terms on which it should be settled. The Court's recommendation is not legally binding on either party, except in cases referred to it under the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2001 where the employer concerned does not engage in collective bargaining.

In relation to the individual legislative claims referred to above, a determination of the Labour Court is legally binding on the parties, such as an award of compensation or reinstatement.

iii Rights Commissioner Service

The Rights Commissioner Service is housed within the Labour Relations Commission. Rights commissioners are empowered to investigate disputes, grievances and claims that individuals or small groups of employees refer under various employment rights legislation. Rights commissioners issue their findings in the form of recommendations or decisions, which are binding or non-binding depending on the statutory provision under which the claim was referred in the first instance. A dissatisfied party may, however, appeal to the Labour Court, or in some cases the EAT, against a rights commissioner's recommendation or decision. The decision of the Labour Court or the EAT in relation to such appeals is binding on the parties.

iv The Employment Appeals Tribunal

The EAT is the main forum for a number of statutory claims, including those in respect of minimum notice, unfair dismissal and redundancy payments. The EAT hears unfair dismissal cases where either of the parties objects to the claim being heard by a rights commissioner or where the decision of a rights commissioner is being appealed. The EAT's decision is called a 'determination' and is legally binding. In unfair-dismissal cases a full appeal to the Circuit Court from a decision of the EAT is available to either of the parties and from the Circuit Court to the High Court. In most other cases, the EAT's determination may be appealed to the High Court, but only on a point of law. The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation can also refer a point of law to the High Court at the request of the EAT.

v Equality Tribunal

The Equality Tribunal is the forum of first instance for the investigation and adjudication of all complaints of discrimination in relation to terms and conditions of employment and occupational pension schemes. The Equality Tribunal can also attempt to mediate such disputes at the option of the parties. In particular, the Equality Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear claims concerning any of the nine grounds upon which discrimination is prohibited under the Employment Equality Acts 1998–2011. In practical terms, an Equality Officer will consider submissions from both parties in advance, before arranging a hearing of the case, to enable him or her to reach a decision that is binding on the parties. The decision may be appealed to the Labour Court.

vi Labour Inspectorate of the National Employment Rights Authority

The Labour Inspectorate has responsibility for the enforcement of employers' obligations in relation to the rights of employees as provided for by the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, the National Minimum Wage Act 2000, the Industrial Relations Acts 1946–2012, the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996 and the Payment of Wages Act 1991. It also has a role in relation to record inspections and information gathering for other sections of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and for the Department of Justice and Equality.

vii The National Employment Rights Authority

As part of the government's agreement with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in the social partnership agreement 'Towards 2016' round of national partnership talks, the Office of the Director for Employment Rights Compliance was established, later renamed the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA). NERA's primary purpose is to promote a national culture of employment rights compliance in the labour market and to assume responsibility for the enforcement of employees' rights. NERA has assumed responsibility for the Labour Inspectorate units, investigating non-compliance with employment legislation in a range of areas including annual leave, wages, working hours, notice, redundancy and dismissal. As an alternative to prosecution, and as currently envisaged, NERA may inform the employer and affected employees of any breaches identified and may also inform the latter of their options for redress, including the rectification of the matter in the workplace and the option of seeking a hearing before a rights commissioner.

II YEAR IN REVIEW

With clear indications that the Irish economy is recovering, there is a renewed sense of optimism. Recruitment agencies have reported an upswing in demand, there has been an increase in commercial property leasing, and an improvement in exports. There has also been a drop in the unemployment rate in Ireland, decreasing to 11 per cent in October 2014 from 12.3 per cent in January 2014.

There have been a number of recent developments in the statutory employment law framework. On 15 July 2014 the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (2014 Act) was enacted. It protects workers who make protected disclosures from being dismissed or victimised. It applies to both public and private sectors, giving a particularly wide definition to what is included in the public sector. The 2014 Act provides for a 'stepped' disclosure process to make a protected disclosure. It also provides safeguards for workers against detriment with respect to any term or condition of employment, immunity from civil liability and in certain circumstances immunity from criminal liability. The 2014 Act provides extensive protection to employees who make a protected disclosure. It enables the Circuit Court to grant interim relief pending a hearing before the EAT. When dealing with an unfair dismissal claim under the 2014 Act, the EAT will have jurisdiction to award up to five years' gross remuneration.

The Employment Permits (Amendment) Act 2014 (EPAA) was enacted on 1 October 2014. The main change is the introduction of nine different work permits. These are: Critical Skills (previously called the Green Card); Intra-Company Transfer (which remains largely unchanged), Dependant/Partner/Spousal, General (previously called the Work Permit), Reactivation, Internship, Sports and Cultural, Exchange Agreements, and Contract for Services. The 50:50 rule requires employers seeking to hire non-EEA nationals on an employment permit to maintain a workforce of at least 50 per cent EEA nationals. The rule will apply to all categories of employment permit under the EPAA, subject to certain limited exceptions. The EPAA also deals with the deficiency highlighted in the earlier legislation by the case of Hussein v. The Labour Court, where a foreign national could not enforce his employment rights as the High Court found that his contract of employment was unlawful because he did not have an employment permit. To rectify this, the EPAA now provides that a foreign national may defend himself or herself against a charge of having been without an employment permit by showing that he or she took all reasonable steps to comply with the requirement to have one. It then goes even further, by providing that the Minister may take civil action on behalf of the foreign national for compensation for any work done or services rendered, including the costs of such action.

III SIGNIFICANT CASES

i Restraint of trade

The High Court examined an extensive non-compete clause in a pharmacist manager's contract, in the case Levinwick Limited v. Patrick Hollingsworth.2 The covenant provided that the employee could not work in another pharmacy within a two-mile radius of Blakes pharmacy (the plaintiff) for a period of 24 months after termination of his employment. The plaintiff argued that the defendant had a particular degree of contact with the customers of the pharmacy such that many customers would have followed him to another pharmacy within the town. The defendant argued, however, that the plaintiff was exaggerating the extent of this relationship and instead contended that the majority of his time was spent working in the office. Additionally, the defendant did not commence work with another pharmacy within the two mile radius for some 10 months after termination of his employment.

In analysing the non-compete clause McGovern J had regard to the following factors: (1) whether it was necessary to protect a legitimate business interest; and (2) that the restraint should be no wider than was reasonably necessary for the protection of that interest.

The Court held that the burden of establishing the reasonableness of the covenant rested with the person seeking to rely on it, so in this particular instance, the plaintiff. The judge ultimately found in favour of the defendant. He noted that at no point did the plaintiff seek to establish that a less onerous restrictive clause was not reasonable or practicable in this particular instance. The judge accepted the defendant's evidence that he was not the main face of the pharmacy, despite only hearing evidence from the defendant and the plaintiff on this particular point. It was held that the plaintiff was unable to establish that the 'nature of the defendant's position and his work in Blakes Pharmacy gave rise to such a personal connection with customers of the pharmacy that the restriction imposed by clause 15 [of the contract] was necessary to protect the goodwill of the plaintiff'.

ii Recent developments in work-related stress, harassment and bullying personal injury actions

The recent High Court decision in Ruffley v. Board of Management St. Anne's School3 concerned a claim of bullying by an employee of the defendant school. The plaintiff worked as a special needs assistant in the defendant school, which catered for children with disabilities. The plaintiff was minding a child in the school's sensory room and locked the room door from the inside.

As a result of the above incident, the plaintiff was issued with a final written warning; however, while the principal had obtained approval from the board of management to issue the warning, significantly, no disciplinary hearing was held before the plaintiff was issued with the warning.

It was further held that the plaintiff had suffered an identifiable psychiatric injury as a result of the conduct of the defendant's behaviour. The court awarded her €255,276 in damages, including an award of €115,000 for general damages, which was a much higher award than in previous cases.

iii Health and safety

Stobart (Ireland) Driver Services Ltd v. Carroll 4 was an appeal from a decision of the Labour Court, it considered the question of whether the dismissal of the respondent was pensalisation under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (2005 Act). The respondent was a lorry driver, and had done a 15.5 hour journey, which included breaks of 1.75 hours in total. He requested not to work the next shift as he was too tired. He also claimed to have already worked 53 hours up to that point, and by working the next shift he claimed he would have exceed the maximum 60-hour working week. However, the respondent was told by his manager that he would have to work the shift and the manager disputed that the respondent had worked 53 hours. The respondent had a number of conversations with his manager during the day, before his shift was due to commence, during which he stated on several occasions, that he was too tired to drive. The respondent felt that he would be at risk if he was to commence the shift. However, he rang his work later that evening to confirm that he would take on the shift, but was told that alternative arrangements had been made. The following day he received notification that his employment was being terminated on the grounds that his withdrawal of labour was deemed to be a refusal of a reasonable management request/instruction and that in accordance with the company's disciplinary policy this amounted to gross misconduct, resulting in his dismissal.

The main question was whether the numerous statements made by the respondent, that he was too tired to work, were enough to warrant an investigation. When the respondent had complained on the day of the shift, he was told that if he had a problem he should raise the matter through the company's grievance procedure. Both the rights commissioner, and the Labour Court (on appeal) found in favour of the respondent. Unusually, both made an order that the respondent be reinstated.

The appellant previously appealed the matter to the Labour Court, and subsequently to the High Court claiming that the rights commissioner had erred in law and fact, that the respondent had not made out a claim of penalisation under the 2005 Act, and additionally that the rights commissioner did not have the remit to order reinstatement. However, the Labour Court held that:

[...] the Court is satisfied that the [respondent's] notification to management of his tiredness [...] can come within the parameters acting in compliance with the relevant statutory procedures as provided for within s.27(3)(a) [...]

The Court notes that the dismissal was carried out in a very precipitous manner; it did not follow the company's disciplinary procedures and was a departure from the company's normal practice. In such circumstances the proximity of the dismissal following the raising of a health and safety matter raises a causal connection between the detriment complained of and the invoking of the Act. Having considered all the relevant details the court is satisfied that but for the representations he made about being too tired to work the [respondent] would not have been dismissed as these were the reasons for his refusal to work.

The High Court commented on how it was inappropriate for the respondent to deal with the matter by way of a grievance, as to do so would have required the respondent to make a complaint, work the shift for which he was fatigued and then after resolution of the matter, the issues he raised could be addressed, rendering the entire process illogical and defeating the purpose of being able to make a complaint. The High Court agreed with the Labour Court and upheld its decision. On the question of whether it was within the remit of the relevant court to make an order of reinstatement under the 2005 Act, the court took quite a broad interpretive approach of the section of the 2005 Act which provides that remedies can 'require the employer to take a specific course of action', and interpreted this to include reinstatement. Kearns P commented that reinstatement is reluctantly and rarely ordered as a remedy, as more often than not the relationship between the parties has irretrievably broken down. However, he commented that this particular instance was somewhat unusual as given that the respondent spent a considerable portion of his working time on the road, his interaction with his employer was minimal. Therefore, he felt that in the circumstances reinstatement was the more appropriate remedy and agreed with the approach of the rights commissioner and the Labour Court.

iv Discrimination

The Equality Tribunal awarded an employee €81,000, (representing a full year's salary) in the case of Mary Dempsey v. NUI Galway5 where it held that she was unfairly discriminated against on the grounds of gender and disability. What was interesting in this case was the Tribunal's consideration of whether the complainant was out of time in bringing her complaint. NUI Galway had argued that the complainant had not suffered any alleged discriminatory treatment in the six months before she filed her claim. However, the Tribunal found that the complainant had established a satisfactory connection between all the incidents complained of and that as a result they could be considered 'separate manifestations of the same disposition to discriminate and constitute an ongoing act or continuum of discrimination within the meaning of Section 77'. This case concerned a university lecturer who was eventually offered a permanent position after a series of rolling fixed-term contracts, however, in doing so, it removed the title of lecturer from her role and gave her the title of 'applied teacher' instead. Resulting from this, she alleged she was given less favourable terms and conditions of employment, as she did not hold the higher role of lecturer. She further submitted that out of the 35 permanent lecturers in 2005, only two were female and in 2008, out of a total of 37 lecturers, only three were female. She was awarded €81,000, and the university was ordered to issue her with a written contract containing the terms from which she would have benefited had she not been discriminated against and the title of lecturer was to be reinserted in her contract. In awarding compensation, the Tribunal referred to its jurisdiction under Directive 2006/54/EC, which provides that penalties must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

IV BASICS OF ENTERING AN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP

i Employment relationship

Under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994, all employers in Ireland are obliged, within two months of the commencement of employment, to provide their employees with a written statement setting out certain fundamental terms of their employment as follows:

a date of commencement of employment;

b full name and address of employer and name of employee;

c the employee's place of work;

d the job title or a description of the nature of the work;

e if a temporary or fixed-term contract, the expiry date;

f details of pay including overtime, commission and bonus and methods of calculating these;

g whether pay is to be weekly, monthly or otherwise;

h the pay reference period;

i terms and conditions relating to hours of work and overtime;

j holiday or other paid leave entitlement;

k notice requirement;

l details of rest periods and breaks;

m details regarding sickness and sick pay;

n details of pensions and pension schemes; and

o reference to any applicable collective agreements.

The statement must be signed by or on behalf of the employer and must be retained by the employer during the employment and for one year after the employee's employment has ceased. Any change to the statutory particulars must be notified to the employee, in writing, within one month.

In addition to this, however, it is recommended that employers consider whatever other terms might be necessary and appropriate and prepare comprehensive contracts. Other relevant terms will depend on the seniority of the employee in question, and will range from intellectual property and exclusivity of service provisions, to post-termination restrictive covenants. Any changes or amendments to the employment contract of a material nature can only be implemented, generally speaking, with the agreement of both parties.

Fixed-term contracts are governed by the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003 (the 2003 Act) and provides that where employees are employed on a series of fixed-term contracts, they may be entitled to a contract of indefinite duration.

ii Probationary periods

There is no Irish legislation that expressly deals with probationary periods. As a matter of contract law, a probationary period will only be effective if expressly provided for in the employment contract. The terms of the probationary period, including duration, the length of notice applicable during the period, and whether or not the employer has discretion to extend it, should also be set out in the contract.

While there is no statutory limit on how long an employee can be retained on probation, he or she will be covered by the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977–2007 once 12 months' continuous service is accrued, which will include any period of notice of termination. Accordingly, the right to protection against unfair dismissal will apply once the 12-month service threshold has been reached, even if the employee is still on probation. Employers will therefore usually seek to conclude the probationary period before the employee acquires 12 months' service, as there is little to be gained from extending it beyond this point. In considering the maximum length of a probationary period, employers should ensure that the aggregate of this period when added to the period of notice to which the employee is entitled is less than 12 months.

iii Establishing a presence

There is no specific requirement for an employer to be registered as an entity or otherwise based in Ireland. In practice, and for varying tax and regulatory reasons, a large number of Irish employees across all sectors are employed by and report to foreign entities based outside Ireland. Similarly, it is also possible for a foreign employer to hire employees through an agency without registering in Ireland.

A foreign employer will, however, be required to register for pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) income tax in Ireland where the income of its employees is within the scope of the Irish PAYE system. In addition to registration, the employer must deduct the amount of income tax due from the employees directly, and remit such amounts to the Revenue Commissioners. If, however, the foreign employer is engaging an independent contractor, then it will be the independent contractor's responsibility to pay the appropriate taxes, and not that of the foreign employer.

Income from non-Irish employment that is attributable to the performance in Ireland of the duties of that employment is also chargeable to Irish income tax and is within the scope of the PAYE system.

As regards mandatory benefits, at a minimum, an employer is required to provide its workforce with access to a Personal Retirement Savings Account if it does not have a pension scheme available to its employees within six months of joining their new place of work. There is also no obligation on the employer to make any contributions on the employee's behalf.

V RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS

The Competition Act 2002 prohibits agreements between undertakings that prevent, restrict or distort competition. Since employees are considered to be part of an undertaking and are not undertakings themselves, the Competition Authority (which enforces competition law in Ireland) considers that employment agreements are not covered by the competition rules. However, once an employee leaves an employer and sets up his or her own business, he or she will then be regarded as an undertaking. The Competition Authority has set out guidelines as to what types of non-compete provisions, in particular, will be acceptable in such situations. Generally, they must be reasonable in subject matter, geographical scope and duration.

The common law is also of relevance to the issue of restrictive covenants. The basic position applied by the courts in this regard is that such covenants are, prima facie, unenforceable for being unduly in restraint of trade, unless the party seeking to rely on them can demonstrate that the restrictions in question are no more than what is strictly necessary to protect a legitimate business interest and are not otherwise contrary to the public interest.

VI WAGES

i Working time

The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 (OWTA) deals with maximum working hours and other matters relating to working time. Pursuant to the OWTA an employer may not permit an employee to work for more than an average of 48 hours per week, although this can generally be averaged over a period of four months. Working time should only take account of time spent working (i.e., it should exclude rest and meal breaks). The averaging period for night workers is two months; for employees working in agriculture and tourism, six months; and it can be up to 12 months for employees covered by an approved collective agreement.

Employees cannot opt out of the 48-hour average working week, as in other countries such as the UK. The legislation does, however, provide a particular exemption for senior or specialist employees, who can be said to determine their own working time, such that they are not subject to the restriction. The contracts of such employees should generally provide expressly that they are exempt from this part of the OWTA.

ii Overtime

Generally speaking, there is no statutory entitlement to overtime under Irish law, or to payment for overtime. In certain cases, however, specific categories of workers may be entitled to overtime pay if covered by a registered employment agreement (REA) or employment regulation order (ERO). REAs and EROs are essentially industry-specific collective agreements that are registered in the Labour Court, and bind all employers and employees in that industry or sector.

For those employees not covered by either REAs or EROs that are still valid, they will only be entitled to paid overtime if such an entitlement is contained in their employment contract or has been established by custom and practice in the employment concerned. Section 14 of the OWTA provides that employers that require employees to work on Sundays may be required to compensate them for so doing.

VII FOREIGN WORKERS

EEA nationals do not require employment permits to work in Ireland. Swiss nationals are also exempt from any requirement to obtain an employment permit to work in Ireland. There are different types of employment permits available depending on the circumstances. An employment permit will generally not be granted where to do so would result in more than 50 per cent of a company's employees being non-EEA nationals. Special dispensation may be made where the employer is a start-up company with enterprise agency support, that are applying for critical skills, general or intra-company transfer employment permits. In such instances the requirement may be waived, by up to two years from the date the start-up registered with the Revenue Commissioners as an employer.

Intra-company transfer permits can be granted to senior executives, key personnel or employees engaged in a training programme. Critical skills permits can be granted to individuals earning €60,000 or more, or in limited circumstances between €30,000 and €59,999. General permits are also available in limited circumstances. The Employment Permits Acts 2003–2014 apply significant penalties for employing non-EEA nationals without a valid employment permit. The maximum penalty for such an offence is a fine of up to a maximum of €250,000, up to 10 years' imprisonment, or both.

Most employment work permits will be for up to two years, however, these can be renewed, if required. There is no requirement under the relevant legislation in Ireland to keep a register of foreign workers, however, it is good practice that the employer keep a note of all work permits, in particular their expiration date, to ensure that all employees have a valid work permit in place.

VIII GLOBAL POLICIES

The Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977–2007 require employers to provide employees with written notice setting out the procedure to be applied if their dismissal is contemplated. This information must be furnished to employees within 28 days of the commencement of employment. While the particulars to be contained in such a procedure are not prescribed, the concepts of natural justice and due process, which derive from the Irish Constitution, are implicit in employment contracts in Ireland if not provided for otherwise. In addition, a Code of Practice concerning grievance and disciplinary procedures in the workplace was introduced in 2000, which provides general guidelines in relation to the preparation and application of disciplinary procedures. While not obligatory, a failure to apply the guidelines (in the absence of any other express procedure) could be held against an employer in the event of an employee disputing his or her dismissal.

Employers are not required to obtain the approval of employees in relation to the preparation or implementation of disciplinary procedures, although agreement in relation to such matters will often be obtained where collective bargaining takes place. A disciplinary policy must not discriminate against employees contrary to the Employment Equality Acts 1998–2011 (i.e., on grounds of gender, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion, civil status or membership of the Traveller community), and must otherwise be fair and reasonable (i.e., provide that an employee is made aware of all the charges against him or her, is afforded a reasonable opportunity to rebut such charges and is afforded adequate representation throughout the process). In addition to this, the level of sanctions should be staggered to reflect the seriousness of the offence. It will generally suffice for the disciplinary policy to be available on an employer's intranet, provided employees are advised of this at the commencement of employment. If the employer does not have this facility, employees should be advised in their contracts or letters of appointment, or by way of the staff noticeboard, of where they can obtain a copy of the policy. The policy should generally, as a matter of best practice, be available in English and in any other language spoken by employees. Disciplinary procedures do not have to be filed with any state or government authority.

To view the full review please click here.

This article was first published in The Employment Law Review, Edition 6 (published in February 2015).

Footnotes

1 Bryan Dunne is a partner and Bláthnaid Evans is a solicitor at Matheson.

2 [2014] 25 ELR 229.

3 [2014] IEHC 3819 P (High Court, O'Neill J, 9 May 2014).

4 [2013] IEHC 581 (Judgment of Kearns P delivered on 20 December 2013).

5 EE/2009/275.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.