27 November 2023: Domestic Violence Leave

The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (2023 Act) was enacted on 4 April 2023 and many of the provisions have recently commenced. Section 7 of the Act amended the Parental Leave Act 1998 to impose a legal requirement on employers to offer up to five days of paid leave over 12 months to employees who are affected by domestic abuse. This came into operation on27 November 2023.

The Parental Leave Act 1998 (Section 13AA) (Prescribed Daily Rate of Domestic Violence Leave Pay) Regulations 2023, which came into operation on 27 November 2023, set out the prescribed daily rate of pay payable to an employee who needs to take time off because of domestic abuse. This is effectively the employee's normal daily rate of pay.

The Government has confirmed that Women's Aid has been commissioned to develop supports for employers to develop their own domestic violence workplace policies, and sample policies, guidance and training for employers are available at www.dvatwork.ie.

To access our previous articles on this topic, please see here and here.

17 December 2023: Protected Disclosures reporting obligations

The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 was updated by the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022 (2022 Act). As part of the provisions brought in under the 2022 Act, new procedures for how reports must be handled were introduced. From the commencement date of the 2022 Act (1 January 2023), all public bodies and organisations subject to EU laws and regulations in the areas of financial services, prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, transport safety and safety of offshore gas and oil operations regardless of size are required to establish internal reporting channels. Similarly, from the commencement date of the 2022 Act private sector employers with 250 or more employees were required to establish internal reporting channels and procedures to enable workers to make protected disclosures. Employers with between 50 and 249 employees benefitted from a transition period.

However, from17 December 2023 private sector companies with 50 or more employees must comply with this requirement to establish internal reporting channels.

Please see our previous article on this topic here.

1 January 2024: Paid sick leave

The Sick Leave Act 2022 (Sick Leave Act) commenced on 1 January 2023 and introduced an employee entitlement to statutory sick leave. The statutory entitlement to sick leave is being rolled out as part of a 4-year plan: the statutory entitlement was set at three days per year in 2023, rising incrementally to 10 days per year by 2026.

From 1 January 2024, statutory sick leave entitlement will increase to five days statutory sick leave for the calendar year 2024. Subject to the terms of the Sick Leave Act, once an employee has completed a 13-week service requirement, they will be entitled to be paid for five days at 70% of gross earnings, up to a cap of €110 per day.

Please see our previous article on this topic here.

Early reminder for 2024 and 2025: Gender Pay Gap reporting

The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 (Act) was signed into law on 13 July 2021. The Act amends the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2015 in the form of the Employment Equality Act 1998 (Section 20A) (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2022 (Regulations). The Regulations place obligations on both private and public sector employers to publish information relating to the remuneration of their employees by reference to the gender of such employees, to show whether there are differences in such remuneration referable to gender, and to publish statements setting out the reasons for such differences and the measures (if any) taken, or proposed to be taken, by those employers to eliminate or reduce such differences.

For the two years after the introduction of the Regulations (i.e. 2022 and 2023), these obligations applied to employers with 250 or more employees. However, for 2024 (the third anniversary of the Regulations) the obligations will apply to employers with 150 or more employees.

Therefore, for employers with 150 or more employees, the first reporting deadline will be 31 December 2024. For 2025, the Regulations will apply to employers with 50 or more employees.

Please see our previous article on this topic here.

Contributed by Rachel Fitzgibbon

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