Employment - Horizon Scanner: Infrastructure, Construction, Energy, May 2024

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The Employment (Collective Redundancies and Miscellaneous Provisions) and Companies (Amendment) Bill 2023 has passed all stages in the Seanad and will now go to the President to be signed into law...
Ireland Employment and HR
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BILL PASSES WHICH SEEKS TO ENHANCE PROTECTION FOR EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY INSOLVENCY

The Employment (Collective Redundancies and Miscellaneous Provisions) and Companies (Amendment) Bill 2023 has passed all stages in the Seanad and will now go to the President to be signed into law. The Bill proposes amendments to the existing collective redundancy regime in insolvency situations and will deliver on key Programme for Government commitments detailed in the Plan of Action – Collective Redundancies following Insolvency.

The proposed text of the Bill that will go before the Seanad remains unchanged since our December 2023 briefing here about the key changes it proposes.

WATCHING THE CLOCK: EMPLOYEE MONITORING AT WORK

In the brave new world of remote and hybrid work, practices surrounding workplace productivity continue to pose data protection challenges. The recent decision of the French supervisory authority to fine Amazon for "an excessively intrusive system for monitoring the activity and performance of employees" provides a timely reminder of the need for careful analysis if monitoring employees in the workplace, whether conducted remotely or on an in-office basis. For more, see our briefing here.

EMPLOYER TAX OBLIGATIONS ON SHARE OPTIONS: REVENUE GUIDANCE

The Finance (No.2) Act 2023 introduced a significant change in respect of unapproved employee share option schemes by shifting the obligation to remit tax on the exercise of options granted under such schemes from individual employees to their employers with effect from 1 January 2024.

On 5 March 2024, the Revenue Commissioners updated Chapter 3 of the Share Schemes Manual to provide further detail on how the collection of tax on unapproved share options would operate in practice. For more, see our briefing here.

DECREASE IN HOURS THRESHOLD FOR WAGE SUBSIDY SCHEME FOR EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITY ANNOUNCED

The Minister for Social Protection has announced a decrease in the hours threshold for the Wage Subsidy Scheme for employees with a disability. The weekly threshold for employers to avail of the Scheme is reduced from 21 to 15 hours from 1 April.

The Wage Subsidy Scheme is an employment support which aims to encourage the employment of people with disabilities in the open labour market. It provides financial incentives to private sector employers to employ people with a disability. The basic rate of subsidy is €6.30 per hour giving a total annual subsidy available of €12,776 per annum based on a 39-hour week. From 1 April, the work must be offered for a minimum of 15 hours to a maximum of 39 hours per week.

More information is available here.

CASE UPDATE: CONTINUITY OF SERVICE WHEN AGENCY WORKER TRANSITIONED TO CLIENT

The Labour Court recently considered whether the "seamless transition" of an agency worker, from his assignment at a client site to direct employment by the client, meant he had sufficient continuity of service to take an unfair dismissal claim when he subsequently failed probation and was dismissed. For more, see our briefing here.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.

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