As an employee, or prospective employee, contracts of employment can be extremely confusing and intimidating. Employment contracts are drafted by employers to protect their interests, and as such, it is important to understand what you are entering into by signing on the dotted line. Your greatest point of leverage to make changes to your employment contract is before you join your employer, as because they will have invested considerable time, money, and resources to select and interview candidates to determine you are a fit for both their organisation and the role, if the only barrier to you joining is an amendment to your contract, this has every chance of being accepted.
At any stage, if you need guidance on the terms and conditions of your existing employment, or for a new role you have been offered, Lavelle Partners’ have the expertise and experience in employment contract law to assist you.
What should a contract of employment contain?
Under the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018, which came into force on 4th March 2019, you must receive as a minimum a statement of your core terms within five days, containing:
- Names (employer and employee)
- Address (of the employer)
- Dates of employment (if not fulltime)
- Payment details – including the rate or method of calculation
- How many hours you will reasonably be asked to work (per day and per week)
These core terms do not constitute your full employment contract; this must follow within 2 months of your starting date. The Terms of Employment (Information) Acts 1994–2014 defines a more detailed set of terms which and conditions which must be included in your contract of employment, as follows:
- Start date
- Role title
- Type of work
- Work location
- Hours of work
- Overtime terms and conditions
- Payment frequency
- Paid leave (other than sick leave), including annual leave and public holiday entitlement
- Sickness pay
- Notice periods for both parties
- Collective agreements which may vary your terms of employment
What other employment contract terms and conditions should I be aware of?
It is important that before entering into a contract of employment, you thoroughly understand its contents and any implications for you and your family. Many people have a natural tendency to accept unfavourable terms, or those they do not understand because they do not wish to jeopardise their offer of employment. In practice, most employers will be open to discussion on aspects of your contract, and this should not put your position at risk. On the contrary, it will put you in a stronger position at a later point, should aspects of the contract be invoked.
We recommend that you understand any restrictive covenants with your contract. These can place barriers on any future employment, for example, preventing you from working in the same area of work in a given geography. Not all contracts will contain these, and it is typically more senior staff who may be subject to such restrictions. It is essential to make sure these are date limited, highly specific, and fair and reasonable.
It is also advisable to ensure you understand any clauses which may require you to travel or work in other locations, or those in relation to incentives and bonuses (some clauses may make these subject to your employer’s discretion).
How Lavelle Partners can assist you in relation to terms & conditions of employment in Ireland
- For over 30 years, our team of employment law Solicitors, headed by Senior Partner, Marc Fitzgibbon, have been providing legal expertise in relation to terms & conditions of employment. Over that time, we have developed an enviable reputation for providing legal excellence and empathetic support for our valued clients.
- Marc is a former member of the Law Society of Ireland’s Employment & Equality Law Committee and the European Employment Lawyers Association.
- We understand the impact of uncertainty around terms of employment and will handle your case with the utmost empathy and determination to protect your rights.
- From the first moment you speak to one of our employment law Solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and advise you of your options. Furthermore, we understand that employment contract matters need to be managed with the utmost confidentiality.
Our partnership with Talbot Pierce
Lavelle Partners work with Talbot Pierce to provide a seamless service in respect of Human Resource Management. Talbot Pierce are a team of specialist HR professionals who work with us on a range of matters including advice on and delivery of conflict/dispute resolution solutions, best-practice HR strategies, policies and procedures.
For further information on terms & conditions of employment in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800*.
*Please note that fees apply to all consultations and advice cannot be given free of charge.