2022 Recap: Changes In Ireland’s Labor And Employment Law

Keeping up with changes in Irish employment law is a difficult task. We’ve selected the top five critical changes in Ireland’s labor and employment law during 2022.

1.     Redundancy risks

Following the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic and the forced closure of businesses, the administration introduced specific protection measures for employees laid off due to downsizing.

With the restrictions lifted, the government intended to phase out the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme on December 31, 2021.

Employers had to plan for their employees’ pay accordingly because the government no longer supported them. Employers were advised to look for alternatives before dismissing their employees.

2.     Flexible Working Hours

Employees are now able to request flexible working hours under this directive, allowing them to manage personal responsibilities such as parenting and domestic duties.

People’s work lives have changed dramatically, and the Irish government has incorporated these changes into employment legislation.

3.     Online Harassment

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people shifted to working from home. This had a profound impact on the workforce. Further, it has opened up previously unknown avenues of harassment in workplaces.

The staff members telecommute, work from home, and conduct business online. Because of this, there is a greater chance that people will say or do anything disrespectful in a Zoom or Teams conversation.

Exclusionary bullies could target remote workers in the workplace. Victims may be denied access to certain information or be barred from specific meetings.

4.     Right to Disconnect

The Organization of Working Time Act already gives workers the right to disconnect. Ireland also approved a code of practice for employees to disconnect from work. While this code is not law, employees are able to collect evidence and present it to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). Disallowing employees to disconnect from work could have negative bearings on employers if employees present their issues to the WRC, or labor and criminal courts.

5.     Statutory Sick Pay

In July 2022, the Sick Leave Act was passed. Starting on January 1, 2023, employees will be entitled to 3 days of paid sick leave. The rate of payment for statutory sick leave is 70% of normal wages and under the new act, employees have the right to file a complaint with the WRC when they are not provided sick leave.

The Bottom Line

As a direct result of the pandemic, nations and governments in every region of the world are actively attempting to revitalize their economies and enhance the working conditions of their respective workforces.

Employers in Ireland are collaborating with the government to continuously improve workplace safety, reduce the likelihood of employees being laid off, and increase the availability of alternative work schedules for individuals who perform their jobs remotely.

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