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Blog  »  November 2014
Nov 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Signs that your new hire won't work

From time-to-time every hiring manager makes a hiring mistake. No matter how rigorous your screening and interviewing process, what you thought you saw is not always what you eventually get.

It’s never fun to realize you made a bad or ill-informed hiring decision. The good news? It’s often easy to tell early on if a new employee won’t work.

Here are some telltale signs to help recognise whether a new employee will work out:

Still at the “Old Job”: It’s understandable for new hires to want to bring forward new ideas – but if your new employee is constantly bringing up their old company it raises the questions as to why they left in the first place. If employees aren’t willing to adjust to the way things work at your company, it’s unlikely they’ll have the flexibility you need.
Attendance Issues: attendance problems are always a red flag, but if within their first month of employment they are frequently late or are already calling in sick, they are not going to be a reliable employee, it’s a sure sign that they don’t care enough to make an effort.
Too Assertive: While new employees should definitely voice their opinions, raise concerns, and stand behind their decisions, they should also take it slow and feel their way through interpersonal and organisational dynamics so they can build positive relationships. A new employee who takes too strong a stand, argues too loudly, or even borders on confrontational is likely to be a handful once the new hire honeymoon period is over. Quietly assertive is good; loudly assertive, especially in the first few weeks, means you may have hired someone who will always be a real handful.

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Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Company Handbook, Contract of employment

Nov 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Travelodge Receptionist awarded €63,000 by Equality Tribunal

A Polish receptionist with Travelodge, Waterford has been awarded €63,000 for discrimination on the grounds of race and victimisation.

The receptionist started working for Travelodge in 2008 and went on maternity leave in 2011. On her return her hours were reduced and the staff member hired to cover her maternity leave was kept on. She claimed that her manager told her that her English was not good enough to work day-shifts despite having worked those shifts for the previous three years with no issue. She claimed her manager said she had “been off for the last six months with your baby speaking Polish at home.”

The employee lodged a formal complaint, which was rejected by her employer. Subsequently she alleged that she was threatened by her manager who warned that he would look through CCTV footage for any possible wrong doing.

Following this, the claimant submitted a claim to the Equality Tribunal. In response to the claim Travelodge did not make a written submission nor did they appear at the tribunal hearing.

The Tribunal found the claimant to be fluent in written and spoken English and to be a “credible witness”.

The Tribunal found in favour of the claim on all three counts:

• In not allowing the employee work day shifts she had been discriminated on the grounds of race.
• In reducing her hours following maternity leave she had returned to work on less favourable working conditions, establishing that she has been treated less favourably because of her maternity leave.
• In threatening to review CCTV footage the Tribunal was satisfied that the claimant had been the subject of adverse treatment and victimisation.

Lessons Learnt

Employers are reminded of their obligations under equality legislation to ensure that employees are not discriminated against on the basis of any of the nine prohibited grounds, or victimised as a result of having raised a complaint.

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Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Company Handbook, Contract of employment

Nov 14

Posted by
Sean McHugh

Security Industry Joint Labour Committee publishes draft proposals

The Joint Labour Committee for the Security Industry has formulated proposals for fixing the minimum remuneration and working conditions of workers in relation to whom the Committee operates. These draft proposals have been published by Workplace Relations on their website.

The headline features of the proposals include:

• Minimum rate of remuneration per hour of €10.75
• Overtime in excess of an average 48 hours per week in the roster cycle will be paid at a rate of time and a half
• Annual leave entitlement shall be in accordance with the terms of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.
• Public Holiday entitlement shall be in accordance with the terms of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.
• By agreement each employee shall have a rest period and break which can be regarded as equivalent to those provided for in Sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Act.
• Completed rosters setting out all hours of work for a minimum period of one week will be made available to employees in writing.
• Security firms will provide, or make arrangements with clients to provide, appropriate facilities and protection to ensure the safety, health and welfare of their employees at their place of employment.
• A non-contributory Death in Service Benefit, equal to one year’s basic pay is payable after 6 months’ service in a Company, and up to the age State Pension becomes payable to the employee.
• A non-contributory Personal Attack Benefit will apply, after 6 months’ to all employees who are attacked in the course of their duty, resulting in an injury.
• Each worker shall be entitled to receive from his/her employer a certificate of service showing the period of their employment and the length of his/her service.
• There will be a non-contributory Sick Pay Scheme.
• Where training is provided for and paid by the Company for new entrants and the employee leaves the Company deductions can be made for same up to certain limits.
• Subject to normal wear and tear the cost of all uniform items supplied and provided to employees during their employment will be borne by the employer subject some conditions.
• Grievance and Disciplinary hearings will be carried out in accordance with the procedures set out in the Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary procedures S I 146 of 2000.
• The Employment Regulation Order does not affect in any way already existing agreements (if equal or better) be they local, national, official, or in company
• Nothing in the Employment Regulation Order shall be taken to exclude, limit or be in any way inconsistent with the rights of any employee under any statutory enactment.
• This Employment Regulation Order will apply for a period of 18 months from the effective commencement date.

The complete proposals can be downloaded through the link below and any person wishing to make representations in relation to the proposals should do so on or before 12 November,

2014.Representations received after that date shall not be considered. Any such representations should be sent by post to The Secretary, Joint Labour Committees, Tom Johnson House, Haddington Road, Dublin 4, or by E-mail to

Link to Document

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Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Company Handbook, Contract of employment, JLCs & Employment Regulation Orders

Nov 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Should an Apprentice receive a Contract of Employment?

An individual employed as an apprentice in a trade specified in the statutory apprenticeship rules is deemed to be an employee for the duration of the apprenticeship. As an employee a signed contract should be put in place between the employer and employee.

Key points to be included in the contract:

• Contract Purpose: the contract should state that the purpose of the contract is for the apprenticeship of the specific trade.
• Training: in this regard the contract should confirm two aspects:
    o That on the job training will be provided under the supervision of a suitably qualified person,
    o That off the job training will be provided at approved courses.
• Termination: it is important to clearly state that the apprentice contract will come to an end once the apprenticeship has been successfully completed. Some employers may wish to retain the individual after their apprenticeship, in this instance it is advisable to issue a new contract of employment. Accommodation should also be made under the termination clause for the event where an employee fails to reach the qualifying standard for their trade. Normal practice would be to state that the contract will be deemed automatically terminated if the apprentice fails, after three attempts to reach the qualifying standard.

Finally employers should remember that minimum wage rates differ for apprentices/trainees. Further details on this can be found here:

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Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Contract of employment