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Blog  »  November 2015
Nov 15

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Minimum Wage - Employers, are you up-to-date?

The Minimum Wage is set to increase from 1 January 2016. The rate for adults will rise from €8.65 to €9.15 per hour, an increase of 50 cent.

Minimum Wage applies to all employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary and casual employees, the only exceptions are for close relatives of employers and apprentices under the Industrial Training Act 1967.

The new rates are listed below

  • Experienced Adult Worker - €9.15
  • Under the age of 18 - €6.41
  • In the first year after the date of first employment over the age 18* - €7.32
  • In the second year after the date of first employment over age 18* - €8.24

* Employment experience prior to age 18 is not taken into account for these rates.

Sunday Pay

If not already included in the rate of pay, employees are generally entitled to a premium payment for Sunday working, or paid time off in lieu.

The Living Wage
Recently there have been discussions around the introduction of a Living Wage of €11.50 per hour. Supporting bodies believe this is the required rate of pay in order to have an acceptable standard of living. However, for many small employers such an increase would pose a significant financial burden, which could result in the loss of jobs, rather than the creation.

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) holds responsibility for securing compliance with the minimum wage, formerly held by NERA. In 2014 almost 5,600 inspections were carried out on random workplaces across Ireland. These resulted in €861,416 of unpaid wages being recovered.

The Message for Employers
Employers need to be compliant with the minimum wage. Employers need to be sure they remain compliant come 1 January, when the new rates come into effect. To avoid confusion and stress come the holiday period, employers should be looking at reviewing pay rates and contracts of employment now.

BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Contract of employment, Pay/Wage

Nov 15

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Accrual of Holidays Whilst on Sick Leave

Workers can now accrue annual leave whilst on long-term sick leave.

This is a major change in employment legislation and came into effect on 1 August 2015 with the introduction of the Workplace Relations Bill.

The new legislation brings Ireland in line with European employment law. In addition, and perhaps more importantly for employers, it aims to strike a balance between protecting the rights of vulnerable workers who are ill and trying to minimise the cost to businesses, something which is a constant challenge for employers.

Key facts you need to know

  • From 1 August employees on sick leave can accrue annual leave
  • The leave must be certified, therefore will generally apply to those on long-term sick leave
  • The accrual of annual leave will not apply to any periods of sick leave prior to 1 August 2015
  • Any leave accrued must be taken within 15 months of the end of the leave year in question
  • If an employee leaves employment they should be paid in lieu of any accrued leave

This is a major change in employment legislation. Employers need to familiarise themselves with the new legislation and more importantly they need to review their absence policy to ensure that it reflects the new changes.

All appropriate Bright Contracts policies have been reviewed and updated to reflect the changes. Users need just to log in to their software to avail of the software. 

BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Bright Contracts News, Contract of employment, Employee Handbook

Nov 15

Posted by
Jennie Hussey

Irish enterprises are lacking human resources functionality

A recent survey, carried out by The HR Department, has found that fewer than 6 out of 10 small & medium sized Irish enterprises invest in a human resources function, despite the fact that 93% of them believe HR plays a crucial role in business.

The research also revealed that more than a third (35%) of businesses surveyed do not have a staff handbook.

68% of companies that employ 1-10 employees have no HR whatsoever and more than a third (36%) of companies with 11-50 employees also have no HR function.

40% of companies surveyed gave the reason for not investing in a dedicated HR professional or outsourced service because they felt their business was too small to need it, followed by 16% of companies who felt the cost was too much, whereas some 11% of those surveyed felt they have a good enough relationship with their staff and therefore do not require a HR function.

The survey of 600 SME's across the country found that technology, communications, banking, manufacturing & finance are the industry's most likely to invest in HR, whilst the hospitality, retail & business service sectors would be the least likely to invest.

This misconception can lead to serious problems and costs for companies if they have a NERA inspection or a dispute with an employee. Bright Contracts has everything you need to get a professional staff handbook and employee contracts in place for each of your employees -in accordance with the requirements of the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994.

BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Company handbook, Contract of employment