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Blog  »  Decemeber 2015  »  2015 Employment Round Up - Blog
Dec 15

Posted by
Laura Murphy

2015 Employment Round Up

2015 has been one of the busiest years in employment history. We have summarised the main changes below:

Workplace Relations Commission (WRC)

The WRC has replaced NERA, the Labour Relations Commission, the Equality Tribunal and the first instance functions of the Labour Court and the Employment Appeals, changing the entire employment landscape in Ireland. Key consequences of the WRC include:

  • It is now easier for employees to bring claims against employers and for employers to respond to them
  • Claims will be dealt with much more quickly
  • Mediation and early dispute resolution are encouraged 
  • In order to promote higher levels of compliance with employment law, employers can now be penalised with “on the spot” fines from a WRC Inspector

Accrual of Sick Leave Whilst on Sick Leave

From 1 August 2015 employees will now accrue annual leave whilst on long term sick leave. See here for further information.

National Minimum Wage

A Low Pay Commission has been set up to advise the Government annually on appropriate minimum wage levels. In its first report it recommended a 50 cent increase in minimum wage from €8.65 per hour to €9.15 per hour. This increase will come into effect in January 2016.

Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015

The main changes as a result of the Act are:

  • Greater clarity around Labour Court investigations of trade disputes
  • The reintroduction of Registered Employment Agreements (REAs)
  • The introduction of Sectoral Employment Orders (SEOs)

2016 looks set to be an equally eventful year with the introduction of Paternity Leave and the review of Zero Hour Contracts. As always employment law is ever changing!

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