Friday, September 17, 2021

The Government is seeking public input on new rights for better working conditions in Ireland.

Proposed changes will see workers given new rights to information, more predictability, new limits on probationary periods in new jobs and a ban on exclusivity clauses.

It comes as the phased return of workers to the workplace from Monday has been given the green light by public health officials.

The new rights come under a European Union directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions, will be transposed into Irish law by August 2022.

The directive gives workers in all forms of work — including casual work, domestic work, voucher-based work and platform work — the right to:

  • More complete information on the essential aspects of the work, which is to be received early by the worker in writing;
  • A limit to the length of probationary periods at the beginning of a job;
  • Seek additional employment, with a ban on exclusivity clauses and limits on incompatibility clauses;
  • Know in a reasonable period in advance when work will take place – ie for workers with very unpredictable working schedules, as in the case of on-demand work;
  • To request to be transferred to a form of employment with more predictable and secure working conditions where available and receive a reasoned written reply;
  • To receive mandatory training, cost-free, that is required to carry out the work for which the worker is employed.

Tánaiste and Minister for Employment Leo Varadkar is now seeking views on the move to improve terms and conditions for workers.

“I want one of the legacies of the pandemic to be better terms and conditions for workers,” he said.

“That is why we are introducing a new mandatory sick pay scheme, new rights around requesting remote working and the right to disconnect, for example.

“Much of what is required under this directive has already been implemented, such as the restriction on zero-hour contracts, and we are now moving to implement the remaining provisions.

“I look forward to considering all views received. I also want to make sure that any changes won’t damage job creation or create unrealistic or onerous obligations on employers.”

Submissions should be marked “Consultation on the transposition of EU Directive 2019/1152 on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions” and should be emailed to: [email protected].

The deadline for submissions is 3pm on Monday October 25th, 2021.

Further information on the EU Directive 2019/1152 on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions can be found here.

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