The Regulations transposing the Directive came into force in Ireland on 16 December 2022.
The Directive aims to improve working conditions for employees in Europe and particularly those in low paid or unsecure employment. Many of the provisions provided for in the Directive have already formed part of Irish law for some time through the Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994 and the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018. Below are five key changes introduced by the Directive that Irish employers should be aware of when drafting and reviewing contracts of employment and policy documents.
- 1. From 16 December 2022 employees must receive information in relation to remuneration including basic rate of pay and any additional payments, the place of work and where there is no specific fixed place of work a statement setting out that the employee is employed at various places or is free to determine his/her own place of work, the title or grade of the work or a brief description of the work, the commencement date of the contract, any terms and conditions relating to hours of work including overtime and the duration and conditions of any probationary period within five days of commencing employment.
Employees must now receive their full written contract of employment within one month from commencement of employment. The contract of employment must now include training entitlements, paid leave entitlements, procedures to be observed on termination, any applicable collective agreements and for agency workers the identity of the end user.
- 2. Employees who work unpredictable work patterns must now be informed that their work schedule is variable and the contract must set out the number of guaranteed paid hours and the remuneration for hours worked in addition to the guaranteed hours, the hours and days the employees may be required to work and the minimum notice period the employee is entitled to before the start of a work assignment. These employees also have a right to request a form of employment with more secure working conditions after they have successfully completed six months of service. The employer must provide the employee with a reasoned reply to the request within one month.
- 3. Employees posted overseas must now receive information regarding remuneration in accordance with local law entitlements, arrangements for expenses and a link to an official EU website which sets out the terms and conditions that apply to workers posted abroad.
- 4. Probationary periods in contracts of employment are limited to 6 months and can only be extended in exceptional circumstances such as where an employee was on extended sick leave during the probationary period.
- 5. Exclusive service clauses in contracts of employment are prohibited except where it is proportionate to do so and the requirement can be objectively justified on particular grounds such as health and safety, protection of business confidentiality and avoidance of conflicts of interest.