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Keeping Pace with Changes in Ireland's Employment Law in 2024 (ROI)

As employment law in Ireland undergoes continuous evolution, it presents a dynamic mix of opportunities and challenges for employers. The year 2023 marked a pivotal moment with the introduction of Statutory Sick Pay, amendments to the Protected Disclosure Act, and the establishment of entitlements for Medical Care Purposes & Domestic Leave for employees.

As we journey deeper into 2024, another year of significance unfolds, brimming with a myriad of changes on the horizon. Here's our snapshot of what lies ahead in HR and Employment Law:

Statutory Sick Pay Increase

When: Now in place (Implemented January 2024)
Details: Since January 2024 the scheme increased to 5 days sick pay in a calendar year.  This aligns with the government's plan to gradually increase the scheme to 10 days of sick pay per year.

Employers must ensure their Company Sick Pay scheme provides at least 5 days of sick pay for employees with 13 weeks of service, 70% of salary up to a max of €110 per day.

Where an employer already has a Company Sick Pay Scheme, you must ensure it is equal to or more favourable than the statutory Sick Pay Scheme. If your in-house scheme matches up, you won't be obligated to adhere to the statutory sick pay rules. Find out more here. 

National Minimum Wage 

When: Now in place (Implemented January 2024)
Details: Increased from January 2024, the National minimum hourly rate is now €12.70. Find out more here. 

Enhanced Revenue Reporting Requirements

When: Now in place (Implemented January 2024)
Details: Under the Finance Act 2022 and effective from January 2024, employers will be required to report details of certain expenses and benefits made to employees and directors including remote working daily allowance and travel and subsistence.

Further Information can be found here. 

Changes to State Pension 

When: Now in place (Implemented January 2024)
Details: From 1 January 2024, employees will be able to draw down their pension anytime from 66 to 70 years of age allowing them to continue to work.  

This is likely to mean an increase in applications from workers who wish to apply for longer working arrangements.  Employers will need to consider these requests seriously but are not obliged to approve these requests.

Changes to Employment Permits 

When: Now in place (Implemented January 2024)
Details: Effective from 17th January 2024 the following changes have come into effect regarding changes to employment permits:

  • Extension of General Employment Permits for some sectors including NCT Testers, Lineworkers, Agriculture, Transport, and Home Care due to skills shortages. 
  • Expansion of the Critical Skills Employment List and General Employment List.
  • Salary Increase For Employment Permit Holders.

On the Spot Fines for non-compliance with the Payment of Wages (Amendment) (Tips and Gratuities) Act 2022

When: Now in place (Implemented January 2024)
Details: 

Effective January 2024, WRC Inspectors can now impose fines during inspections on employers who are not complying with the law. 

  • Employers must provide their employees with contracts of employment.
  • Statement/policy to communicate how tips and gratuities are distributed.
  • Notice on the premises to again communicate how tips/gratuities are distributed. 

Work-Life Balance 

When: We expect to see the code of practice published soon
Details:
The WRC is due to publish a Code of Practice on the Right to Request Flexible Working for Caring Purposes, and the Right to Request Remote Working Conditions.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

When: June 2024
Details: Employers with 150 employees or more will be required to report on their gender pay gap. This will mean you will need to choose a snapshot date in June 2024 but can be any date in June.

Employers must then report their gender pay gap information within 6 months after this chosen date i.e. if you chose the 1st of June your deadline is the 1st of December. 

All employees need to be included on the snapshot date including employees not rostered to work on that date and employees on leave. 

EU Pay Transparency Directive

Details: This EU Directive was enacted in 2023 and all member states have until 2026 to transpose into law.  

Although not currently law, we would like to make you aware so that you can examine the current pay structures to identify potential inequality of pay between employees.  

Key elements of the Directive include: 

  • Pay transparency for job-seekers.
  • Right to information for employees.
  • Joint pay assessment.

Parents Leave

When: August 2024
Details:  Parents' Leave will increase from 7 weeks to 9 weeks. 

Pension Auto-enrolment

When: Originally planned for January 2024 but is now expected for the last quarter of 2024
Details: Employees who do not currently have a pension and are aged 20 years or older and earning at least 20,000 will be automatically included in the scheme but can opt-out after 6 months.

Under the scheme, the employee, employer and Government all pay a certain amount into the employee’s pension fund.

HR Compliance, Guaranteed

To stay ahead of these evolving regulations and guarantee compliance, HR Duo offers HR Compliant templates designed for best practices, along with comprehensive support for employee relations. This allows business owners to prioritise running their business without the burden of day-to-day HR tasks. Request a demo today!

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