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Q: I have been working for a bluechip company for 7 years and have been based in one Irish city throughout that period, although that location is not specifically stated in my contract.I have been promoted and in my current position [for the last 3 years] have agreed to work one day per week in another city. One week before I returned from matleave I was advised that my job was now to be located in that other city full time. Can they do this?

A: You need to look at your contract of employment and to review the clause in relation to location of work
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Q: I have worked for an organisation for 7 months and they are closing down. Do I qualify for redundancy?

A: You have to be working with an employer for 2 years or more to qualify for redundancy pay
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Q: I was standing in for a woman on maternity leave and was told she was coming back next monday and that I was told i was finished that day(I wouldnt be working the monday)am I entitled to a weeks notice?

A: Your notice period should be specified in your contract of employment
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Q: I have been employed 7 yrs full-time, 5 months ago went on part time(same company). I have now been made redundant-will my redundancy pay be based on part time salary? Thanks

A: Your statutory redundancy entitlement will be two weeks pay per year of service plus one extra week, up to a max of €600 per week
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Q: I work in a call centre alone on night shift on a 2 week roster. my colleague and myself cover this shift over the 2 weeks. I work monday ,tuesday, friday, saturday and sunday on week 1, then wednesday and thursday week 2. anyway my question is that my employer is forcing me to work my colleague's shifts as well as my own when she is on holidays which could mean I work 14 shifts or more without a night off. Is he legally right in making me do this? Also as I and my colleague work alone at night we get no proper breaks

A: It would appear that your employer is in breach of the Organisation of Working Time Act in a number of ways
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Q: I take full responsibility for being late to work by 3 hours, it was my own fault but I am worried I may be fired over it. I have a disciplinary hearing tommorrow about it. I have never been late before or had any warnings etc and have been with the company for 3.5 years. Please advise

A: If you were to be fired on this issue alone, the sanction would be completely disproportionate to the misconduct or breach of policy
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Q: I was employed on a fixed term contract for 16 months. At the end of this time the post was re-advertised. A colleague, from another section who already had a permanent contract, was awarded the one year fixed term contract. There were no performance related issues during my period of employment. The collleagues previous post was not advertised and I was informed that it would be dealt with internally. Is this practice above board?


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Q: Hi, Am I entitled to feedback and a copy of my scoresheet (used during interview) following interview?

A: You are entitled to a copy of the score sheet and any notes taken at interview relating to you
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Q: I have been working set days and times for the past nine months. I work two days a week. Previously I worked for this company 8 years, I went back after a baby and asked for two days a week, I am now nine months part time. without notice my boss emailed me a new rota starting in three days time. He has me in now three days although the same amount of hours, plus different days and different shift times, please help i have no childcare for a third day

A: This is a matter of discussion and negotiation between you and your employer
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Q: I've been with my current employer for over 3 years. When it came to booking holidays we could usually book anytime throughout the year providing there was enough cover. Now our employer has put up a notice to say we have to have all our holiday dates booked off on the calendar and handed to my manager for approval by the end of january. Can they do that? Thank You

A: The employer has the right to allow or disallow holiday requests; most employers will try to balance the personal preferences of employees with the needs of the business
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Q: I have just found out that I am pregnant only 5 weeks and I am now into the 8 month of an eighteen month contract with a company I love. I will be due at the end of August and there has been talk of making me permanent as the company seem very happy with me and I have had very positive feedback - however they are creating a role for me. I am worried that now I am pregnant my contract will be terminated when I finish for maternity leave which would be mid August. What advice can you give, what rights do I have and do you have any suggestions about ways I can do the best by my employer - I very much want to be kept on.

A: The employer will be ill advised to terminate your employment because of the fact that you are pregnant and certainly to terminate your employment when you are on maternity leave
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Q: Hi I have worked for the company for 3 years and I was placed on part time (3 days a week) last June,following a 5 month lay off period. Again I was placed on lay off 4 weeks ago 1) Am I entitled to the 3 public holidays over the festive season 2)Will my redundancy (statory)be affected due to the lay off and reduction in hours. Thanks in advance

A: Your redundancy will be calculated based on the length of service which does not include periods of layoff but will include the part–time work service
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Q: My partner was put on lay off and possible redunancey notice in a letter he received on 22 Sept which is 14 weeks ago. To date he has not heard a word from his employer so does this mean he will be given redundancy? He is an industrial cleaner.

A: This does not necessarily mean he is entitled to redundancy
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Q: How many days off a week am i entitled to?

A: This depends on your job and your contract of employment.
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Q: My company is being bought out by another I was told we would be doing the same jobs. We had to take a ten per cent pay cut last year and I have now been told that we are going to work in the new company with this wage beung set as our "new" salary. Also, our lunch is being reduced by 15 minutes. Can you tell me what our rights are in this - we were told about this on Friday and we are to start on the 17th January? Thanks.

A: The new owner undertakes all of the obligations (with the exception of pension) of your previous owner as part of the transfer of undertakings.
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Q: I am just after going on illness benefit and am being told that I am going to be made redundant. Am I entitled to redundancy payment still?

A: Your redundancy entitlement relates to your length of service but absence due to illness over the last 3 years will not be counted in your length of service
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Q: I work part time 24hrs a wk in a barbers so as you know standing all day long cutting hair in the one spot. Anyway no one ever takes the 15 min breaks including myself in which were intitled to, as our boss is very contrary infact she has never even mentioned it to us. Anyway there are times I have stood cutting hair from 9.30am to 3.00pm non stop and still she will only give you a half hr break. Unfortunately I smoke so I may step out side for 1 to 2 smokes through out the day,it takes less than 2 mins to smoke a cigarette,so I'm not even taking my 15 mins break each time in that regard. Is my employers rules right in this situation? because it definitely doesn't feel right. My other co workers don't even smoke and they too only get a half hr break after working an 8 hr shift per day and nothing else.

A: Employees’ entitlements to rest breaks are set out in section 12 of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.
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Q: I have just started a new job in a restaurant where I was required to do a trial shift. I was asked to go in for a few hours. A few hours turned into seven hours and when I asked the owner how much I was to be paid for the evening, I was told the trial shift is unpaid. Is this legal?

A: There is nothing illegal per se in being asked to do tasks as part of the recruitment process.
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Q: Hi, I work as a doorman in a Galway nightclub, until a couple of years ago they didn't pays us for bank holidays, now they pay us double time only for the hours we work and nothing if we dont work. Sometimes they bring us in to work early and pay us at a reduced rate, also they stop paying us at a certain time even if we are expected to work past this time but if they bring us in late they they dock us, are these practices legal?

A: As you work the bank holiday, the employer has the option of either giving you double time, or time off within a month following the bank holiday.
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Q: I recently did a 7 hour trial shift in a restaurant and when asked if I would get paid, was told that all restaurants were having unpaid trial shifts. I know this is not true. Am I legally entitled to be paid for the 7 hours of work?

A: It seems that you had some expectation that you might not be paid for the trial shift
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Q: I am a trainee hairdresser, but do not get designated tea breaks in the morning or afternoon. My lunchbreak is the same too, as we all work throughout the day as we are very busy with customers. Am I entitled to both these breaks in my working contract and job description?

A: You are legally entitled to a 15 minute break after working for 4.5 hours
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Q: I WORKED FOR FOR A COMPANY FOR A FIXED CONTRACT OF 15 MONTHS AND EXTENDED FOR ANOTHER 2 MONTHS. THE JOB WAS CHANGED FROM FULL TIME TO PART-TIME WHICH I'VE TO RE APPLY BUT I WAS NOT CALLED FOR AN INTERVIEW. WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS?

A: You were employed in the position on fixed term contracts and consequently your employee rights expire at the end of the fixed term contract.
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Q: I am in a 3.5 yr training contract with a small accountancy company in Dublin. I am here 27 months to date and have completed the first stage of the institute examinations and2 out of 4 of the 2nd yr examinations. I approached my managers back in August and informed them that I was considering moving to Australia in March of next yr as better career opportunities. My query is in relation to my contract. Under the salary section it stipulates that the Annual Review will reflect the minimum increments on passing each stage of the institute exams in addition to progress in the office and the level of responsibility undertaken. As I started in Sept 08 the Nov 08 review was not really relevant to me. Last November we were informed that there was review to be taking place and I was due one as I had recently passed the first stage of the institute exams. The reviews kept being put off and it has never taken place. I have not received any increments either. My query is in relation to whether this failure on the companys part to fulfill the contract renders it void. The managers brought up the subject of me breaking my contract if I leave however I feel that they have already broken it due to failure on their part not to carry out the review as in the contract. I appreciate this is a long winded email but i would be grateful if you could respond at your earliest convenience as I am due to meet with the partners this week. Should you require a copy of the contract I can forward same on if requested.

A: Unfortunately, it is not possibIe to answer this question from the information provided as I don’t know how you have performed in respect of responsibilities undertaken or progress in the office.
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Q: Can my employer tell me to take a week off without pay because business has decreased. This was done summarily without any prior notice

A: Check if your contract of employment provides for lay off or short time and if it does then your employer has the right.
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Q: Hello, My partner has been working for the same company for approx. 11 years and was on approx. e46,000. Last week he was told he would now be on e26,000. Is this leagal and is there anything he can do about it - would the labour court help or is that just for trade union members? Thanks.

A: An employer cannot make material changes to your partner’s contract of employment without his/her consent
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Q: I currently work for a local authority grounds maintenence dept. They have decided to out source the grass cutting part of our work, as this only equates to 7 months work per year (max)how do I stand with TUPE regs? I am employed to carry out a range of tasks and not just grass cutting. I work 52 weeks of the year and have done for the past 15 years. The new contracter can not gurantee year round work. Surely this puts me in detriment?

A: If the work is outsourced, you have the right under TUPE to transfer across to the new supplier under your current contract of employment
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Q: Hi Helena I hope u can help me out.. I'm working with a company over a year now. I was hired as a store manager earning 34 k a year and approx half hour from my home so I moved house closer to work approx ten mns from the job... Anyway they have cut my wages to 25k and sent me to a different store on 25k a year and as a sales assistant. Also now I'm travelling to a diffrent county and driving 120 km per day can they do this ? thanks in advance


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Q: Hi Helena I am currently on maternity leave, returning to work in March 2011. I have worked for my boss for over 6 years and want to ask for a 4 day week. He is an extremely busy man and I know he will say he needs me 5 days a week. We get on quite well but there are many times he is very difficult to work for due to extreme pressures in the firm. I need to have a really good written plan and come to some compromise with him on this 4 day week. Could you advise or point me in the right direction as to how I could approach him with this proposal and persuade him? Also, I heard from a friend that if you ask 3 times for a 4 day week the company by law have to grant you this 4 day week. Is there any truth in this? Bear in mind I work for a law firm as a legal secretary. Thank you so much. K

A: There is no obligation in law or otherwise for your employer to grant you a 4 day week.
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Q: I have been out sick for 3 years,what are my entitlement and rights when i return.How will my length of service be calculated i started in 2000.

A: This really depends on what happened in the 3 year period you were out sick.
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Q: I am a contractor (Ltd Liability Co). I have been contracting for 18 months to the same company- One 6 month and one 12 month contract- running concurrently. 1/ Can this contracting situation continue forever, or must I be offered employee status (or be let go) at some stage? 2/ For all intensive purposes (day to day) I am treated like an employee. What are the key elements that define the distinction between contractor and employee? 3/ Should by contract be terminated, am I entitiled to employee type benefits? Many thanks

A: The determination of whether you are a contractor or employee is very much case by case and takes account of a number of factors
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Q: Where can I report my previous employer for not wanting to pay my holiday entitlement for the last 4 months?

A: The National Employment Rights Authority is the relevant body to enforce entitlements under the relevant employment legislation.
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Q: Hi Helena, I am just wondering what an employers obligation is to make sure staff get to and from work safely. I work in a department store and with the snow this week there has been major disruption getting to and from work. I have been travelling to work all week via public transport that work has been updating service disruptions on a regular basis however last night all public transport from area of work was cancelled and most people were stranded, we were told by employer there was no obligation to get us home safely. as i am australian and worked for a british company previously i am unaware of the irish employment laws in regard to there duty of care in regards to travelling to work can you let me know what there responsibilty is?? also on Wednesday the shop was closed 2 hours early due to snow although i turned up for my duty the company has said i am not entitled to be paid those 2 hrs even though i was sent home?? also if you cant get to work safely is the employer obliged to pay you for the day?? hope you can help. Kind regards Claire

A: If the employer, decides to close early or send employees home arising out of the weather conditions, the employer will generally have to compensate employees as normal
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Q: I work for a company for 12 years full time but 2 years ago they changed my work position because of a medical condition I could no longer do the old position , I am happy in the new position 2 years now can they take it from me to give to someone else if they want

A: If your performance is not meeting the required standards within the company, the employer can dismiss you from the position.
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Q: Hi. I am in a job for 4 months and want to leave as its not what I expected. In my contract I have a probationary period (6 months) but I understand that from Employment Law, that probation only lasts 13 weeks. Is that the case? In my contract, I have to give 2 months notive and my employer has to give me one months notice. If I resign now, am I entitled to serve my two months notice or get paid in lieu of notice? If that is the case, do I get paid in lieu at my salary level or at the minimum terms set under employment law?

A: There is no fixed length of a probation period.
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Q: I have been with my current employer for over 2yrs now.My contract states that my working week is 37.5hr. It also states that I may be required to do extra hours from time to time without overtime pay.I usually stay on most week days by 1hr and dont have an issues with this.I have recently been told that I am now going to have to work a 3 cycle shift which is 39hrs plus work every second Sathurday.I have told my employeer that I am unable to do shift work or work weekends.Could I lose my job and if so what are my rights.

A: The proposed change is a significant change to your terms and conditions of employment and you employer is not entitled to enforce this unilaterally
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Q: I work a seasonal job doing school photography....I had found another job so I gave my notice...I was then asked to stay with a raise and prime hrs (meaning all out of town work) and fully working thru Dec....so far I have not been given the hrs and work they were guaranteeing and I was laid off in Nov.til feb. only to find out that a new employee was given all the hrs and is still working. With this when I would question anything, I had been yelled at, given sarcasm and just completely lied to saying there was no more work...So all in all I turned down a job to stay with this employer and they did not keep their word for my not leaving...Is there anything I can do? I have been there for 3 yrs and even had to train the area sales rep./manager

A: I take from your question that there wasn’t a written agreement between you and your employer relating to the new terms and conditions.
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Q: I have been working for a company since August 2009 - first on a temporary contract for 6 motnhs and then a yearly contract for 12 months. My contract is up for renewal in Jan 11 and the company havea agreed to renew this until May 11. There are no performance issues and no funding issues and have not been given a reason why this is not extended to 12 months again. What rights do I have in this case?

A: The employer is required to issue you with a written notice of why you are being issued with another fixed term contract.
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Q: I took unauthorised holiday (non paid) but gave the employer notice 5 days prior. He didn´t give me the day off and said if I would take it off it will have consequences. I replied I do not want to make any trouble but I have to have the day off. And I took the day off. I received a Final Written Warning and I will not receive the next quarter bonus. I appealed against the Final Written Warning but he insits on it. How would you see that case and what would you advice me. Regards Tobias Reichert

A: The employer has the authority to decide on when you take holidays and usually they try to accommodate employee’s requests to meet personal circumstances etc.
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Q: I live 31KM from my work place. This week there is over 7inches of snow in my home town. I rang and said I couldnt make work due to the weather conditions.I later got a text message from my manager, telling me that this is my responsibility and part of my job.I am a supervisor at work.He asked me to get a train to work.I told him I would have no problem getting a train but I cant get to the station. Today I heard I am facing disaplinary action for not coming to work!!Can he do this???

A: There is no legal obligation on the employer to pay you for this day as the place of work remained open and it was your decision not to travel because of the snow.
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Q: My firm has been taken over by another firm under the same umbrella, one of the shops will close, not mine. Can they take manager from shop due to close and put him in my shop making me redundant - I am the longest serving manager

A: Redundancy relates to a position and affects the person holding that position.
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Q: This is a strange one!! I work for a family owned manufacturing company. I have officially been on a 3-day week for over a year, but as and when my role got busy i worked 5 day weeks. eg, to date this year end November I have worked approx twenty 3-day weeks. My role is estimating manager for manufacturing on the shop floor and external sites. There have been considerable redundancies within the company over the past year or two, therefore we now have a workforce. We have a full order book for the next 1 - 2 months and I have been instructed to turn down tenders, due to lack of available workforce during this period. I have suggested to the director, temporary reinstatement of previous employees or agency men, etc, but my idea has been rejected. I can not explain why, except for a complete lack of ambition. The director seems happy for us to now "plod along" operating with a smaller workforce and enforced reduced staff working week. During this busy forthcoming period I have been told that I will still be on a 3-day week irrespective. My concern is that if we are now at maximum capacity and therefore turnover, etc, and I am still on 3-day week, how will I ever be reinstated back to full time employment? It appears that he will keep me in this situation indefintely. My question is do I have any rights to be reinstated back to full time? There are a number of admin staff in worse situations who have been on permanent 3-days weeks for much longer, whilst there are others who have really never been affected. It seems to be a situation of favouritism towards some staff members. Many Thanks

A: The owner manager decides how he/she structures and drives the business. There is no obligation on the family to grow the business if they chose not to.
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Q: I was made redundant in June this year,my employer has now offered to re employ me, does this affect my redundancy payment?

A: If the employer is re employing you in the same position, then the position was not made redundant and you would not be entitled to a redundancy payment.
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Q: I have been on sick leave for the past 17 months and I have been passed fit to work by my employers doctor. I work in childcare and they are now trying to send me to a different work location and a trial basis. I worked at my own centre for five years. they have brought someone in from a different centre to cover my position. Are they entitled to send me elsewhere as i want to return to my old place of work?

A: This depends on your contract of employment.
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Q: My maternity leave is almost finished and I have to bring my baby to the creche. The ones in my area open at 8 am so I would need to start my working day at 8.30 instead of 8am. I am still waiting for a response from my company but can they deny my request? Thanks.

A: Strictly speaking the employer can refuse but most employers are supportive of staff with child care responsibilities
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Q: I have been employed by the HSE for 15 years. I was on maternity leave from July 2008 to Jan. 09, followed by sick leave until Jan. 10. I returned to employment on 11.01.10 but unfortunately had a bout of illness again from Sept. 10 to Nov. 10. On my return I discovered that I had been paid by both my employer and social welfare. I expected my employer to deduct the SW payment while I was off. I brought this to the attention of my line manager, who in turn brought it to the attention of the payroll department. I had submitted all of my sick certs as requested and was never notified that I was due to be put on 1/2 pay or no pay. I am now in receipt of a letter from the payroll department, informing me that I have been overpayed and owe them all of the pay for the 9 wees that I was on sick leave. They want this to be paid back over 4 pay dates. This will leave me with almost zero income. What are my rights in this regard?

A: The employer is entitled to deduct the money you owe them
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Q: Hi. This is a question regarding a part time worker doing a 5 hour shift in a shop. Up to now (for around 2 years) she has always been allowed a 15 minute paid break by the manager as this is what was understood to be her legal entitlement although this has never been confirmed by either the area or regional manager and there is no mention of it in her contract. She was given this break mid shift and it effectively meant thet she only really worked 4h45mins. however in our most recent deployment sheet she is specifically given a half hour unpaid break, she is unhappy with this as it means being expected to stay on the extra half hour. All the company contracts appear to be standard and the only time breaks are mentioned is in relation to people working full days and getting a hour unpaid. Can she refuse to take the half hour unpaid or are the company within their rights to demand this?

A: The rationale for giving and taking breaks is health and safety.
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Q: If an independant contractor is injured on a work site, and it's thought it's due to his own negligence , can the employee or person whom hired him be held liable? and what would the health and safety do in this situation?

A: In general the employer is responsible for the health and safety of its employees, contractors etc.
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Q: Hi I have been with the same company for over 3 years now I'm now 23 weeks pregnant and my uniform no longer fits does my employer have to supply me with a new one? My uniform is along the same lines as the Gardai uniform so it's not like I can just buy something that looks the same. My employer does not seem willing to supply me with anything and has told me to buy my own. If you could clear this up for me it would be great.

A: This depends on the agreement between you and your employer.
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Q: A very quick question, but does your length of service include the months of probation? thank you

A: Your length of service does include probation.
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Q: How do I go about laying staff off for the Christmas period? We have a section in their contract that they may be laid off if there is a downturn in the business. We would need to lay people off for 8 days.

A: There is no standard form of protective notice. However, such notice should include the following criteria:
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Q: I work nights in a hotel and work 5 nights in a row and get two nights off now they have changed it to off on a monday and sunday every week can they do this constantily i have been with the hotel for 3 years and its only lately that they cahnged this . many thanks

A: You need to check your contract of employment which states the normal working times and whether or not it allows for variations of same.
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Q: I have worked for a company for the past 22 years up until recently.I was made redundant with the 3 other lads who made up the ground staff.I have just found out that the office staff that comprises of the bosses 2 daughters and the son in law are now doing the work that i was employed to do.I never had a contract with the company and have been there longer as has the other staff 1 being there 30 years.I was told by the boss that he has no fitters and that he is in financial difficulties and that they are struggling to keep the company going.I was wondering what are my rights around this situation.

A: You have the right to challenge your former employer on whether a legitimate redundancy situation existed and on the method of selection for redundancy
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Q: My husband was asked to take a pay cut he was told this was voluntary and my husband said no because he had already taken a pay cut a few months prior. He heard nothing back from his employer so he assumed that the paycut would no go ahead. However it did go ahead a few weeks later without my husbands knowledge, he has tried to consult his employers but has not received an answer. Where his employers legally able to cut his wages without his consent and if not where does my husband stand regarding this situation?.

A: It is illegal for an employer to change your husband wages without his prior consent. The underlying legislation is the Payment of Wages Act 1991 and your husband can take a case against his employer for this.
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Q: I have worked for a company for the last 10 years, 7 years in in the same job and job sharing for 4 years, i am due to go on maternity leave shortly, when i return from maternity leave am entitled to return to the job i left, the job will still exist when i return and can they force me to return to full time hours in a different role

A: The Maternity Protection Act legislation 1994 and 2004 either preserves or suspends all employment rights (except right to remuneration) during maternity leave.
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Q: I have been working as a PA for 10 years in the same company. For the last year I have been very unhappy there, I am taking anti depressants and I am currently on sick leave from work (one week), although my doctor has told me that he can extend it on a week to week basis. I do not want to go back there as I cant cope with the stress. I am wondering what my options are? If I am to voluntarily resign from my job will I get any kind of redundancy? Should I mention the possibility to my employer? I need a way out of this situation. Thank you.

A: Redundancy applies when a position no longer exists and so you won’t be eligible for redundancy unless your employer is planning to get rid of the role
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Q: Hi I am just wondering, I work a 3 day week Mon,Tues & Wednesday usually. I need to take Monday off next week and I dont have many holidays left to take can so I wanted to take it as unpaid. Our accounts department laughed at me and said "NO WAY" it must be taken as a holiday. Is this true???

A:Leave is at the employer’s discretion and permission is usually related to business requirements.
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Q: Hello..I have been working in a supermarket for four years now. For three years I was only there weekends as I was in college usually working 18 hours...but for the past year it has varied from three days to five around 23-32...in the past month things got quiet so have mainly been working three days 18hours..in three weeks a member of staff is going on maternity leave and I am to be considered to cover her hours 39 in total...but I have just discovered I'm 8 weeks pregnant myself so where does does this leave me with maternity leave for myself ..do I get part time maternity for my three days? how much money is this? or what is the story if i will be working the 39 hours? would love your reply..

A: There is no obligation on your employer to top up your entitlement to social welfare payment when you on maternity leave.
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Q: My employer has recently issued all of us with new contracts. They state that we are only entitled to a 30 min break when we work from 8.30am to 6.15pm. I know legally this is correct but we work in the childcare sector and I was wondering if there was some law to protect us from these long hours and very short break. Our contracts have been changed from fixed term contract to yearly contracts too. Does this effect our redundancy packages? There is also no renewal date on the contract.If you could get back to me that would be hugely appreciated.

A: The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 governs the matter of breaks and specifically states:
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Q: I started my job in Nov 2007 on a full time basis but my hours were reduced in 2008 to half days (20 hrs). I was made redundant in Oct of this year and got statutory redundancy.On the day I was leaving he had nothing ready and blamed an outside person who does the wages we did get the redundancy form filled in and wrote me the cheque when he handed it over he said the other person had overpaid me in hours that my monthly slip said 91 hrs per month where it should have been 80 hrs( we never got pay slips every month).I worked it out later that 91 was correct.He said he would fix me up for holidays and two weeks worked in October. I rang a week later looking for my written reference also promised and said the hours were correct he said they were not and should have been 86 hrs per month and he would send my reference.I have had no word since . I am more worried about the reference I know it can be verbal but now do not know what he will say to future employers or if they will be able to contact him.

A: Employers are not obliged to give a reference and many just give a reference confirming you had worked there for whatever period and in whatever position.
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Q: My employer has put me on a 3 day week due to slow down in business (Only 2 days notice given before I was put on 3 day week), but I have since learnt that the company have taken on another employee to perform the same role within the company as my current job description and the new employee is working a 5 day week at a lower rate of pay, Where do i stand in this situation?

A: Based on what you state, your employer is in breach of contract with you. A short-time situation arises where, due to a reduction in the amount of work to be done, an employees pay or hours are less than half the normal weekly amount.
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Q: I have been made redundent from my job, but my employer is bringing in agency people to do the same work, is this legal

A: This does not appear to be a genuine redundancy situation as the role continues to exist and the employer is engaging others to do it through an agency.
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Q: I have been working for 4 years with my current employer. I achieved pay rises due to high performance, but now it feels that the boss is looking to replace me since he just would like to bring a new brain on board.How can I protect my self and would I be entitled to redundacy.

A: Your boss can terminate your employment under the following conditions:
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Q: I have been working with the same company for 6 years and now they have told me i must go through a garda check...i am mortified to think that past misdeeds as a young lad will come to light...originally when i started the job their was no question of past records...what can i do? nd can i be sacked if they come to light with the garda check.. i am very worried as my garda record was 25 years ago... Thank you

A: If an application form and recruitment process does not request details about previous convictions, there is no legal obligation on a candidate to disclose a previous conviction.
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Q: The company I work for want to move me to another job within the company. Another employee for the exact same job spec is being advertised externally for E10,000 more than I am paid now. Employers refuse to increase my pay, so I am not happy taking on bigger role and doing exact same job as someone on E10k more than I will be on. Can I refuse to move into this new position?

A: Yes you can refuse to move into the new position. However, if the context for this is that your current role is being made redundant then you may need to consider the following.
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Q: I have being working for my employer for 3 years now he wants me to sign a contract of employment,can he do this?

A: The employer is obliged to give a statement of terms and conditions of employment to you within 2 months of starting in employment with them.
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Q: We are closing the office on the 17th of December for Christmas and reopening on the 3rd of January. Employees are required to use their remaining annual leave for this period. For employees that have not accumulated enough annual leave or have already used their allowance, is unpaid leave the only option? We do not want to take days from 2011 as we want to start fresh. Thanks

A: If employees have used all their holidays or have no holiday allowance left, then you can agree with them that they take unpaid leave for the Xmas shut-down period or you can choose to lay-off staff for that short period.
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Q: I've been working for a company for over 20 years and last year was put on a 3 day a week. I was nearly a year on 3 days and was advised to write my boss a letter to state I wasn't happy on a 3 day week and to look to go back full time as soon as possible incase he made me redundant based on 3 days a week. They said he could do that if we said nothing after being on 3 days for a year. After sending the letter he called me in to the office and made me redundant and said I forced his hand because of the letter. Is that against the law? I was only fighting for my rights

A: An employee who has been put on short time, (as you appeared to have been i.e. 5 days down to 3 days) has the right to request to be made redundant after a period of being on short time for 4 or more continuous weeks or 6 weeks within a period of 13 we
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Q: My career break comes to an end this month and I have been told there is no vacancy for me to return to. the company have offered voluntary redundancies and I want to know am I entitled to apply for redundancy since they have no job for me to go back to.

A: As your job no longer exists, your redundancy is compulsory and you are entitled to the redundancy scheme operated by the company.
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Q: My problem is , that from 03.02.2010 I got lay-off RP9 form from company owner where I working, and I was without job till 08.06.2010 (over then 17weeks). At this time again I working 3 , 2, or sometime just one day per week. company owner told that no jobs , but nothing about RP9forms or P45. A present time I cant get any jobseeker benefit , and anyway how I can get redundancy payment and leave this job, because this is no more job- just time destruction place. If I find new job , I will loose my redundancy payment. Please let me know , what I can do now. I will hope get yours answer. Regards Haris (p.s. Sorry for English grammar)

A: In order to qualify for redundancy, you have to have more than 2 years continuous service with your employer.
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Q: I have had a permanent job with the HSE for 4 years. For 2.5 of them I have been covering the roster of an employee who had resigned. That rostered position is now being advertised internally. Am I entitled to it?

A: You are not automatically entitled to the position. While you are likely to be a strong contender, you should approach the recruitment process as if you have no advantage.
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Q: I have been working in the same job for three years. My responsibilities have become more and more and more and I just have not been able to cope anymore over the past month. last week I made two mistakes which had to be brought to management to sort out. My manager then called me in and told me that I am not good enough for my job any more and he wants to employ some one senior to do what I have been doing. He has offered for me to be made redundant or take another position within the company. The other position pays at least E5000 less per year than my current position. Is there any way I can take the other position but keep my current wage? or is it perfectly legal to make me take the other position with the reduced wage?

A: If your manager is filling your job with someone else, this is not a redundancy situation. In a redundancy situation the role is no longer required and therefore no one will be filling the position as it would no longer exist.
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Q: I reported system issues,and software faults in May 2010 in a meeting with my line manager and another manager, this resulted in my line manager demanding daily targets to be met, and the issues where not resolved,even after I continue to report the faults, in order to achieve and maintain my job, I peservered to achieve the desired targets set at the meeting, now many months on, since becoming a good performer and targets are continously being met, my manager happened to come across the issues that I had raised in May and has NOW taken steps to resolve it and the IT department have cleared my profile, but sadly this has had a adverse effect and has resulted in further issues, crashes, and system failures, and it has now seems and they have admitted they can not do much about it,and are unable to resolve it. Regardless what computer I use, I have system crashes, etc. What are my rights ? Taking into account this company did not do anything until recently, and it has and is effected my daily targets that my manager still request should be met even though she is in full view of system crashes. and also they are a company that look to blame the user than accept liability or look to resolve it. what are my rights and secondly what advice and steps should one take? Thanking you in advance

A: I am not clear what is your current issue. It appears that around May 2010 you weren’t meeting some performance target(s) and you are claiming a link with a computer system problem
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Q: I was given 2 weeks notice 3 days before 2 years employment. By the time I leave I will be over 2 years there am I entitled to redundancy?

A: Your notice period is part of your service period and as it will take you over the 2 years service, you will be entitled to redundancy.
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Q: Recently I have been asked to take a 50% pay cut which I said I could not do. I have since been given notice to terminate my employment, been employed by this company for 13 months, and now they have employed another person to do my job on less money and they want me to train her. what are my rights?

A: As your length of service is more than 12 months, you are protected by the Unfair dismissal Acts 1977 to 2007. Based on what you say, you should take a case against your employer to the Rights Commissioners.
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Q: can a company reduce your pay when your current job role changes ie your job no longer exists due to the company restructuring, ie you were a fitness supervisor now you have been made a fitness instructor in a less senior position.

A: As your previous roles is redundant and your employer has provided you alternative suitable employment with lower levels of responsibility, then the employer is entitled to pay you less for this new role if you have accepted this new role.
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A: I have worked in the same job for 26 years and my work place is closing down,they say there is a new policy no redundancy,they will try find us another job 1 hour away ,and not doing the same job as theres none,what can i do,is there any other redundancy I am entitled to.

A: As you have worked with your employer for more than 2 years and are being made redundant, then you are entitled to statutory redundancy.
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Q: I have been working in a shop for 4 years. 2 years part-time, 2 years full. I was never offered a contract. I have now been fired from that job for coming in late continously. This is due to trouble with sleeping. I just wondered since I was never given a contract that I might have some rights for unfair dismissal? also my employer read through my messages on my personal mobile phone without my permission..

A: You are entitled to a receive a written notice of terms and conditions within 2 months of starting in employment be that part time or full time. Failure to provide you with same is a breach of the law by the employer
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Q: I have been on full paid maternity leave and am due to go back to work shortly. I received full pay for 6 months and opted to take the additional 3 month unpaid leave which I told my employer I would be doing whilst I was still working. Since having our little one things have changed dramatically and my partner and I no longer feel comfortable putting her in daycare. As a result we have decided that it is best for our family if I continue to be a full time Mum. Our staff handbook does not have any information on not returning to work after receiving fully paid maternity leave so I am assuming that there is no requirement on my part other than providing the correct notice period. Is this the case? I would like to know my rights before speaking to my employer please. Thank you.

A: You are correct, all you need is to do is provide the notice period as specified in your contract of employment.
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Q: I have been working in a hair salon at my interwiew I was told that I would start the next day, the week later when I was due to be paid I was told that I would not receive pay for two of thoses days as my employer stated that they were trial days, because I was not told this at the interview or at any time that week just when I was being paid that those two days would be trial, is this legal to make someone work for nothing when they are unaware that those days would be trial?

A: It is illegal not to pay you for those 2 days you worked in your first week unless this was communicated to you prior to you starting.
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Q: My husband has worked with this company for 18 years. They are now restructuring and making 100 redundant. They are saying that people have to reapply for another job, changing their existing contract,pay, pension, terms and conditions. If my husband is not happy with this change of position and salary, is he entitled to apply for the redundancy package, even if they say he has to stay on in another position? Thanks for your help.

A: In the context of considering redundancies, employers look at options other than redundancies which may involve other jobs within the company.
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Q: I have been unable to attend work for the past 3 years due to illness.I am unable to provide a return to work date and my employers are terminating my contract.I have given 7 years of service.They have sent a letter for me to sign regarding the termination of my contract.They have offered me 6 weeks pay. Have I any rights?

A: It is hard to give a definitive answer without knowing more details of your case.
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Q: My firm is being bought over by another company as a going concern and I am going with the firm. My question is does my current employer issue me with a P45 before I start with the new firm?

A: Your new employer will take on the terms and conditions for all staff in the older employer and so there is no discontinuity in terms of service and no termination, thus, a P45 should not be issued
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Q: I have been with the company for 6 month now - am I allowed to take a paid maternity leave? what does the law say?

A: The Maternity Protect Acts 1994 and 2004 applies to all pregnant employees and there is no minimum length of service required
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Q: The first time I have signed was in April. A contract for 3 months. After that I never signed a second one. If I should resign what are my rights?

A: It would appear you have been employed under a fixed term contract of employment. At the end of a fixed term contract your employer is required to issue you with a notice as to why they are issuing you with another fixed term contract or why they are n
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Q: The Company I work for has recently laid off some staff due to a customer reducung the service contract. I am now being asked to do my normal 8am to 5pm work and to provide on-call/standby cover from 5pm to 8am Monday to Friday and 24hrs on Sat/Sun. They want me and a colleague to rotate the on-call every second week. Is this legal and what are my entitlements. I am a service engineer and would like to know the what the normal rates sre for On-call also. Thanks in advance

A: The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 specifies the maximum number of hours and the entitlements to breaks during the working day and in between working days.
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Q: The company I work for has been sold. I was on a two year contract with the old owners. The new owner wants to change my job description but says they cant change my contract for another year until the two years is up. Is this correct?

A: It is correct that the new owner must honour the terms and conditions you had with your previous owner. Your new owner can change your contract within the two year period provided you agree with the change(s).
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Q: I have been working part time on weekends for 2 years now as I am in college. I recently asked for a week off at christmas as I will be out of the country and was told that I shouldn't expect to be coming back to a job after I return. I know I am not full time staff so I am not fully covered by legislation but I would like to know do I have any rights in this situation?

A: Employers have the right to refuse holiday leave and to specify when you can take holiday leave. For example, retail businesses wouldn’t normally allow staff to go on annual leave during peak times such as at Christmas or for the January sales.
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Q: I work for a clothing store and have my own set of keys. If the alarm in the shop is activated I am required to go and turn it off. I am very afraid to go at night on my own and most times the Gardai are not available to be there with me. I cannot go out as I need to be available for the alarm. Its not in my contract it has just become the norm. I am not trained like security people are and have become more afraid recently. I feel my employer is not protecting me under health and safety Do I have to do it? and also if I do am I entitled to be paid a standby rate?

A: As a key holder your employer must hold you in high regard as a trustworthy person. I’m not sure from your question how often the alarm is triggered and you are required to go and turn it off. Not being able to go out is an unreasonable obligation and
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A: I`ve been working for the same night club company for the past 8 years but have been on sick leave for about 5 months this year due to illness and surgery, Im nearly ready to return to work but I cant do the job I used to do because of the illness and surgery I've had so does the company I work for have to accommodate me or could i ask to be made redundant?

A: Your employer will need medical evidence to show that you are not capable of performing the job your previously did. The medical evidence will need to indicate if this is likely to continue long term or is a short term illness/disability. If it is like
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Q: I was off sick for 4 days, I have been asked to attend a company doctor. is this common procedure?

A: Employees are usually asked to attend a company doctor when they have a rate of absenteeism which is concerning to the employer or the employer has concerns for the employees welfare.
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Q: My husband is working as a truck driver around 70-80 hours a week. He has proof: timesheets and tachograph cards. He does not want to break the law, but when he says to his employer that he can not work more than 96 hours in 2 weeks, he says if you do not perforn my instuctions I will fire you. The employer thinks loading is not working hours only driving. We went to a lawyer but he says timesheets and tachograps are not enough proof he needs some other colleagues to say the same. The others have no other choice everybody is from Hungary and most of them can not speak in English. What can we do in this situation?

A: Your husband’s employer appears to be in breach of Section 15 of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 (OWT), by compelling your husband to work in excess of the maximum average of 48 hours per week set by the legislation.
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Q: On the 30th Sept 2010 our boss told as that from 1st of October 2010 our company are changing name and will be new registration number supplied. I don’t know is ownership staying the same or is it also changing. Than two weeks later (14 Oct) he told us that our salary is cut 15 % and he wants to put this cut in place from October. We are all on monthly payment and working more than two years in this company. Is this legal? We don’t have any contracts signed.

A: Your terms and conditions of employment (including salary) should not change regardless of a change of ownership or change in trading name. If there was a change in ownership, the new owner would be required to honour the terms and conditions you have
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Q: What is the statutory amount of training to which Irish employees are entitled?

A: An employer is only required by law to provide Health and Safety training to their employees. The extent of this will depend on the nature of the job. For example if you are working on a construction site, you may be required to complete a Safe Pass co
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Q: Hi can u tell me if I work in a stockroom in a retail store and I decide I want to work on the shop floor can my company cut my rate of pay? Im classed as a stock manager but would just be a sales adviser on the shop floor?

A: As you are changing roles within the company,
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Q: I am contracted to a 40 hour week but each week I work almost 50 hours without any extra pay above my 40 hours. My contract does not state overtime will not be paid and I am told that the work must be finished before I leave work so at times I may be 2 hours extra in work. Is it legal not to pay for extra hours worked?

A: Firstly, the maximum number of hours you are entitled to work under employment legislation is 48 hours per week on average. If the average number of hours worked over the previous 4 months exceeds 48 hours then your employer is breaking the law.
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Q: I have just found out my manager has been discussing my future at the company with another employee that isn't even permanent staff. Can they do this?

A: This behaviour doesn’t reflect very well on your manager. You options are to make it known to the manager that you are aware of this and respectfully ask him/ her not to do same or similar again.
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Q: I am being let go from my job and am wondering what my entitlements are? Have given 4 years of service to my employers. Also, can i claim back any tax credits?

A: I am assuming that you are being let go from your job because the position you filled is being made redundant. If this is true and as you have more than 2 years continuous service, you are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment which comprises of 2
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Q: My daughter has started a new job and is paid 10Euro per hour, 5 days a week, 8 and a half hours a day. Is she entitled to lunch time pay? Thank you

A: The short answer is that she is most likely not entitled to lunch time pay as lunch time this is not considered part of working time.
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Q: I have just been told that I have to go on 3 day a week because business is quiet. However, we have another employee that is on a temp contract due to expire on 12th October who has had it extended by two months and is also going on three day week. The bosses son has moved back down from Dublin to learn the business. I have worked on a fulltime basis for this company since 2001.

A: You need to check if short time is referred to in your contract of employment or if it is referred to in your employee handbook.
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Q: I work in a childcare setting and my boss just ordered new uniforms! I am deputy head and I was not consulted nor the rest of the staff! They are not really suitable or practical for working with children, can I get sacked for refusing to wear it? Do I have any rights in this matter?

A: There appears to be two issues here, namely, you and the staff not being consulted and whether you could be sacked for not wearing the new uniform.
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Q: Can my employer change my hours even when I have had set hours for the last 4 years?

A: Your hours of work which are included in your terms and conditions of employment and employment contract cannot be unilaterally changed.
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Q: I started with a company 14th July 2008 and was told I was a permanent employee although it was a two year contract. My contract ran out 15th July 2010, I have just received a new contract to sign 15th July 2010 to 31st October 2010. When I stated that I was a contractor at the beginning I was shunned and told that I was permanent staff, I have received no training, although I have received holiday pay as per my contract. Am I entitled to any redundancy monies having worked for them for 2.5 years or am I for all intents and purposes a contractor? D

A: The contract you signed up to in 2008 would appear to be a fixed term contract that expired on 15/07/2010. Consequently you would appear to be an employee but not a permanent employee.
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Q: I have been in my company for 2.5 years, I joined as a Telesale rep and after 6 months I was moved into a customer service role, I have been doing this role solely until May 2010. I was then informed I have to do part-time Telesales on a temporary basis(I verified this on several occasions as I have no desire to return into Telesales on a full-time basis). I was told I would be doing Telesales part-time until October 2010 and would then be re-instated back into my Customer Service role on a full time basis again. However the company has now told me they want me to return to a full time Telesales role instead which I am not happy to do. Do I have to accept this change of role? L.

A: As I understand it you were employed initially recruited to fill a telesales representative. It is not clear from your question why you were moved after 6 months. Was it performance related at the end of a probationary period
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Q: I have worked for a private family firm for the past 14 years, I was diagnosed with Cancer and have been out of work since 10/05/10 certed off sick and I have returned to work last week, up to my illness I had taken 6 days holidays and I have just been informed due to the amount of time I was out sick I am not eligible for the 20 days holidays I normally have. Is this correct and can my employers do this? T.

A: You are entitled to your 20 days annual leave separate to your sick leave.
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Q: I am returning to work after a career break , I gave them 16 weeks notice in writing as required by them of the date I would return to work , I heard nothing from them despite being told many times on the phone that they would send a letter out , I rang them again yesterday and was told that they dont have a job for me to return to , this is a week before my date of return , I am with this company 17 years and never had any problems , what are my rights in this ?

A: There is no law regulating career breaks. It is a matter of contract in each case and should be documented in the employment contract or, more likely, in the employee handbook.
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Q: Myself and another member of staff were reduced to part time last year (3 days each on different days). I have now been made redundant due to financial difficulties in the firm and my employer not being able to pay both our wages. They have now given the other girl my hours (5 day wk). I know they havent taken on new staff to cover me but can increase another staff members days?

A: If you and the other girl were doing the same job and the employer had to make one of the roles redundant because of a downturn in business, then there should have been a selection process as to which of you would get the job.
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Q: I would like information about force majeure days?

A: This is paid leave that arises when injury or illness of a close relative makes the immediate presence of the employee indispensable.
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Q: Hi, I have worked for my employer for over 5 years now. Recently I received notice that due to funding cuts for 2 staff members, only one would be funded from Jan 1st.. Resulting in myself being let go and receiving statutory redundancy. My co worker, 11 years in post will be kept on. What are my rights in this situation? Am I entitled to be interviewed for the position? The notice did not state which member of staff should be kept. As it is getting closer to the end of the year I am getting more anxious about having no job. Thanks for your help.

A: Firstly, as you have more than 2 years continuous service you are entitled to statutory redundancy of 2 weeks per year of service and one extra week.
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Q: I am still working as a babysitter,but my employer wants to fire me soon because I can not take her five children to school.I am not able to do it because only 3 children can fit in my car. I am just after maternity leave, then I back to work-she cut off my wages plus asking me to work less days,because she got someone who works for her while I was on maternity leave. Please help me.I do not know what I should do. I am worred that she can fire me so, that I will not get any compensation and jobseeker s allowence. Thanks

A: Your employer cannot fire you for refusing to break the law. If you can only legally carry 3 people in your car at any time then you are correct not to carry 5.
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Q: What should an employer do when an employee who is on long term sick leave (unpaid) is seen to be working elsewhere?

A: The employer may gather evidence that the employee is working while on long term sick leave. The employer should then take this evidence and consider this in association with evidence from medical practitioners.
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Q: I currently work for a vendor company in a large organisation. I have been working permanently in the vendor company for over a year and currently have a number of benefits with them - in particular a top up to 100% of my salary for maternity benefit. I am now 5 months pregnant and it has been announced that the organisation has decided to go out to tender for all staffing vendors. Should the vendor company lose the contract, where would this leave me in relation to the benefit?

A: If the benefit of a top up to 100% of your salary during maternity leave is a part of your employment contract with your employer, then this is your entitlement which the employer is obliged to honour.
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Q: I currently work for a well known South Dublin hotel. 18 months ago we were told we had to work a 3 day week instead of 5 day week. We were not asked to agree with it, we were not told if it did not happen that any staff would be let go. Can they do this as it does not state in our contract that our working hours may change?

A: You need to check if short time is referred to in your contract of employment or if it is referred to in your employee handbook. In circumstances where an employer is unable to provide previous levels of work, it is entirely lawful for an employer to p
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Q: My employer has asked me the employee to write them a letter giving them an outline of my illness/condition, it does not state this in the company’s sickness policy it does however state that thay can contact my doctor or their own doctor if they require. This I accept but is it really their right to ask me, the employee to write a letter detailing my illness/condition?

A: It is unusual to be asked to write an outline of your illness/condition, however, it is usual to seek sickness certificates and to ask your own doctor for medical records or to ask you to attend a company doctor.
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Q: Yesterday I was feeling unwell in work and had to leave 2 hours before my shift ended and now my boss is demanding a sick cert - can he do this or what is the law regarding certs?

A: You don’t say how long you are likely to be absent from work as a result of the sickness.
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A: I have been working for a company for 4 years where last year it was announced that my job was going to be transferred to the parent company this year. About 5 months ago I was approached about another position with the parent company where I confirmed I was interested in.I received an update 4 weeks ago that I was shortlisted to 2 people. My current boss told me about another 2 jobs and he wanted me to go for 1 but I told him I was more interested in the position mentioned 5 months. I told him that I could not get a further update until the following week but he advised that I should choose either his position or the other position but warned that if I choose the other position and I did not get the job that he may not have anything else for me. I choose the other Job. By the way, he also advised that there were only 2 people going for the job mentioned 5 months ago, my colleague and myself. My colleague took 1 job he mentioned recently but I did not.I asked if he could wait until I could get an update. He would not wait. Can he put me in that position?

A: You are privileged to be short listed and in demand in a few positions in the current climate. Your manager was obviously keen to recruit you into one of the two jobs he identified to such an extent that he is prepared to exclude you on the basis of a
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Q: I have been working fulltime with the same company for the last 7 years and am in my current role with them 2 years. They now say I must work on call i.e myself and one other person will share being on call 24/7 365 days a year. I really do not want to work on call. Am i obliged to? If i say no can they fire me?

A: If I understand correctly, you have worked set hours for the past 7 years and you have been told you must now be available for work 24/7 365 days per year.
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Q: I have been working with my current employer for almost six years, I served a four year apprenticship with them and have continued working with them as a qualified mechanic, I never signed a contract in the past six years but now my employer has issued me a contract to sign but on the contract it states that my employment as a full time employee will comence on 4th of jan 2010. I have been working for them since feb 05 are they entitled to do this? If I sign this contract and am left go in the near future will it affect any redundency payment im entitled to?

A: If there was no break between your apprenticeship and starting as an employee then you will be entitled to redundancy payment from the start of your apprenticeship (approximately 6 years ago) up to the date you are made redundant.
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Q: I recently went for an informal interview and was asked to complete a trial work day. On completion of this, I was asked to complete another two trial days as the job was between myself and another person. Payment was not spoken about. I was then told that the job was mine if the manager could get training hours for me. After hearing nothing for a few days, I called and eventually I was told training hours could not be obtained, so there was no position for me. What are my entitlements?

A: As your job offer was made conditional on the manager getting training hours and this condition could not be fulfilled, then the job offer doesn’t stand.
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Q: My wife currently has company car. BIK is considerable. She is due to go on Maternity leave from Jan 10. Is the company obliged to leave the car with her during leave? Will she be paying BIK during leave? Regards, E

A: There is no statutory entitlement to pay from an employer during any maternity leave period. The State Maternity Benefit (Social Welfare) is payable to employees for basic maternity leave only.
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Q. I have been working fixed days for the last 2 years, with no notice my roster was completly changed I was told do it or I'd be fired is this legal? Brendan

A. It is hard for me to answer this question without first looking at your contract of employment.
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Hi, during last year I went sick leave for 3 months following medical surgery. I joined the company a year and a half before, which, according to the Illness and Benefit employees disqualifies me for any financial support on that side. Now my company has taken 3 months wages off me, I had to advance all that fees since the company claims I could get a partial refund from the Irish Social Security (which is not obviously the case! . Is there any way I could claim any money back from these 3 months without any wages or financial support? Is my company liable in the matter since its procedure are not supported by the Government Welfare system thus Social provision Law? Who shall I contact if there is any help I could get? Greg

A. There is no statutory / legal right to payment from your employer while you are out sick.
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Q. I work from 9am to 5.30pm. I have a lunch break from 1 until 2. Am I entitled to a morning and evening tea break?

A. unfortunately legally you are not entitled to a morning or afternoon break and the giving of these breaks to you is at the discretion of the Company.
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Q. I had to leave work yesterday due to having an abcess on my tooth. I phoned work to say I would not be in and got my dentist to fax in a cert to cover my time off, yet one of my work colleagues kept phoning asking me questions about work, is this in order? I do get paid when I am on sick leave from my employer.

A. Where possible, it is always best not to contact (and disturb) an employee during a period of absence where they have been certified as unfit to work.
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I was out of work sick for 2 weeks I sent my employers a doctors cert. I resigned by email, my manager asked me to think about it I then said I would stay in the company, then my manager gave out to me because I did not ring him to say I was out sick, in the 2 week period I rang in to work twice, I said I was out until the 21.04.10. I now have a disciplinary hearing tomorrow and I wanted to know if my employers can accept my email resignation and refuse to take me saying to my manager that I would stay on in the company. Also HR rang my mother but she is not down on my emergency contacts, her phone number is not in the phone book, they must have got the information form my sister who used to work for the company, is this legal for them to do this? Maria

A. Generally, an employee does not have the right to unilaterally withdraw his / her resignation once given.
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Q. I have been on four separate fixed-term contracts for a company for the last 2.5 years via a recruitment agency. There has been no break between contracts. My last contract is finished in 4 weeks, I have been advised that I may be eligible for entitlements under Unfair Dismissals Act. I would hope to get permanency versus compensation. Can you please advise as to whether I have any rights in this case? Jennifer

A. It is a common misconception that a Company can only issue 4 successive or back-to-back fixed-term contracts before either making the employee permanent or letting the employee go.
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A. I have recently handed in my notice and I will be leaving the company the first week of June. I am aware that the company I am leaving pays out bonuses around May/June. I have been with this company over 2 yrs. Will I still be entitled to receiving a bonus? Caroline

A. The rules, terms and conditions of the Company’s Bonus Scheme are individual and specific to your Company.
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Q. I have been receiving a qualification allowance for the past 3 years but now my employer says that I was never entitled to this allowance. He has also specified that I pay this accrued allowance back. What rights do I have?

A. In this case, you appear to have two questions: 1. Are you entitled to this allowance? and 2. Can the Company deduct the overpayment from you salary?
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Q. My wife is going back to work after having a child, she had a company car for the first 26 weeks of her leave, she took a extra two months off. Her employer ask for the car back and she returned it, when she returns is she entitled to the car, the company is claiming cutbacks.

A. This is a difficult question to answer and your wife’s ability to claim an entitlement will be severely impacted by two factors...
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Q. I received redundancy in Feb 2009 from the company I worked in, they closed the shop and all employees received redundancy. They are now recruiting for new staff in another area, is there a legal time limit before I can apply for a job with them again? Martina

A. Legally, there is no time limit stopping you from applying for a job with the company which made you redundant.
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Q. My colleague is going on maternity leave. While she works in a different department we do the same kind of work in a large accounting firm. My contract stated that we cover for each other during holidays/peak periods (which I have no problem doing) but nothing about Maternity leave which is nearly up to a year. Am I obliged to cover for her as it would be a large amount of extra work for many months. If so, should I ask for more money as I will be effectively doing two jobs? Julie

A. When it comes to taking on additional tasks and / or covering colleagues who are on leave, the section commonly labelled “nature of work” or “functions / duties” in the contract of employment normally outlines what you are required to do.
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Q. We are supposed to be finished work at 6.30pm but we do have to work on till 6.40pm or sometimes 6.50pm without extra pay. this is every evening. is there anything protecting this us from this happening?

In general, an employer cannot change terms and conditions of employment (as stated in the contract of employment) without the consent of the employee in question however
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Q. My employer wants our nature of our illness, other then medical condition, to be put on our medical cert.Do we have to do this. She says the company require it?

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 places a heavy obligation on your employer to ensure that you are safe within the workplace and that the work you are doing is not having an adverse affect on your safety, health and wellbeing.
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Q. I am on maternity leave and not due back until 10th September. In April my employer contacted me and called me in for a meeting. I was informed my hours would be cut to half and I would now be considered a part-time employee. I was also told to look for another job. This has had a very negative effect on me over the last few months as I am uncertain of my future. Is my employer within his rights to do this?

Very good question and unfortunately one we are asked too often at present.
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Q. I work full-time in the retail sector in the same store for 2 years and my manager has recently introduced increased targets for each worker to individually meet. Each week I am brought in for a meeting on my performance in relation to these targets. If the average is not met, I have to sign a disciplinary and if I get three of these and I am fired. Is this against my rights as a worker? Is there anything I can do? It just doesn’t seem fair. Amy

A. I am often asked by client companies how quickly they can manage failure to meet performance / sales targets.
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Q. I have been employed with a local authority since June 2006. i am on my fourth contract and am due to be let go at the end of the month. it seems unfair after such a long period of time. At what stage am i entited to a contract of indefinite duration?

It is a common belief that there is a legal limit as to the number of successive or back-to-back fixed-term contracts of employment a company can offer a person. However, this is not in fact the case.
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Q. I have recently been reduced from full time employment to a 3 day week. I have worked with the company for the last 13 months on a full time basis. I have not yet been issued with a contract and I have found out that the manager that I took over from who retired 13 months ago of her own free will is coming in to cover my days off at a much lower rate of pay. Where dose this leave me? Michelle

A. When it comes to reductions in working hours, employers are using two different approaches depending on whether the reduction will be for a temporary or medium / long-term basis.
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Q. My company went through a transfer of undertaking 18 months ago. My job role has changed for the worse from my original contract. The duties I am doing are not what I was hired to do. Am I entitled to redundancy due to the breach of contract? John

A. You indicate the transfer of undertakings was completed a year and a half ago, which is quite some time ago.
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Q. The business has just changed hands, new owners / boss and I will still be employed in the same position. It will be my 9th year in the company. Does my term of employment continue from day 1 or from now with the new employers? Basically what are my Employment rights in relation to holidays /pay and if they terminate my employment in the near future where do I stand in relation to redundancy pay? Shirley

A. Unsurprisingly, this is a question being asked by many employees in the current economic environment.
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Q. I have been working in a company for 3 years and my contract states i must do 37.5 hours per week. Recently they decided to extend these hours to 39 hours per week but have told me they will not pay me nor give me the time in lieu because it is hard to get cover for my particular job as i work the switchboard. Can they do this, nothing i ask of them is ever listened to and i want to know if i am legally entitled to say no to the extra time without something in return.

Unfortunately I cannot give you a plain ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer on whether or not you are “legally entitled to say no to the extra time without something in return”.
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Q. I own a small part time preschool. My staff work on a part-time seasonal contract for only 10 months a year. Unfortunately due to the downturn of business I have to let one of them go after her 10 month contract is finished. Could you tell me please what her legal entitlements would be? Helga

A. It is extremely difficult to advise you in this case without knowing the exact type of contract of employment the employee had.
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Q. If my place of work is bought out by another company do they have to buy our service and honour our contracts? Salina

A. What you appear to be describing is a Transfer of Undertaking or TUPE situation.
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Q. My current employer requires me to be on standby every other week to remain in the vicinity of work ie- the same town to hold the phone not to drink and to respond to any call outs if needed. Is there any requirement for them to pay a standby payment? - Clifford

A. It is normal for a contract of employment to include a number of provisions that relate to call-out or standby.
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Q. I have been employed on a fixed term contract basis for almost 2 years. The contract is due to end February 2009. At the time of the contract extension I was told that I could not be offered a permanent position as there were pressures on headcount and cost. However an individual has been employed recently in the same department at the same grade etc as me on a permanent basis. The role was not advertised and people were told it was maternity cover. Do I have any rights in this situation? - Noelle

A. A number of clients have recently enquired about the utility of using employees on fixed-term contracts of employment as a means to giving themselves headcount flexibility.
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Q. I have been working in my current job for the past 3 years. We are currently in a situation where we may be taken over by another organisation. Am I still entitled to the same terms and conditions with regards maternity benefit and holidays? When this take over occurs, my position no longer exists. What can I expect to be offered? Should I be guaranteed a similar position of responsibility? - Mary

A. Unfortunately in today’s business environment, this situation is becoming more and more frequent – a transfer of undertaking.
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Q. I got my yearly review yesterday and was appraised as job well done, am in sales, have exceeded targets etc. However I did not get a salary increase, my boss just shrugged it off saying not much money around!! My question is am I entitled to a salary increase under any legislation or anything else? I am full time for nearly 2 years now. - Mary

A. Normally, where it is agreed that a performance-related bonus will be paid to an employee , the terms and conditions surrounding the payment of the bonus will be found in the employee’s Contract of Employment.
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Q. My wife is expecting a baby in December. She told her employer at the 3 month stage. Recently her employer has told her that she will not be paid mat leave. There is no written policy in the company. However, they have always paid maternity leave and 2 colleagues of my wife are currently on fully paid maternity leave. Essentially, I have 2 questions; can a company decide to change their policy on mat leave after being told of a pregnancy and can the company treat employees differently over mat leave?- JP

A. Unfortunately, as your wife was not on maternity leave when the policy was amended I do not think that you have grounds to oppose a change in the maternity leave policy.
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Q. I have been asked to take over a role while my colleague goes on maternity leave. It is a higher role - Management type. My manager hasn't spoken about pay increase or anything else, what are my entitlements? - Mary

A. All entitlements and obligations in relation to this issue are as agreed by you and your employer in your contract of employment.
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Q. I would like to know if I have the right to take unpaid leave(4-6 weeks)?Just want to take some time off work. I am still on my first years probation. - Astrid

Q. Employees are entitled to take statutory unpaid leave in a number of ways.
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Q. I am working in a computer firm with a fixed salary. My working hours are set out in the contrct as 9 to 5.30 but with the proviso that we may have to work longer hours if a project demands it. I am rarely if ever finished at 5.30. My employer wants us to agree to set targets and if they are not met to work unpaid on saturday and sunday to meet them. Is this legal?- Orla

A. It is normal for a contract of employment to include a number of different provisions that relate to working additional hours from time to time or where required.
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Q. I'm a sales assistant for two years. I have been told that as I have been off sick 7 times in 2 yrs, if I miss any day in the next year I will recieve a first written warning or straight to final warning. Can they do this, even if i have a medical cert? It was clear that on 4 occasions I was in fact physically unable to work. - Declan

A. Before addressing your question, there are four main points in relation to sick leave that I think are important to note.
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Q. I did two interviews with a company in November and December 2007. I have not received any feedback on the status of the position, I have contacted the recruiter 3 or 4 times and not received any response. I am assuming the position has been filled. I have asked for a copy of my interview notes and feedback on why I assume I have not been successful. Do I have a right to this information? - Ray

A. Good question. In fact, it appears the main question for you is “Am I entitled to receive the result / feedback on my interview and why I was not successful in this case”?
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Q. I have been in my current role for 2 months and have yet to receive a contract of employment. I work in the retail sector and half expected that I should receive a contract. Can you let me know firstly, if I’m entitled to a contract and secondly what rights I have without this?

A. Although it is the norm to receive a contract of employment when you commence a new job, it should be noted that this is not a legal entitlement i.e. an employer in not legally obliged to provide you with a contract of employment.
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