Thursday, April 17, 2014

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. However, that said, by law, within 2 months of your start date an employer must furnish you with a ‘Statement of Employment’ which contains: 


  • The names of employer and employee.
  • The address (or principal place of business) of the employer.
  • The place of work (or specifying that employee is permitted to work at various places).
  • The title of the job or nature of work for which the employee is employed.
  • The date of commencement of employment.
  • The duration of any temporary or fixed-term contract.
  • The rate or method of calculation of remuneration (pay) and pay reference period for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000.
  • That the employee may request from the employer a written statement of the employee’s average hourly rate of pay for any reference period.
  • Whether remuneration is payable weekly, monthly or otherwise.
  • Any terms or conditions as to hours of work including overtime.
  • Any terms or conditions relating to paid leave (other than sick leave).
  • Any terms of conditions relating to incapacity for work due to sickness or injury and paid sick leave and to pensions.
  • The period of notice which the employee must give or receive to terminate the employment.
  • Details of any collective agreement affecting the terms and conditions of employment.

In cases where exact terms and conditions of a role are not given to an employee in a contract of employment or statement of employment, the employee is still protected by the numerous pieces of employment legislation such as the Maternity Protection Acts, 1994-2004, Parental Leave Acts, 1998-2005, the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977-2001, the Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2004, the Protection of Employees (Part-time Workers) Act, 2001, etc which outline an employee’s minimum rights. For example, if an employee has not been informed of his/ her daily and weekly working hours, breaks between and during work and/or his/her annual leave entitlement in a contract of employment or statement of employment, the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1977 outlines basic or minimum rights an employee has in relation to these.


Therefore, if you have not been issued with a contract of employment or a statement of employment, rest assured that your minimum rights are protected by the relevant piece employment legislation and this will apply to your employment.