Review of Key Updates 2022Posted in : HR Updates ROI on 19 December 2022
This year has seen many Employment Law updates, with many to soon follow in 2023. Here, we review these key updates.
Payment of Wages (Amendment) (Tips and Gratuities) Act 2022
Payment of Wages (Amendment)(Tips & Gratuities) Act 2022 came into effect on 1st December 2022. The Purpose of this Act is to ensure that tips received by the Employer through electronic payments are distributed to employees in a fair, equitable and a transparent manner.
Employers are obliged to provide Employees with a clear policy on the distribution of tips and must also ensure that they display a notice for Customers on same. Employees must receive a written statement from their Employer each time tips are distributed and this must outline the total amount of tips received in the business and the employee’s share of tips.
Sick Leave Act 2022
The Sick Leave Act 2022 will come into effect in January 2023.
This Act provides statutory sick pay (SSP) of three days per year. The number of days can be increased by Ministerial Order and is expected to increase to 5 days in 2024, 7 days in 2025 and 10 days in 2026. The payment per day is 70% of wages up to a maximum of €110 per day.
In order for an employee to qualify for SSP they must have completed 13 weeks continuous service and they must provide their employer with a medical certificate on their first day of absence.
Gender Pay Gap 2022
The Gender Pay Gap Information Act requires organisations with over 250 employees, to report on their hourly gender pay gap across a wide range of metrics. Gender Pay Gap Reporting obligations will be introduced for employers with over 150 employees from 2024, and to employers with more than 50 employees from 2025.
Employers were advised to set a “snapshot date” in June 2022 and report on the relevant employees employed on that date.
The Gender Pay Gap Reporting deadline for employers is six months after the snapshot date chosen i.e. a date in December 2022. The first reporting period will be the 12-month period preceding, and including, the chosen snapshot date.
The report must be published on the company's site, or in a way that both employees and the public have access. This is only applicable for the 2022 reporting cycle and may differ from 2023 onwards as plans are in place to create an online reporting system.
Right To Request Remote Working
The Draft Scheme of the Right to Request Remote Working Bill 2022 was published in January 2022.
The initial draft outlined that an employee can request remote working where they have completed 26 weeks continuous service. However, this element remains under review.
In order to request remote working the employee must provide information on the proposed work location as well as a self-assessment of the suitability of the proposed location. An employer may reject a request from an employee to work remotely for any one of 13 proposed reasons. However, the Joint Committee reviewing the draft Bill has recommended introducing tighter grounds in primary legislation so that unreasonable refusal should be open to challenge.
It is also proposed that Employees will have the right to appeal a decision to the WRC if the employer has not replied to a request within the agreed timeframe, if a request was unjustifiably withdrawn by the employer or if the request was rejected by the employer without satisfying one of the grounds for refusal.
Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment and Harassment at Work
In March 2022 the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) developed and published the new Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment and Harassment at Work.
These are the key updates from the code of practice which may not be included in many organisations’ current policies:
- Senior level ‘champion’: The Code introduces a new concept of a ‘champion’. It suggests that a senior individual (or individuals) in an organisation be designated as a ‘champion’, someone independent to advocate for a diverse workplace culture free from harassment and sexual harassment. However, there is recognition in the Code that this will not be practicable for all organisations depending on their size and resources.
- Statutory rights: The Code recommends that internal procedures should make it clear that employees who use the complaints procedure will still be entitled to make a statutory complaint under the Employment Equality Acts and that they specify the statutory time limits and clearly state that statutory time limits continue to run during internal investigations and pending the outcome of same.
New Code of Practice on Equal Pay
In March 2022 IHREC developed and published a new Code of Practice on Equal Pay. It provides practical guidance on the right to equal pay, how to eliminate pay inequality, and how to resolve pay disputes. The Code provides guidance to help employers identify pay inequality and to eliminate it, including on how to conduct a pay review which incorporates a rational and objective job evaluation model.
General Scheme of a Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022
The Government approved the drafting of the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill to give effect to the EU Work Life Balance Directive (Directive (EU) 2019/1158). Under the proposed legislation, parents and carers will see increased rights in relation to flexible working including compressed or reduced hours as well as the introduction of five days leave per year for serious medical care. IT is also planned to extend the current entitlement to breastfeeding/lactation breaks under the Maternity Protection Acts from six months to two years.
The EU Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions
European Union (EU) member states must implement the EU Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions (the Directive). The legislation includes an update on the length of probation periods, double employment, notification of work schedules and training costs.This article is correct at 19/12/2022
The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.