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Views sought on beefed-up rights for workers
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar Pic: RollingNews.ie

17 Sep 2021 / employment Print

Views sought on beefed-up rights for workers

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has opened a consultation process on an EU directive that covers workers’ terms and conditions.

The new rules aim to improve working conditions by promoting more transparent and predictable employment.

Under the proposals, employers would have to provide more information to workers on the essential aspects of the work at the beginning of the employment relationship.

Directive 2019/1152 (EU) 2019/1152 also includes a new chapter on minimum requirements relating to working conditions. 

Unpredictable schedules

Other areas covered include:

  • A limit to the length of probationary periods at the beginning of a job,
  • The right to seek additional employment, with a ban on exclusivity clauses and limits on incompatibility clauses,
  • The right to know, in a reasonable period in advance, when work will take place – for workers with very unpredictable working schedules, as in the case of on-demand work,
  • Anti-abuse legislation for zero-hour contract work,
  • The right to request to be transferred to a form of employment with more predictable and secure working conditions, where available, and receive a reasoned written reply.

The department says that, while the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 pre-empted many aspects of the directive, other elements go beyond the 2018 act, and will need primary legislation to give them full effect.

'Reasonable' notice periods

“We will be considering putting limits on the length of time an employer can put a worker on probation, and ensuring workers get the training they need to do their job,” said Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar (pictured).

“We will also be ensuring more reasonable periods of notice are given when work is unpredictable in nature,” he added.

The deadline for responses is 3pm on Monday, 25 October, and submissions should be sent to: TAPW@enterprise.gov.ie.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland