Must state in­for­ma­tion such as place of work, ti­tle and na­ture of the work, hours Farm­ers who are also em­ploy­ers must obey these 10 com­mand­ments

Irish Examiner - Farming - - NEWS - Karen Walsh

Here are 10 em­ploy­ment laws every farmer needs to know.

Em­ploy­ment Con­tracts

The Terms of Em­ploy­ment ( In­for­ma­tion) Act, 1994 pro­vides that an em­ployer is obliged to pro­vide an em­ployee with a state­ment in writ­ing no later than two months after the com­mence­ment of em­ploy­ment con­tain­ing cer­tain in­for­ma­tion, such as place of work, the ti­tle of the job, the na­ture of work, the date of com­mence­ment of the con­tract of em­ploy­ment, terms and con­di­tions in re­la­tion to the hours of work, terms and con­di­tions in re­la­tion to paid leave, the pe­riod of no­tice which the em­ployer is re­quired to give and en­ti­tled to re­ceive, etc. In the case of tem­po­rary con­tracts, the ex­pected du­ra­tion or in the case of a fixed term con­tract, the date in which the con­tract ex­pires must also be in­cluded. Any changes later must be con­firmed in writ­ing with the em­ployee.

Em­ploy­ment Records

As an em­ployer, you are re­quired to keep cer­tain records re­lat­ing to your em­ploy­ees.

This is to show that you are com­pli­ant with em­ploy­ment leg­is­la­tion.

Health and Safety in the Work­place

Un­der the Safety Health and Wel­fare at Work Act, 2005, em­ploy­ers have a duty to en­sure the em­ployee’s safety, health and wel­fare at work, as far as rea­son­ably prac­ti­ca­ble. In or­der to pre­vent work­place in­juries and ill- health, a n e m p l o y e r i s re q u i re d , among other things, to pro­vide and main­tain a safe work­place, ma­chin­ery and equip­ment.

Em­ploy­ers are obliged to report any ac­ci­dent that re­sults in an em­ployee miss­ing three con­sec­u­tive days at work (not in­clud­ing the day of the ac­ci­dent) to the Health and Safety Au­thor­ity.

Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Work­ing Time Act, 1997

Some of the points the said Act out­lines are as fol­lows:

A max­i­mum av­er­age net work­ing time of 48 hours. A daily rest break of 11 con­sec­u­tive hours.

Rest breaks while at work.

A weekly rest break of 24 con­sec­u­tive hours. A max­i­mum av­er­age of night work­ing of eight hours. The 48-hour net max­i­mum work­ing week can be av­er­aged ac­cord­ing to a num­ber of rules. There is also an ex­emp­tion in re­spect to work which is sea­sonal in its na­ture and this can be av­er­aged over six months.

Un­fair Dis­missal Law

The Un­fair Dis­missals Act, 1997 to 2001, is based on two fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples. Sub­stan­tial grounds must ex­ist to jus­tify the ter­mi­na­tion of em­ploy­ment.

Fair pro­ce­dures must be f o l l o we d i n e f f e c t i n g t h e ter­mi­na­tion.

All em­ploy­ees who have one year’s con­tin­u­ous ser­vice with the em­ployer, and who h a ve n o t re a ch e d n o r m a l re­tire­ment age for em­ploy­ment, are in­cluded un­der this Act. This is an ex­tremely con­tentious area, and one which em­ploy­ers should han­dle with ex­treme care. The dis­missal is deemed not to be un­fair if it is re­sulted wholly or mainly from the re­dun­dancy of an em­ployee. Strict ad­her­ence to def­i­ni­tion of re­dun­dancy is re­quired from em­ploy­ers, if an em­ployee is held to be dis­missed by rea­son of re­dun­dancy.

Fixed Term Work­ers and Part Time Work­ers

A f i x e d t e r m wo r ke r i s en­gaged to carry out a spe­cific task with a de­fined start and end date.

There are re­stric­tions on the pe­riod of ti me the em­ployer can con­tinue an em­ployee on fixed term con­tracts.

A part-time em­ployee is any em­ployee who works less than a full- time em­ployee do­ing com­pa­ra­ble work. Em­ploy­ers should be con­scious of the fact that, in gen­eral terms, part-time em­ploy­ees are af­forded the same pro­tec­tions as full-time em­ploy­ees.

Equal­ity

The Em­ploy­ment Equal­ity Acts, 1998 and 2004, out­law dis­crim­i­na­tion on nine grounds.

The grounds are gen­der, mar­i­tal sta­tus, fam­ily sta­tus, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, re­li­gion, age, dis­abil­ity, race/ colour/ na­tion­al­ity/ethic or na­tional ori­gins and mem­ber­ship of the trav­eller com­mu­nity.

The Act pro­hibits dis­crim­i­na­tion in em­ploy­ment and in par­tic­u­lar, ac­cess to em­ploy­ment, con­di­tions of em­ploy­ment, train­ing or ex­pe­ri­ence for or in re­la­tion to em­ploy­ment pro­mo­tion or re-grad­ing or clas­si­fi­ca­tion or of posts.

Min­i­mum No­tice

Min­i­mum no­tice pe­ri­ods for ter­mi­na­tion of em­ploy­ment ap­ply to em­ploy­ees. Min­i­mum no­tice pe­ri­ods which em­ploy­ers must give to em­ploy­ees on ter­mi­na­tion de­pend on whether or not a con­tract of em­ploy­ment ex­ists.

In the event that a con­tract of em­ploy­ment does not ex­ist, the length of the pe­riod of no­tice de­pends on the length of ser­vice. Should an em­ployer fail to pro­vide the statu­tory no­tice pe­riod, they would be obliged to pay that em­ployer for that pe­riod.

Dig­nity at Work/Bul­ly­ing

Each em­ployer must take mea­sures to en­sure that em­ploy­ees are not sub­ject to ver­bal or phys­i­cal bul­ly­ing or ha­rass­ment from their bosses, co-work­ers or cus­tomers. There is an in­creas­ing num­ber of cases re­sult­ing from stress as a re­sult of bul­ly­ing.

E ve r y e m p l o y e r s h o u l d en­sure that any com­plaint is dealt with se­ri­ously and in a man­ner that does not add to the is­sues ex­pe­ri­enced by the em­ployee.

Each em­ployer should take ac­tive steps to dis­charge their obli­ga­tion and ful­fil their duty of care in this mat­ter.

It is im­por­tant that an em­ployer has a proper pol­icy drawn up in re­la­tion to bul­ly­ing the work­place.

A daily rest break of 11 con­sec­u­tive hours is one of the many rules a farmer must fol­low with re­gard to his em­ploy­ees

While every care is taken to en­sure ac­cu­racy of in­for­ma­tion con­tained in this ar­ti­cle, so­lic­i­tor Karen Walsh does not ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for er­rors or omis­sions how­so­ever aris­ing, and you should seek le­gal ad­vice in re­la­tion to your par­tic­u­lar cir­cum­stances at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble time.

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