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European Union (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022

The European Union (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022 (the “Regulations”) were quietly signed into law on 16th December 2022. Despite the complete lack of fanfare, the Regulations contain a number of important changes which employers need to be aware of and need to start addressing immediately. Some of the key changes are outlined below.

Terms and Conditions of Employment

The Regulations reduce the timeframe in which employers are required to provide employees with a written statement of their terms and conditions of employment from two months to one month.

They also increase the amount of information that employers are required to provide to employees within five days of commencement of employment. The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2018 introduced a requirement for employers to provide employees with a statement of certain core terms and conditions of employment within five days of their commencement date. The Regulations  expand upon the information which is now required to be given within five days, most of which was previously included as part of the written statement of employment required to be provided to employees within two months of the commencement of their employment. The following additional information must now be provided within five days of an employee’s commencement date:

The Regulations also expand upon the information previously required to be provided to employees in respect of remuneration within five days of commencement of employment.

Mandatory Training

The Regulations provide that where an employer is required by law or by a collective agreement to  provide training to an employee which enables the empoyee to carry out their work then, in that instance, the employer must pay for the training and, where possible it must be carried out during normal working hours. The time spent by an employee undergoing such training shall be treated as working time.

Probationary Periods

The Regulations stipulate that the duration of a probationary period cannot exceed six months except in the case of public servants in which case the probationary period shall not exceed 12 months.  An employer can, on an exceptional basis, provide for a longer probationary  period up to a maximum of 12 months provided that this is  “in the interest of the employee.”

Where an employee is absent from work during their probationary period, the probationary period may be extended for the duration of the absence.

The Regulations provide that where, on the commencement date of the Regulations, an employee who is not a public servant, is  subject to a probationary period in excess of six months and the employee has completed at least six months’ sevice, his/her probationary period will be deemed to expire on the earlier of:

A further change introduced by the Regulations is an amendment to the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Terms Work) Act 2003 which now provides that any probationary period in a fixed-term contract must be proportionate to the duration of the fixed-term contract and the nature of the work. If a fixed-term contract for the same work is extended or renewed, it cannot be the subject of a probationary period.

Parallel Employment

The Regulations provide that employers cannot prohibit employees from taking up employment outside of their work schedules and furthermore cannot subject employees to adverse treatment where they do take up other employment. This  is, however, subject to certain restrictions. An employer can only restrict an employee from taking up additional employment where the restriction is proportionate and is based on objective grounds.

The Regulations provide a non-exhaustive list of objective grounds which include health and safety, the avoidance of conflicts of interest and the protection of business confidentiality.

Where an employer does impose an “incompatibility restriction”, the details of such restrictions must be included in the contract, or the employer must provide a statement in writing. In both instances, the employer must provide details of the objective grounds on which the restriction is based.

Predictability of Work

The Regulations amend section 17 of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 to provide that an employee now has the right to refuse to work in instances where they are given less than 24 hours’ notice. Furthermore, they cannot be subjected to adverse treatment from their employees for refusing such work. This was a key objective of the Regulations in making working conditions more predictable.

Collective Agreements

Where an employee is party to either a collective agreement approved by the Labour Court or a registered employment agreement, provisions of the Regulations relating to matters which are addressed by the collective agreement/registered employment agreement will not apply.

Takeaway for Employers:

Employers need to ensure that they are familiar with the extended list of terms that now need to be provided to employees within five days of commencement of employment, and that they provide all required terms to employees at the outset of their employment. Employers should also ensure that their template contracts of employment and their policies and procedures are fit for purpose and in many cases amendments are likely to be required to ensure compliance with requirements introduced by the Regulations.

A review of any employees currently on probation will also need to be carried out to ensure compliance with the requirements set out above.

Link – https://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2022/si/686/made/en/pdf 

Authors – Ethna Dillon, Jenny Wakely and Anne O’Connell

30 January 2023

Anne O’Connell Solicitors

19-22 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2


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