Employment Law Factsheet

What is employment law?
Employment law is what administers the relationship between employers and their staff. The first recorded history relating to employment law is that it began as labour law in the late 18th century, but in 1996, it became the Employment Rights Act 1996 – covering many different areas.

Employment rights

There are plenty of rights and laws protecting employers and employees from various circumstances. They are all there to ensure no one is unfairly treated at work. The following are some basic employment rights.
The right of employees to receive a written statement of employment

All employers are required by law to give employees a written statement describing their employment particulars. This covers things such as working hours, wages and holiday pay. It is more commonly called a €Contract of Employment’ and usually comes alongside a formal letter of employment, where the company invites a candidate to their company.

The right to not be unfairly dismissed
All employees are protected against unfair dismissal. This means that if an employer doesn’t have a reason for firing someone, they can be taken to an Employment Tribunal and will more than likely lose (having to pay damages etc).

Right not to be discriminated against
Unfortunately, discrimination does happen. An area of employment law covers discrimination – and ensures that no one should be discriminated against in the workplace.

Redundancy rights

This can be quite a sensitive, difficult situation for any employer or employee. Employers and employees need to be aware or their redundancy rights.

The right of minimum wage
Sure you have heard of minimum wage, but do you know much about it? It is a legal requirement for all employers to pay all staff a minimum wage. This changes regularly and differs depending on what age the employee is. Up to date information can be found online.

Working time regulations

There are quite a lot of exceptions and anomalies when it comes to the working time regulation but generally an employee cannot work for more than 48 hours a week, they must have compulsory rest breaks and they are entitled to paid annual leave.

What to do
If you, as an employer or employee, ever find yourself in a situation that requires employment legal advice, contact a specialist employment law barrister who will be able to provide you with any information you may need. An employment law barrister can represent you in court, give you legal advice or draft up any documents you require.