Written Answers. - Employees' Rights.

Wednesday, 24 November 1999

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 511 No. 4

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  50.  Mr. G. Mitchell  Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   if a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 is protected by regulations in view of the circumstances of her case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24725/99]

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. T. Kitt): Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 sets out, inter alia, statutory rights for employees in respect of holiday entitlements. The Act provides minimum legally enforceable entitlements for all employees to holidays and public holidays. There is no qualifying period for holidays and all employees, regardless of status or service, qualify for paid holidays based on time worked.

Pay in respect of holidays is paid in advance at the normal weekly rate. The normal weekly rate of an employee's pay for the purposes of the Organisation of Working Time Act is the normal weekly rate of his or her pay, including any regular bonus or allowance, the amount of which does not vary in relation to the work done by the employee but excluding any pay for overtime, that is paid in respect of the normal weekly working hours last worked by the employee before the annual leave.

If the employees referred to by the Deputy have not received their holiday entitlements, it [937] would be open to them to obtain redress in this matter by referring a case to a rights commissioner under the Organisation of Working Time Act.

The Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 1993 protect employees who have at least one year's continuous employment with the same employer from unfair dismissal. The 1993 Act contains a provision which allows the terms of the unfair dismissals legislation to apply at the expiry of fixed term and fixed purpose contracts of employment in certain limited circumstances. The circumstances specified are those where an employer has entered into a second or subsequent such contract with the same employee and the employment appeals tribunal, rights commissioner or Circuit Court, as the case may be, is of the view that the fixed nature of the second or subsequent contract is wholly or partly for the purpose of or is connected with avoidance of liability under the Act. This provision also stipulates that a prior or antecedent contract be added to the subsequent contract for the purposes of ascertaining if an employee, at the date of termination of employment, has sufficient service to come within the scope of the Unfair Dismissals Acts.

If the employees in question consider their employer is in breach of the unfair dismissal legislation, they may refer a claim in that regard to either a rights commissioner or the employment appeals tribunal under the Unfair Dismissals Act.

The relevant application forms for bringing claims to the rights commissioner or the employment appeals tribunal may be obtained by writing to the employment rights information unit of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment at 65a Adelaide Road, Dublin 2 or by telephoning the Unit at (01) 6313131, Lo-call 1890 220222.

Inquiries relating to entitlements under statutory pension arrangements or relating to review of such arrangements are a matter for the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs. Supplementary pension arrangements are a matter for negotiation between the individual employee and his or her employer.


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