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Ireland: Employee rights

Original and updating author: Mark Carley


  • There are various rules for employees' hours of work, including a statutory maximum working week and particular restrictions for night workers. (See Hours of work)
  • Employees are entitled to minimum rest breaks and rest periods. (See Rest breaks and rest periods)
  • Employees who work on a Sunday are generally entitled to compensation if this is not already included in their rate of pay. (See Sunday work)
  • There are various rules regarding minimum paid annual leave for employees and when it may be taken. (See Holidays and holiday pay)
  • Pregnant employees, new mothers and adoptive parents have various rights. (See Maternity and pregnancy rights)
  • Qualifying employees are entitled to take paternity leave. (See Paternity leave)
  • Qualifying employees are entitled to take parental leave. (See Parental leave)
  • Eligible employees are entitled to take parent's leave. (See Parent's leave)
  • Employees are entitled to take carer's leave to provide care and attention to a "relevant person", along with leave for medical care in certain circumstances. (See Carer's leave)
  • Employees are entitled to take "force majeure" leave for urgent family reasons due to injury or illness. (See Force majeure leave)
  • Employees who are victims of domestic violence are entitled to take up to five days of paid leave per year to seek or obtain various forms of assistance and support. (See Domestic violence leave
  • There is no legal obligation on employers to provide compassionate leave when a member of an employee's family dies. (See Compassionate leave)
  • Part-time employees have various rights, including not to be treated less favourably manner than a comparable full-time employee except where the treatment can be justified. (See Part-time workers)
  • Fixed-term workers have various rights, including not be treated less favourably than a comparable "permanent" employee except where the treatment can be justified. (See Fixed-term workers)
  • Temporary agency workers are entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions as they would be entitled to if they were directly employed by the hirer. (See Temporary agency work)
  • Workers posted to work in Ireland from other EU member states have the protection of all Irish employment legislation. (See Posted workers)
  • If a business or part of it is transferred to a new owner, its employees also transfer. (See Transfers of undertakings)
  • The pay-related entitlements of employees whose employer has become insolvent are protected by a state scheme. (See Insolvency of employer)
  • A code of practice drawn up by the Labour Relations Commission (now abolished and replaced by the Workplace Relations Commission) lays down guidance for employers' grievance and disciplinary procedures. (See Grievance and disciplinary procedures)
  • A code of practice deals with the resolution of workplace bullying issues. (See Bullying)
  • Workers have statutory protection from dismissal or other penalisation by their employer for making protected disclosures, and many employers are required to have in place internal channels and procedures for dealing with such disclosures. (See Whistleblowing)
  • There are various rules regarding the processing and use of employees' personal data. (See Data protection)
  • A code of practice sets out practical guidance for employers in relation to the "right to disconnect". (See Right to disconnect)