(Note: this is not to be confused with the contract of employment itself).
Who is covered by the act?
You have to be an employee with at least one month’s service with your employer. This includes employees of the State, apprentices and also agency workers. If you are an agency worker, then it’s the party who actually pays you who is responsible for providing the written statement.
What are you entitled to?
If you entered a contract of employment (written or otherwise) after the 16th May 1994, then your employer must give you a written statement of your terms of employment, signed by them, within two months of commencing employment with them.
If you entered a contract of employment prior to that date, then they must give you the written statement within two months of you requesting it. Either way, they must also notify you of any changes in the particulars given in the statement, and do so within one month of any such changes coming into effect.
What must be in the statement?
The law requires the employer to detail the following particulars to you:-
Note: If you work outside the State, then your employer must include in the written statement details of the period of employment outside the state, the currency you will be paid in, any other benefits you will be entitled to and any terms relating to your repatriation home. You have to get these before you leave.
What can you do if you do not get what you are entitled to?
If your employer does not give you your written statement, or there is a problem with what they have included or excluded, you can make a complaint to a Rights Commissioner at any time during your employment, or within six months of leaving.
The Rights Commissioner can uphold your complaint or not. They can confirm the particulars in the statement, alter or add to it, order a statement to be drawn up by the employer and they have the power to order the employer to pay you up to four weeks remuneration as compensation.
If you (or your employer) are not satisfied with a Rights Commissioner’s recommendation, then you can appeal it to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) within six weeks of the Rights Commissioner communicating the recommendation. There are also enforcement procedures available.
Written by Michael Halpenny, Head of SIPTU Legal Rights Unit.
This article was published in the February 2011 issue of Liberty.