The Employment Law Review, 8th Edition

Author:Mr John Dunne and Bláthnaid Evans


Employment in Ireland is regulated by an extensive statutory framework, much of which finds its origin in European Community law. The Irish Constitution, the law of equity and the common law remain relevant, particularly in relation to applications for injunctions to restrain dismissals and actions for breach of contract. The main Irish legislation in the employment law area includes:

the Industrial Relations Acts 1946-2015; the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967-2014; the Protection of Employment Act 1977; the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973-2001; the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015; the Terms of Employment (Information) Acts 1994 and 2012; the Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004; the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997; the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015; the National Minimum Wage Act 2000; the Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001; the European Communities (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations 2003; the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003; the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005; the Employees (Provision of Information and Consultation) Act 2006; the Employment Permits Acts 2003-2014; q the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007; r the Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act 2012; the Protected Disclosures Act 2014; the Workplace Relations Act 2015; and the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016. Employment rights under Irish law can be enforced under the specially allocated statutory forum, or by the civil courts in appropriate cases. The process of determining which body or court will have jurisdiction in a particular case will now mainly depend on whether the claim is either being brought under statute or common law.

In general terms, employer's liability (i.e., personal injury) claims and claims of breach of contract are dealt with in the civil courts, as are applications for injunctive relief in relation to employment matters, whereas statutory claims (i.e., those made, for example, under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015 or the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997) are heard by the new Workplace Relations Commission.

i Civil courts

The civil judicial system in Ireland is tiered, based on the monetary value of particular claims. At the lowest level, the District Court deals with claims not exceeding15,000 and this court rarely hears employment-related disputes. Next...

To continue reading