In our previous article, Zero Hour Contracts, we highlighted the impact of an Irish Zero Hour Contract ban on employers in Ireland and payroll professionals, which would come into effect if the bill “Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017” passes in its current state. In addition to this we noted that a crucial aspect of the bill would also be enforced, called “Banded Hours”. This Banded Hours provision will also have a significant impact on Irish employers and payroll professionals.
Continue reading to find out what Banded Hours are, the proposed bands, how to find the correct band, how to change between bands, when an Irish employer can refuse to change an employee’s band and find 8 key new requirements for Irish employers and payroll professionals.
Banded Hours is a provision in the proposed Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017. Banded Hours refers to the groups / bands of weekly working hours and legislation that the bill proposes. If this bill passes in its current state, employees in Ireland on low-hour contracts will be entitled to be placed on a band of working hours if their contract does not specify and reflect the number of working hours that they typically work each week. The band that the employee falls under will be ascertained by averaging the weekly working hours for a period not less than 18 months. Employees in a band are essentially guaranteed the minimum number of hours in that band.
Currently, as of writing, the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 is before Dáil Éireann, in the Second Stage – view the current status of the bill here: status of Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017.
The bands of weekly working hours are broken into 4 groups / bands as follows:
|Band / Group||From (hours)||To (hours)|
|D||35||Over 35 hours|
If an employee in Ireland believes that they are in an incorrect band a request must be made to the Irish employer in writing. If employees are unhappy with their band and the employer refuses to change their band a claim can be lodged with the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in accordance with Part 4 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015. The employer or employee can appeal a decision to the Labour Court in accordance with the Workplace Relations Act 2015 (Section 44).
According to the proposed Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017, an employer in Ireland may refuse to place an employee on the band requested:
(a) where there is no evidence to support the claim in relation to the hours worked in the reference period,
(b) where there has been significant adverse changes to the business, profession or occupation carried on by the employer during or after the reference period,
(c) in circumstances to which section 5 applies, or
(d) where the average of the hours worked by the employee during the reference period were affected by a temporary situation that no longer exists.
Below we have identified 8 key new duties that employers in Ireland, and specifically payroll professionals, would/could be responsible for if the bill passes in its current state:
Here at Paycheck Plus we understand that ensuring compliance with the most up-to-date legislation changes is a difficult and time consuming task for most businesses – we know that you would rather focus on profits over legislation changes and paperwork, this is why we provide complete and comprehensive services. As well as fully managed payroll outsourcing, we provide an extensive range of payroll related services including consultancy, audits, reporting, training, payroll set-up and wind-down, and special projects. We stay of the forefront of legislation developments so you don’t have to.
To ensure compliance with the most up-to-date legislation developments and for expert support contact Paycheck Plus today.
A similar version of this article first appeared on our Irish website here: Banded Hours Ireland.
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