A summary of what a contract of employment is and some of the rights that stem for that contract are discussed in this document.
Definition of 'Contract of Employment'
Anyone who works for an employer for a regular wage or salary has automatically a contract of employment, whether written or not. Section 23 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990, states that a contract of employment, for the purposes of the Industrial Relations Acts, 1946 to 1990, may be expressed or implied, oral or in writing.
Source of Rights
Many of the terms of a contract of employment may emerge from the common law, statutes or collective agreements made through trade unions or may be derived from the custom or practice in a particular industry.
The Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994, provides that an employer must provide an employee with a written statement of certain particulars of the terms of employment.
The Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003 provides that where an employer proposes to renew a fixed term contract, the fixed-term employee shall be informed in writing by the employer of the objective grounds justifying the renewal of the fixed-term contract and the failure to offer a contract of indefinite duration, at the latest by the date of the renewal.
Employers are required by section 14(1) of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977 to give a notice in writing to each employee setting out the procedure which the employer will observe before dismissing the employee. This must be given not later than 28 days after entering into a contract of employment. See also the separate section on dismissals.
The Payment of Wages Act, 1991, gives every employee the right to a written statement every payday of wages and with every deduction itemised. This entitlement is described in the section dealing with wages.