Labour and employment—Ireland—Q&A guide

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Labour and employment—Ireland—Q&A guide
  • 1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to employment?
  • 2. Is there any law prohibiting discrimination or harassment in employment? If so, what categories are regulated under the law?
  • 3. What are the primary government agencies or other entities responsible for the enforcement of employment statutes and regulations?
  • 4. Is there any legislation mandating or allowing the establishment of employees’ representatives in the workplace?
  • 5. What are their powers?
  • 6. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against background checks on applicants? Does it make a difference if an employer conducts its own checks or hires a third party?
  • 7. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against requiring a medical examination as a condition of employment?
  • 8. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against drug and alcohol testing of applicants?
  • 9. Are there any legal requirements to give preference in hiring to, or not to discriminate against, particular people or groups of people?
  • More...

Labour and employment—Ireland—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to labour and employment in Ireland published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: March 2020).

Authors: Arthur Cox—Louise O'Byrne; Sarah Faulkner

1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to employment?

The main statutes relating to employment are the:

  1. Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2015;

  2. Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2015;

  3. Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 2014;

  4. Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003;

  5. Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001;

  6. Protected Disclosures Act 2014;

  7. Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Acts 2005 to 2014;

  8. Organisation of Working Time Act 1997; and

  9. Terms of Employment (Information) Acts 1994 to 2014.

There are a number of other employment laws and regulations in Ireland, the most important of which are referred to below.

2. Is there any law prohibiting discrimination or harassment in employment? If so, what categories are regulated under the law?

In Ireland, discrimination is prohibited in employment under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2015, which prohibit discrimination across nine discriminatory grounds: gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community (the ‘discriminatory grounds’).

Discrimination may be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination arises in circumstances where one person is treated less favourably than another on one of the nine discriminatory

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