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The legal minimum

Why you need more than that

image of a contract with a pen on a table.As an employer, you must provide all new employees with a written statement of their terms and conditions of employment within two months of commencing employment.
This is more commonly referred to as a contract of employment.

What are the legal requirements in a contract of employment in Ireland?

Irish employment law states that the following must be contained in the contract of employment:
full names of the employer and the employee;
full address of the employer;
place of work, or where there is no fixed place, a statement that the employee is required to work at various locations;
nature of work;
commencement date of the employment;
duration of the contract, either fixed or permanent;
rate or method of calculation of remuneration and pay reference period;
where an employee is in receipt of less than 150% of the national minimum wage, that the employee may, under the National Minimum Wage Act 2000, request a written statement of the employee's average hourly rate of pay for any pay reference period in the last 12 months;
payment intervals, e.g. weekly, monthly, etc;
annual leave and other paid leave entitlements;
hours of work (including overtime);
details of rest periods and breaks;
sick leave and pension arrangements, where applicable;
notice requirements;
reference to any collective agreements.

This written statement should be signed and dated by both parties. The employer is also obliged to keep a copy of this for at least one year after the employee leaves the organisation.






This represents the bare minimum. We recommend that these further areas be included in any contract of employment:
a probationary period;
provision for lay-off and short time;
a flexibility clause;
confidentiality clause;
health and safety;
disciplinary and grievance clauses;
changes to conditions of employment.

Can other documents become part of the contract of employment?

Yes. Many employers have fallen foul of carelessly worded letters, offering employment to new prospective employees. References made in these letters,to conditions of employment have been held by the courts to have formed part of the terms of employment of the employee.
Our advice is to keep these letters simple, and let the contract of employment cover all of the terms of employment.


Is there a DIY solution to drafting a contract of employment  ?

Yes. We advise you to get help from our experts. However if you want to do it yourself you can download our updated employment contract document, together with our simple guide to completing it . You can opt to have the completed document reviewed by one of our experts for peace of mind. Just click on the blue button to view our selection of employment law documents to help reduce your legal expenses.


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What should I do next?

This page is just an outline of what is contained in an average contract of employment. You should not rely on it, when drafting your conditions of employment. We can help you to draw up a contract, tailored to your specific needs, and avoid litigation down the road. Think of the expense of compensating an employee because of a poorly worded contract when considering the small cost of drafting a watertight contract, which brings you peace of mind.
If you would like some advice on terms of employment please contact us using the orange Yes! Tell Me More button below.  


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Image courtesy cc.15


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