Retail sector employers will have their hands full next year trying to stay on top of developments in Irish employment law. We outline six things retail sector employers in Ireland need to be aware of.
1. Minimum wage increase to €12.70 from 1 January 2024
The national minimum wage increased from €11.30 to €12.70 per hour for employees aged 20 years and older from 1 January 2024. Employees aged 19, 18 and under 18, are now entitled to a minimum wage of €11.43, €10.16 and €8.89 respectively.
2. Statutory sick leave days increasing from 3 to 5 days
Employees were previously entitled to 3 days’ paid statutory sick leave under the Sick Leave Act 2022. This increased to 5 days from 1 January 2024.
Statutory sick pay is paid by the employer and is set at 70% of the employee’s wage, subject to a maximum daily payment of €110. To qualify for statutory sick pay, employees must have a minimum of 13 weeks’ continuous service with the employer and must provide their employer with an appropriate medical certificate.
3. Gender pay gap (GPG) reporting obligations extending to smaller employers
GPG is the difference in the average hourly wage of men and women across a workforce. The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 requires organisations to report on their hourly GPG across a range of metrics. Under the 2021 Act, employers with 250 or more employees were required to report on their GPG for the first time in 2022. All employers over 150 or more employees will now be subject to reporting obligations. The reporting deadline is a date in December 2024, six months from a snapshot date in June 2024 chosen by the employer.
This reporting obligation will extend to all employers with 50 or more employees in 2025.
4. New whistleblowing obligations
All employers with 50 or more employees are required to have appropriate internal reporting channels and procedures in place for addressing whistleblowing reports from December 2023. These must comply with the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022. In practice, affected employers will need a comprehensive whistleblowing policy setting out these reporting channels and procedures.
5. Pension auto-enrolment
The Government plans to introduce pension auto-enrolment in Ireland in the second half of 2024. Under the current proposals, employees between 23 and 60 who are not already in an occupational pension scheme and earning €20,000 or more per year will be automatically enrolled into a new auto-enrolment pension scheme. The scheme will provide for set contributions by the employer, employee and the Government, with an opt-out option for employees after six months.
6. Enhanced parents’ leave
Parents’ leave is expected to increase from 7 to 9 weeks in August 2024
Retail sector employers should take steps now to prepare for these changes, including updating their existing policies and procedures to ensure they are fully compliant with Irish employment law. In particular, retail employers who have not had to report on their GPG previously, and will be in scope from 2024, should ensure they have the necessary internal systems in place to capture, analyse and report on their GPG.
For more information on how we can assist your organisation in navigating these changes, please contact a member of our expert Employment Law & Benefits Team.
The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.