The Government has recently introduced new fines for breaches of certain important employment laws. The Workplace Relations Act 2015 (Fixed Payment Notice) Regulations 2023 (the Regulations) set out a series of on-the-spot fines called fixed payment notices for failing to comply with some important parts of Irish employment law. The Regulations also prescribe the form of fixed payment notices in lieu of prosecution and the amount of the fine in each case.
The Regulations prescribe the following fines:
- €2,000 where an employer fails to consult with employees’ representatives and to provide them with mandatory information in the context of a collective redundancy
- €1,500 where an employer fails to provide an employee with their terms of employment within one month of the commencement of their employment or provides false or misleading information to the employee
- €1,500 where an employer fails to provide an employee with a written statement of wages and the nature and amount of any deductions from wages
- €1,500 where an employer does not provide an employee with a statement of their average hourly rate of pay for a pay reference period on request by the employee
- €750 where an employer fails to provide employees with a written statement on the distribution of tips and gratuities or fails to treat a service charge as a tip, and
- €500 where an employer does not display a ‘tips and gratuities notice’ or a ‘contract workers tips and gratuities notice’
While these fines seem relatively small, they are potentially cumulative in nature. So, for example, if an employer fails to provide all employees with their terms of employment within one month, then the employer will be fined for each employee. The same applies to other fines.
The Regulations also prescribe the form of fixed payment notices in lieu of prosecution. This form is issued by an inspector of the Workplace Relations Commission on the basis of an allegation that an employer has committed one of the offences mentioned above.
The form requires the identification of the legal basis for the offence, the date and details of the offence and the grounds upon which the inspector is satisfied that the offence has occurred, as well as the fixed amount to be paid.
Fined employers will have 42 days to pay the fine which can only be paid by electronic fund transfer. While an employer is not obliged to make the payment, if they do not, then prosecution may follow. However, no prosecution will occur during the 42-day period.
Employers will be relieved that the fines introduced have not increased under the Regulations, although a number of new fines have been introduced which employers should be mindful of. Large-scale employers in particular might consider reviewing their employment compliance procedures to ensure that all employees are issued with relevant documentation concerning their terms of employment and pay. Employers in the hospitality sector should assess their tips and gratuities policies.
For more information and expert advice, contact a member of our Employment Law & Benefits team.
People Also Ask
What are the new fines for breaches of Irish employment law in 2024?
The Workplace Relations Act 2015 (Fixed Payment Notice) Regulations 2023 set out a series of on-the-spot fines called fixed payment notices for failing to comply with some important parts of Irish employment law. These fines range from €500 to €2,000.
What parts of Irish employment law do these fines apply to?
The 2023 Regulations set out fines regarding consultation and information obligations in the context of collective redundancies, terms of employment, for example the obligation to provide a statement of terms, or a written statement of wages and where an employer fails to provide employees with a written statement on the distribution of tips and gratuities or fails to treat a service charge as a tip.
How will these new fines operate?
The fines are determined on-the-spot based on an investigation by an inspector of the Workplace Relations Commission.
The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.