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Thursday 27 June 2019

Employees sent home without work will get three hours' pay worth €29

Regina Doherty: Minister hailed new legislation as ‘ground-breaking’. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Regina Doherty: Minister hailed new legislation as ‘ground-breaking’. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Anne-Marie Walsh

From next March employees will get a payment worth €29 if they are called into work but told they are not needed.

New legislation to protect workers in precarious employment will also ban zero-hour contracts in some situations.

One of its key features is a new compensatory payment if staff are called to work but do not get any. It will be worth three times the hourly minimum wage.

The minimum wage is due to rise from €9.55 to €9.80 an hour from January, so workers in this situation will be entitled to a payment worth €29.40 every time it happens.

In some industries, where statutory minimum wage rates are laid down in 'employment regulation orders', these rates will instead be used to calculate the payment.

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, announced that the "ground-breaking" legislation would be rolled out from March.

A spokesperson said the compensation payment is to discourage the practice of calling, say, 10 employees into work when there is only work for five people and the first five to show up get the work.

She said the other five might be sent home without work or "meaningful" compensation.

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) law will also ban zero-hour contracts, where an employer is not obliged to provide minimum working hours, in some situations.

But it allows them in cases of "genuine casual employment", or where employers need cover in emergency situations or short-term absences. Employees whose contracts do not reflect the hours they work will also get a right to minimum hours. This will reflect what they actually worked over 12 months.

Irish Independent

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