17th September 2021
Workers to be given new rights to better information, more predictability and better conditions
New limits on probationary periods considered, ban on exclusivity clauses
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, is today seeking views on new rights to improve terms and conditions for workers.
An EU Directive (2019/1152 on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) will be transposed into Irish law by August 2022. It will give workers the right to:
- More complete information on the essential aspects of the work, which is to be received early by the worker, in writing;
- A limit to the length of probationary periods at the beginning of a job;
- Seek additional employment, with a ban on exclusivity clauses and limits on incompatibility clauses;
- Know in a reasonable period in advance when work will take place – that is, for workers with very unpredictable working schedules, as in the case of on-demand work;
- To request to be transferred to a form of employment with more predictable and secure working conditions where available and receive a reasoned written reply;
- To receive mandatory training, cost-free, that is required to carry out the work for which he or she is employed.
The Tánaiste said:
“I want one of the legacies of the pandemic to be better terms and conditions for workers. That is why we are introducing a new mandatory sick pay scheme, new rights around requesting remote working and the right to disconnect, for example. Much of what is required under this Directive has already been implemented, such as the restriction on zero-hour contracts, and we are now moving to implement the remaining provisions. We will be considering putting limits on the length of time an employer can put a worker on probation and ensuring workers get the training they need to do their job. We will also be ensuring more reasonable periods of notice are given when work is unpredictable in nature. I look forward to considering all views received. I also want to make sure that any changes won’t damage job creation or create unrealistic or onerous obligations on employers.”
EU Directive 2019/1152 on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions must be transposed by August 2022.
While the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 has pre-empted many aspects of the Directive, for example, the introduction of anti-penalisation provisions, stronger penalties for non-compliance, restriction of zero hours contracts and provision of more precise information on hours of work and other core terms of employment to employees at an earlier stage in the employment relationship, the Directive includes elements which go beyond and will build further upon the measures contained within that Act.
The Directive covers all workers in all forms of work, including those in the most flexible non-standard and new forms of work such as, casual work, domestic work, voucher-based work or platform work. The Directive also contains targeted provisions on enforcement, to make sure that workers effectively benefit from these rights.
The deadline for submissions is 3pm on Monday, 25 October 2021.
Further information on the EU Directive 2019/1152 on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions may be found at EUR-Lex - 32019L1152 - EN - EUR-Lex (europa.eu).
Consultation and submissions
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is seeking views from stakeholders on the transposition by primary legislation of EU Directive 2019/1152 on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions.
Submissions should be marked “Consultation on the transposition of EU Directive 2019/1152 on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions” and should be emailed to:
The deadline for submissions is 3pm on 25 October 2021.
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