New Employment Compliance Bill is launched (18 March 2008)
Mr Micheal Martin, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Mr Billy Kelleher TD Minister for Labour Affairs have published the Employment Rights Compliance Bill, 2008, intended to completely overhaul the State’s employment rights framework.
Overall its purpose is to: “modernise the labour inspectorate, strengthen enforcement of employment rights and work permits, promote greater compliance in the workplace and increase the penalties for those employers who seek to gain advantage by denying employees their entitlements under law”.
This will be achieved by:
- Establishment of the National Employment Rights Authority (“NERA”) on a statutory basis
- Strengthening powers in the area of labour inspection including greater access to premises, personnel and data and empowering NERA to prosecute summary offence
- Empowering labour inspectors in NERA to examine employment permits and to prosecute offences and to conduct investigations jointly with other agencies including Revenue Commissioners, Social Welfare inspectors and An Garda Síochána
- Provision for greater penalties for offences arising under employment law – in most cases up to €5,000 and/or 12 months’ imprisonment for summary offences and €250,000 and/or 3 years’ imprisonment for indictable offences
- Protection of whistleblowers in the event of breaches of employment law being reported in good faith
- Specification of a comprehensive list of documents which must be kept by the employer in respect of the most recent three year employment period and must be retained by employers for a further two years after the employment relationship ends
Click here for more details on the Employment Compliance Bill 2008