7 Simple Steps For Employers to Avoid Costly Employment Law Claims from Employees

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It’s an easy mistake to make.

If you are an employer you are in danger of leaving yourself wide open to expensive claims by your employees if you fail to follow some basic but essential steps in your employment relationship with your employees.

In addition to settling successful claims brought by employees you also run the risk of fines and other sanctions from the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) which has a dedicated unit, the Prosecution Services Unit, which can refer cases to the Chief State Solicitors Office for prosecution.

There is a wide body of employment legislation in force in Ireland which can be confusing for many employers.

In addition some industries have their own industry specific agreements called registered employment agreements (REA) and minimum wage rates. It is worth noting that these registered employment agreements are binding on all parties once registered with the Labour Court.

UPDATE May 2013

The Supreme Court, in May 2013, ruled that registered employment agreements are unconstitutional. You will find more updated information about registered employment agreements and employment regulation orders here.

Minimum requirements in employment law

1. Written statement of certain terms and conditions of employment

This statement must be given to the employee within two months of commencing employment.

The relevant act is the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 which sets out the basic information that an employee is entitled to be given in writing about their contract of employment. You need to be careful that you provide the additional information set out in the revised act, which is

( fa ) a reference to any registered employment agreement or employment regulation order which applies to the employee and confirmation of where the employee may obtain a copy of such agreement or order, ]

F6 [ (g) the rate or method of calculation of the employee ’ s remuneration and the pay reference period for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000,

( ga ) that the employee may, under section 23 of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000, request from the employer a written statement of the employee ’ s average hourly rate of pay for any pay reference period as provided in that section,

You need to be aware of statutory instrument S.I. No. 49/1998 – Terms of Employment (Additional Information) Order, 1998, which provides that you must give the employee a statement in writing containing particulars of the times and duration of the rest periods and breaks referred to in sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Act (The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.)

2. Written statement of pay

The Payment of Wages Act, 1991 obliges the employer to give a written statement of wages and deductions at the time of payment. Learn more about payment of wages here.

3. The minimum wage

There are exceptions to the minimum wage in Ireland of €8.65 per hour but most adults will be entitled to it; in addition certain industries have their own higher minimum wage. Learn more about minimum wage rates.

4. Maximum hours worked

Employers must keep records of hours worked by employees to ensure compliance with the maximum working week average of  48 hours which may be calculated over a 4, 6 or 12 month period depending on the industry. Learn more about working time and rest breaks here.

5. Working time and breaks

The breaks to which employees are entitled are set out in the Organization of Working Time Act, 1997. Currently break entitlements are 15 minutes per four and a half hours work and a 30 minute break for six hours worked.

6. Holiday entitlements

Holiday entitlements are also covered in the Organization of Working Time Act, 1997. In general full time workers are entitled to four  paid weeks holidays per year with part timers being entitled to similar holidays on a pro rata basis depending on hours worked which equates to one third of a week per month worked. (Learn more about how to calculate holiday entitlements.)

7. Minimum notice of termination of employment

The minimum notice periods are set out in the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973 to 2001 and depend on the length of service with the minimum regardless of service being 1 week.

Conclusion

Employers can save themselves the considerable costs in money and time involved in defending or otherwise dealing with claims by their employees by some prudent management and housekeeping.

The list above is not exhaustive, but if you took care of those 7 areas you would be in good shape as an employer.

Doing business nowadays can be a worrying enough activity without inviting needless trouble on yourself for the want of a straightforward contract of employment and/or letter of offer and/or statement of your employees’ terms and conditions.

At a minimum you should carry out an audit of your

  • Contracts of employment
  • Staff handbooks
  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • All workplace policy documents.

If you don’t have any of the above, you are asking for trouble, especially when there is a dispute or a NERA inspection.

NERA-The National Employment Rights Authority: a Checklist for Employers

NERA Ireland

Let’s admit it.

A letter from NERA can send a shiver down the spine of most employers.

NERA (National Employment Rights Authority) is the statutory body appointed to ensure employers compliance with employment legislation in Ireland. It carries out regular inspections to fulfill it’s obligations and ensure compliance by employers.

NERA also has the statutory power to prosecute employers where noncompliance persists or is serious but NERA also provides an information service for employers.

NERA Inspections

NERA inspections must be carried out in compliance with it’s NERA Inspection Procedures Manual and it’s Code of Practice for NERA employees. Generally, but not always, the employer will receive notice form NERA about it’s intention to inspect the records of the employer.

The inspection should take place at the employer’s business premises as employers are obliged by law to keep their employment records there.

The employer can choose to be represented by a solicitor or anyone else in their dealings with NERA and there will be a dedicated inspector assigned to deal with each case.

Generally NERA inspections are carried out

  1. Routinely
  2. After receiving a complaint
  3. As part of a compliance campaign dealing with a new or particular development in an industry or piece of legislation.

In general NERA will not tell you why they are inspecting unless it is a repeat inspection within 6 months of the first one.

The first part of the inspection is an interview with the employer prior to inspection of employers records and/or interviews with member of staff.

Checking on the employer’s compliance with statutory requirements as to the necessary employment records is a key part of the inspection.

Once the inspection is carried out a letter will issue concluding the investigation providing there is no evidence of non-compliance. If there are minor breaches then the Inspector will generally give the employer the opportunity to put things right.

However where there is evidence of underpayment of wages the inspector will calculate the underpayment for three years from date of inspection and seek to have this paid as soon as possible.

NERA can also bring prosecutions in serious or persistent cases of non-compliance and can share it’s information with the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Social Protection.

If you feel as an employer that you have been treated unfairly you can bring a complaint to a NERA regional manager who will investigate your complaint.

Employer’s Checklist for NERA Inspections

Below you will find a handy employer’s checklist for a NERA (National Employment Rights Authority) inspection:

  1. Do you have your employer’s registration number with the Revenue Commissioners?
  2. Have you a list of all your employees together with their PPS numbers and addresses?
  3. Have you the dates of commencement of employment for all employees? (And dates of termination if applicable?)
  4. Have you given all your employees a written statement of terms and conditions of employment?
  5. Have you the employees’ job classification?
  6. Have you a record of their annual leave and public holidays taken by each employee?
  7. Have you a record of hours worked for all employees?
  8. Have you a record of all payroll details?
  9. Can you prove that you provide your employees with a written statement of pay?
  10. Have you a record or register of all employees under the age of 18?
  11. Have you employment permits where applicable?
  12. Have you filled out the template letter details that you will receive from NERA advising you of the inspection?

This checklist is not exhaustive and you should consult a solicitor to ensure compliance with all aspects of Irish employment law.


8 Key Questions for an Acceptable Usage Policy for Employees’ Use of the Internet and Email at Work

internet-usage-policy-ireland

It’s an easy thing to overlook, you know.

But it could prove very costly if you are an employer. And it’s a problem that can only grow if you do not grasp the nettle now.

Having an acceptable usage policy in respect of your employees’ use of the internet and email at work is becoming a hot topic for many employers.

Many employees are well used to socializing with friends and family on sites like Facebook and Twitter in their everyday lives. This may be on their smart phone, android device, ipad or tablet-you name it.

Does this activity stop when they check in to work or are have you as an employer an acceptable usage policy?

You may well have policies in the workplace covering health and safety, grievance procedures, disciplinary procedures, and so on but are you overlooking the elephant in the room?

Acceptable Usage Policy for internet and email at work

Some key considerations surrounding this area are set out below:

  1. Will your company tolerate personal emails at work or private use of the internet or decide that they simply will not be tolerated in the workplace?
  2. If personal use is permitted in a limited way have you set down ground rules and boundaries as to what is and is not acceptable?
  3. What disciplinary sanctions are provided for in the event of a breach of the policy?
  4. Do you monitor your employees’ emails and if so do you have their written consent to do so? The Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland has expressed a view that you need this consent to monitor their emails.
  5. Have you a policy in place to ensure emails from unknown sources are not opened unless you are sure of the source?
  6. Have you a policy for employees sending emails with or without the consent of senior staff to ensure your business is not contractually bound?
  7. Is your staff aware that resending or retransmitting emails received may cause a further breach of someone’s copyright or intellectual property rights?
  8. Downloading obscene material from the internet (or anywhere else) is a criminal offence-do you have procedures in place to prevent this?

These are some of the factors you need to consider when it comes to your employees’ access to the internet and email in the workplace.

We all recognise that the use of popular social media sites and personal email is commonplace in Ireland today but is your company storing up trouble by not recognising this reality and drafting a suitable usage policy for use in your workplace?

We provide all policies needed for the workplace, including an Acceptable Usage Policy for internet and email use. Contact us for a quotation.

Part Time Workers Employment Rights in Ireland-What Employers and Employees Need to Know

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Part time workers are a major feature of the Irish workplace. And they used to have little or no protection from exploitation or abuse.

Not any more.

The Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act, 2001 offers a considerable degree of protection to part time and casual workers.

The principle goals of this legislation are to prevent discrimination against part time workers and to improve the quality of part time working conditions.

In addition the Code of Practice on Access to Part Time Work (SI 8/2006) seeks to encourage promotion of part time work including helping employees access part time work by more encouraging workplace policies by employers in respect of access.

While the code of practice is not mandatory should such a code of practice exist in the workplace this will be admissible as evidence in any Court or hearing of a dispute between employer and employee.

Employers who fail to recognise this change are leaving themselves open to successful claims from employees through the Rights Commissioner service within 6 months of the alleged contravention and prosecution from NERA.

Any clause in an employment contract which seeks to exclude any aspect of the Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act, 2001 will be void (section 14).

The act protects all part time employees including apprentices and defines a part time worker as “an employee whose normal hours of work are less than the normal hours of work of an employee who is a comparable employee in relation to him or her”.

“Normal hours of work” is broadly the average number of hours worked per day over a reference period.

A “comparable full time employee” is defined in the act by compliance with various conditions set out in the act.

(2) For the purposes of this Part, an employee is a comparable employee in relation to the employee firstly mentioned in the definition of “part-time employee” in this section (the “relevant part-time employee”) if—
(a) the employee and the relevant part-time employee are employed by the same employer or associated employers and one of the conditions referred to in subsection (3) is satisfied in respect of those employees,
(b) in case paragraph (a) does not apply (including a case where the relevant part-time employee is the sole employee of the employer), the employee is specified in a collective agreement, being an agreement that for the time being has effect in relation to the relevant part-time employee, to be a type of employee who is to be regarded for the purposes of this Part as a comparable employee in relation to the relevant part-time employee, or
(c) in case neither paragraph (a) nor (b) applies, the employee is employed in the same industry or sector of employment as the relevant part-time employee is employed in and one of the conditions referred to in subsection (3) is satisfied in respect of those employees,

“Conditions of employment” are also defined in the act and principally concern remuneration/pay.

No Less Favourable Treatment

The principle thrust of the act is that part time employees, like fixed term workers, are to be treated no less favourably than their full time counterparts unless that favourable treatment can be justified on an objective ground (objective justification).

This is a similar situation to fixed term workers who can be treated less favourably on objective grounds. Treating employees less favourably on objective grounds is only acceptable where the considerations surrounding the treatment

  • Have nothing to do with the fact that the employee is part time
  • The purpose is for a legitimate objective
  • The treatment is necessary and appropriate for that purpose.

See section 12 of the Act.

The Act provides though that an objective ground for less favourable treatment may be easier to justify for casual part time work but not “part time” per se. ((2) For the avoidance of doubt, a ground which does not constitute an objective ground for the purposes of section 9 (2) may be capable of constituting an objective ground for the purposes of section 11 (2).)

Section 15 of the Act provides that the employee shall not be penalised for making a complaint or invoking a right under the Act.

 Principle of Proportionality

When applying entitlements to part time employees on a pro rata basis it is important to note that the entitlement in question must be capable of being given on a pro rata basis.

The rate will depend on the number of hours worked by the part timer as a proportion of the hours worked by a full time employee.

Part Time Workers and Overtime

A provision whether in a collective agreement or in terms and conditions of employment whereby part-time workers do not receive overtime until they have completed the standard number of hours under which a comparable full time worker could be entitled to claim overtime is not unfavourable treatment and is not discriminatory.

Curry v Boxmore Plastics Ltd addressed this issue in the Labour Court.

However Abbott Ireland Ltd. v SIPTU is authority for the proposition that part time workers are entitled to a shift premium in respect of hours which were “unsocial” and “family unfriendly”.

Casual Part Time Employees

A casual part time employee is a part time worker who works on a casual basis.

This generally means that the casual part time worker is one who has worked with the employer for less than 13 weeks and that employment could not be regarded as seasonal or regular or he/she is recognised as such in an approved collective agreement (Section 11 of the Protection of Employees (Part Time Work) Act 2001).

Prohibition on penalisation

Section 15 of the 2001 Act prohibits the employer from penalizing the employee for making a complaint under the Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act, 2001.

Redress for Part Time Workers

The redress for part time workers is the same as for fixed term workers

(2) A decision of a rights commissioner under subsection (1) shall do one or more of the following—
(a) declare that the complaint was or, as the case may be, was not well founded,
(b) require the employer to comply with the relevant provision,
(c) require the employer to pay to the employee compensation of such amount (if any) as is just and equitable having regard to all the circumstances, but not exceeding 2 years remuneration in respect of the employee’s employment,

Decisions of the Rights Commissioner service can be appealed to the Labour Court.

As can be seen from the above, a part time worker can be awarded up to 2 years remuneration if (s)he brings a successful claim.

Therefore even an employee working only 20 hours a week on minimum wage can cost the employer a lot of money if (s)he is successful in bringing a claim for unlawful less favourable treatment.

Working Time and Minimum Rest Periods in Irish Employment-What You Need to Know

working-time-ireland

Rest periods in work.

Do they cause problems for you?

Are you an employer? Employee?

Working time, rest periods, public holidays,  and annual leave are all dealt with in Irish law in the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.

And up to 2 years remuneration can be awarded in compensation to an employee for breaches of the Act.

In fact the hours of work, holidays, some statutory leave entitlements, days off, breaks, and so on are also determined by the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.

For employers it is important to note that working time and time off/annual leave should be viewed as health and safety issues for employees also.

The definition of “working time” in the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 is an important one:

working time” means any time that the employee is—
(a) at his or her place of work or at his or her employer’s disposal, and
(b) carrying on or performing the activities or duties of his or her work,
and “work” shall be construed accordingly.

Section 2 defines “working time” and a “rest period”:

rest period” means any time that is not working time;

Application and non-application

The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 does not apply to members of the Defence Forces and an Garda Siochana.

Section 3 of the Act also states that it shall not apply to people working in sea fishing or a doctor in training or workers covered by a collective agreement or those working in exceptional circumstances or an emergency or a person who is employed by a relative and is a member of that relative’s household or a person whose working hours are determined by him/herself.

Section 4 provides exemptions for other groups of employees including those covered by regulations made by the Minister for Enterprise and Employment including people working in the transport industry.

Section 6 of the Act  allows an employer to give compensatory “equivalent” rest periods where an employee is not entitled to a rest period due to the operation of sections 4 or 5.

Exemptions

S.I. No. 21/1998 – Organisation of Working Time (General Exemptions) Regulations, 1998 provides for exemptions for certain workers from the operation of sections 11, 12, 13 and 16 of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.

Here is the list set out in the statutory instrument:

SCHEDULE

1. An activity in which the employee is regularly required by the employer to travel distances of significant length, either from his or her home to the workplace or from one workplace to another workplace.

2. An activity of a security or surveillance nature the purpose of which is to protect persons or property and which requires the continuous presence of the employee at a particular place or places, and, in particular, the activities of a security guard, caretaker or security firm.

3. An activity falling within a sector of the economy or in the public service—

(a) in which it is foreseeable that the rate at which production or the provision of services, as the case may be, takes place will vary significantly from time to time,

or

(b) the nature of which is such that employees are directly involved in ensuring the continuity of production or the provision of services, as the case may be,

and, in particular, any of the following activites—

(i) the provision of services relating to the reception, treatment or care of persons in a residential institution, hospital or similar establishment,

(ii) the provision of services at a harbour or airport,

(iii) production in the press, radio, television, cinematographic, postal or telecommunications industries,

(iv) the provision of ambulance, fire and civil protection services,

(v) the production, transmission or distribution of gas, water or electricity,

(vi) the collection of household refuse or the operation of an incineration plant,

(vii) any industrial activity in which work cannot, by reason of considerations of a technical nature, be interrupted,

(viii) research and development,

(ix) agriculture,

(x) tourism.

On call or on standby?

If you are on call or standby the prime determining factor as to whether this is “working time” or not will be the requirement to be at a particular place or not-if a physical presence is required it is considered working time; if not, it is not considered working time, even though you may, like a doctor, be on call.

The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 does not apply to Gardai and Defence Forces members and certain sections of the Act do not apply to other groups of employees (for example people involved in the transportation of goods or people, people involved in sea fishing, employees covered by collective agreements, doctors in training etc.)

Fishermen

There are special regulations for fishermen, S.I. No. 709/2003 – European Communities (Workers on Board Sea-Going Fishing Vessels) (Organisation of Working Time) Regulations 2003.

Minimum Rest Periods

Section 11 of the Act stipulates that an employee is entitled to a “rest period of not less than 11 consecutive hours in each period of 24 hours”; this is the daily rest period.

Section 12 states that an employee is entitled to a rest period of at least 15 minutes after working for 4.5 hours and a break of at least 30 minutes after working for 6 hours. Note: a break at the end of the working day is not acceptable and does not comply with the Act.

This 15 minute break can be included in the 30 minute break but would obviously have to start no later than 4 hours and 30 minutes after the commencement of work.

Section 13 deals with weekly rest periods and gives an entitlement to at least 24 consecutive hours of a break in each period of seven days, or at the employer’s discretion two rest periods each of which must be for at least 24 consecutive hours during a second seven days period. This rest period must be preceded by a section 11 daily rest period (see above).

Unless the employment contract provides otherwise, the 24 hours rest period “shall be a Sunday or, if the rest period is of more than 24 hours duration, shall include a Sunday”.

Compensatory Rest Periods

There are exemptions provided for certain workplaces and industries, In particular circumstances the employer can give compensatory rest periods where it is not possible for the employee to get his/her statutory entitlement in the normal course of events.

Section 6 of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 is the relevant section.

The Labour Relations Commission prepared a Code of Practice, pursuant to section 6 of the act, about compensatory rest periods which you can access here.

Retail/Shop Workers

There are special rules about breaks for  retail workers.The relevant statutory instrument is 57/1998 – Organisation of Working Time (Breaks At Work For Shop Employees) Regulations, 1998.

These regulations cover any retail trade or business, but does not include any premises uses as a hotel or the preparation of food including catering operations or licensed premises.

For any shop employee whose hours of work include the hours from 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. and who works more than six hours, the minimum duration of the break shall be one hour. The one hour break should take place between the hours mentioned and cannot be granted at the end of the working day.

These regulations covers workers in any retail trade or business or shop or wholesale outlet. and includes a barber or hairdressers.

Sunday Work

Section 14 provides for compensation for employees who are required to work on a Sunday, where this “has not otherwise been taken account of” in deciding pay.

Employees can be compensated by an allowance or pay increase or paid time off or a combination of these measures.

Employees can, in certain circumstances,  rely on agreements governing “comparable employees” with a view to establishing appropriate levels of compensation.

Weekly working hours

Section 15 deals with weekly working hours and states that an employee cannot work in excess of an average of 48 hours in a week-the average is taken over a two to twelve month period, depending on the industry and whether you are a night worker or not.

This case-ANDRZEI GERA T/A FAMILY BAKERY SAMO ZDROWIE and JUSTYNA MALECKA-saw two workers each being awarded €10,000 in compensation for breach of the weekly working hours law. You can read the full decisions here and here.

The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 also contains provisions covering night workers (section 16 offers extra protection), section 17 covers circumstances where an employee may not have a regular starting and/or finishing time that he/she must be told at least 24 hours in advance of the relevant starting and finishing time (the same applies to overtime required to be worked) and zero hours contracts are covered in section 18.

Certain sectors of activity are exempted from the rest provisions of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, for example some transport activities. These exemptions are normally set out in a statutory instrument so legal advices is recommended to check whether your industry is affected by an exemption.

Night Workers

Section 16 of the Act gives additional protection to night workers. Employers cannot expect or oblige night workers to work over 8 hours in a 24 hour period; a night worker is a worker who works at least 3 hours post-midnight as night work is considered to be from midnight to 7 am.

Section 17 of the Act provides that where an employee does not have “normal or regular starting and finishing times of work” the employer must give at least 24 hours notice of the relevant starting and finishing times.

The employee is entitled to the same notice re overtime/additional hours that the employer requires the employee to work.

Zero hours contracts

There has been increasing controversy about the use of zero hour contracts and there are reviews currently (2014) being carried out in Ireland and the UK by Ged Nash and Ed Miliband respectively.

These contracts are contracts of employment with a difference-they do not have a specified hours of work but the employee must be available for work for a certain number of hours in a week or when required, or a combination of both.

The use of zero hours contracts in the UK has soared in the last few years and, unlike in Ireland, there is no compensation for workers who are not called in to work.

The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 provides for zero hours contracts in section 18. Unlike in the UK, there is a certain degree of protection for the worker in Ireland.

In the UK if you are not called in to work in any week, you don’t get paid.

In Ireland, there is some compensation for workers who work less than 25% of their contracted hours in a week. If the employee got no work at all, he is entitled to 25% of the possible available hours or 15 hours, whichever is the smaller.

If the employee got some hours, they should be compensated to bring them up to 25% of the possible available hours.

Here’s an example:  say Sebastian is contracted to be available for 20 hours per week but got no work in a given week. Then Sebastian is entitled to be compensated with 25% of the 20 hours, that is 5 hours, or for 15 hours, whichever is less.

5 hours is clearly the smaller so Sebastian is entitled to be paid for 5 hours.

If Sebastian got 3 hours work, then he would be entitled to be compensated by an extra 2 hours to bring him up to 25% of the contracted hours.

Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 and Employers Records

Section 25 of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 obliges the employer to keep certain records:

25.—(1) An employer shall keep, at the premises or place where his or her employee works or, if the employee works at two or more premises or places, the premises or place from which the activities that the employee is employed to carry on are principally directed or controlled, such records, in such form, if any, as may be prescribed, as will show whether the provisions of this Act are being complied with in relation to the employee and those records shall be retained by the employer for at least 3 years from the date of their making.
(2) The Minister may by regulations exempt from the application of subsection (1) any specified class or classes of employer and regulations under this subsection may provide that any such exemption shall not have effect save to the extent that specified conditions are complied with.
(3) An employer who, without reasonable cause, fails to comply with subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.
(4) Without prejudice to subsection (3), where an employer fails to keep records under subsection (1) in respect of his or her compliance with a particular provision of this Act in relation to an employee, the onus of proving, in proceedings before a rights commissioner or the Labour Court, that the said provision was complied with in relation to the employee shall lie on the employer.

 

S.I. No. 473/2001 – Organisation of Working Time (Records) (Prescribed Form and Exemptions) Regulations, 2001 provides a form which employers can use to record hours worked on a daily and weekly basis, a record of leave granted to each employee and a weekly record of the starting and finishing times of employees.

We have created a spreadsheet which allows you to maintain these records in accordance with the legislation and regulations.

You can download it here.

Enforcement Procedures and Remedies

Disputes are dealt with by a Rights Commissioner in the first instance with appeals to the Employment Appeals tribunal once referred within 6 months of the alleged breach. The Rights Commissioner has a number of options open to him/her including ordering the employer to pay up to two years remuneration as compensation.

Section 27 of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 provides that up to 2 years remuneration can be awarded to the employee in compensation by the Rights Commissioner or the Labour Court on appeal:

(3) A decision of a rights commissioner under subsection (2) shall do one or more of the following:
(a) declare that the complaint was or, as the case may be, was not well founded,
(b) require the employer to comply with the relevant provision,
(c) require the employer to pay to the employee compensation of such amount (if any) as is just and equitable having regard to all the circumstances, but not exceeding 2 years remuneration in respect of the employee’s employment, and the references in the foregoing paragraphs to an employer shall be construed, in a case where ownership of the business of the employer changes after the contravention to which the complaint relates occurred, as references to the person who, by virtue of the change, becomes entitled to such ownership.

We always recommend, regardless of whether you are an employer or employee, that you consult with a legal professional for advice as the consequences of an error in this area can be very costly.

The Organisation of Working time act, 1997 also deals with annual leave/holidays from work. Click on the link to learn more.