Law around employment probation period changes

In December 2022 some changes were introduced into employment law in Ireland thanks to the transposition of the European Directive 2019/1152 into Irish law.

The European Union (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022, statutory instrument 686/2022 is the relevant Irish SI which gives effect to the European directive.

The changes brought about include changes to:

  1. The terms of employment (Information) Act 1994
  2. The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997
  3. The Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003
  4. The Workplace Relations Act 2015

The terms of employment (information) act 1994 change include a change to the 5 day statement previously required and provides certain further information must be provided in the 5 day statement.

In addition, the statement of terms of employment which was obligatory pursuant to the terms of employment (information) act 1994 must now be given within 1 month of starting the job, not 2 months.

There is also certain further information required in this statement.

The probationary period

The maximum probationary period now permissible from 1st August 2022 is 6 months, unless in certain limited exceptional cases when it can be extended to 12 months.

Organisation of working time act 1997

There are changes to this act, too, to ensure greater predictability of work.

Fixed term workers

Where an employee is working on a fixed term contract which provides for a probationary period that probationary period must be proportionate to the fixed term contract of employment.

Workplace Relations Act 2015

The Workplace Relations Act 2015 is amended to allow complaints to be heard in respect of these regulations.

Parallel employment

An employee cannot be penalised for or prohibited from taking up employment with another employer outside the work schedule established with the first employer.

Read the full regulations here: S.I. No. 686/2022 – European Union (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022