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Employment Claims Employment Law Procedures and Policies

The Employment Appeals Tribunal Annual Report for 2012-The Essentials

Every year the Employment Appeals Tribunal produces a report of its activity in preceding years.

employment-appeals-tribunal

The Tribunal has just published its report for 2012.

The top 6 categories of case referred to the Employment Appeals Tribunal in 2012 were:

1. Unfair dismissal          31%

2. Redundancy                     22%

3. Minimum Notice & Terms of Employment         17%

4. Payment of Wages Act, 1991      14%

5. Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997         7%

6. Terms of Employment (Information) Acts             5%.

 

Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007

The average amount of compensation awarded by the Tribunal was €18,519.84. In addition to compensation the Tribunal ordered re-instatement in 4 cases and re-engagement in 10 cases.

Other Claims

In addition to the cases referred above there were 11 cases referred under the Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004; 2 under the Parental Leave Acts 1998 and 2006; 72 cases under the European Communities (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations 2003 (TUPE); and 28 cases under European Communities (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2000.

Representation at Cases

There is no requirement for representation in order to appear before the Tribunal.

In 2012 1917 employees had representation in the following way:

397 cases representation was by Trade Unions; 1,196 employees were represented by legal professionals; and 342 were represented by “other persons”.

In the same period employers had representation in 1,116 cases with 659 by legal representatives, 390 by other persons, and 67 by employers’ associations.

The highest level of representation was in unfair dismissal cases.

Appeals to Higher Courts

Some determinations can be appealed to the High Court on a point of law. In 2012 six such cases were appealed.

In unfair dismissal cases, determinations of the Tribunal can be appealed to the Circuit Court within 6 weeks of the date of determination. In 2012 approximately 128 cases were appealed to the Circuit Court.

Waiting Period

The growth in referral of cases to the Tribunal has led to the average waiting period increasing significantly over the last few years.

The average waiting period in Dublin in 2012 was 77 weeks and 82 weeks outside Dublin.

Proposed Changes

There are major changes proposed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to set up a 2 tier Workplace Relations structure. There will be a new single body of first instance-the Workplace Relations Commission-and a separate appeals body, which will be effectively an expanded Labour Court.

You can read the full report here.

Categories
Employment Law Procedures and Policies

The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT)

The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) is an independent body that was set up to provide an informal but speedy solution to employment law disputes. Whilst it may still be relatively informal (compared to going to Court for example) the question of speed is an open one in the current climate, such is the workload.

employment-appeals-tribunal-ireland

Types of Employment Dispute

The types of employment dispute which the Employment Appeals Tribunal are those under the following pieces of employment law legislation in Ireland.

  • The Redundancy Payments Acts
  • The Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973-2001
  • The Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2001 (where a party has objected in writing to a Rights Commissioner hearing)
  • The Maternity Protection act, 1994 (except matter relating to health and safety)
  • The Protection of Employees Act 1984 to 2001
  • The Payment of Wages Act, 1991 (can appeal decision of Rights Commissioner to EAT)
  • The Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 to 2001 (can be appealed to Employment Appeals Tribunal after first referring to a Rights Commissioner)
  • The Adoptive Leave Act, 1995 (can be appealed to Employment Appeals Tribunal after first referring to a Rights Commissioner)
  • The Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996 (can be appealed to Employment Appeals Tribunal after first referring to a Rights Commissioner)
  • The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997
  • The Parental Leave Act, 1998 (can be appealed to Employment Appeals Tribunal after first referring to a Rights Commissioner)
  • The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998 (can be appealed to Employment Appeals Tribunal after first referring to a Rights Commissioner)
  • European Communities (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2000 (can be appealed to Employment Appeals Tribunal after first referring to a Rights Commissioner)
  • European Communities (Safeguarding of Employees’ Rights on Transfer of Undertakings) (Amendment) Regulations 2000 (can be appealed to Employment Appeals Tribunal after first referring to a Rights Commissioner)
  • The Carer’s Leave Act, 2001

Employment Appeals Tribunal Forms

To refer a dispute to the EAT you need to use the correct form from

  • T1A to make a direct claim to the EAT
  • T1B to appeal a recommendation of a Rights Commissioner
  • T1C to claim under three Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Acts
  • T1D to enforce the recommendation or decision of a Rights Commissioner
  • RP51B to appeal a decision re redundancy.

Time Limits

The time limit applicable to a particular claim is critically important and the time limits do vary depending on what type of claim and under what piece of legislation.

Employment Appeals Tribunal Determinations

You will find the determinations of the Employment Appeals Tribunal at  http://www.eatribunal.ie

Categories
Employment Law Procedures and Policies

Employment Rights Infringed in Ireland? Where Should You Go?

employment-law-rights

Yes, it’s confusing.

Where to go if your employment rights have been infringed?

Well, there is good news due to the new Workplace Relations Bill, 2014.

UPDATE 2015

And there were big changes introduced on 1st October 2015.

Read about the Workplace Relations Commission and the procedure for pursuing employment and equality claims now.

Prior to this there was a wide number of forums available for employees to seek to have their employment rights upheld and vindicated, as set out below.

But now you must go to the new body, the WRC.

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It is important to note that the Employment Appeals Tribunal and the Rights Commissioner service are not courts of law and cannot award your costs of representation.

Both parties will pay their own costs.

These include

• The Rights Commissioner service

• The Employment Appeals Tribunal

• The Labour Court

• The Labour Relations Commission

• The Equality Tribunal

• The Courts

• The Health and Safety Authority

• The National Employment Rights Authority (NERA)

Here is a brief look at these bodies and their remit. There is also a table below which gives a summary of where to go, the time limit, remedies available, and where appeals can be taken.

Elsewhere on this site you will see the occasions when you have to go to one of these bodies or the other as breaches of various pieces of employment law legislation occurs.

Rights Commissioner

The Rights Commissioner service can deal with transfer of undertakings, unfair dismissals (if there is no objection by either party), health and safety, protection of employment, protection of young persons in employment, protection of fixed term workers, adoptive leave issues, carer’s leave, industrial relations, minimum wages, organisation of working time, terms of employment, payment of wages, parental leave, maternity protection, persons reporting child abuse.

Take a look at the Labour Relations Commission website at www.lrc.ie for more information and to download the relevant forms.

rights-commissioner-service

Employment Appeals Tribunal

The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) is the traditional venue for unfair dismissal cases, even though a Rights Commissioner can hear such a case provided there is no objection by either party. The EAT can determine cases itself  in certain circumstances as well as deal with appeals from decisions of the Rights Commissioner.

It can hear cases concerning minimum notice, terms of employment, payment of wages, organization of working time, transfer of undertakings, parental leave, redundancy payments, carers leave, maternity protection, adoptive leave, and more.

Labour Court

The Labour Court is essentially an industrial relations tribunal, notwithstanding it’s name. It’s principal task is to attempt to resolve industrial relations disputes.

Whilst it can hear cases at first instance in certain matters such as organisation of working time, protection of employment, industrial relations, protection of part time employment, protection of fixed term employment, employment equality and minimum wages it sees itself as a forum of last resort and cases should only be referred to it when all other attempts at dispute resolution have failed.

Labour Relations Commission

The Labour Relations Commission is concerned with industrial disputes and providing the Rights Commissioner Service.

The Equality Tribunal

The Office of the Director of Equality Investigation (the Equality Tribunal) is the venue for redress under the Employment Equality Acts. Decisions of the Equality Tribunal can be appealed to the Labour Court.

The Courts

The Civil Courts deal with applications for injunctions, wrongful dismissal, and breach of contract. The can also hear appeals from the other forums above.

The Health and Safety Authority is concerned with occupational health and safety and can prosecute breaches of health and safety law. It also plays a large role in the enforcement of anti bullying and harassment policies and procedures in the workplace.

NERA (National Employment Rights Authority)

NERA’s primary function  is to provide information to employers and employees and to monitor and inspect employment conditions. It can also prosecute breaches and enforce compliance re holidays, organisation of working time, dismissal, notice, working time, and payment of wages.

It’s enforcement services unit can attempt to have determinations of the Labour Court or EAT enforced through the Courts. (However you might be better off engaging the services of a solicitor and pursuing this yourself as it is likely to be quicker.)

Legislation Forum Time Limit Redress/Remedy Appeal
Adoptive Leave Acts, 1995-2005 Rights Commissioner 6 months DecisionDirection20 weeks compensation Employment Appeals Tribunal
Carer’s Leave Act, 2001 Rights Commissioner 6 months DecisionGrant of Leave26 weeks compensation Employment Appeals Tribunal
Civil proceedings Civil Courts 6 years DamagesInjunction
Data Protection Acts, 1988 & 2003 Data protection commissioner Na Enforcement noticeProhibition noticePenalties Circuit CourtHigh Court
Employment equality acts, 1998-2007 Equality tribunal 6 months Equal payArrears of remunerationUp to 2 years compensation Labour Court
Equal Status Acts, 2000-2004 Equality tribunal 6 months DecisionCompensation up to €6,349An order Circuit Court
European Communities (protection of employment) regulations, SI 488/2000 Rights commissioner 6 months DecisionCompensation up to 4 weeks remuneration EAT
European Communities (protection of employees of transfer of undertakings) SI 131/2003 Rights commissioner 6 months DecisionCompensation up to 4 weeks remuneration (breach of regulation 8) EATCompensation if breach of any regulation other than 8
Industrial Relations Acts, 1946-2004 Rights commissionerLabour Court RemunerationRecommendationDetermination Labour Court
Maternity Protection Acts, 1994-2004 Rights commissioner 6 months DecisionDirectionsGrant leaveCompensation up to 20 weeks’ pay EAT
Minimum Notice and terms of employment acts, 1973-2001 Employment appeals tribunal 6 months Up to 8 weeks’ pay compensation High Court on a point of law only
National Minimum Wages Act, 2000 Rights commissioner 6 months DecisionArrearsReasonable expensesEmployer to remedy breach Labour court
Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 Rights commissioner 6 months DecisionCompensation up to 2 years remuneration Labour court
Parental Leave Acts, 1998-2006 Rights commissioner 6 months DecisionGrant of leaveCompensation up to 20 weeks’ remuneration EAT
Payment of Wages act, 1991 Rights commissioner 6 months DecisionCompensation up to 2 years remuneration EAT
Protection of Employment Acts 1977-2007 Rights commissioner 6 months DecisionCompensation up to 2 years remuneration Labour Court
Protection of Employees (fixed term work) act, 2003 Rights commissioner 6 months DecisionReinstatement/re-engagementCompensation up to 2 years compensation Labour Court
Protection of Employees (employers’ insolvency) act 1984-2004 Employment appeals tribunal 6 weeks Declaration that Minister is to make payment and specify amount High court
Protection of young persons (employment) act, 1996 Rights commissioner 6 months RecommendationCompensation as is equitable Eat
Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967-2007 Employment appeals tribunal 6 months Determination as to entitlement to lump sumEntitlement to rebates High court on a point of law
Safety, Health and welfare at work act, 2005 Health and safety authority Na Improvement noticeProhibition noticeDirection re improvement plan District court
Terms of employment (information) act, 1994 and 2001 Rights commissioner 6 months Recommendation to correct statementCompensation up to 4 weeks remuneration Eat
Unfair dismissal acts, 1977-2007 Rights commissionerEatCircuit courtHigh court Six months Recommendation from rights commissionerEat may award reinstatement, re-engagement or compensation of up to 2 years remunerationCircuit court may award damages for wrongful dismissal EatCircuit court

 

NOTE: most decisions can be appealed to the High Court on a point of law only.