Basic Employee’s Rights

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Updated on 23 June 2023

If you are working in Ireland, you will be interested what’s your basic employee’s rights in Ireland. You have the right to get Contract, Payslip, Minimum Wage, Breaks, Holidays and others.

Basic employee’s rights:

  1. Contract of employment,
  2. Payslip (Statement of pay),
  3. Minimum wage,
  4. Breaks and rest,
  5. Annual leave/Public holidays,
  6. Sick leave,
  7. Maximum is 48 working hours per week,
  8. Right to disconnect,
  9. Notice before dismissal,
  10. Some other rights.

1. Contract of Employment

The employer needs to give all employees a written statement of core terms within 5 days of starting their job and the remaining terms of employment in writing within 1 month.

Core terms of employment

  1. The full names of the employer and employee,
  2. The address of the employer,
  3. The place of work, or where there is no fixed or main place of work, a statement stating that there are various places or you are free to set your own place of work or to work at various places
  4. The date the employment started
  5. The job title, grade or nature of the work (such as a brief job description)
  6. The expected duration of the contract (if the contract is temporary or fixed term),
  7. The rate or method of calculating pay and the pay reference period (for example, whether you are paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly),
  8. What the employer reasonably expects the normal length of your working day and week to be (for example, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week),
  9. The duration and conditions relating to the probation period (if there is one),
  10. Any terms or conditions relating to hours of work, including overtime.

The remaining terms of employment

  1. Pay intervals (for example, weekly or monthly),
  2. Paid leave (other than sick leave), including annual leave and public holiday entitlement,
  3. Sick pay,
  4. Pension and pension schemes,
  5. Period of notice to be given by employer or employee,
  6. Details of any collective agreements that may affect your terms of employment,
  7. Any training to be provided by your employer,
  8. For temporary agency contracts, the identity of the person or firm hiring the agency worker,
  9. If the work pattern is entirely or mostly unpredictable, information about the number of guaranteed hours, the hours and days you may be required to work and the minimum notice of a work assignment,
  10. The identity of the recipient agency for social security contributions and any protection relating to your social security arrangements.

Your right to get the remaining terms of employment in writing does not apply if you:

  • Work for your employer for less than 8 hours a week,
  • Have been employed for less than a month.

2. Payslip

Employer must give you a written statement of pay or a payslip with every payment of wages. A payslip will show your gross wage and details of all deductions.

3. Minimum wage

Most adult workers (aged over 20) in Ireland have the right to be paid €11.30 per hour (since 1 January 2023).

4. Breaks and Rest


Workers have the right to an unpaid minimum breaks during working hours:

  • a 15-minute break when you have worked more than 4.5 hours,
  • a 30-minute break when you have worked more than 6 hours, which can include the first 15-minute break.

Shop employees when working for a period of six hours and those hours of work include 11.30am – 2.30pm have the right to an one-hour (consecutive) break that must start during 11.30am – 2.30pm

Rest periods

A rest period is any time that is not working time.

Employee has the right to:

  • Daily rest period 11 consecutive hours rest per 24 hour period,

  • Weekly rest period 24 hour’s rest per week, following a daily rest period (of 11 consecutive hours).

5. Annual leave and Public holidays

The right for annual leave and holiday starts when the employment starts.

Annual leave

Full-time workers have the right to minimum of 4 working weeks paid annual leave per year.

Part-time employees have the right to paid annual leave consisting of 8% of hours worked, but a maximum of 4 working weeks in the year.

The statutory leave year runs from 1 April to 31 March. Many employers use the calendar year (January to December) instead of the statutory leave year for administrative reasons.

Annual leave should be taken within the leave year. Any further carrying-over (also called holding over) of annual leave would need to be agreed between you and your employer.

Public holidays

All full-time employees have the right to 10 public holidays during the year.

A part-time employee will qualify for a public holiday if he/she is working at least 40 hours in the 5-week period (for example 8 hours per week) that is immediately before the public holiday.

10 public holidays:

  1. 1st of January, New Year’s Day
  2. First Monday in February, or 1 February if the date falls on a Friday
  3. 17 March, St. Patrick’s Day,
  4. Easter Monday,
  5. First Monday in May,
  6. First Monday in June,
  7. First Monday in August,
  8. Last Monday in October,
  9. 25 December, Christmas Day,
  10. 26 December, St. Stephen’s Day.

Good Friday is not a public holiday. While some schools and businesses close on that day, you have no automatic entitlement to time off work on that day.

    • Employer may choose to give you one of the following four options:
  • a paid day off on the day, or
  • a paid day off within a month, or
  • an extra day of paid annual leave, or
  • an extra day’s pay.

If the public holiday falls on a day on which the employee does not normally work, the employee is entitled to one fifth of his/her normal weekly wage for the day.

6. Sick leave

You have a right to 3 days paid sick leave a year.

Sick pay is paid by your employer at 70% of your normal pay up to a maximum of €110 a day.

You must be an employee, be working at least 13 weeks with your employer and be certified by a GP as unable to work before you can get statutory sick pay.

The sick pay year is the calendar year, so it runs from 1 January to 31 December.

If you are off sick for more than 3 days and you have enough PRSI contributions, you can apply to the Department of Social Protection (DSP) for a payment called Illness Benefit.

The Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is the legal minimum sick pay.

The entitlement to paid sick leave is being phased in over 4 years:

  • 2023 – 3 days covered
  • 2024 – 5 days covered
  • 2025 – 7 days covered
  • 2026 – 10 days covered

7. Maximum is 48 working hours per week

The maximum working week is 48 hours averaged over 4, 6, or 12 months period depending on the industry. Employers must keep a record of how many hours an employee works.

8. Right to disconnect

Employees have a right to disconnect from work outside of normal working hours. This also applies to people working from home.

9. Notice before dismissal


Workers are entitled to a minimum amount of notice, if their employment is going to finish.

    • The minimum amount of notice depends on the length of service as follows:
  • less than 2 years service – one week notice,
  • 2 years but less than 5 years – two weeks notice,
  • 5 years but less than 10 years – four weeks notice,
  • 10 years but less than 15 years – six weeks notice,
  • More than 15 years – eight weeks notice.

10. Some other employees rights

Sunday Premium

An employee is generally entitled to paid time off in lieu or a premium payment for Sunday working.

The premium can be in the form of:

  • An allowance
  • Increased rate of pay
  • Paid time off
  • Combination of the above.

Probationary period

Your contract can include a ‘probationary period’. Probation periods can’t be more than 6 months. In exceptional circumstanced your probation can be extended for up to a further 6 months (up to a maximum of 12 months in total).

The probation can be extended where it in your interests or where you have been on extended leave, such as sick leave, during your probation. It can also be extended where it is justified by the nature of the work, for example public service employment.

If you are dismissed while you are on probation or undergoing training, the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1997–2015 will not apply, once:

  • The contract of employment is in writing and
  • The probation or training lasts for one year or less and is specified in the contract

You can be dismissed during a probation period due to poor performance, particularly where your contract expressly allows for dismissal for poor performance during probation.

Protective leave

You are entitled to certain statutory protective leave, such as maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave, parents leave, adoptive leave, and carer’s leave.

Equal treatment in the workplace

You have the right to be treated equally regardless of gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, age, disability, race, religious belief or membership of the Traveller community.

Safety in the workplace

Your employer is responsible, as far as is reasonably possible, for ensuring that you have a safe workplace. This includes protection from violence at work, harassment and bullying.

Privacy and data protection

You have enhanced privacy rights under data protection legislation (GDPR). Employers have certain obligations and responsibilities in relation to how they collect, use and protect your personal data.


Where you lose your job because your employer is closing the business or reducing staff numbers, this is known as redundancy.

You are entitled to get a minimum redundancy payment after you have 2 years’ (104 weeks) service in your job. This is known as a statutory redundancy. The statutory redundancy payment is based on a calculation using your pay and your length of service.

If you are eligible for redundancy pay, you are entitled to:

  • Two weeks’ pay for every year of service
  • One additional week’s pay

The maximum weekly amount used to calculate redundancy pay is €600 a week (or €31,200 a year), even if your pay is more per week.

You can use this redundancy calculator to estimate how much statutory redundancy pay you might be entitled to.

The statutory redundancy payment is tax-free.

Tips and Gratuities

Tips, gratuities and service charges are commonly associated with the hospitality, tourism, hairdressing, taxi and delivery services, amongst others.

Employers cannot use tips and gratuities to ‘make up’ contractual rates of pay and cannot make a deduction from a person’s wage in relation to tips and gratuities.

Workers are legally entitled to receive electronic tips and gratuities and they must be distributed in a fair manner. The employer must provide a statement to workers showing the amount of tips obtained in a period and the portion paid to the individual employee for that particular period.

Businesses must clearly display their policy on how tips, gratuities and service charges are distributed.

Any charge called a “service charge” or anything that would lead a customer to believe it is a charge for service, will have to be distributed to staff.

How do You get Your Rights?

If you believe you are not receiving one or more of your employment rights, as a first step you should always ask your employer. They may not be aware that they are required to provide you with a particular entitlement. By asking them you may find that the issue can be resolved.


  1. Step – Ask your Employer If not resolved then,
  2. Step – Seek the Advice of Your Trade Union If not resolved then,
  3. Step – Complain The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). WRC deals with employment disputes in Ireland. You should make your complaint to the WRC within 6 months of the alleged incident. This time limit can be extended by a further 6 months if there was a reasonable cause for the delay.

Workplace Relations Commission – Conciliation and Mediation Services

Lansdowne House, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4, D04 A3A8, Ireland

Tel: +353 1 613 6700
Locall: 0818 80 80 90
Fax: +353 1 613 6701