Basic Employee’s Rights

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Posted on 3 July 2021 by Accountant

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, Break and Holiday 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. Maximum is 48 working hours per week,
  7. Right to disconnect,
  8. Notice before dismissal.

1. Contract of Employment

The employer needs to give all employees a written statement of 5 core terms within 5 days of starting their job and the remaining terms of employment in writing within 2 months.

Core terms of employment

  1. The full names of the employer and employee,
  2. The address of the employer,
  3. The expected duration of the contract (where the contract is temporary or fixed term),
  4. The rate or method of calculating pay and the pay reference period (for example, a week, a fortnight or a month),
  5. What the employer reasonably expects the normal length of your working day and week to be.

Additional terms

  1. The place of work,
  2. The title of the job or the nature of the work,
  3. The date the employment started,
  4. Pay intervals (for example, weekly or monthly),
  5. Any terms or conditions relating to hours of work (including overtime),
  6. Paid leave (other than sick leave), including annual leave and public holiday entitlement,
  7. Sick pay,
  8. Pension and pension schemes,
  9. Period of notice to be given by employer or employee,
  10. Details of any collective agreements that may affect your terms of employment.

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 in Ireland have the right to be paid €10.20 per hour.

4. Breaks and Rest


Workers have the right to an unpaid minimum breaks during working hours. Working for 4.5 hours and more – a 15-minute break. Working for 6 hours or more – a 30-minute break which may include the previous 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:

  • 11 consecutive hours rest per 24 hour period,
  • 24 consecutive hours rest in any period of 7 days and this should normally follow on from one of the 11-hour rest period already mentioned.

As an alternative your employer can give you two 24-hour rest periods in the week that follows one in which you did not get the entitlement described in above. 24-hour rest period above should include a Sunday unless it is agreed otherwise in your employment contract.

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 four 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.

Public holidays

All full-time employees have the right to nine 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.

Nine public holidays:

  1. 1st of January,
  2. St. Patrick’s Day,
  3. Easter Monday,
  4. First Monday in May,
  5. First Monday in June,
  6. First Monday in August,
  7. Last Monday in October,
  8. Christmas Day,
  9. St. Stephen’s 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.

    • Employees who are asked to work on a public holiday have the right to:
  • an additional day’s pay for the day, or
  • a paid day off within a month of the day, or
  • an additional day of paid annual leave.

Sunday Work

Employees are entitled to a premium payment or paid time off for Sunday work.

6. 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.

7. Right to disconnect

Employees have a right to disconnect from work outside of normal working hours. The code of practice on the right to disconnect is effective since 1 April 2021 and applies to all employees, including people working from home.

8. 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.

Some other employees rights

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. Discrimination on any of these 9 specific grounds during the recruitment process or in the workplace is unlawful.

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.


Redundancy is where an employee’s position ceases to exist and the employee is not replaced. Any employee aged 16 or over with 104 weeks’ (two years) continuous service with an employer has the right to a statutory redundancy payment in this situation. The statutory redundancy payment is two week’s gross pay per year of service up to a ceiling of  600 per week plus one week’s pay, which is also subject to the ceiling of 600. This payment is tax-free. Some employers may make redundancy agreements above the statutory rate which could be taxable.

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: 1890 22 02 27
Fax: +353 1 613 6701