SFA E-zine – The Tuesday Edition
 

Dear Member, 

 

Welcome to this week's edition of our SFA e-zine. 

 

In this week’s update, we have an article highlighting the importance of written contracts to a small business.  Over the summer we have seen an increase in the number of members looking for support in this area so please make sure you read it.

 

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is looking for submissions from consumers and businesses on gift voucher fees. If you are a business that offers gift vouchers, make sure you have your say by completing the consultation questionnaire.

 

As part of SFA Affinity, each week we are highlighting some of the amazing offers available to members. This week we have included the full list of training available through our own 'Training that counts’ with more than 30% savings on training courses available to our members. 

 

The National Competitiveness Council has published its bulletin on economic concentration.  They are concerned that the sustainability of growth could be threatened by heavy dependence on the performance of a narrow base of firms and economic sectors.

 

Our Employment Law conference is going on the road again, we will be in Cork on the 26 September and in Dublin on the 10 October.  Keep an eye out of our weekly emails giving you an insight into the content that will be covered during the day.  This is a great conference to attend as it not only covers updates in the law, it also give you real life examples to learn from.

 

As always, we’d love to hear from you about any queries you may have, issues you wish to have raised with Government or other stakeholders and your ideas on how we can improve the business environment for us all. Please contact me on tel: 01 605 1602 or e-mail: sven@sfa.ie or tweet: @SFA_Irl or visit: www.sfa.ie.

 

We are going to take a another short break next week and will send you your next newsletter on the 28 August. 

 

Kind regards, 

Sven Spollen-Behrens

SFA Director

 


NEWS
Considerations for a contract of employment
 

This week’s article looks at contracts of employment and three key reasons why businesses should provide written contracts of employment. We also discuss on whether it is obligatory to get an employee to sign the contract of employment as this is a recurring issue for members…


A contract of employment is a legally binding agreement between an employer and an employee. The employee agrees to provide their skills and labour in exchange for remuneration from the employer. For a contract of employment to take effect there must be an offer, an acceptance and an agreement between both parties. The agreement which forms the contract of employment can either be in writing or agreed orally.

This article will look at three key reasons why businesses should protect themselves by ensuring that all contracts of employment are in writing.

 

1) There is a legal obligation to provide a written statement of terms of employment which is detailed in the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994-2014

 

Every employer is legally obliged to provide a written statement of terms of employment within two months of an employee starting work and it must include the following information:

 

•The full name of the employer and employee
•The address of the employer
•The place of work. If there is no fixed or main place of work, it should state that the employee is required to work in various locations
•The job title or the nature of the work
•The start date of the contract
•Temporary contracts must include either the expected duration of the contract or if it is a fixed term contact it must specify the date that the contract ends
•The rate of pay or method of calculation for remuneration – the remuneration package should provide a breakdown of basic salary, commission, bonuses, allowances etc. if they apply. If the employee is required to work on Sundays they must be paid a premium for this and the amount should be included under the pay section of the contract.
•How often the employee will be paid, i.e. weekly or monthly
•Hours of work including overtime. This section should also detail work breaks both daily and weekly as well as any shifts if they apply
•Terms and conditions for paid leave, for example annual leave and public holidays but not paid sick leave
•Terms and conditions for illness/injury and pensions schemes – if you have a sick pay scheme it should be detailed in this section
•The period of notice obliged to be given by both parties
•If any collective agreement affects the contract this should also be included. An example of a collective agreement would be an industry-specific sectoral employment order

 

The written statement of terms of employment must be signed and dated by the employer and ideally it should be signed by the employee as well.

 

What it the employee refuses to sign the contract of employment?


If they refuse to sign the contract but still come in to work on an ongoing basis, they are signaling that they have agreed to the terms and conditions of the contract of employment. However, it is crucial that the employer signs the contract and has a record of when the employee received it.

 

2) If something is not written in the contract of employment it is difficult to implement

For example, if a retirement age is not written in a contract of employment, you cannot terminate an employee’s employment purely on the grounds of age as this is discrimination under the equality legislation. In the case of using lay-off, again if it is not written down it is harder to implement as you would need to get the employee’s agreement to bring in lay off or short-time working.

Businesses might want to include some or all of the following in a contract of employment if they apply:

 

•Probationary period, with the right to extend it up to one year but not over a year
•Short-time/lay off/redundancy
•Flexibility
•Sick pay scheme
•Right to search
•Retirement age
•Bullying and harassment procedures
•Grievance and disciplinary procedures
•Company car
•Retirement age
•Confidentiality
•Restrictive covenant clauses
•Email/internet and social media use

 

It is important to note that all businesses must advise employees of the disciplinary procedures within one month of them starting work. Many businesses choose to include their disciplinary procedures in the contract of employment.

 

3) In the case of disputes, the contract provides clarity and security for both parties

 

If a dispute arises between the employer and employee, the contract of employment can provide clarity on issues that take place internally or externally. For instance, if an employee lodges a grievance internally and it is in writing, the grievance procedures make it clear to both parties what the process is. If a claim to the Workplace Relations Commission is made, for example a payment of wages claim, the contract of employment is usually the first reference point that will be used to defend a case.

 

Finally, it provides security for both parties as a contract of employment cannot be changed without agreement from both sides. For example, an employer cannot suddenly change the hours of work without an agreement from the employee. Equally the employee cannot suddenly decide to work Monday to Thursday if their employment contract states they are required to work Monday to Friday.

SFA have a number of sample contracts of employment available for permanent, temporary and casual employments which you can avail of here.

 

If you would like more information on contracts of employment or any other HR issues your business may have, please contact SFA on 01 605 1668 or visit the advice section on our website www.sfa.ie/advice

Minister collecting business views before deciding on limits for gift voucher fees
 

Any businesses that issue gift vouchers could see the dormancy fees, issuance fees and replacement fees subject to government-imposed limits. Businesses are invited to share their views before the deadline of 31 August.


Any businesses that issue gift vouchers should be aware that the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is looking for submissions from consumers and businesses on gift voucher fees.

 

The consultation is open until 31 August and covers:

  • Inactive balance/dormancy fees
  • Issuance fees
  • Replacement fees

Based on the outcome of the consultation, Minister Humphreys will make a decision on whether to regulate gift voucher fees and what limits to introduce. This follows the Minister’s proposal of a minimum five-year term for gift vouchers, on which views are also being collected as part of this consultation.

 

More information as well as the consultation questionnaire can be found here.

 

All businesses that issue gift vouchers are encouraged to complete the relevant parts of the questionnaire individually.

 

Members may also input into the SFA response by emailing linda.barry@sfa.ie by 24 August. 

SFA Employment Law Conference comes to Cork and Dublin
 

This year we are bring the SFA Employment Law Conference to Cork and Dublin. We have a jammed packed agenda that addresses the most common issues that impact our members in relation to Employment Law and HR issues.


You will receive on the ground practical advice that includes recent case law examples to help you manage the employee life-cycle. Our panel of expert speakers will take you through:

 

  • An update on the Workplace Relations Commission
  • Contracts of employment
  • How best to manage probation and performance
  • Absence management issues
  • The top five issues for 2018 including sexual harassment, GDPR and staff, managing workplace stress, intoxicants in the workplace and what to do in the case of extreme weather
  • A facilitated session on discipline and dismissals
  • Changes in retirement and longer working

Interested? You can view the brochure for Cork or Dublin and book now to avail of the SFA price of only €190 for this all day event.

 

What you need to know for the Cork Employment Law Conference

Date: 26 September 2018

Time: 09:00 -16:00

Venue: Rochestown Park Hotel, Douglas, Co Cork

How to book: www.sfa.ie/0/empconfcork

 

What you need to know for the Dublin Employment Law Conference

Date: 10 October 2018

Time: 09:00 -16:00

Venue: Herbert Park Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

How to book: www.sfa.ie/0/empconfdub

National Competitiveness Council publishes bulletin on economic concentration
 

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) has published an analysis of the dependency of the Irish economy on a small number of large businesses.


As the Irish economy continues to grow, ensuring our competitiveness remains sustainable takes on even more importance. The NCC is concerned that the sustainability of growth could be threatened by heavy dependence on the performance of a narrow base of firms and economic sectors. At the same time the indigenous exporting base exports a narrow range of products and services and relies on a small number of export markets. Brexit has exposed how Irish export markets are geographically concentrated and the range of products and services exported has become increasingly narrow.

 

To remain competitive, the NCC highlights the need for a relentless focus on innovation, export diversification, productivity enhancement and new markets. Broadening our enterprise and export base is key to ensuring the economy is resilient and adaptable. Supporting the internationalisation and market diversification of Irish enterprise would contribute to making the economy more resilient to external market shocks, such as Brexit.

 

Key findings of the bulletin are:

  • Concentration of output among a very small cohort of sectors and firms represents a risk to sustainable growth. High value-added sectors, such as chemicals and ICT, account for a significant share of output and exports.
  • Ireland’s labour productivity performance is strong in an international context but driven by a narrow base of enterprises, disguising the majority of underperforming firms where productivity growth is stagnant or falling.
  • Ireland is also exposed to a relatively high degree of export concentration by trading partner and product exports.
  • A third of total exports are accounted for by five firms. 39% of corporation tax is paid by the top 10 companies.
  • The bulletin exposes the vulnerabilities in the Irish economic model. Fixing these is not easy and remaining competitive requires a relentless focus on innovation, export diversification and productivity enhancement.

The bulletin is available here

 

SFA Affinity Scheme spotlight on..........
 

'Training that counts’, the SFA training offering for 2018, contains a dozen courses to enhance key skills in your business. They are delivered by expert trainers with many years of industry experience and best of all we have more than 30% off for SFA members


Selected training courses for September – December 2018 

  • Performance Management and Appraisal Skills - 7th September
  • Powerful Performance Conversations - 21st September
  • Effective Presentation Skills - 28th September
  • Project Management - 5th October
  • Foundations in Management - 11th & 12th October
  • Manage your time effectively - 19th October
  • Developing and Implementing Strategy 26th October

For full details go to www.sfa.ie/events or contact quelba.lima@ibec.ie 

EVENTS
GDPR and Health & Safety webinar
 
  • 22 August, 10:30am, Webinar

The aim of this webinar is to review the basic GDPR requirements from a health and safety perspective. The webinar will take you through the top 5 health and safety related-questions and it provides helpful guidance that is already in place for H&S professionals 

This webinar will be presented by Elaine Bowers, OHS Executive. 

To book this webinar please follow this link - https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6143998800286864385

SFA Employment Law Conference Cork
 
  • 26 September 2018,  Rochestown Park Hotel

Event details

SFA Employment Law Conference Cork- 26 September 2018

Date: 26th September 2018
Time: 09:00 - 16:00
Duration: 1 Day
Venue: Rochestown Park Hotel
Address: Rochestown Rd,
Douglas,
Co. Cork

Welcome address and WRC update

  • A year on – what impact has it had
  • Key changes
  • Challenges

Contracts

  • Best practice
  • Future of casual contracts & proposed banded hours
  • Legislation and contracts for service / gig economy

Probation and performance

  • The importance of managing the performance of new employees
  • Holding regular review meetings
  • Case law

All about absence

  • Why measurement is important
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Job solutions
  • The cost of absence to the employer
  • The role of the line manager
  • Mental illness and absence
  • Returning to work after a period of absence
  • Understand the current laws and case law in the area of absence management

5,4,3,2,1 – Top issues for 2018: Using case law and legal developments for

  • A case study on a sexual harassment issue
  • GDPR and the human element – a case of a rogue employee
  • The do’s and don’ts of managing workplace stress
  • Intoxicants in the workplace - a tale of two cases
  • Do you need an extreme weather policy?

Discipline and dismissal – an interactive session

  • Discipline – the process
  • The conversation – what to say and how to say it
  • Legislation in this area

Retirement

  • Pros and cons...4 ways to manage longer working

For all queries on the event, please call the event organiser:
Quelba Lima, Tel: +353 1 605 1619

SFA Employment Law Conference Dublin
 
  • 10 October 2018, Herbert Park Hotel

Event details

SFA Employment Law Conference Dublin - 10 October 2018

Welcome address and WRC update

  • A year on – what impact has it had
  • Key changes
  • Challenges

Contracts

  • Best practice
  • Future of casual contracts & proposed banded hours
  • Legislation and contracts for service / gig economy

Probation and performance

  • The importance of managing the performance of new employees
  • Holding regular review meetings
  • Case law

All about absence

  • Why measurement is important
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Job solutions
  • The cost of absence to the employer
  • The role of the line manager
  • Mental illness and absence
  • Returning to work after a period of absence
  • Understand the current laws and case law in the area of absence management

5,4,3,2,1 – Top issues for 2018: Using case law and legal developments for

  • A case study on a sexual harassment issue
  • GDPR and the human element – a case of a rogue employee
  • The do’s and don’ts of managing workplace stress
  • Intoxicants in the workplace - a tale of two cases
  • Do you need an extreme weather policy?

Discipline and dismissal – an interactive session

  • Discipline – the process
  • The conversation – what to say and how to say it
  • Legislation in this area

Retirement

  • Pros and cons....4 ways to manage longer working

For all queries on the event, please call the event organiser:
Quelba Lima, Tel: +353 1 605 1619

TRAINING PROGRAMMES
Online GDPR Training
 

Enrol your staff and managers on our newly designed online GDPR programme to ensure your staff are informed of their obligations under the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2018 and GDPR.


Committed to protecting the data of our staff and customers

Enrol your staff and managers on our newly designed online GDPR programme to ensure your staff are informed of their obligations under the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2018 and GDPR.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a ground breaking piece of data protection legislation, which came into force on 25 May 2018, has a significant impact on all organisations, as it enhances the data protection rights of employees, imposes specific obligations on employers and introduces severe financial penalties for non-compliance.

Benefits of online training:

  • Accessible
  • Cost effective
  • Scalable

This course will provide participants with the knowledge to:

  • Describe personal information and data subject rights
  • Define consent
  • Explain the role of the Data Protection Commission, Data Controller, Data Processor, and Data Protection Officer
  • Determine accountability
  • Conduct breach management and outline our role in the prevention of breaches
  • Outline data subject access requests
  • Understand the issue of privacy and its implications

Cost: €70 per license            

Key features:

  • 30 minute duration   
  • Interactive exercises   
  • Short assessment   
  • Certificate of completion

For further information or to book a place, please contact raquel.delapena@ibec.ie or 01 605 1667