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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10623
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I have been working for the same company with no written

Customer Question

Hi. I have been working for the same company with no written contract. I have been working the same days and hours for over ten years. Recently my boss called me I and told me that I am being out on a new roster, changed to split shots and to a Sunday. I have never worked a Sunday and have other commitments that make me unavailable for Sunday work. When I asked what were the options, so very passively aggressively said that there were no options and I quote "we would love you to stay". I am wondering what rights have i got? They are saying that it is because the business requires it and that i am the strongest candidate for the new roster. Help??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

1. Firstly, you are entitled to a written notification of your terms and conditions of your employment. The Terms of Employment (Information) Acts 1994–2014 provide that an employer is obliged to provide an employee with a written statement of terms of employment within the first 2 months of the commencement of employment. So, if you have never received such a statement, you should request one now.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

2. The statement of terms must include the following information:

  • The full name of employer and employee
  • The address of the employer
  • The place of work
  • The title of job or nature of work
  • The date the employment started
  • If the contract is temporary, the expected duration of the contract
  • If the contract of employment is for a fixed term, the details
  • Details of rest periods and breaks as required by law
  • *The rate of pay or method of calculation of pay
  • The pay reference period for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000
  • *Pay intervals
  • *Hours of work
  • *That the employee has the right to ask the employer for a written statement of his/her average hourly rate of pay as provided for in the National Minimum Wage Act 2000
  • *Details of paid leave
  • *Sick pay and pension (if any)
  • *Period of notice to be given by employer or employee
  • *Details of any collective agreements that may affect the employee’s terms of employment
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

3. Changes to the terms and conditions of employment must be agreed between your employer and yourself. The requirement for both the employer's and the employee's consent to changes in the terms of the contract is part of contract law. So here, your employer cannot change the hours and days of work without your consent. So, it is not correct to say there are no options.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

4. An employer is leaving him/herself open to a successful claim if he imposes changes to a contractual entitlement unilaterally. It is worth noting that agreement can be express, implied, or by acquiescence. So, it is important that you don't do nothing and simply acquiesce in the changes. Make sure you indicate that you are not willing to go along with the changes to your working hours.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

5. If your employer goes ahead and unilaterally seeks to force through the changes, you should see a solicitor as there are several different options open to you. Unilateral variation of an employee’s terms and conditions of employment to the employee’s detriment may give rise to:

1. A claim of constructive dismissal under the Unfair Dismissal Acts 1977-2007 or at common law;
2. A claim for damages for breach of contract;
3. A claim in respect of an unlawful deduction under the Payment of Wages Act 1991;
4. A “trade dispute” under the Industrial Relations Acts 1946-2004,
5. Industrial relations issues, and
6. Injunctive proceedings to prevent the unilateral variation.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

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