Written answers

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Employment Rights

Photo of David CullinaneDavid Cullinane (Waterford, Sinn Fein)
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968. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if provisions will be made to recoup annual leave entitlements for workers who were put on annual leave because of the public health emergency before the TWSS intervention was made; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10523/20]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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Section 20 of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 sets out the key parameters for the taking of annual leave and payment for same.  The times at which annual leave is granted is ultimately determined by the employer, having regard to the work requirements and subject to the employer taking into account the employee's need for rest and recreation and their need to reconcile work and family responsibilities.  The employer is obliged to have consulted the employee or the relevant trade union, if any, not later than one month before the day on which the annual leave is due to commence.

It should be noted that the section further provides that nothing prevents employers and employees from entering into arrangements that are more favorable to the employee with regard to the times of, and the pay in respect of, his or her annual leave.

It is understood that the strong legislative provisions already in place allow businesses and employees the flexibility to navigate current events in the context of annual leave and, therefore, no legislative amendments are currently proposed that would impact on annual leave taken in line with the provisions of the Organisation of Working Time Act.  

Where an individual believes they are being deprived of their employment rights, they may refer a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) where the matter can be dealt with by way of mediation or adjudication leading to a decision that is enforceable through the District Court. Complaints can be made on a single online complaint form available at the WRC’s website: www.workplacerelations.ie.

I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.


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