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Staff to be paid €29 if they're called in, but then sent home

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Minister Regina Doherty

Minister Regina Doherty

Minister Regina Doherty

Workers will receive a €29 payment if they are called into work but then told they are not needed under a new law that comes into force today.

The new legislation, designed to protect employees in precarious employment, will also restrict the use of zero-hour contracts.

It includes the compensatory payment if staff are called on to work but then are not required to do their shift.

This payment is set at three times the hourly minimum wage.

Rates

The minimum wage increased to €9.80 an hour from the start of this year so workers in this situation will be entitled to a payment of €29.40.

However, some industries, including contract cleaning, have different statutory minimum wage rates which will be used to calculate the payments.

The compensation payment is designed to discourage the practice of employers calling a group of employees into work when there is only work for a few of them.

The first five to show up might get the work and the rest would be sent home.

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Law also restricts the use of zero-hour contracts.

These are contracts where an employer is not obliged to provide a minimum number of working hours to their employee.

However, the legislation does allow this type of arrangement in some circumstances.

They include cases defined as "genuine casual employment", or where employers need cover in emergency situations or short-term absences.

Employees whose contracts do not reflect the hours they work will also get a right to minimum hours.

This will reflect the hours they worked over a period of 12 months.

In addition, employers are obliged to give their staff the terms of their employment within five days of starting.

Employment Affairs and Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has launched an advertising campaign to inform workers of their new entitlements.

She said the act was one of the most significant pieces of employment legislation in a generation.


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