Introduction of Banded Hours in Ireland
The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 (“the Act”) came into effect as of March 4, 2019. The Act aims to improve the security and predictability of working hours for employees working under insecure contracts and employees working variable hours. There are a number of new obligations on employers under the Act, one of the significant introduction is ‘Banded Hours’.
The Act introduces a new concept of ‘banded hours’. The Act sets out eight bands (A-H) ranging from 3-6 hours to 36 hours and over, in increments of five hours.
Band of Weekly Working Hours
- Band A – 3 hours to 6 hours
- Band B – 6 hours to 11 hours
- Band C – 11 hours to 16 hours
- Band D – 16 hours to 21 hours
- Band E – 21 hours to 26 hours
- Band F – 26 hours to 31 hours
- Band G – 31 hours to 36 hours
- Band H – 36 hours and over
Where an employee’s contract of employment or statement of terms of employment does not reflect the number of hours worked per week by an employee over a reference period, the employee shall be entitled to be placed in a band of weekly working hours. Where an employee believes that he or she is entitled to be placed in a band of weekly working hours, he or she shall inform the employer and request, in writing, to be so placed.
The employee shall be placed by the employer in a band of weekly working hours from a date that is not greater than 4 weeks from the date the employee made the request as stated above. The band of weekly working hours on which the employee is entitled to be placed shall be determined by the employer on the basis of the average number of hours worked by that employee per week during the reference period.
An employer may refuse to place an employee on the band requested:
- Where there is no evidence to support the claim in relation to the hours worked in the reference period;
- Where there have been significant adverse changes to the business;
- Profession or occupation carried on by the employer during or after the reference period,
- Where the average of the hours worked by the employee during the reference period were affected by a temporary situation that no longer exists.
This section shall not apply to banded hour arrangements which have been entered into by agreement following collective bargaining. An employee placed on a band of weekly working hours shall work hours the average of which shall fall within that band for a period of not less than 12 months following that placement.
Where an employee believes that his or her employer has failed to place the employee in a band of weekly working hours, having been requested to do so or unreasonably refused a request to be placed on a band of weekly working hours, the employee may make a complaint in accordance with Part 4 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015.