Chambers Ireland Weekly Digest : 14th August 2017

  • Chambers Ireland European Economic Survey 2018

Chambers Ireland, in conjunction with Eurochambres, has launched the European Economic Survey for 2018. This is the 25th edition of this annual Eurochambres assessment of the European business community’s expectations for the year ahead. The target audience of this survey is businesses and chamber members all around the country

The results of this survey will be used to help us to identify the main challenges for business in the coming year. This survey should take no more than 3-5 minutes to complete and the deadline for completion is the 29th September 2017. Questions marked with an asterisk (*) are required. If you have any questions about the survey, please email Chambers Ireland at


  • Transparency International Integrity at Work Conference, September 2017 (Chamber Member Discount)

Join Transparency International Ireland for the inaugural Integrity at Work Conference on Thursday, 28th September at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8 from 8.30am to 5.00pm.

The Conference brings together employers, legal practitioners, academics and civil society to discuss how to foster a culture of integrity within the Irish workplace. Minister Charlie Flanagan and European Ombudsman Emily O’ Reilly will be among the keynote speakers

Expert panellists will seek to answer these questions:

  1. How do I encourage staff to report concerns about wrongdoing?
  2. What are the best practices in writing whistle-blowing policies and procedures?
  3. What action should my organisation take after a disclosure has been made?
  4. How do I stop bullying of staff who speak up?
  5. What does the Protection Disclosures Act (PDA) mean for my organisation and me?

Chambers Ireland Members can avail of a 10% discount on conference tickets by quoting CHAMBERSIAW. Click here to book

  • European Commission public consultation on e-Commerce & Retail Sector

The European Commission is undertaking a public consultation to identify (i) the implications of  e-commerce and changing consumer habits on the retail sector and its regulatory framework and (ii) opportunities and obstacles for the integration of the EU retail market.

The subject matter of this consultation is one that has been identified as a key concern for the retail sector and has been an area of focus for the Retail Consultation Forum. We would therefore encourage all members to complete the survey and for representative bodies to pass it to their members for completion. The consultation process runs until 8th October 2017.

The survey can be accessed on the link below:


  • Peninsula HR Advice: How to prepare for WRC inspections

Employers are often visited by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) asking to inspect employee records such as payslips, employment contracts, annual leave entitlements, public holidays, etc. Here’s our advice on making sure you’ve got everything covered…

In order to ensure compliance and avoid fines, employers paying below the National Minimum Wage for training purposes must implement a structured training programme which allows the lower payment.

It’s important that employers abide by the structured training requirements e.g. the training should enable the acquisition of skills and/or knowledge expected to enhance the work performance of the employee at the end of the course, and it should also include directed study or training, and workplace training.

Employers should have evidence of structured training – if not the WRC will find them in breach of the National Minimum Wage Act, as they’ll be paying below the minimum wage.

Sunday Premium

Sunday premium is another area where employers are largely found to be in breach. Although there’s no set amount in general, the Labour Court has tended to find any premium below a time-and-a-third rate to be unreasonable, and compensation can then be awarded to the employee.

An employer is entitled to pay a composite hourly rate which rolls up the employee’s normal hourly pay, and also their Sunday premium. However, this must be detailed in the employee’s contract of employment.


Holidays and Leave

Public holidays and annual leave can be complicated when you have variable hours employees who don’t work set days.

The WRC will inspect details of annual leave entitlements to be received by each employee, including how public holidays are applied – so it’s important that employers keep records and ensure employees are taking their entitlement as appropriate. Employees should also be issued with a payslip that details remunerations.



In conclusion, employers should have detailed records of all employees in respect of their employment terms etc. and ensure they are keeping records of employees taking their breaks as required by the Organisation Working Time Act.

If found in breach, the WRC have the authority to involve inspectors from the Department of Social Welfare and the Revenue Commissioners in any investigation that they launch. In addition, employees can make claims under a number of different acts such as Organisation Working Time Act and the National Minimum Wage Act.

If you have any questions regarding the issues in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact Peninsula’s 24 Hour Advice Service on 01 855 50 50