There will be new requirements on employers to clearly display their policy on how both card and cash tips, gratuities and service charges are distributed. All electronic tips must be distributed fairly and in a transparent way. This new law will, for the first time, give workers legal protections over tips. It will mean that any tips received cannot be counted towards an employee’s basic pay, they must be counted as additional and separate.
The aim of the Payment of Wages (Amendment) (Tips and Gratuities) Bill is to:
An important element of the new law will be to give employees a legal entitlement to receive tips and gratuities paid in electronic form (that is, by debit or credit card) with a provision that these tips and gratuities should be paid out to workers in a fair, transparent and equitable manner. A fair and equitable distribution will be context specific and is likely to take into account matters such as staff hours, busy and quiet periods, a worker’s role in service delivery, customs and practice etc. This new law builds on the suite of legal rights that the
Government is introducing to protect workers, which includes the Sick Leave Bill, the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive and the right to request remote work.
The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2018 has updated the Organisation of Working Time Act to provide employees with a statutory entitlement to a “banded hours” contract in certain circumstances. It is contractual entitlement for employees to work within a set range of hours for the next 12 months, calculated by averaging out the hours worked during the previous 12 months.
There are certain sectors in which experience shows that employees’ contracts do not reflect the hours actually worked. By way of example, the hospitality sector would historically be seasonal in nature with employees potentially working full time during busy summer months, with limited hours during the winter months. Over the years, and prior to Covid, the “season” extended, and regularly employees would work full time on a year-round basis, but hold a contract requiring working hours at a much lower level.
As announced in April, employees now have the right to request to work from home under the National Remote Working Strategy. Ibec and Isme both said that the proposals due to come into force this year to allow people to work from home would place extra burdens on businesses as they emerge from the pandemic. Ibec have noted that if homes were designated as workplaces, employers would be required to inspect them to make sure they met legal standards and did not breach data protection or commercial confidentiality rules.
The full impact of such legislation remains to be seen but employers will have to keep a close eye on any new legislation to ensure they are compliant.
A new Code of Practice on the Right to Disconnect (the "Code") has been published to provide practical guidance for employers and employees to agree working arrangements, appropriate to their business, that maintain clear boundaries between work and leisure.
The three key changes are:
a) The right of an employee to avoid routinely performing work outside normal working hours;
b) The right to protection from penalisation for refusing to work outside of normal working hours; and
c) The duty to respect another person’s right to disconnect (e.g., by not routinely emailing or calling outside normal working hours).