Consumer rights in Ireland are set for significant reform. The proposed Consumer Rights Bill was published earlier this year for public consulta!on by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The public consultation process completed on June 30, 2021 and submissions will be fully considered before the text of the Bill is finalised.
The Bill only applies to Business to Consumer (not B2B) transactions and is expected to include new statutory rights and remedies in contracts for digital content. It is also expected to contain:
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.
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).
It was announced in Budget 2021 that Parents Leave will be increased from 2 weeks to 5 weeks per parent in respect of children born on or after 1st of November 2019. The period during which this leave can be taken has been extended from 12 months to 24 months so it can be taken up to a child’s second birthday or within two years following adoption. This measure will be available from April 2021.