In most cases any employees based in Ireland will be subject to Irish employment law rather UK law. This will require the preparation of Irish contracts of employment/employee handbooks.
The key fact is that the laws of the country in which the service is performed shall apply. Where the service is to be performed in more than one country the laws of the country of the employer shall apply.
The main differences in UK and Ireland employment law are:
- Minimum wage rates, rest breaks, annual leave entitlements and minimum notice differ
- Statutory sick pay exists in UK but in Ireland there is none.
- Mandatory enrolment of an employee in a pension is required in UK but Ireland it is not.
- 2 years service is required to bring an unfair dismissal claim in UK but in Ireland it is 1 year.
- In calculating redundancy pay regard is had for the age of the employee in UK but in Ireland it is calculated on length of service. They are also taxed differently.
- The working week maximum time limit can be opted out of in UK but not in Ireland.
- A trade union can follow a statutory route to seek recognition for collective bargaining in UK but in Ireland there is no obligation to recognise the trade union.
- For workplace discrimination cases there is no award upper limit in the UK but in Ireland there is a limit of 2 years remuneration.
- For unfair dismissal arising from protected disclosures (whistle blowing) there is no award upper limit in the UK but in Ireland the limit is 5 years remuneration.