Polices Ltd is a medium sized Multinational Corporation in the pharmaceutical sector, operating in the function of manufacturing. We currently employee 200 or more employees, and our hours of operation are daily, 24/7, 365 days per year. I am the HRS personnel asked to provide information in relation to the compliance of the Working Time Act 1997 for our organization Polices Ltd. This report identifies the key features of the Working Time Act, paying specific attention to what features apply to our sector and line of business.
It will also cover how Polices Ltd seeks to guarantee compliance, and, it will outline how implant the company currently is. A brief note will also outline recommendations for the organization of what to do in an event where we have breached the Working Time Act. “Article 2 of the Directive defines working time as ‘any period during which the worker is working, at the employer’s disposal and carrying out his activity or duties, in accordance with national laws and/or practice’. ‘Rest period’ is defined as ‘any period which is not working time’.
In accordance with the reasoning expressed in the Directive, there is no interim category: any period can be noninsured only to be either working time or a rest period, the two concepts being mutually exclusive. ” Below, you will find the key features identified of the Act in which all organizations must be compliant with under Irish Law; Minimum Rest Periods Section 11 of the Act stipulates that an employee is entitled to a “rest period of not less than 11 consecutive hours in each period of 24 hours”; this is the daily rest period. Section 12 states that an employee is entitled to a rest period of at least 15 minutes after working for 4. Hours and a break of at least 30 minutes after irking for 6 hours. Note: a break at the end of the working day is not acceptable and does not comply with the Act. This 15-minute break can be included in the 30-minute break but would obviously have to start no later than 4 hours and 30 minutes after the commencement of work. Section 13 deals with weekly rest periods and gives an entitlement to at least 24 consecutive hours of a break in each period of seven days, or at the employer’s discretion two rest periods each of which must be for at least 24 consecutive hours during a second seven days period.
This rest period must be preceded by a section 11 daily rest period (see above). Unless the employment contract provides otherwise, the 24 hours rest period “shall be a Sunday or, if the rest period is of more than 24 hours duration, shall include a Sunday”. Sunday Work Section 14 provides for compensation for employees who are required to work on a Sunday, where this “has not otherwise been taken account of’ in deciding pay. Employees can be compensated by an allowance or pay increase or paid time off or a combination of these measures.
Employees can, in certain circumstances, rely on agreements governing “comparable employees” with a view to establishing appropriate levels of compensation. Weekly working hours Section 15 deals with weekly working hours and states that an employee cannot work in excess of an average of 48 hours in a week-the average is taken over a two to twelve month period, depending on the industry and whether you are a night worker or not.
The Organization of Working Time Act, 1997 also contains provisions covering night workers (section 16 offers extra protection), section 17 covers circumstances where an employee may not have a regular starting and/or finishing time that he/she must be told at least 24 hours in advance of the elevate starting and finishing time (the same applies to overtime required to be worked) and zero hours contracts are covered in section 18. Certain sectors of activity are exempted from the rest provisions of the Organization of Working Time Act 1 997, for example some transport activities.
These exemptions are normally set out in a statutory instrument so legal advices is recommended to check whether your industry is affected by an exemption. Night Workers Section 16 of the Act gives additional protection to night workers. Employers cannot expect or oblige night workers to work over 8 hours in a 24 hour period; a eight worker is a worker who works at least 3 hours post-midnight as night work is considered to be from midnight to 7 am.
Section 1 7 of the Act provides that where an employee does not have “normal or regular starting and finishing times of work” the employer must give at least 24 hours notice of the relevant starting and finishing times. The employee is entitled to the same notice re overtime/additional hours that the employer requires the employee to work. Zero hours contracts These contracts are contracts of employment with a difference-they do not have a specified hours of work but the employee must be available for work or a certain number of hours in a week or when required, or a combination of both.
The Organization of Working Time Act, 1997 provides for zero hours contracts in section 18. There is a certain degree of protection for the worker in Ireland, where, the worker, if not called into work, is compensated. There is some compensation for workers who work less than 25% of their contracted hours in a week. If the employee got no work at all, he is entitled to 25% of the possible available hours or 15 hours, whichever is the smaller. If the employee receives working hours, they should be compensated to bring them up to 25% of the Seibel available hours.
Organization of Working Time Act 1997 and Employers Records An employer shall keep, at the premises or place where his or her employee works or, if the employee works at two or more premises or places, the premises or place from which the activities that the employee is employed to carry on are principally directed or controlled, such records, in such form, if any, as may be prescribed, as will show whether the provisions of this Act are being complied with in relation to the employee and those records shall be retained by the employer for at least 3 years from the date of their making. S]. No. 73/2001 – Organization of Working Time (Records) (Prescribed Form and Exemptions) Regulations, 2001 provides a form which employers can use to record hours worked on a daily and weekly basis, a record of leave granted to each employee and a weekly record of the starting and finishing times of employees. Above are the key features of the Working Time Act. Now I will discuss the features that are applicable to the Polices Ltd. Organization and the line of business of which we function in. Rest period (Article 3). Workers are entitled to a minimum daily rest period of 1 consecutive hours per 24-hour period.
Derogation’s are allowed in certain circumstances (see below). Breaks (Article 4). Every worker is entitled to a rest break where the working day is longer than six hours. The details of the rest break are to be laid down in collective agreements or agreements between the two sides of industry or, failing that, by national legislation. Derogation’s are allowed in certain circumstances (see below). Weekly rest period (Article 5). An uninterrupted rest period of 24 hours is required for each seven-day period, plus the 11 hours daily rest referred to in Article 3.
Derogation’s are allowed in certain circumstances (see below). The Directive originally contained a provision that the weekly rest period should in principle include Sunday. The European Court of Justice (ICE) annulled this provision. However, nine of the current 15 Member States have specific provisions relating to Sunday rest. Maximum weekly working time (Article 6). The average working time for each seven-day period, including overtime must not exceed 48 hours (see table 1 below for the maximum weekly and daily working time set by national legislation).
For the calculation of the average, Article 16(2) allows a reference erred of four months, from which periods of annual leave and sick leave have to be excluded. Article 1 6(2) may be derogated from in various cases provided for in Article 17. Furthermore, Article 18(1 )(b)(i) allows ‘a Member State’ not to apply Article 6 in the case of workers who agree to ‘opt out’ of the maximum weekly working time. The UK is the only Member State currently making general use of this possibility. Four weeks’ paid annual leave (Article 7).
Workers are entitled to paid annual leave of at least four weeks and the replacement of the leave by an allowance n lieu is prohibited. The Directive does not allow any derogation’s from Article 7 (for details of statutory minimum annual leave and average collectively agreed annual leave, see table 2 below). Night work (Articles 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12). According to Article 8(1), the normal hours of work for night workers should not exceed an average of eight hours in any 24-hour period.
The notion of ‘normal hours of work’ includes overtime as indicated in the preamble to the Directive: ‘whereas there is a need to limit the duration of periods of night work, including overtime… ‘ Derogation’s are allowed n certain circumstances (see below). Other important provisions on night work relate to a free health assessment for night workers, the transfer from night work to day work in certain circumstances and notification by employers of the use of night workers.
We at Polices Ltd guarantee compliance with the above directive by Ensuring that we keep the relevant records to show we are fully compliant with all aspects of working time legislation in the event of an inspection from the National Employment Rights Authority (NEAR). Details relating to employees’ hours of work are kept in the manner prescribed y S. L. 473 of 2001. This outlines the information for records of working hours required to be kept under Section 25 of the Organization of Work Time Act, 1997.
It requires an employer to keep an TWO 1 form or a form to substantially like effect where there is no clocking facility in place for employees. Employers are required to keep the following records in relation to employees: Employer Registration Number with the Revenue Commissioners. List of all employees including: full name, address and UPS Number for each employee (full-time and part-time). Terms of employment for each employee. Payroll details (gross to net, rate per hour, overtime, deductions, shift and other premiums and allowances, commissions and bonuses, service charges, etc. . Evidence that the employer has provided pay slips to staff Employees’ job classification. Dates of commencement and where relevant, termination of employment. Hours of work for each employee (including starting and finishing times). Register of employees under 18 years of age. Whether board and/or lodgings are provided and relevant details. Holidays and Public Holiday entitlements received by each employee. Any documentation accessory to demonstrate compliance with employment rights legislation.
Going forth, Polices Ltd will set up a system that enables the organization to review its policies and practices on a regular basis, ensuring compliance and would ensure a quick solution should there be any breaches. Reviewing company employee records, it is evident that Polices Ltd is in breach of the Working Time Act 1997, Article 3; Workers are entitled to a minimum daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours per 24-hour peered. The records show that most employees contracted to work 39 hours in a 4-day erred are not securing a rest period of 11 consecutive hours per 24-hour period.
It has been reported that employees are finished their shift and are scheduled to return to work 10 hours after their last shift has ended. This is in breach of the Working Time Act 1997 and must be remedied immediately in order to prevent legal action against the organization, which can lead to penalties And up to 2 years remuneration can be awarded in compensation to an employee for breaches of the Act. In light of this evidence, I have prepared recommendations for Polices Ltd to review and act upon in order to prevent legal action.
Firstly, I recommend that the organization consult with a legal professional for advice as the consequences of an error in this area can be very costly. Secondly, it is important for the line managers who directly organize staffing in this area of manufacturing to undergo training in the area of what is allowed and not allowed regarding the Working Time Act 1997. It is my recommendation that the working hours be created and rolled out by a dedicated team to ensure that we have enough people to do the jobs, while ensuring compliance. This will assist in preventing legal action by the staff.