Fórsa has welcomed the introduction of legislation which bans zero-hour contracts in virtually all circumstances. The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2018, passed through both houses of the Oireachtas in December and was signed into law on Christmas day.
Fórsa’s head of communications Bernard Harbor said the bill provided a welcome step forward for the protection of workers’ rights.
“Unions campaigned hard for these reforms, which will ensure that workers’ hours are more predictable and secure. However, the urgent need for greater protection for workers in so-called gig economy ‘platforms’ still has to be addressed,” he said.
The legislation, which comes into force in March, includes provisions on minimum payments for employees called in and sent home again without work. It also requires employers to give workers basic terms of employment within five days.
The bill includes provisions on ‘banded’ hours, requiring employers to place those whose employment contracts don’t reflect their regular working patterns in a band that reflects the hours they worked over a 12-month period.
Exceptions, which allow for the use of zero-hour contracts, are limited to genuine casual employment situations and short-term cover for absences and emergency situations.