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Know your rights

Workers in the Republic of Ireland are entitled to certain minimum employment rights. However, unions aim to ensure that their members actually receive considerably more through collective action and bargaining.

The following summary lists the minimum entitlements established by law:

A written statement of terms and conditions of employment: While the full contract does not have to be in writing, certain terms must be stated in writing within two months of starting employment. These would typically include the method of calculating pay and whether or not there is a sick pay scheme in operation. (For fixed term employees it would also include in what circumstances your employment will come to an end.)

A written statement of pay or ‘payslip’: setting out gross pay and list all deductions made from it.

A minimum wage: Most experienced adult workers in Ireland are entitled to be paid €9.15 per hour. There are however, some exceptions to the minimum wage, including those employed by close relatives, those aged under 18 and trainees or apprentices. The minimum is not the maximum. In certain industries unions have established higher minimum wages applies which are legally binding.

A maximum working week averaging 48 hours a week: The maximum 48 hour week is based on an average calculated over a four, six, or twelve-month period depending on the industry. Your employer must keep a record of how many hours you work.

Unpaid breaks during working hours: You have the right to a 15-minute break if working four and a half hours of work and a 30-minute break if working six hours of work.

Annual leave from work and public holidays: Full-time workers have the right to four working weeks paid annual leave per year. Part-time workers have the right to a proportionate amount of annual leave based on the amount of time they work. All workers have the right to time off or pay for working bank holidays.

A minimum amount of notice before dismissal: You are entitled to a minimum amount of notice if your employment ceases. The minimum amount of notice depends on the length of service.

Please note that this information is provided as a guide only and is not intended as a legal interpretation of all your entitlements. If you need further information on these issues, email

The rights at work information is categorised as follows:
Adoptive Leave
Carer’s Leave
Fixed Term Contracts
Health & Safety
Hours of Work
Migrant Workers
Minimum Wage
Maternity Leave
Parental Leave
Part-time Work
Redundancy – Taxation and Social Welfare
Terms and Conditions of Employment
Union Representation

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