If you are involved in the provision of contract cleaning services then you need to know about the most recent employment regulation order (ERO) which was signed on 1 November. The ERO comes into effect on 26 December 2016. It provides increased minimum rates of pay  and terms and conditions for those working in the contract cleaning sector. 

Along with the increases in minimum wage rates the ERO also provides for the following:

- overtime must be paid after 44 hours working Monday to Sunday

- the rates for overtime are 1.5 for the first 4 hours and double time after this

- all Sunday overtime must be paid at double time

- employees hired prior to 2 August 2012 will be paid for Good Friday as if it were a public holiday

- when TUPE occurs a specific communications process must be put in place and employees must receive summary statements on their terms and conditions. 

- employees can also request accrued annual leave and service statements along with evidence of Revenue payments

- communications on rosters and other employment related matters must be communicated to employees through email addresses or employer portals they can access

- the idea of a rolling uniform charge has now been scrapped and employees can only be charged a once off payment of €15

- uniform procedures must be put in place regarding replacements and returns

- grievance and disciplinary procedures must follow new standard set down in the ERO

- sick pay has changed and employees can opt into a sick pay scheme. Employees must provide a cert after 3 days. They will not receive paid sick leave for the first 5 days but after that they will receive payment of 20% of their basic weekly pay for up to 6 weeks in a rolling 12 month period. The contribution is 0.5% of basic rate of pay for all employees. There is no employer contribution. Employees may opt into the scheme at any time after their entry into employment. They may opt in or out of the scheme with effect from 1st January each year.

- rosters must be available for at least a one week period no later than 3 days in advance of the period starting (with some exceptions)

- all employees who have accrued 2 years' continuous service in the industry will be entitled to a death in service benefit of €5,000 up to the state pension age

So why do you need to know? If an employer in the cleaning industry does not comply with the ERO then the employee can make a complaint to an Adjudication Officer in the Workplace Relations Commission. If a breach is found to have occurred they can require the employer to pay compensation of up to 2 years remuneration and/or make an order requiring the employer to take a specific course of action. So make sure your policies and procedures comply with the ERO before 26 December 2016! 

If you need advice on employee terms and conditions please contact a member of our Employment Law Team:

http://leman.ie/the-4-departments/employment/

Disclaimer:This article is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Leman Solicitors for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this publication. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. Any and all information is subject to change.