Submitted by SARAH GILL, IDA Employment and Communications Officer. Test your knowledge of some basic statutory minimum entitlements.

QUESTIONS

1. Under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, full-time employees are entitled to how many paid weeks off for annual leave?

a) two weeks b) four weeks c) six weeks

2. The Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004 entitle an employee to:

a) 26 weeks’ maternity leave together with 16 weeks’ additional unpaid maternity leave
b) 16 weeks’ maternity leave together with 26 weeks’ additional unpaid maternity leave

3. Under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 employees have the right to:

a) A 30-minute break after four hours of work and a 30-minute break after six hours of work
b) A 10-minute break after four and a half hours of work and a 20-minute break after six hours of work
c) A 15-minute break after four and a half hours of work and a 30-minute break after six hours of work

4. As per the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act 1973, how much notice is an employee who has worked for you for three years obliged to give you when leaving?

a) four weeks b) one week c) three weeks

ANSWERS

1. b) Full-time workers have the right to four working weeks’ paid annual leave. Part-time workers have the right to a proportional amount of annual leave based on the amount of time they work.
2. a) The basic period of maternity leave is 26 weeks. At least two weeks of this must be taken before the end of the week of the expected date of birth, and at least four weeks after the birth. The remaining 20 weeks can be taken as the employee decides. Employees usually take two weeks before the birth and 24 weeks after. Employers are not obliged to pay an employee who is on maternity leave (unless there is an agreement to the contrary) and employees are entitled to a Maternity Benefit payment from the Department of Social Protection.
An additional 16 weeks’ unpaid leave may be taken. This is not covered by the Maternity Benefit payment from the Department of Social Protection and again, employers are not obliged, unless there is an agreement to the contrary, to make any payment during this period.
3. c) Workers have the right to a 15-minute break after four and a half hours of work and a 30-minute break after six hours of work (which may include the first 15-minute break).
4. b) The Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act 1973 requires an employee to give an employer a minimum of one week’s notice when leaving. However, a contract of employment may require an employee to give more notice and the contractual notice period must be adhered to irrespective of the statutory minimum.