Skip to content

Employment Contracts in Ireland

Our tailored employment contracts are customised to suit the needs of your business.

As an employer, you are legally required to issue your employees a written statement of terms.

HR Buddy ensures your staff contracts are legally sound and compliant with Irish employment law. Get expert guidance from our HR specialists – no confusion, just confidence in your hiring process. 

Speak to one of our team today for guidance on issuing staff contracts.

woman shaking hands holding contract of employment

What does a contract of employment include?

A well-drafted employment contract is key to a healthy working relationship. It clarifies expectations for both the employer and employee, reducing the chances of future issues regarding the employment agreement.

Our guide to employment contracts is suitable for all business owners who employ staff. This guide covers types of employments contracts, as well as everything you need to know about contracts of employment in Ireland.

Recent changes in employment law means that it is now more important than ever to review your organisation’s HR documentation (including employee handbooks).

Outdated policies and documentation can expose your business to legal risks and costly claims. Stay ahead of the curve with HR compliance solutions – ensure your policies reflect the latest Irish employment law.

While a well-drafted employment contract forms the foundation of a strong employer-employee relationship, navigating employment contract issues can still arise. HR Buddy can help.

Speak to our professional HR advisers today to ensure your business is fully compliant. Call 064 669 8034 or use the contact form below.

What are the written statement of terms of employment?

These core terms of employment must be provided to your employees within five days of starting work. These terms include:

  • Employer name
  • Employee name
  • Details of the fixed or main place of work
  • Employment start date
  • Job title and brief description
  • Expected duration of contract
  • Pay reference period
  • Daily and weekly hours of work
  • Probationary period (if relevant)
  • Terms relating to normal hours of work and/ or overtime

The laws governing this relate to the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 as well as the EU (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022, as well as The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.

An employment contract must include essential details as outlined by the Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994.

Key clauses in a written contract cover duties, working hours, notice, garden leave, pay structures, sick pay, holidays, pensions, and retirement.

What are the remaining terms of employment?

Within the first month of employment, you must issue your employees with a written statement of their remaining terms of employment.

These apply to employees working more than eight hours per week. The terms include:

  • Frequency of pay (i.e., weekly or monthly)
  • Leave entitlements (including paid leave, annual leave and public holidays)
  • Sick pay
  • Pension scheme(s)
  • Notice period for termination of employment
  • Details of any relevant collective agreement
  • Training opportunities
  • The person or firm hiring agency workers (for temporary agency contracts)
  • Number of guaranteed working hours, details of days to be worked, and minimum notice for offering work (where the work is likely to be unpredictable)
  • The identity of the recipient agency for social insurance contributions and/ or protection regarding social security details

The relevant law is the Terms of Employment (Information) Acts 1994-2014. These have been amended by the EU (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022.

The Act also introduced banded hours; it prohibits zero-hour contracts except in the case of work carried out in emergency circumstances or to provide short term relief work to cover routine absences and it has also simplified the National Minimum Wage rates.

Implied terms involve duties on employers such as paying wages, providing work, ensuring health and safety and maintaining mutual trust and confidence.

Employees, in turn, have duties related to personal service, obedience, competence, due diligence, honesty and protection of trade secrets.

Is it law to have a contract of employment?

It is a legal requirement to have a contract of employment in Ireland.

The Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994 mandates employers to provide a written employment statement within two months of an employee’s start date.

This document outlines essential details such as names, start date, remuneration, working hours, leave, and more.

An employment contract includes both express and implied terms.

Express terms in employment are those specifically agreed upon verbally or in writing, such as pay, working hours, rest periods and notice periods.

On the other hand, implied terms are not explicitly stated but are legally binding, deriving from sources like legislation, workplace customs, or logical consequences of the contract’s provisions.

Failure to provide a written statement may result in grievances or formal legal consequences, including potential compensation for employees in cases of unfair dismissal or discrimination.

Claims may be brought to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) or the labour court according to employment legislation provisions.

At HR Buddy, we specialise in ensuring employers’ compliance by providing comprehensive support in crafting tailored contracts of employment that adhere to Irish regulations.

We guide employers through the legal requirements outlined in the Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994, creating detailed employment contracts.

Additionally, our services include ongoing HR consultancy to update contracts, keeping them aligned with evolving legislation, thus minimising legal risks and fostering a harmonious employer-employee relationship.

How to write an employment contract

Employment contracts contain clauses that are legally required and may also contain details beyond a legal requirement, but set out more detailed information about the employment relationship.

Core terms (Employment Act 2018):

  • Full names and addresses of employer and employee
  • Contract duration for temporary or fixed-term roles
  • Pay rates and reference periods for National Minimum Wage Act
  • Expected working hours per day and normal working week

Remaining terms (Employment Acts 1994-2014):

  • Place of work and job title
  • Employment start date and pay intervals
  • Conditions relating to hours of work, including overtime
  • Leave entitlements (annual, public holidays) and sick leave pay
  • Pension schemes and details
  • Minimum notice period and collective agreements

Details beyond legal requirements:

  • Details of job responsibilities
  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • Performance management systems
  • Reporting structure
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Company policies and procedures
  • Probationary period details
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Benefits and perks
  • Termination procedures
  • Conflict resolution process
  • Non-compete or non-disclosure agreements
  • Recognition and rewards
  • Employer’s duties

In addition, as the employer, you must sign and date the ‘written statement of terms of employment,’ but the employee is not legally obligated to provide a signature. You are responsible for maintaining a copy of this document throughout the employment period and for at least one year after the employment ends.

Click to download a sample statement of terms of employment from the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to get you started.  Please note that this is a sample contract of employment for regular employees and may need to be adapted for your business. Contact us for support in creating a compliant employment contract for temporary staff. 

We also can advise on industry-specific contracts, including hospitality employment contracts.

For expert guidance in creating a comprehensive employment contract tailored to your business needs, contact us today.

Our HR professionals are here to assist you in fostering a positive work environment while ensuring legal compliance and aligning expectations.

Types of employment contracts in Ireland

The primary types of contracts in Ireland include:

  • Permanent contract
  • Fixed term contract
  • Temporary contract
  • Casual contract
  • Rolling contract

When creating and issuing employment contracts for your staff, it is important to ensure the correct contract type, based on conditions relating to the employee’s duties.

Permanent contract: Provides ongoing employment without a predetermined end date, offering stability and consistent terms of employment.

Fixed period contract: Specifies a defined duration for employment, often linked to a particular project, season, or temporary need.

Temp contract: Offers short-term employment for a specific period, generally addressing immediate staffing requirements.

Casual contract: Involves employment with no fixed hours or regular commitment, often on an ad-hoc basis, providing flexibility for both employers and employees.

Rolling contract: Continuously renews at the end of each specified term, providing ongoing employment with a degree of flexibility for both parties.

A well-written employment contract protects both the employee’s rights and the employer’s business interests by outlining clear expectations and responsibilities.

For personalised guidance on choosing the right employment contract or assistance in drafting comprehensive agreements tailored to your needs, reach out to our friendly team today.

Need help with employment contracts for your business?

Creating and issuing compliant contracts for your employees in Ireland requires expertise and a keen understanding of the legal framework.

It is important to remember that employee consent is necessary for most amendments to an existing contract. By seeking professional guidance, you can ensure a smooth and legally compliant process.

At HR Buddy, we’re committed to providing the guidance you need to create contracts of employment that are compliant and follow best practices.

Focus on your business as we handle the contracts. Call us for a quick, free quote and let HR Buddy handle your employment contract needs – efficiently and effectively.

Phone 064 669 8034 or use the contact form below.

person signing employment contract with pen

Consult a HR expert now

Embrace HR transformation with custom HR solutions from the experts.

Align your workforce, data and goals.

Benefit from HR excellence that grows with your business.

Why work with us?

What our clients say

Get in touch

Call: 064 669 8034


Message: Send us a message using the contact form

WhatsApp: Use the button to message via WhatsApp