Priority Drafting of Legislation to affect zero and Low Hours Contracts

Priority Drafting of Legislation to affect zero and Low Hours Contracts

The government has approved draft legislative proposals brought forward by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O Connor TD and the Minister for Employment and small business, Pat Breen TD.

The draft proposals, which address zero hour contracts, low hour contracts, banded hours and related matters are targeted at low-paid workers in particular. The proposals would prohibit zero hour contracts, except in cases of genuine casual work or emergency cover or short-term relief work for an employer.

What you need to know

  • The draft legislative proposals will address problems caused by the increased casualisation of work and to strengthen the regulation of precarious work
  • They will address the issue of employees on low hour contracts who consistently work more hours each week but whose contracts do not reflect the reality of their hours worked.
  • It is proposed that employers must inform employees in writing within 5 days of commencement of employment of the following 5 terms of employment:
  1. The full name of the employer and employee
  2. The address of the employer
  3. The expected duration of the contract (whether the contract is temporary or fixed term.)
  4. The rate or method of calculating pay
  5. What the employer reasonably expects the normal length of the employee’s working day and week will be.
  • Ensure that employees are better informed about the nature of their employment arrangements and their core terms at an early stage in their employment
  • Amendment to the Organisation of Working Time Act – which will prohibit zero hour contracts in most circumstances


The proposed legislation has been sent as a matter of urgency by the Minister, to the Attorney General’s office for priority drafting, after which it will be put before the Oireachtas. It is envisaged that this will become law sooner rather than later and is a legislative priority for the Current Government and also has wide support throughout the Oireachtas as a whole.

One response to “Priority Drafting of Legislation to affect zero and Low Hours Contracts

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