How to prepare for WRC (Workplace Relations Commission)

How to prepare for WRC inspections
 
Employers are often visited by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) asking to inspect employee records such as payslips, employment contracts, annual leave entitlements, public holidays, etc. Here’s our advice on making sure you’ve got everything covered…
 
In order to ensure compliance and avoid fines, employers paying below the National Minimum Wage for training purposes must implement a structured training programme which allows the lower payment.
 
It’s important that employers abide by the structured training requirements e.g. the training should enable the acquisition of skills and/or knowledge expected to enhance the work performance of the employee at the end of the course, and it should also include directed study or training, and workplace training.
 
Employers should have evidence of structured training – if not the WRC will find them in breach of the National Minimum Wage Act, as they’ll be paying below the minimum wage.
 
Sunday Premium
Sunday premium is another area where employers are largely found to be in breach. Although there’s no set amount in general, the Labour Court has tended to find any premium below a time-and-a-third rate to be unreasonable, and compensation can then be awarded to the employee.
 
An employer is entitled to pay a composite hourly rate which rolls up the employee’s normal hourly pay, and also their Sundaypremium. However, this must be detailed in the employee’s contract of employment.
 
Holidays and Leave
Public holidays and annual leave can be complicated when you have variable hours employees who don’t work set days.
 
The WRC will inspect details of annual leave entitlements to be received by each employee, including how public holidays are applied – so it’s important that employers keep records and ensure employees are taking their entitlement as appropriate. Employees should also be issued with a payslip that details remunerations.
 
Summary
In conclusion, employers should have detailed records of all employees in respect of their employment terms etc. and ensure they are keeping records of employees taking their breaks as required by the Organisation Working Time Act.
 
If found in breach, the WRC have the authority to involve inspectors from the Department of Social Welfare and the Revenue Commissioners in any investigation that they launch. In addition, employees can make claims under a number of different acts such as Organisation Working Time Act and the National Minimum Wage Act.
 
Contact your Human Resources Department or equivalent if you need any advice in relation to the above.