Losing your job - entitlements

Information

If you are being dismissed from your job or made redundant you may have certain entitlements including notice and pay for annual leave earned but not taken.

This is a checklist of what your employer must give you when you leave work:

  • P45 – a statement of your pay and deductions – see ‘P45’ below
  • Pay that you are owed for work you have done – see ‘Pay’ below
  • Payslip – showing your gross pay and any deductions
  • Payment for annual leave which you have earned but not taken – see ‘Holiday pay’ below
  • Payment instead of notice if you have not worked your notice period – see ‘Notice’ below
  • Information about what happens to your pension scheme if applicable

P45

When you leave your job your employer must give you a P45. This is a statement of your pay and the tax, Universal Social Charge (USC) and PRSI to date deducted by your employer. It is a very important document and you need it if:

  • You are starting a new job – to give to your new employer in order to avoid paying emergency tax
  • You are unemployed – to claim a tax refund, to claim social welfare benefits

If your employer does not give you a P45 you should ask for it – see ‘How to apply’ below.

Notice

You may be entitled to notice if you are being let go from your job. This means that you are given notice that your job will end, and a date in the near future when this will come into effect. The length of notice you are entitled to, will depend in the first place on your contract of employment. In addition, there is a minimum entitlement set out in the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973–2005.

In order to be entitled to the statutory minimum, you must have been working for your employer for at least 13 weeks.

Minimum period of notice

The amount of notice you are entitled to by law will depend on how long you have been working for your employer.

Duration of employment Minimum Notice
13 weeks to 2 years 1 week
2 years to 5 years 2 weeks
5 years to 10 years 4 weeks
10 years to 15 years 6 weeks
15 years or more 8 weeks

While the notice entitlements under your contract of employment can exceed the minimim periods above, any provision for notice in your contract for less then the above is invalid. This essentially means that while your contract of employment can set down that you will receive a greater amount of notice than the law states above, you cannot get less, even if your contract says this.

Payment instead of notice

You may be required to work the notice period or you may accept payment in lieu of notice, if offered. Payment in lieu of notice means that you will not have to work for the period between receiving notice and the ending of your employment, but you will get the same amount of wages that you would have received, had you worked. This payment is not regarded as wages or salary but as compensation for loss of employment. This means that it may be exempt from income tax and USC (you do not pay PRSI on it). However if your contract of contract of employment provides for a payment of this kind on termination of the contract or if you work for the period of notice, you pay tax and PRSI in the normal way.

If you get payment in lieu of notice you are considered to be unemployed and available for work during this period. This means that you can claim a jobseeker’s payment. You cannot claim a jobseeker’s payment for any day that you are receiving holiday pay (see below).

During your period of notice you should receive your normal pay. This also applies if you are paid in lieu of notice.

Waiving your right to notice

Employment legislation sets down that if an employer and an employee agree, the employee can waive their right to notice. In addition, where the employer and employee agree, the employer can pay the employee in lieu of notice. This right is set down in Section 7 of the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act 1973.

Dismissal without notice

Your employer may dismiss you without notice for serious misconduct, although you can contest whether your employer was justified in such action.

Pay

If you lose your job you have certain rights and entitlements including the right to be paid for work you have done. If you have not been paid by the date of dismissal or if you are still owed some wages, you have a legal entitlement to be paid for your work.

Holiday pay: If your employment is ending, you are entitled to receive a payment for annual leave which you have earned but not taken. The payment should equal the amount that would have been paid had the annual leave been taken. The ending of employment is the only situation where it is legal to pay an employee instead of giving annual leave.

Public holiday: If your employment stops during the week ending on the day before a public holiday and you have worked for your employer for the previous 4 weeks, you should receive an additional day's pay for the public holiday. This also applies to part-time employees who have established a right to the public holiday by working at least 40 hours in the previous 5 weeks.

How to apply

Your employer is responsible for giving you your proper notice. If you have difficulty in securing your notice entitlement or if there is a dispute about pay you are owed, your payslip or pay for annual leave you can refer a complaint to Workplace Relations Customer Services - see 'Where to apply' below - within 6 months of the dispute or complaint occurring. You must use the new online complaint form (available by selecting ‘Make a complaint in relation to employment rights’ on workplacerelations.ie). The time limit may be extended for up to a further 6 months, but only where there are exceptional circumstances which prevented the complaint being brought within the normal time limit.

If you are not given a P45 when you leave your job you should first ask your employer for it. If the employer does not supply it you should contact your local tax office. Revenue will contact the employer and obtain your P45 for you. If you have started a new job, Revenue will send you a new tax credit certificate so you will not have to pay emergency tax in your new job.

Where to apply

Workplace Relations Customer Services

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
O'Brien Road
Carlow
Ireland

Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90
Homepage: http://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/

Page updated: 9 October 2014

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