Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018

Protection against penalisation

17. The Act of 1997 is amended by the substitution of the following section for section 26:

“26. (1) An employer shall not penalise or threaten penalisation of an employee for—

(a) invoking any right conferred on him or her by this Act,

(b) having in good faith opposed by lawful means an act that is unlawful under this Act,

(c) giving evidence in any proceedings under this Act, or

(d) giving notice of his or her intention to do any of the things referred to in the preceding paragraphs.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the making of a complaint that is a protected disclosure within the meaning of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 .

(3) In proceedings under Part 4 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 in relation to a complaint of a failure to comply with subsection (1) it shall be presumed until the contrary is proved that the employee concerned has acted reasonably and in good faith in forming the opinion and making the communication concerned.

(4) If a penalisation of an employee, in contravention of subsection (1), constitutes a dismissal of the employee within the meaning of the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2015, relief may not be granted to the employee in respect of that penalisation both under this Act and under those Acts.

(5) In this section ‘penalisation’ means any act or omission by an employer or a person acting on behalf of an employer that affects an employee to his or her detriment with respect to any term or condition of his or her employment, and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, includes—

(a) suspension, lay-off or dismissal (including a dismissal within the meaning of the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2015), or the threat of suspension, lay-off or dismissal,

(b) demotion or loss of opportunity for promotion,

(c) transfer of duties, change of location of place of work, reduction in wages or change in working hours,

(d) imposition or the administering of any discipline, reprimand or other penalty (including a financial penalty), and

(e) coercion or intimidation.”.