Priority legislation for publication

The following Bills are expected to be prioritised for publication and progression in the forthcoming Oireachtas session and we would anticipate that some, if not all, may be enacted in 2024:

Title of BillPurpose of Bill
Civil Service Regulation and Public Service Management (Amendment) BillThe main purpose is to amend the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956–2005 and the Public Service Management Act 1997 to provide that disciplinary action up to and including dismissal in the Civil Service can be assigned below the level of the head of the organisation (Appropriate Authority) and other miscellaneous amendments to modernise the legislation based on the General Scheme. Work is ongoing.
Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings System BillAuto-enrolment is a quasi-mandatory pension system where employees, subject to certain parameters, are auto-enrolled into a quality-assured retirement savings system, with freedom to opt-out. Its purpose is to increase supplementary pension coverage.  Pre-Legislative Scrutiny was completed in June 2023. Work is ongoing.

Priority legislation for drafting

The following Bills of relevance to employment law matters are expected to be a priority for drafting:

Title of BillPurpose of Bill
Equality Acts Amendment BillTo provide for legislative amendments arising from the review of the Equality Acts.  Heads are in preparation.
Finance (Tax) Appeals BillTo amend the Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015 to allow for the appointment of non-temporary Commissioners with different tiers of responsibility and potential amendments to address the Zalewski case.  Heads are in preparation.  
Social Welfare (Pay-Related Social Insurance and Jobseeker’s Pay-Related Benefit Provisions) BillLegislation to provide for PRSI increases as recently approved by Government. The Bill will also provide for the Jobseeker’s Pay-Related Benefit scheme.  Heads of Bill approved in January 2024. The Joint Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands has invited written submissions from interested groups or individuals on the general scheme of the Bill. Closing date for submissions is 26 January 2024.
Social Welfare and Civil Registration (Miscellaneous Provisions) BillTo amend social welfare and civil registration legislation.  Heads are in preparation.  
Railway Safety (Amendment Bill)To amend the statutory limits for concentration of alcohol in blood, urine and breath for a railway safety critical worker and to update procedures for sampling and testing of workers for intoxicants (alcohol, drugs) and associated procedures under the Railway Safety Act 2005. In addition, there are proposals for some updates to other provisions in the Act including some relating to functions of the Commission for Railway Regulation and an amendment of the Public Transport Regulation Act 2009.  Work is ongoing.

Other Bills relevant to Employment law matters

Preparatory work is underway in respect of the following Bills:

Title of BillPurpose of Bill
Maternity Leave for Members of the Oireachtas BillTo provide for an entitlement to maternity leave for Members of the Oireachtas.  Heads are in preparation.
Employment (Restriction of Certain Mandatory Retirement Ages) BillTo introduce measures that allow, but do not compel, an employee to stay in employment until the State Pension Age.  Heads are in preparation.
Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) (Amendment) BillTo address a number of issues identified with the operation of the Act governing the protection of employees during their employer’s insolvency: Addressing Supreme Court judgment by fully transposing Article 2(1) of Directive 2008/94/EC (the Employer’s Insolvency Directive) Incorporating various technical amendments to improve the operation of the Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Act 1984. Heads are in preparation.
Registration of Trade Union BillThe purpose of the Bill is to modernise and consolidate the existing legislation regarding the registration requirements for trade unions.  Heads are in preparation.

Bills currently on the Dáil Order Paper, as of 16 January 2024

The following Bills are currently on the Dáil Order Paper:

Bills on Dáil Order Paper
 Employment (Collective Redundancies and Miscellaneous Provisions) and Companies (Amendment) Bill 2023   Our briefing on this Bill is available here: Progress on Increased Protection for Employees in Insolvency Situations – Arthur Cox LLP  
 Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill 2022

Please get in touch with any member of our market-leading Employment Law team if you wish to discuss this legislation programme or any other employment law related matter.

The content of this update is provided for information purposes only and is not legal or other advice.