As a carer you have specific legal rights and entitlements. Knowing and understanding these will help and support you to ensure you are receiving the compensation you deserve and that your well-being as an employee is being taken care of.
The European Charter for Family Carers was designed by COFACE-Disability as a reference point for the various organisations that represent persons with disabilities and/or complex dependency needs and their families both at national and EU institutional levels. The Charter deals directly with all aspects pertaining to the life of persons with disabilities and their families. Meeting the needs of family carers irrespective of the cause of the dependency of the person that is being cared for (age, illness, accident, etc.) through targeted measures contributes to the quality of care and helps preserve a qualitative family life.
This is done by safeguarding the physical and mental health of carers, strengthening the family ties between carers and the dependent person, preventing financial impoverishment and enabling family carers to comply with the demands of both their family and working lives simultaneously. A proposed charter of rights for family carers can be found on the following link:
The following section will be looking in detail on the national legal regulations available and to be adhered to by both the Carer and the Care Recipient in relation to labour and employment regulations and also in relation to the Social Security Act. Focus will also be given to legal obligations of the carer, allowances or benefits entitlement by both entities, together with responsibilities to be adhered to by both parties in line with the CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT (REGULATION) ACT. The DIER refers to Carers as domestic workers providing domestic service.
The information is related to the different categories of domestic worker which exist, regulations related to hours worked, entitled minimum remuneration as a carer, over-time pay, your meal entitlements while on duty, daily and weekly rest, holiday and sick leave entitlement. As well as other entitlements, such as in the eventuality of injury, bereavement, marriage or birth of a child.
The CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT (REGULATION) ACT, 1952 (ACT NO. XI OF 1952) (Kept in force by virtue of Article 86 of the Employment and Industrial Relations Act – Cap.452) DOMESTIC SERVICE WAGES COUNCIL WAGE REGULATION ORDER, 1976: Domestic Service Legal Notice L.N. 7 of 1976 is being reproduced ad verbatim in order to give a clear and detailed outline of the National Legal Regulations a Carer has to be informed and aware of when opting to engage and provide this form of domestic service.
The DIER Legislation – Legal Notice L.N.7 of 1976 – Domestic Service outlines in detail the legislature related to Domestic Workers providing Domestic Service; (Carers fall into this category of workers).
This Legislature outlines in detail the different types of domestic workers and divides them into six (6) different categories each defined with different working conditions and regulations. The Carer and also the Care recipient has to be affluent with which category the Carer is being engaged in, in order to abide by the regulations as defined by the respective category. It is imperative that when the Carer or the Care recipient is enquiring regarding working conditions and regulations, due reference should be given to the particular category or group the Carer/Domestic worker is recruited in.
Main Groups of Domestic Workers
- For the purposes of this Wage Regulation Order, there shall be six groups of workers in domestic service, as follows:-
GROUP 1 shall consist of those workers engaged by the month who sleep in their employer’s house on not less than seventeen nights in any month;
GROUP 2 shall consist of those workers engaged by the month who sleep in their employer’s house on less than seventeen nights a month or not at all;
GROUP 3 shall consist of those workers engaged by the week who sleep in their employer’s house on not less than four nights in any week;
GROUP 4 shall consist of those workers engaged by the week who sleep in their employer’s house on less than four nights a week or not at all;
GROUP 5 shall consist of those workers who are engaged by the day;
GROUP 6 shall consist of those workers who are engaged by the hour.
Hours of Work
- The hours of work of workers in Groups 1 and 3 on those days when they do not sleep in their employer’s house, of workers in Groups 2 and 4 on those days when they do not sleep in their employer’s house, and of workers in Group 5 shall be not more than eight (8) in any day but no more than 44 hours in any week, this being up to the 28th February 1990 and 40 hours thereafter, exclusive of breaks for meals and rest.
(a) The minimum remuneration of workers shall be as follows:
|Workers in Group 1||………………………………||€ 740.09 per month|
|Workers in Group 2||………………………………||€ 735.43 per month|
|Workers in Group 3||………………………………||€ 170.92 per week|
|Workers in Group 4||………………………………||€ 169.17 per week|
|Part-TimersWorkers in Group 5||………………………..||€ 28.20 per day|
|Workers in Group 6||………………………..||€ 4.23 per hour|
Provided that for employment exceeding four hours in any one day payment shall in no case be less than the equivalent of a days’ work;
Provided further that any part-time worker who qualifies as a whole-time in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Schedule shall be entitled to the full weekly wage applicable under this sub-paragraph notwithstanding that she works for less than six days.
Minimum Overtime Remuneration
- (1) Workers in Groups 1, 2, 3, 4, on those days when they do not sleep in their employer’s house and workers in Group 5 shall be entitled for payment at time-and-a-half for all time worked over eight hours in normal days and for all time worked over 44 hours in any one week, this being up to the 20th February 1990 and for all time worked over 40 hours after the 28th February, 1990.
(2) Workers who work on a Customary Holiday shall be entitled to double-pay for one day’s work and payment at double-time for all time worked over eight hours.
(3) Workers who work on their weekly day of rest shall be entitled to payment at double-time for all time worked.
- (a) Workers in Groups 1 and 3 on those days when they sleep in their employer’s house and workers in Group 2 and 4 on those days when they sleep in their employer’s house shall be entitled to all meals free of charge, and on those days when they do not sleep in their employer’s house they shall be entitled to all meals free of charge except supper.
(b) Workers in Group 5 shall be entitled to all meals free of charge, except supper.
(c) Workers in Group 6 shall be entitled to coffee or tea after working for not less than 2 hours and shall be further entitled to lunch or supper, as the case may be, after working in the aggregate for not less than 5 hours.
(d) Workers in Groups 1 and 3 on those days when they do not sleep in their employer’s house, workers in Groups 2 and 4 on those days when they do not sleep in their employer’s house and workers in Group 5, shall be entitled to supper when their hours of work in excess of eight (8) in any day exceed three:
Provided that workers in Group 1 and 2 shall have € 48.36 deducted monthly from their minimum remuneration, workers in Group 3 and 4 shall have deducted weekly € 11.16 from their minimum remuneration, and workers in Group 5 shall have € 1.86 deducted daily from their minimum remuneration, as compensation for meals to which they shall be entitled as aforesaid:
Provided that workers in Groups 6 shall have no deduction from their minimum remuneration as compensation for meals to which they may be entitled as long as they are not entitled to a day’s pay in which case they shall have € 1.61 deducted from their daily minimum remuneration:
Provided that workers in Group 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall not be considered as having availed themselves of their rights to meals as aforesaid during periods of Customary Holidays, leave and sick leave entitlement, and the relevant deduction as compensation for meals shall not be made from their minimum remuneration; and, provided further that, should workers not avail themselves of their right to any meals as aforesaid, they shall not be entitled to any pecuniary compensation in substitution there forth.
Minimum Daily Rest
- (a) Workers in Groups 1 and 3 on those days when they sleep in their employer’s house and workers in Group 2 and 4 on those days when they sleep in their employer’s house shall be entitled to a minimum daily rest of three hours in the aggregate in every day, the time or times of rest to be fixed by the employer after consultation with the employee.
(b) Workers in Groups 1 and 3 on those days when they do not sleep in their employers house and workers in Groups 2 and 4 on those days when they do not sleep in their employer’s house and workers in Group 5, shall be allowed in any one day intervals of not less, in the aggregate, than 45 minutes for meals and rest.
Minimum Weekly Rest
- Workers in Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall be entitled to a day of rest in every week, such day of rest being fixed by the employer after consultation with the employee;
Provided that in special cases with the consent of both employer and employee the worker shall be entitled to a holiday of a number of days equivalent to the number of weekly days of rest of which he does not avail himself up to but not exceeding seven.
- (1) In addition to the minimum weekly rest to which whole-time employees may be entitled under paragraph 8, whole-time employees shall be entitled to the National Holidays and to all public holidays with full pay, and to the following vacation leave not being less than:-
(a) four working weeks and one working day during the calendar years 1988 and 1989;
(b) four working weeks and two working days during the calendar year 1990;
(c) four working weeks and three working days during the calendar year 1991;
(d) four working weeks and four working days during the calendar year 1992 and during any calendar year thereafter:
Provided that when a whole-time employee is in employment for less than 12 months during any calendar year, he shall be entitled to such part of the said vacation leave as is in proportion to the number of months in employment.
(2) For the purposes of this paragraph “vacation leave” means leave with pay which may be availed of on days agreed upon between the employer and the employee, provided that one day vacation leave during 1988 and 1989, two days vacation leave during 1990, three days vacation leave during 1991 and four days vacation leave during 1992 and during any calendar year thereafter shall not form part of any shutdown and shall be granted by the employer as optional leave in addition to any optional leave the employee may have been entitled to on the 9th November, 1988.
- (1) After the completion of six months continuous service, every whole-time employee in Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall in every calendar year be entitled to the equivalent in hours of fourteen days sick leave on full pay, less an amount equal to the sum set for sickness benefit entitlement at the rate established under the Social Security Act, and part-time employees shall have a pro rata entitlement to sick leave in hours on full pay, less an amount equal to the sum set for sickness benefit entitlement at the rate established under the Social Security Act, which amount is also to be calculated on a pro rata basis:
Provided that –
(a) the first three days of any claim for sick leave shall be paid in full by the employer;
(b) a medical certificate covering the period of absence is produced to the employer on the day of return to work or, if such period of absence is longer than seven days, within seven days of the onset of sick leave absence;
(c) employees in receipt of a social security pension in respect of retirement or widowhood in terms of the Social Security Act shall, for the purpose of calculating the sick leave pay due, be deemed to have received an amount equal to the sum set for sickness benefit entitlement at the rate established under the Social Security Act.
(2) The employer may require a medical certificate by his own physician to certify incapacity for work during the period of absence.
(3) The sick leave entitlement granted by virtue of this paragraph shall be calculated on the basis provided for annual leave as specified in regulation 8(1) of the Organisation of Working Time Regulations.
- A whole-time employee shall be entitled to a maximum of one year injury leave on full pay, less the full amount of any injury benefit to which such employee may be entitled in terms of the Social Security Act, 1987, if he is injured during the actual discharge of his duty and such injury is not due to any contributory negligence on his part or to the contravention by him of any safety rules laid down by the management.
- Employees in groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall be entitled to two days paid leave on the occasion of the death of any of the following relations: the wife or husband, the mother or father, the daughter or son, and the sister or brother.
- Employees falling under Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall be entitled to three working days leave on full pay on the occasion of their marriage.
- A male worker in Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall be entitled to two days leave with pay on the occasion of the birth of a child to his lawful wife.
- Employees falling under Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 called for jury service shall be allowed all necessary time off on full pay to enable them to attend to such service in Court.
- In cases where the retiring age of a male employee is expected at the age of 60 years, such employee shall be given the opportunity by his employer to retain his employment beyond this age at least until the age of 61 years, provided that the employee in question shall still be allowed, if he so wishes, to retire at the age of 60 years.
(This note is not part of the order but is intended to indicate its applicability)
The above order applies to all employees in “private households”, engaged in domestic duties, such as servants, maids, housekeepers, cooks, butlers, handymen, cleaners, charwomen, washerwomen, baby-sitters, nursemaids and other persons employed in related work, including chauffeurs, gardeners and similar occupations connected with the household.
In this paragraph “private households” includes charitable institutions which provide residential care to persons in need as their main activity, monasteries and convents but does not include any hospital, clinic, nursing home, institute of medico-surgical treatment, maternity home or hydropathic establishment, home for aged persons or schools run by any such households.
Amended up to 01.01.14.