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Examining zero hours and low hours work in Ireland: regulation and the ‘grey zone’ of work

Summary of the Impact:

Zero hours work is work with no guaranteed hours. Researchers at the Kemmy Business School (KBS), University of Limerick, have been examining the prevalence and impact of zero hours work and low hours work amongst Irish employees. Their government-commissioned 2015 report titled ‘A Study on the Prevalence of Zero Hours Contracts Among Irish Employers and Their Impact on Employees’ contained a series of recommendations on how to improve workers’ rights. These recommendations aimed to improve workers’ income security and formed the basis of public policy discussions on how to regulate zero hours and low hours work. Multiple political parties and workers rights organisations were involved in the public discussions, leading to a new piece of employment legislation, the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018, which was directly informed by the study. 

This legislation was the first significant enhancement of employment rights relating to working hours since the 1990s. .

The Act introduces a number of workers' rights: the right to more information about their terms and conditions, the right to more secure hours for people who regularly work more hours than those stated in their contracts, and the right to a minimum payment where a worker is required to be available for work but is not provided with work by an employer. The Act also restricts employers’ use of zero hours contracts.

 


Sustainable Development Goals

  • 08 Decent work and economic growth

References to the research

Pay and Performance Management in MNCs

Authors: Gunnigle, P., Turner, T., Lavelle, J. and McDonnell, A.


‘Plus Ca Change? Regulating zero hours work in Ireland: An Analysis of Provisions of the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018

https://doi.org/10.1093/indlaw/dwz014

Authors: McMahon, J.


Zero Hours Work and the Role of the Law in Ireland

https://doi.org/10.3726/b11540

Authors: McMahon, J., O’Sullivan, M., Turner, T., Ryan, L., Lavelle, J., Murphy, C., O’Brien, M. and Gunnigle, P.


Zero Hours Regulation, Intersectionality and the Erosion of the SER: The Case of Ireland. CRIMT (Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work)

Authors: McMahon, J. O’Sullivan, M., Ryan, L., Turner, T. Lavelle, J., Murphy, C., O’Brien, M. and Gunnigle, P.


Trade union responses to zero hours work in Ireland

https://doi.org/10.1111/irj.12271

Authors: Murphy, C., O’Sullivan, M., Turner, T., McMahon, J., Lavelle, J., Ryan, L., Gunnigle, P.


Zero Hours Work in Ireland

https://www.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-6613-0

Authors: Murphy, C., Lavelle, T., Turner, T., Ryan, L., McMahon, J., O’Sullivan, M., O’Brien, M. and Gunnigle, P.


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Authors: O’Sullivan, M., Turner, T., McMahon, J., Ryan, L., Lavelle, J., Murphy, C., O’Brien, M and Gunnigle, P.


A Study of the Prevalence of Zero Hours Contracts among Irish Employers and its Impact on Employees.

https://dbei.gov.ie/en/Publications/Publicationfiles/Study-on-the-Prevalence-ofZero-Hours-Contracts.pdf

Authors: O’Sullivan, M., Turner, T., McMahon, J., Ryan, L., Lavelle, J., Murphy, C., O’Brien, M and Gunnigle, P.


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https://www.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-6613-0

Authors: O’Sullivan, M., Lavelle, J., McMahon, J., Ryan, L., Murphy, C., Turner, T. and Gunnigle, P.


The Role of the State in Shaping Zero Hours Work in an Atypical Liberal Market Economy

https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0143831X17735181

Authors: O’Sullivan, M., Turner, T., Lavelle, J., MacMahon, J., Murphy, C., Ryan, L., Gunnigle, P., O’Brien, M.


Precarious Work: Lessons from a Study of Zero Hours Contracts in Ireland. Nordic Journal of Working Lives Studies

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Authors: Ryan, L., Lavelle, J. O’Sullivan, M., Murphy, C., Turner, T., McMahon, J., O’Brien, M and Gunnigle, P.


The Economic crisis and the restructuring of wage setting mechanisms for vulnerable workers in Ireland

https://www.esr.ie/article/view/69

Authors: Turner, T. and O’Sullivan, M.