The National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) aims to secure compliance with employment rights legislation. It was established on an interim basis in February 2007 as an office of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Its main activities include monitoring employment conditions through its Inspection Services – see below. NERA Enforcement and Prosecution Units ensure the compliance and enforcement of employment rights legislation.
Since 4 January 2012 information on rights and entitlements under employment legislation is provided by Workplace Relations Customer Services through a single point of contact. There is also a new online complaint form (available by selecting ‘Make a complaint in relation to employment rights’ on workplacerelations.ie).
On 6 July 2012 the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation published a policy document detailing his proposed legislative provisions for a new workplace relations service. A Workplace Relations Commission will bring together the existing services of the Labour Relations Commission, Rights Commissioner Service, Equality Tribunal, the National Employment Rights Authority and the first instance functions of the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The Labour Court will be the single appeal body for all workplace relations appeals, including those currently heard by the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
NERA inspectors are now empowered to work with and exchange information with the Department of Social Protection and the Revenue Commissioners in Joint Investigation Units.
NERA inspectors have carried out inspection campaigns focused on the construction sector, the catering and security industries and on the legislation on minimum wage and the protection of young people in employment.
The Inspection Services have the power to carry out employment rights compliance inspections in relation to the following Acts: :
Inspectors may enter premises at reasonable times, interview employers and employees, take statements, examine and take copies of records and initiate legal proceedings. You can read this employer’s guide to NERA inspections (pdf)
Inspections are carried out either to investigate a specific complaint or a team of inspectors may carry out random or targeted inspections in a particular sector of employment.
Where an initial inspection of records finds that that there have been breaches of employment law, the Inspection Services may:
In the case of unpaid wages due to an employee, a letter is then sent requesting evidence that the employer is complying with the law as instructed. If there is no response or an inadequate response to the letter, a second inspection follows together with a warning that any further or new breaches discovered will be sent to legal services to prosecute
If you wish to make a complaint in relation to the employment legislation outlined above you must use the new online complaint form (available by selecting ‘Make a complaint in relation to employment rights’ on workplacerelations.ie). You can also contact Workplace Relations Customer Services - see 'Where to apply' below.
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.