Publications & Insights High Court clarifies an employer’s obligation in respect of Sunday pay
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High Court clarifies an employer’s obligation in respect of Sunday pay

Monday, 07 October 2019

Irish law provides that where an employee is required to work on a Sunday (and that fact has not otherwise been taken account of in the determination of pay) the employee must be compensated by way of a Sunday premium payment, or paid time off in lieu.

In Trinity City Hotel v Kolesnik and Alfimova, the Labour Court was asked to consider a case where an employer included a general statement in the contract that the rate of pay (which was higher than the statutory minimum rate of pay) takes account of the requirement to work on Sundays. The Labour Court found that this type of general statement was not satisfactory. The employer should provide a specific breakdown of the Sunday premium pay in the contract. The Court awarded a premium of 30% of the basic rate for Sunday work.

In a judgment given on 7 October 2019, the High Court disagreed. It found that the Labour Court erred in law, and upheld the employer’s appeal. The High Court found that this form of general statement in an employment contract is good evidence of compliance with Irish law. To prove that Sunday work has not been taken account of in such cases, the employee will need to “advance some credible evidence to rebut the express provision of the employment contract”. 

For further information or advice, please contact Emmet Whelan or any member of the ByrneWallace Employment Law team.

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