Terms of Employment 5 Day Rule

What is the 5 day rule?

Employers are obligated to give Employees their Terms of Employment within 5 days of the start of the employment.  This used to be within two months from the commencement of the employment, but has been reduced to a five day obligation.

Employers should really have this ready for the first day an employee enters the premises.

The terms will generally be included in the employment contract, but a basic minimum terms requirement an employer must give an employee is set out in S.3 of the Terms of Employment Act 1994.

Employers should also furnish all policy documents like Employee Handbooks, disciplinary procedures etc. at the start of the employment to the employee.

Terms of Employment Act 1994

If an employer does not give an employee a statement of the terms of employment at the outset of the employment, an employee can make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission and an adjudicator-decision maker at the WRC can direct that a statement of the terms is furnished by the employer to the employee and award compensation to the employee.

Employer’s Notification Obligations of a Change in a Term of Employment

Is an employee entitled to notification from the employer regarding changing terms of employment ?.


Say an employer notifies an employee verbally that there is going to be different start times, finish times etc. and an employee is unhappy that the terms have changed. The employee has legal remedy options available to them and an employer should not change the terms of a without written notification to the employee.

S.5 of the Terms of Employment Act 1994 states:

Whenever a change is made or occurs in any of the particulars of the statement furnished by an employer the employer shall notify the employee in writing of the nature and date of the change as soon as may be thereafter, but not later than—

a) 1 month after the change takes effect, or

b) where the change is consequent on the employee being required to work outside the State for a period of more than 1 month, the time of the employee’s departure.

If there is a dispute between the employee and the employer regarding the variation of the terms of contract which is a sticking point for either party, evidently you can try to resolve the matter internally, but if an industrial relations issue at work cannot be resolved by the respective parties, a complaint can be made to an adjudication officer at the Workplace Relations Commission under S.13 of the Industrial Relations Act to assist in the resolution of the trade dispute.

Disclaimer for Terms of Employment Article

Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.

Legal advice should be sought from a solicitor prior to relying on anything in this article.  

Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article. 

Employment Law Articles