Irish employers could face jail for breaches of employment legislation

Employer group worries criminal prosecution 'disproportionate, unnecessary'

Irish employers could face criminal prosecution if they breach new proposed legislation to protect workers.

The Employment Law Compliance Bill proposes 23 criminal offences, including a failure to put up notices on employment rights in every language used in the workplace. Penalties include up to three years in jail and fines of up to 250,000 euros ($386,714.57 Cdn).

The Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) claims the list of new criminal offences is "disproportionate, unnecessary and oppressive" and was not mentioned during talks on the national pay deal in which the legislation was agreed.

But the Department of Enterprise and Employment said a "very substantial number of amendments" are being drafted to reflect concerns of trade unions and the IBEC.

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