QUESTIONS: I've been notified of an inspection from the Workplace Relations Commission – is there anything that I need to prepare?

ANSWER:
A WRC Inspector has the power to enter and inspect a workplace and they have the power to examine, take copies or remove records from the premises. A WRC Inspector has the power to interview employees.

WRC Inspections can be with prior notification or can also be unannounced. WRC Inspections can be carried out as a result of a complaint, or it may be a random inspection based on your location or industry.

Inspectors will specifically want to see evidence of the following:
Do you have a record of all employees start dates, finish dates (where applicable) and PPS numbers?
Do all employees have a written contract of employment and do you have written policies on Disciplinary, Grievance and on Bullying & Harassment?
Do you have records of annual leave, public holidays and holiday pay?
Do you record the hours of work for each employee?
Do all employees receive their statutory break entitlements?
Do you provide payslips to all employees?
Do you pay all employees at or above the National Minimum Wage rate?
Do you keep a register of all employees under the age of 18?
Do you provide any board or lodgings to employees?
Do you have employment permits for any Non EU Citizens? The WRC regularly work in conjunction with other Government Departments when carrying out these inspections and are often accompanied to premises with personnel from Department of Justice who deal with work permits and immigrations issues, as well as personnel from the Department of Social Protection or the Revenue Commissioners.

The follow up action taken by the WRC is dependent on the severity of the non-compliance. In a case where the non - compliance is minor or inadvertent, the Inspector will ask the employer to rectify them. In a case where an employer is found to have underpaid employees (either current or former), the employer will be asked to calculate the extent of any unpaid wages due to employees. This will then be checked by the Inspector to ensure the rates of pay are in compliance with current legislation. The employer will then be required to pay the employee the amount owed to them and submit an Unpaid Wages Payment Form to the WRC with evidence that the payments have been made.

In a case where the employer refuses to comply with the law, fails to cooperate with the inspection process, or has been found repeatedly in breach of the law, the WRC may invoke legal sanctions against the employer. This can include the issue of Compliance Notices and Fixed Payment Notices and/or prosecution.

The HR Suite can conduct a full audit of your HR practices to ensure that you are compliant with the relevant legislation as inspected by the WRC. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact our HR Consultants on (066)7102887 or (01)9014335 or email us at info@thehrsuite.com