First Previous (Part III Right to Return to Work)

2 1981

MATERNITY PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEES ACT, 1981

Part IV

Amendment or Application of Other Enactments

Amendment of section 2 (2) of Act of 1977.

24. —Section 2 (2) of the Act of 1977 (which specifies dismissals in relation to which that Act does not apply) is hereby amended by the insertion of the following after paragraph (b):

“, or

(c) dismissal where the employee's employer at the commencement of the employment informs the employee in writing that the employment will terminate on the return to work with that employer of another employee who is absent from her work while on maternity leave or additional maternity leave or time off under the Maternity Protection of Employees Act, 1981, and the dismissal of the first-mentioned employee duly occurs for the purpose of facilitating the return to work of that other employee.”.

Amendment of section 6 (2) of Act of 1977.

25. —Section 6 (2) of the Act of 1977 (which specifies the matters which cause a dismissal resulting from any of those matters to be deemed to be an unfair dismissal) is hereby amended by the insertion of the following paragraph after paragraph (f):

“(g) the exercise by an employee to whom Part II of the Maternity Protection of Employees Act, 1981, applies (other than a person specified in section 2 (1) of this Act) of her right under the Maternity Protection of Employees Act, 1981, to maternity leave, additional maternity leave or time off under that Act; provided that—

(i) the requirement of one year's continuous service with the employer who dismissed her does not apply to a case falling within this paragraph, and

(ii) sections 3 and 4 of this Act do not apply to such a case.”.

Provisions applying where employee not permitted to return to work.

26. —(1) This section applies to an employee who, having duly complied with section 22 , is entitled under Part III to return to work but is not permitted to do so by her employer, the successor or an associated employer, and who is an employee to whom an Act referred to in the relevant subsection of this section applies.

(2) For the purposes of the Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967 to 1979, an employee to whom this section applies shall be deemed to have been dismissed by reason of redundancy, the date of dismissal being deemed to be the date specified in the relevant notification under section 22 (1).

(3) For the purposes of the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act, 1973 , the contract of employment of an employee to whom this section applies shall be deemed to have been terminated on the date specified in the relevant notification under section 22 (1).

(4) For the purposes of the Act of 1977, an employee to whom this section applies shall be deemed to have been dismissed on the date specified in the relevant notification under section 22 (1), and the dismissal shall be deemed to be an unfair dismissal unless, having regard to all the circumstances, there were substantial grounds justifying the dismissal.

Disputes regarding entitlement under this Act.

27. —(1) Any dispute (other than a claim under section 8 of the Act of 1977, as extended by section 26 ) between an employee to whom the Act of 1977 applies and to whom Part II or Part III applies and her employer, the successor or an associated employer, relating to the employee's entitlement under this Act (or to any matter arising out of or related to such an entitlement) may be referred by either party to the dispute to a rights commissioner or to the Tribunal.

(2) A rights commissioner or the Tribunal shall hear the parties to a dispute under this section and any evidence relevant to the dispute tendered by them and, in the case of a rights commissioner, shall make a recommendation in relation to the dispute and, in the case of the Tribunal, shall make a determination in relation to the dispute.

(3) Sections 8 (3), 8 (4) (a), 8 (5) to 8 (10), 9 (1), 10 and 11 of the Act of 1977 shall apply in relation to a dispute under this section, subject to the following modifications:

(a) references in those sections to a claim for redress under that Act shall be construed as references to a dispute under this section;

(b) section 8 (4) (a) shall be construed as if “refer the claim to” were substituted for “bring the claim before”;

(c) the reference in section 8 (8) (a) to the bringing of claims under that section shall be construed as a reference to the referral of a dispute under this section, and sections 8 (8) (d) and 8 (8) (g) shall be construed accordingly;

(d) section 8 (10) shall be construed as if “under this section” were substituted for “in relation to a dismissal that is an unfair dismissal for the purposes of this Act”;

(e) section 10 shall be construed as if “for an order directing the employer to carry out in accordance with its terms the determination” were substituted for “for redress under this Act” in subsection (1), and as if the following subsection were substituted for subsection (2):

“(2) Where, in proceedings under this section, the Circuit Court finds that an employee is entitled to an order under subsection (1) of this section, it shall make such an order.”;

(f) section 11 shall be construed as if “under this section” were substituted for “under this Act”.

(4) The Minister may make regulations for the purpose of giving effect to this section and may by such regulations make any further modifications of the Act of 1977, or any modifications of regulations under that Act, as he thinks necessary.

(5) In this section “the Tribunal” means the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Amendment of Schedule 3 to Redundancy Payments Act, 1967.

28. —Schedule 3 to the Redundancy Payments Act, 1967 , is hereby amended by the substitution of the following for paragraph 5 (1) (d) (inserted by the Redundancy Payments Act, 1979 ):

“(d) a period during which an employee was absent from her work while on maternity leave, additional maternity leave or time off under the Maternity Protection of Employees Act, 1981.”.