Working time breaches account for almost 20% of tribunal complaints in Ireland, significantly more, for example, than unfair dismissal complaints. Such breaches are set to receive more focus with the rise of non-traditional working arrangements. Many businesses have permitted staff to extend their working day after hours. They may now have to think again. There is no general "opt out" in Ireland from the average weekly maximum. This was recently highlighted when the Labour Court held Kepak liable for “permitting” an employee to work in excess of 48 hours per week, despite arguments that the workload assigned did not warrant such long hours. Employers need to get inspection-ready, maintain working time records and, in addition, must consider appropriate interventions to minimise staff carrying out their duties out of hours.
the Court finds that the Respondent was, through her operation of its software and through the emails she sent it, aware of the hours the Complainant was working and took no steps to curtail the time she spent working.