National Minimum Wage Act 2000

Prohibition of victimisation of employee by employer.

36

36.—(1) An employer shall not cause or suffer any action prejudicial to an employee for the employee having—

( a) exercised or having proposed to exercise a right under this Act,

( b) in good faith opposed or proposed to oppose by lawful means an act which is unlawful under this Act, or

( c) become, or in future will or might become, entitled in accordance with this Act to remuneration at an hourly rate of pay that on average is not less than the national minimum rate of pay, or a particular percentage of that rate of pay.

(2) Dismissal of an employee in contravention of subsection (1) shall be deemed to be an unfair dismissal of the employee within the meaning and for the purposes of section 6(1) of the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 1993 (but without prejudice to sections 2 to 5 of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977, except that it is not necessary for the employee to have at least one year’s continuous service with the employer and that Act shall apply as if the Worker Protection (Regular Part-Time Employees) Act, 1991 , were repealed in relation to the number of hours an employee is normally expected to work for the purposes of that Act) and those Acts, with the necessary modifications, shall apply accordingly.

(3) Where an employee alleges he or she has suffered an action prejudicial to the employee in contravention of subsection (1) and the employer, within 2 weeks of being so requested by the employee or the employee’s representative with the employee’s consent, does not restore the employee to conditions of employment he or she enjoyed immediately before suffering the alleged prejudicial action, the employer and the employee shall, for the purposes of section 24 (1) , be deemed not to be able to agree on the appropriate entitlement of the employee to pay in accordance with this Act, resulting in an alleged underpayment to the employee, and sections 24 to 32 (except section 24(2) ), with the necessary modifications, shall apply accordingly.

(4) A dispute cannot be referred to a rights commissioner in pursuance of subsection (3) if a period of 6 months (or such longer period not exceeding 12 months, as the rights commissioner may allow) has elapsed since the employer’s alleged prejudicial action referred to in subsection (1).