Protection of Employment (Exceptional Collective Redundancies and Related Matters) Act 2007

25.

Amendment of section 2 (exclusions) of the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977.

25.— (1) Section 2 of the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 is amended in subsection (2)—

( a) by substituting “Subject to subsection (2A), this Act” for “This Act”, and

( b) by deleting the proviso (commencing with the words “Provided that where, following dismissal”, including the interpretative passage commencing with the words “In this proviso ‘antecedent contract’,”).

(2) Section 2 of the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 is amended by inserting the following after subsection (2):

“(2A) Where, following dismissal consisting only of the expiry of the term of a contract of employment of a kind mentioned in subsection (2) (‘the prior contract’) without the term being renewed under the contract or the cesser of the purpose of the contract—

( a) the employee concerned is re-employed by the employer concerned within 3 months of the dismissal under a contract of employment of that kind made between the employer and the employee (‘the subsequent contract’) and the nature of the employment is the same as or similar to that of the employment under the prior contract,

( b) the employee is dismissed from the employment,

( c) the dismissal consisted only of the expiry of the term of the subsequent contract without the term being renewed under the contract or the cesser of the purpose of the contract, and

( d) in the opinion of the rights commissioner, the Tribunal or the Circuit Court, as the case may be, the entry by the employer into the subsequent contract was wholly or partly for, or was connected with, the purpose of the avoidance of liability under this Act,

then—

(i) this Act shall, subject to its other provisions, apply to the dismissal, and

(ii) the term of the prior contract and of any antecedent contracts shall be added to that of the subsequent contract for the purpose of the ascertainment under this Act of the period of service of the employee with the employer and the period so ascertained shall be deemed for those purposes to be one of continuous service.

(2B) In subsection (2A), ‘antecedent contract’, in relation to a prior contract, means—

( a) a contract of employment of the kind mentioned in subsection (2) the term of which expired not more than 3 months before the commencement of the prior contract, or

( b) each of a series of contracts the term of the last of which expired not more than 3 months before the commencement of that of the prior contract and the term of the other or of each of the other contracts in the series expired not more than 3 months before the commencement of that of the other, or the next, contract in the series,

being a contract or contracts made between the employer and the employee who were parties to the prior contract and the nature of the employment under which was the same as or similar to that of the employment under the prior contract.”.

(3) Section 2 of the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 is amended in subsection (5) by substituting “subsection (2A)” for “the proviso (inserted by the Unfair Dismissals (Amendment) Act, 1993) to subsection (2) of this section”.