Changes to your contract of employment

22 Sep 2010

Changes to your contract of employment in Ireland can occur due to a change in the law, but otherwise, changes must be agreed between your employer and yourself.

Neither party can unilaterally decide to change the contract. The rights of employees and employers regarding changes to contracts are set out under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994.

Changes introduced by law

Where the law introduces changes into your contract of employment, for example, by extending the statutory period of maternity leave, then both you and your employer must comply with the law.

Changes introduced by agreement

The nature of your job may change, so that you are doing a different job for the same employer. Such a major change will probably also result in changes to your terms and conditions of employment. Unless your contract already allows certain changes to be introduced, you or your employer cannot introduce change unilaterally. There must be agreement between the parties. Where such an agreement is reached, you must be given the details of change(s) in writing within one month of their coming into operation.


The legislation covering notification of changes to your contract is set out in Section 5 of the Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994 to 2001. Essentially, whenever a change is made or occurs in any part of the contract furnished by an employer, the employer shall notify the employee in writing of the nature and date of the change as soon as may be afterwards. They must notify the employee however not later than:

  • One month after the change takes effect, or
  • where the change is consequent on the employee being required to work outside the State for a period of more than one month, the time of the employee’s departure.

This Act also sets out what terms in your contract must be put in writing. (For example, your name, job title, company address, date you commenced employment, etc.) The requirement that you receive a written contract of employment is set down under Section 3 of the Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994

How to apply

If you do not receive the required notification of a change to your contract of employment, you should first raise this issue with your employer or the personnel department for your company. If you are a member of a trade union, you may also raise this with your local representative.

If you still fail to receive a notification of change to your contract, and have tried raising this issue with your employer, you may refer the matter to a rights commissioner. Read more information regarding the Rights Commissioner Service here.

Where to  apply

Labour Relations Commission,
Rights Commissioner Service,
Tom Johnson House,
Beggars Bush,
Dublin 4
Tel: (01) 613 6700
Lo-Call 1890 220227
Employment Rights Information Unit
Davitt House
65a Adelaide Road
Dublin 2
Tel: 01 631 3131
LoCall: 1890 201 615

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Wednesday, 15 September 2010, 6:06pm

By Tara Dalrymple

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