Overview: Your rights at work

Whether you are starting work for the first time, returning to work or changing job, your rights as an employee are protected by law.

Some of your employment rights and conditions are set out in your contract of employment. Other employment rights are set out in employment legislation including leave, hours of work and health and safety at work.

Specific legislation exists to prevent discrimination and ensure equality at work. You can find out about your rights if you believe you are being bullied, harassed or victimised. There are employment laws to protect young people at work and to ensure the rights of part-time workers.

You can read more in our document on employers’ obligations and employees’ rights. You should also know how to enforce your employment rights if they have been breached.


When you start work you should know the minimum rate of pay you are entitled to, understand the information in your pay slip and how your tax is calculated.

There are additional supports for people who are working and on a low income. You should also know about pensions.

Changing jobs

If you are changing, or thinking of changing, jobs, you should find out about giving notice when changing your job and income tax and social insurance records.

Employment and disability

There are various employment supports to help employees with a disability to gain and retain employment. The Department of Social Protection’s Reasonable Accommodation Fund provides supports such as the Personal Reader Grant, the Job Interview Interpreter Grant and grants for adapting the workplace for employees with disabilities.

Losing your job

Losing your job can be a very difficult time for you and your family. You need to know what your employer should give you when you lose your job and what constitutes unfair dismissal. You may be entitled to a redundancy payment.

You should contact your Intreo centre or social welfare local office for information about Jobseeker's Benefit and Jobseeker's Allowance. If you have been unemployed for some time, you may be eligible for an employment scheme or training supports.

Page updated: 25 July 2014