Softworks Blog

OH NO! ITS NERA!

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Wed, Apr 15, 2015

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We have just been inspected by NERA and have survived to tell the tale. Really? Yes, they even check companies who provide time and attendance monitoring and employee law compliance software!
We weren't scared and you shouldn't be either. We have explained the process we went through & have some information on how you can be prepared for your inspection. 

What is NERA?

NERA is the National Employment Rights Authority body in Ireland. In short, it is their job to ensure all employees in your business are working with fair contracts, are paid regularly - in line with the minimum wage, and are not working too many hours.

How much notice do you get for a NERA inspection? 

We were given a month's notice but this can vary. Their guide says "advance notice" but you can reschedule if you have a genuine reason. 

Why are they coming to my business? 

According to workplacerelations.ie, NERA "aims to secure compliance with employment rights legislation and to foster a culture of compliance in Ireland. Every employer is required by law to record their employee's working hours/time to ensure compliance. Failure to do so may result in legal action. The letter we got stated that these are the 5 items they need to check we are complying with legislation for:  

1. Minimum Wage - ensuring nobody that works for our business is paid less than €8.65 an hour.

2. Working Time Directive - ensuring our staff are working a legal amount of hours per week, that we get fair holiday allowances and that we have adequate rest periods and breaks.. You can find more about the WTD here

3. Younger Workers. They also check that any workers under 18 years of age are treated fairly.

4. Wages/Salary -Every worker had the right to receive a payslip which may be to each employee in paper or electronic format. NERA will also check that your organisation are deducting the correct taxes/USC charges from your salary. 

5.  Non - National Employees. NERA check that any non-national employees have the relevant work permits to work in your business

What do I need to provide? 

They need to check everything on the list below. This may look extensive but should be quick and simple to prepare. Most workforce management systems can export all of the below information on a simple report. NERA also provided a document with a template of all the requirements below which you can manually fill out. 

  • Employee Registration number
  • Name, address, nationality & PPS number
  • Start & End date of contract
  • Everyone's job title/classification
  • Terms of Employment
  • Timesheets showing the hours worked by each employee (including overtime) & also detailing what days of week the employee worked
  • Your company's holiday & public pay entitlement details as given to employees
  • Copies of payslips & payrolls
  • Register of employees under 18 

What happens on the day? 

Well in our case, a lovely man called Sean arrived at a specified time and met our HR team. We provided him with the documentation requested above. He spent some time going through this and then he selected some of our employees at random and conducted quick 5 minute interview. These are confidential & staff have the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have. And that is it - simple! In a few weeks, NERA will send us their evaluation. You can find NERA's guide to inspections here

 

Can your system provide you with the information you need for a NERA inspection quickly and easily? If not, arrange a demo with our experts today.

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Topics: Working Time Directive, NERA