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Career Clinic

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Today we open up the phone lines to our viewers in an attempt to give much needed advice on finding a job in the recession. We have a recruiting expert, an employment rights expert and a life coach to give emotional support to viewers in these particularly difficult times.

The live register in September of this year stood at 429,400 people, an increase of 183,422 people or 76.4% in just one year according to the Central Statistic Office's figures. The standardised unemployment rate in September was 12.6%.

(Sourced from On September 22nd, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) for Quarter 2 2009, which covers the period March to June. The QNHS Q2 '09 recorded a drop in employment levels by 8.2% in comparison to Q2 2008. With just a little over 1.9m in employment, employment has dropped back to Q1 2005 levels. However at that stage unemployment was only 4.2% and it is now 12%. Long-term unemployment has started to rise and now stands at 2.6% - a figure not seen since early 1999. Over the last year, 174,300 jobs were lost against 23,800 created. Out of the six categories where jobs were created, three are funded through the public purse and so future employment growth is doubtful.

Alan Haugh:- Employment Rights Expert
Alan Haugh is a barrister. He is currently Head of Legal and Strategic Services with the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA). Before taking up this position with NERA in July 2007, Alan had been Head of Employment Law at IBEC where he advised employer members on a wide range of employment law matters. He has represented clients in employment law proceedings before Rights Commmissioners, at the Employment Appeals Tribunal, the Equality Tribunal, the Labour Court and the Circuit Court. Alan has also held lecturing positions at DIT, NCI and UCC.

James Mailley - Recruitment Expert

James Mailley is Commercial Director of Monster Ireland. Monster is the leading provider of online careers and recruitment resources committed to connecting organisations with individuals. James has vast experience in HR and recruiting with companies like Michael Pageand TMP Worldwide.

Anna Aparicio - Life Coach
Anna Aparicio is the founder of Delite Life Solutions. She is a IINLP Life & Business Coach and a Licensed Master Practitioner of NLP. She has a background in health and fitness as well as extensive experience in the corporate world, and she speaks five languages. Having dramatically changed her own life, now she is committed to helping as many people as possible transform their lives and achieve their true potential. Anna has trained with Owen Fitzpatrick and Brian Colbert, two of the best speakers in the world in the field of NLP and life improvement. She has become an expert at educating individuals on how to access the power of their mind to create miracles in their lives. As well as providing one-to-one coaching, she also coaches over the phone and by email, and teaches seminars on life improvement.

James Mailley, MD of
The Top 5 Growth Industries

1. Education and Training
2. IT and Software Development
3. Human Resources Specialists
4. Customer Support and Client Care
5. Media, Design and Creative Positions

Maternity Leave - Ref:
"Standard Maternity Leave
. A pregnant employee is currently entitled to 26 consecutive weeks of maternity leave.
. An employee who wishes to avail of her entitlement to maternity leave must notify her employer in writing as soon as reasonably practicable, but no later than 4 weeks before the beginning of the leave, of her intention to take the leave. She must also provide a medical certificate specifying the expected week of confinement.
Additional Maternity Leave
. A pregnant employee is also entitled to 16 consecutive weeks additional maternity leave beginning immediately after the end of the 26 weeks.
. A woman who wishes to avail of her entitlement to additional maternity leave must notify her employer in writing of her intention to take additional maternity leave. This must be done no later than 4 weeks before the day on which her additional maternity leave is due to commence.
Allocation of Minimum Period of Maternity Leave
. A pregnant employee can begin and end her maternity leave on any day she selects but must:
o take a minimum of 2 weeks leave before the end of the expected week of confinement; and
o take 4 weeks leave after the end of the expected week of confinement.
Antenatal / Postnatal Care
. Pregnant employees and employees who have recently given birth are entitled to time off from work, without loss of pay for the purposes of receiving antenatal and postnatal care. However the employee must inform her employer in writing of the time and date of the appointment no later than 2 weeks before the date of the appointment."

Alan Haugh advice:
What are my Rights?

As an employee, you are entitled to receive certain basic employment rights. Although some industries entitle employees to different rights, the list below is the minimum you should receive.
. A written statement of terms and conditions of employment. Whilst the full contract does not have to be in writing, certain terms and conditions of your employment must be stated in writing within two months of starting employment. These would typically include the method of calculating pay and whether or not there is a sick pay scheme in operation. (For fixed term employees it would also include in what circumstances your employment will come to an end.)
. A written statement of pay or 'payslip'. Your payslip should set out gross pay and list all deductions made from it.
. A minimum wage
Most experienced adult workers in Ireland are entitled to be paid €8.65 per hour. There are however, some exceptions to the minimum wage, including those employed by close relatives, those aged under 18 and trainees or apprentices.
There are also certain industries in Ireland where a higher minimum wage applies, including the construction industry.
. A maximum working week average of 48 hours a week
The maximum 48 hour week is based on an average calculated over a four, six, or twelve-month period depending on the industry. Your employer must keep a record of how many hours you work.
. Unpaid breaks during working hours
You have the right to a 15-minute break if working four and a half hours of work and a 30-minute break if working six hours of work.
. Annual leave from work
Full-time workers have the right to four working weeks paid annual leave per year. Part-time workers have the right to a proportional amount of annual leave based on the amount of time they work.
. A minimum amount of notice before dismissal
You are entitled to a minimum amount of notice if your employment ceases. The minimum amount of notice depends on the length of service.
Redundancy is where an employee's position ceases to exist and the employee is not replaced. Any employee aged 16 or over with 104 weeks' continuous service with an employer is entitled to a statutory redundancy payment in this situation.
The statutory redundancy payment is two week's gross pay per year of service up to a ceiling of €600 per week plus one week's pay, which is also subject to the ceiling of €600. This payment is tax-free.

National Minimum Wage
The National Minimum Wage is €8.65 per hour. The National Minimum Wage applies to all employees except:
. Employees in industries (such as the construction industry) which are covered by registered employment agreements (REA's) and Employment Regulation Orders (ERO's), entitling their workers to a higher minimum wage
. Employees who are in their first year of employment since turning the age of 18 (€6.92 per hour)
. Employees who are under 18 years of age (€6.06 per hour)
. Employees who are in their second year of employment since turning 18 (€7.79 per hour)
. Employees who are close relatives of the employer
. Employees undergoing structured training such as an apprenticeship (other than hairdressing apprenticeships)
Pay Slips
All employees are entitled to receive a pay slip with every payment of wages. This pay slip should show gross wage (wage before deductions) and the nature and amount of each deduction.
An employer is allowed to make the following deductions from an employee's wage:
Any deduction required or authorised by law (e.g. PAYE or PRSI) Any deduction authorised by the term of an employee's contract (e.g. pension contributions, or particular till shortages) Any deduction agreed to in writing in advance by the employee (e.g. health insurance subscription, sports and social club membership subscription)