It has always been the position under Irish employment law, and contract law generally, that an employer may not introduce a new term into, or alter a term of the contract of a employment without the consent of the employee concerned. The recent decision of the European Court of Justice, simply affirms the historic Irish position. Accordingly, I am satisfied that Irish employment rights legislation fully complies with the European Court of Justice ruling.
All terms and conditions of employment in excess of statutory entitlements are determined by a legally enforceable agreement between the employer and the employee whether directly, or indirectly by representatives of employers/ employees. Any term of an employment contract which relates to overtime, or work beyond normal hours, is subject to agreement by the parties to the contract. An employee, like any party to a contract, has the right to institute and pursue proceedings in the courts in respect of his or her contractual rights.