- work or have worked under a contract of service or apprenticeship; persons working under a contract for services (independent contractors) are not covered by the Act;
- agency workers; the employer being the person who is liable to pay the wages of the individual concerned;
- be over 16 years of age and in employment that is insurable for all benefits under the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005;
- have been in such employment in the period of the four years ending on the date of termination;
- have been continuously employed for 104 weeks, being the “requisite period” (after attaining the age of 16 years).
Employment is presumed to be continuous unless proved otherwise. Employment is continuous unless it is terminated by:
- dismissal (not including an unfair dismissal under the unfair dismissals legislation for which redress was made);
- voluntary resignation.
Continuity is not broken by:
- an employee voluntarily transferring from one employer to another and both employers and the employee agreeing that all the service will be regarded as continuous;
- periods of absence due to sickness or injury;
- lay off, holidays, or any other absence authorised by the employer;
- service in the Reserve Defence Forces;
- absence from work because of a lockout by the employer or for participation in a strike;
- dismissal due to redundancy before attaining 104 weeks continuous service and resumption of employment with the same employer within 26 weeks of dismissal;
- leave under the Maternity Protection, Adoptive Leave, Carer’s Leave or Parental Leave Acts;
- reinstatement or re-engagement under the Unfair Dismissals Acts.
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