WRC Inspectors Audit Preparation
Who are the WRC?
The Workplace Relations Commission was set up in 2015 under the Workplace Relations Act. Workplace Relations Inspectors (whose functions were formerly carried out by NERA), seek to secure a culture of compliance with employment rights legislation in Ireland through five main functions:
- Protection of Young persons in Employment
Inspectors/Authorised Officers have the following powers:
- To enter any premises at a reasonable time
- To demand sight of records
- To inspect records
- To take copies of records
- To interview and require information from any relevant person
- Issue compliance notices or fixed payment notices
Employers are increasingly finding themselves in situations where WRC Inspectors have arrived at their business premises to do an unannounced inspection. What do you do if you are not ready? Can you send them away or do you have to allow entry? We would advise clients who find themselves in this predicament and are unprepared to ask that they get in contact with Aspire HR to arrange a more suitable time for an inspection where the business can be better prepared with the documents that are required from the appropriate people.
According to the 2016 WRC Report, the WRC Inspection and Enforcement Services concluded 5,221 inspections, and held that 2,050 employers were in breach of employment legislation. Some 13 fixed-penalty notices were issued in the 12 month period, all in relation to failure by the employer to provide a written statement of wages, and over €1.5million of unpaid wages was recovered.
The Report notes the WRC is working closely with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (“GNIB”) on reporting potential immigration and human trafficking issues encountered during inspections.
WRC Inspectors inspect premises based on targeted campaigns, random inspections, specific industry inspections and also based on confidential complaints they receive from staff internally.
The type of documentation that is required for an audit/inspection includes;
- Employer registration number with the Revenue Commissioners
- Full Name, Address and PPS Number for each employee (full-time and part-time)
- Employees job classification
- Terms of employment for each employee
- Dates of commencement and where relevant termination
- Copies of payslips
- Hours of work for each employee (including starting and finishing times, meal breaks and rest periods). These may be in the form of Form OTW1 (or in a form substantially to like effect).
- Holidays received/paid and recorded
- Payment for Bank Holidays
- Records of any employees under the age of 18 years
- Records for those employees needing work permits
- Any documentation necessary to demonstrate compliance with employment rights legislation
The National Social Partnership Agreement, Towards 2016 provides for greater co-ordination between organisations concerned with employment rights compliance.
The Social Welfare and Pensions Act, 2007, provides for the exchange of relevant employment data between the Revenue Commissioners, the Minister for Social Protection and the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation. If you are found in breach of any of the employment laws you could be reported to the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Social Protection. This connection with other Government Department increases the chances of prosecution.
If breaches of the legislation are discovered during an inspection the employer will be given a limited amount of time to rectify the errors. Depending on the severity of the breach, the inspector may then conduct a second inspection of the business or request certain documents to be forwarded to them as proof of compliance.
As part of our services Aspire HR can conduct a ‘HR Health Check’ of your business at any time. Our consultants will visit your premises for approximately 1-2 days (depending on the size of the business) and conduct a thorough review of your HR practices. We will issue a full report thereafter detailing the current standard of basic legal compliance and outlining any changes that need to be made. We will also make suggestions on best practice HR initiatives to be considered going forward. During this process we will ensure you are WRC ready and all required documentation is compiled.
If you would like further information on WRC audits, please contact Aspire HR on +353 (0) 86 8782557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on the range of our HR Services see www.aspirehr.ie/our-services
Please note: ©Aspire HR. This document is intended to be a general guide only. You should seek professional advice if you are reviewing your legal compliance.