The Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions (Covid-19) Act 2020 which has now been signed into law makes, temporary amendments to the Companies Act 2014 for an interim period up until the 31st December 2020 in response to the challenges Companies may experience as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This interim period can be extended further under the provisions of the Act should the Government decide this is warranted.
The key measures provided for by the Act are as follows;
The Act has provided clarity on how companies can deal with specific issues arising as a result of the Covid-19 situation.
Should you require further assistance in this regard please contact Mary Flanagan or Louise Edwards on 016779000 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
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The Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Irish companies and Industrial and Provident Societies, collectively termed ‘relevant entities’ is now open effective of 29th July 2019 under SI 110 of 2019 and will be open for submissions from that date.
Relevant entities in existence prior to that date will have up until 22th November 2019 by which to file information relating to beneficial owners. Newly incorporated entities will have a period of five months post incorporation in which to file details relating to beneficial owners.
Any subsequent changes in beneficial ownerships must be notified to the Registrar within 14 days of occurring.
Non-compliance with the regulations will be a criminal offence.
A relevant entity may engage a presenter to lodge the information on its behalf.
INFORMATION TO BE DISCLOSED
Information to be disclosed on the Central Register will be as follows:-
Unrestricted access to the Central Register will be available to certain members of An Gardai, Financial Investigation Unit Ireland (FIU), Revenue Commissioners, Criminal Assets Bureau, Competent Authorities engaged in prevention, detection or investigation of possible money laundering or terrorist financing of terrorism or an inspector appointed under Section 764 of the Companies Act 2014.
Restricted access to the Central Register will be available to designated persons who form a business relationship with a relevant entity or is taking customer due diligence measures in relation to a relevant entity. Restricted access will also be available to a member of the public. Information available to those with restricted access will include the name, month and year of birth, the country of residence and nationality of the beneficial owner together with a statement of the nature and extent of the interest held of the nature and extend of control exercised by each beneficial owner.
Access to information in relation to beneficial owners who are ‘minors’ will be permitted at the discretion of the Registrar.
Information held will be destroyed 10 years after a company has been dissolved.
A number of offences are provided for within the Regulations. Non-compliance with the requirements can result in fines ranging from €5,000 on summary conviction up to €500,000 on indictment.
Should you require any further information in relation to this matter please do not hesitate to contact us for further details.
The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 became effective on 4th March 2019.
The Act introduces regulations in relation to precarious work arrangements, zero hours contracts and uncertain working conditions. The key changes introduced are outlined as follows:-
Core Terms Of Employment
The employer must now give a written statement of 5 core terms within 5 days of commencing employment. The core terms in this regard are:
Failure to provide this statement may potentially lead to the criminal prosecution of the employer.
Banded Hours Provisions
Employees have a statutory entitlement to a banded hours contract where their contractual working hours over the previous 12 months do not reflect their actual working hours. If the employee requests such a contract, he/she must be given the banded hours contract unless:-
(i) the employee’s claim is not supported by evidence
(ii) there have been significant adverse changes to the employer’s business in the previous 12 months (iii) the hours worked in the previous 12 months were brought about by a temporary situation which no longer exists.
Exemption For Collective Agreements
There is an exemption from this section for employers who have entered into a banded hour arrangement through an agreement by collective bargaining with their employees. This is to recognise that in some sectors, in the retail sector particularly, banded hours arrangements have been agreed between the employer and employees and often work well. The new provisions will not interfere with these arrangements or with any such agreements that are collectively bargained in the future. An employer is not obliged to offer hours of work in a week where the employee was not expected to work or when the business is not open. Current employees will not have to wait 12 months after commencement of this provision to seek to be placed on a band of hours. From 4 March 2019, an employee who believes their contract does not reflect the hours they have consistently worked over the previous 12 months of service with their employer may request to be placed by that employer in a band of hours that better reflects the hours they have worked regularly.
Prohibition of Zero Hours Contracts
A ‘zero hour’ work practice occurs when an employer requires an employee as a matter of contract to be available for a certain number of hours per week and/or on an “as and when required basis”, without the guarantee of work. There is a new provision under the Act to prohibit zero hours contracts except in very limited circumstances, such as where there is a genuine casual employment requirement or the need to provide cover in emergency situations.
If an employer fails to require an employee to work 25% of their contracted hours, the employee is entitled to a minimum payment (equivalent to 25% of the contract hours or 15 hours, whichever is lesser, and calculated at 3 times the national minimum wage). This entitlement does not apply to employees who are required to make themselves available on an “on-call” basis such as genuine emergency workers.
The Act introduces much stronger anti-penalisation provisions in order to protect employees looking to exercise these new rights. For further information on this topic please refer to www.welfare.ie/en/pages/Employment_(Miscellaneous_Provisions)_Act_2018.aspx
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