Workplace Relations Commission audit preparation

In recent years the WRC has made an active push to achieve a national culture of employment rights compliance, but what does this mean for you and your business?

As part of this effort the WRC has increased their inspections of organisations by 20% since 2017.
It can be frightening to receive notification of a workplace inspection whether that be an unannounced visit or a pre-planned visit. Both can be just as nerve wracking.

At Peopletime we can assist with your preparation for a WRC audit both announced and unannounced and fill gaps you may have to make you compliant. We understand that all businesses are different and these different ways of operating are taken into consideration when preparing you for an audit, making sure your company needs are met.

To begin this preparation process please download this simple checklist to give a general guide of the sort of documentation an inspector may look for.

Checklist Download

Please note this list is not exhaustive or a full and complete source of all documentation you may require for an inspection.
Further Information about the Rise in WRC Compliance Audits

Why do we have Workplace Inspections?

In 2015 The Work Place Regulations Act was enacted, moving NERA (National Employment Rights Authority), under the Workplace Relations Commission. The goal of NERA and so now the WRC is to achieve a national culture of employment rights compliance.

To help achieve this goal the WRC monitor a range of employment rights across the country, through routine planned and unplanned workplace inspections.

Workplace inspections happen regularly nationwide as NERA continue to work closely with other government bodies such as the Revenue Commissioners, Department of Employment and Social Protection and the Health and Safety Authority. The WRC continues to work closely with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and the Garda National Protection Services unit to report potential immigration and human trafficking issues encountered during inspections. The WRC also took part in joint enforcement operations in car washes and nail bars.

What exactly does a workplace inspection consist of?

During a workplace inspection an inspector will check for breaches as well as ongoing compliance. It’s important to be aware of what an inspector has the authority to do when they visit your premises:

  • Enter your premises during business hours.
  • Seek sight of, inspect and take copies of employment records.
  • Interview employees they deem relevant to their inspection.
  • Issue compliance notices or fixed payment notices.

Who is being inspected?

According to the 2018 WRC Report, the WRC Inspections have increased by 20% from 2017. There were 5,753 inspections concluded (of which 60% were unannounced) which covered 133,462 employees nationwide resulting in 98 prosecutions. Interestingly the announced visits resulted in a higher number of breaches at 58% in comparison to the unannounced visits at 36%. Just under 45% of all employers inspected were found to be in breach of employment legislation to some degree. Sectors with breach rates higher than 60% included Electrical, Fisheries, Food and Drink, Hair and Beauty, Transport, Wholesale and Retail with the highest being the Equine sector at 84%. Most importantly the highest volume of breaches related to failing to keep adequate employment records.

A total of 120 compliance notices were issues with most relating to annual leave, public holiday entitlement and payment for Sunday work.

Don’t be caught out, email us now to organise a no obligation chat about your compliance needs.


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