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Security Industry

Updated 20 September 2023

A new Employment Regulation Order (ERO), which amends the 2017 ERO for the Security Industry, came into effect on 4th September 2023. This sets the statutory minimum rates of pay and other conditions for persons employed in the security industry sector.

Who is covered by the ERO

This Order applies to workers employed as security operatives employed by a security firm.

For full details of who is covered, please see page 11 of the Order – a link is included at the bottom of this page.


(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this section a worker to whom this Order applies shall be remunerated by his or her employer at the rates set out below:

€12.90 per hour— From 4th September 2023

Where composite rates of pay higher than the rates of pay provided for in this section are paid to workers, it shall be necessary for the employer to provide to the employee and to keep on file, a statement detailing a breakdown of what elements of pay are included in an employee’s composite rate of pay to show that the above rates of remuneration, as defined in this section, are being complied with. Statements must be provided by employers to existing employees within 3 months of the enactment of the Security Employment Regulation Order or within 3 months of employment start date for new employees who join after the commencement of the Security Employment Regulation Order.

(2) An unsocial hours premium of €8.40 per shift will be paid for hours worked between 21:00 hours and 07:00 hours, provided the worker works at least 3 hours in that period.

(3) (a) A worker who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be remunerated at an hourly rate of pay that is not less than 70 per cent of the rate specified in paragraph (1);

(b) A worker who enters into employment for the first time after attaining the age of 18 years or, having entered into employment before attaining the age of 18 years and continues in employment on attaining that age, shall be remunerated at an hourly rate that is not less than: 

(I) In the case of a worker commencing employment for the first time   after attaining the age of 18 years:

(i) in his or her first year after having commenced employment,   80 per cent of the rate specified in paragraph (1);

(ii) in his or her second year after commencing employment, 90 per cent of the rate specified in paragraph (1).

(II) In the case of a worker having entered into employment before attaining the age of 18 years and continuing in employment on attaining that age:

(i) in his or her first year after having attained the age of 18 years,      80 per cent of the rate specified in paragraph (1); and

(ii) in his or her second year after having attained that age, 90 per cent of the rate specified in paragraph (1).

(c) Where a worker who has attained the age of 18 years undergoes a course of study or training authorised by the employer within the workplace or elsewhere during normal working hours, such courses or training to be prescribed in regulations made by the Minister pursuant to section 3 of the Act of 2000 for the purposes of section 16 of that Act, the worker shall be remunerated by his or her employer in respect of his or her working hours at a rate of pay that is not less than the following:

(i) in respect of the first one-third period (but not exceeding 12 months) of the total study or training period, 75 per cent of the rate specified in paragraph (1);

(ii) in respect of the second one-third period (but not exceeding 12 months) of the total study or training period, 80 per cent of the rate specified in paragraph (1);

(iii) in respect of the third one-third period (but not exceeding 12 months) of the total study or training period, 90 per cent of the rate specified in paragraph (1).

The conditions specified at section 16 of the Act of 2000 shall apply, with necessary modifications, to the application of this subparagraph.

Overtime rates shall apply as follows: 

(a) all hours worked in excess of an average 48 hours per week in the roster cycle will be paid at a rate of time and a half;

(b) a rostered cycle shall be a predetermined working pattern, which can be up to a maximum of six weeks, which has been issued to the worker in writing prior to the commencement of the roster cycle.

Conditions of Employment

Annual Leave

Annual leave entitlement shall be in accordance with the terms of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. Regular rostered overtime is to be included for the purposes of holiday pay. Both regular rostered overtime and holiday pay will be calculated by reference to the average hours worked (including paid breaks) over the previous 13 weeks, prior to the taking of annual leave. 

Public Holidays

Public Holiday entitlement shall be in accordance with the terms of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.

Working Hours, Rest Periods & Breaks

The workers to whom this Order refers will, pursuant to section 4 (6) of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, be exempt by agreement from the provisions of sections 11, 12 and 13 of that Act.

Each employer to whom this Order applies shall ensure that each worker shall have a rest period and break which can be regarded as equivalent to those provided for in Sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.

Hours of Work/Rosters

Completed rosters setting out all hours of work for a minimum period of one week will be made available to workers in writing. Other than in exceptional circumstances completed rosters will be issued and made available to the worker a minimum of 3 days in advance of commencement. Rosters are subject to flexibility relating to operational and business needs.

Minimum Shift/Duty Hours

When a security guard is scheduled or called in to carry out a shift or duty comprising of less than four hours, this will attract a minimum of four hours’ pay. Scheduled hours may constitute less than four hours where an employee is employed to work on a part time contract or both employer and employee agree in writing to change to a part time contract, expressly for the purposes of working a shorter shift.


Security firms will provide, or make arrangements with clients to provide, appropriate facilities and protection to ensure the safety, health and welfare of their workers at their place of employment. Such facilities/protection shall include: protective clothing, shelter, toilet, heat, light and access to canteens or means to heat/cook food, communication equipment and first aid. The employer shall also ensure adequate monitoring procedures to ensure the safety and security of workers. A copy of the Health and Safety Risk Assessment will be available at each site.

Death in Service Benefit

A non-contributory Death in Service benefit payment, equal to one year’s basic pay, is payable to a deceased employee’s estate upon completion of the qualifying period of 6 months’ continuous service (including transfer of undertakings) with their employer, and only applies up to the age that State Pension becomes payable to the worker.

The death in service benefit shall apply whether the worker was on duty or not at the time of death.

Personal Attack Benefit

A non-contributory Personal Attack Benefit will apply, after 6 months’ service with the employer, to all workers covered by this Employment Regulation Order, who are attacked or injured in the course of their duty.

The amount payable will be as follows:

  • After 6 months’ service 10 weeks’ basic pay, less Social Welfare
  • After 18 months’ service 15 weeks’ basic pay, less Social Welfare
  • After 30 months’ service 20 weeks’ basic pay, less Social Welfare
  • After 42 months’ service 26 weeks’ basic pay, less Social Welfare

Payment is conditional on the following:

  • The incident must be reported to the company within 4 hours where reasonably practicable to do so.
  • Medical certificates stating the reason for absence must be submitted by the employee to the company to cover all absence from work.
  • Employees must attend the company doctor for assessment when requested whilst absent due to injury.

An employer shall ensure that appropriate physical and psychological support is available, on request, to any worker who has been subjected to violence as a result of carrying out his/her duties.  (Ref: Private Security Authority Standards 28 of 2013 Section 4.6.7)

Certificate of Service

Each worker shall be entitled to receive from his/her employer a certificate of service showing the period of their employment and the length of his/her service.

Sick Pay Scheme

a) The Sick Pay Scheme will be non-contributory.
b) No payment will be made for the first 3 days of any absence.
c) The employer must be contacted at least 1 hour before the rostered commencement time on the first day of absence.
d) Benefit will only be payable where a medical certificate, signed by a medical practitioner and specifying the nature of the illness, is submitted on the fourth day of absence. Medical certificates must be submitted on a weekly basis thereafter.
e) The Sick Pay Scheme will apply on a calendar year basis, either from 1st January to 31st December or in line with the holiday year as it applies in each employer.
f) The Scheme will apply to full-time workers based on a 39-hour week, and part-time workers on a pro rata basis.
g) Any worker found to be abusing the Sick Pay Scheme will be subject to disciplinary procedures up to and including dismissal.
h) The employer will reserve the right to refer a worker for an assessment by the employer doctor. The cost of the referral will be met by the employer.
i) The Sick Pay Scheme will not cover absences arising from or relating to the following:

  1. Traffic accidents (excluding those incurred during the course of employment)
  2. Substance abuse
  3. Sports injuries
  4. Injuries sustained while working for another employer.
Sick Pay Scheme Benefits

Workers will be entitled to the following benefit:

  • After 18 months’ service — 3 weeks’ benefit
  • After 30 months’ service — 4 weeks’ benefit
  • After 42 months’ service — 5 weeks’ benefit

Benefit will be €120 per rostered week, or pro rata. Workers will retain the Social Welfare payment and it is their responsibility to apply for and collect this payment. There will be no transfer of benefit from one year to the next.


Where training is provided for and paid by the employer and the worker leaves the employer:-

  • within 3 months of the training being completed, the employer may deduct 75% of the cost for the training provided within that period.
  • -after 3 months and up to 6 months of training being completed, the employer can may deduct 50% of the cost for the training provided within that period.
  • -Training cost deductions outlined in this clause does not apply to employees with more than 24 months continuous service with the employer.

Subject to normal wear and tear, the cost of all uniform items supplied and provided to workers during their employment will be borne by the employer subject to the following:

  • if a worker leaves the organisation within 6 months of the issuance of uniform item(s) to him/her, the employer may deduct 100% of the actual verified cost of the uniform item(s);
  • if a worker leaves an organisation and the uniform items are not returned to the organisation, the cost of the uniform items may be deducted from any payment due to the worker.
Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures

Grievance and Disciplinary hearings will be carried out in accordance with the procedures set out in the Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary procedures (S. I. No. 146 of 2000).

Minimum Hours of Employment

Workers who enter the industry will be offered a contract of employment with a minimum of 24 hours per week after 6 months’ service.

If it is required for operational purposes that the contract hours available are less than 24 hours per week, and it is demonstrably so, then this clause will not apply and new workers may be employed for hours that are less than provided for in the ERO.

While the ERO will cover all workers including existing workers, it will not impact any current arrangements agreed by the employer/worker whereby the hours are less than those provided for in the ERO.

Payment of Wages
  • The payment of wages is a legal entitlement and is governed by the Payment of Wages Act, 1991
  • Wage shortages/errors should only occur as an exception.

Each employer shall have an operational procedure in place for dealing with wage shortages and overpayments to workers. The key objective shall be to resolve the issue at the earliest opportunity. The procedure shall be communicated to all workers, and to the relevant Trade Union, where such applies.

Disclosure of Information

Employers will provide information regarding the date of termination of any contract which has been signed and if the date of such termination changes, the worker will be advised of any such change. The workers’ key representative (nominated by the Trade Union) shall also be advised where such applies. Employers will give the information where reasonably practicable and not later than 30 days before the transfer of contract is carried out and in any event in good time before the transfer is carried out.

In the event of a transfer of undertakings, the outgoing contractor will also provide to all workers a written statement up to 2 weeks prior to the contract transfer date or at the earliest opportunity in a case where 30 days’ notice has not been provided by the client.

That statement to include:

Personal Details

Worker Name

Worker Address

PPS Number

Date of commencement (including continuous service date)

Employer Details

(outgoing contractor)

Name of employer

Address of employer

Pay & Benefits

Hourly Rate of Pay

Payroll frequency

Details of premiums to include night allowance, site

premium, Sunday premium, public holiday entitlement as


Overtime arrangements — hours after which overtime

applies, rate of pay for overtime

Pension — Detail PRSA scheme or occupational scheme (if


Sick Pay — As per ERO or occupational scheme (if


Working hours

Total weekly hours

Roster cycle

Starting/finishing times/variable, as appropriate

Breaks (times & payment)

Annual Leave Entitlement

As applicable

Any other site-specific/Worker entitlements

Detail (where applicable)


Trade Union

Name of Trade Union (where applicable)

Annual Leave Balance in the case of a transfer:

Holiday balance will be notified in writing by the outgoing contractor to both the incoming employer and the worker within two weeks of the final payroll, at the latest.

Bereavement Procedure

All employers are required to have a bereavement policy or procedure in place which provides for paid bereavement leave to include a minimum of one day’s pay in respect of the death of an immediate family member (parent, child, sibling, spouse, grandparent, grandchild).


As a means of improving/modernising communications, correspondence to any worker, including rosters, payslips, and documents referred to in this ERO and other communications from the employer, will be provided by the employer by email or employer portal, if the worker in question has the facility to access email communication/internet, in which case the worker will provide email address on request by the employer. In exceptional circumstances whereby either worker or employer does not have the facility to access email communication/internet/employer portal, written/hard copy communication methods will apply.

Representation Rights

Each employment contract will include the name of the recognised Trade Union with representation/organisation rights in the employment, where appropriate.

Existing Agreements

This Employment Regulation Order does not affect in any way already existing agreements (whose terms are equal or better than the minimum of this order).


Nothing in this Employment Regulation Order shall be taken to exclude, limit or be in any way inconsistent with the rights of any worker under any statutory enactment.

Scope of the Order

This note is an extract from the SCHEDULE to the Establishment Order and is not part of the Instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation

Workers' to whom this schedule applies

security operatives.

Meaning of ‘security firm’

“Security firm” means an employer who holds a Security Guard contractor license, as issued by the Private Security Authority.

Meaning of ‘security operative’

‘security operative’ means a person employed by a security firm to -
i. provide a security service for contract clients of that firm, and
ii. perform one or more of the primary functions set out below. 

Meaning of 'security service'

A service of a security or surveillance nature, the purpose of which is to protect persons and property.

Primary functions of security operatives:

  • The prevention or detection of theft, loss, embezzlement, misappropriation or concealment of merchandise, money, bonds, stocks, notes or other valuables.
  • The prevention or detection of intrusion, unauthorised entry or activity, vandalism or trespass on private property either by physical, electronic or mechanical means.
  • The enforcement of rules, regulations and policies related to crime reduction.
  • The protection of individuals from bodily harm.


  • Workers affected by an Employment Agreement, that is "an agreement relating to the remuneration or the conditions of employment of workers of any class, type or group made between a trade union of workers and an employer or trade union of employers or made at a meeting of a registered joint industrial council between members of the council representative of workers and members of the council representative of employers.
  • Workers to whom an Employment Regulation Order made as a result of proposals received from another Joint Labour Committee applies.
  • Managers, assistant managers and trainee managers.

These pages are a summary of the details contained in S.I. No. 424 of 2023 Employment Regulation Order (Security Industry Joint Labour Committee) 2023 and is not a legal interpretation.