Buying goods online

Question

I have ordered a few presents online. Can I return them if I change my mind when I get them?

Answer

If you bought your goods from a business based in the EU, they are covered by the EU Directive on Consumer Rights. Under this Directive, you are entitled to a cooling-off period of 14 days. During the cooling-off period, you can cancel distance contracts such as online purchases without giving a reason and without incurring charges or penalties, other than possible charges for returning the goods. The 14-day cooling-off period begins on the day that you receive the goods.

The distance seller must repay you for the goods including delivery costs within 14 days of cancellation,. If you chose a more expensive type of delivery than the seller’s cheapest standard delivery, you are only entitled to be refunded the cost of the cheaper delivery type. The seller can withhold the repayment until the goods are returned or until you supply evidence that you have sent the goods back.

You must send the goods back within 14 days of informing the seller of the cancellation. You may have to pay for the cost of returning them. The seller must have informed you of these costs before you completed the purchase.

The seller should also have given you confirmation of the contract, as well as information on aftersales and guarantees, how to cancel the contract and a postal address for complaints. If the seller did not provide you with information on your right to cancel, the cooling-off period can be extended by 12 months.

Some purchases are not covered by the cooling-off period. These include customised or perishable goods and bookings for transport or accommodation.

If you bought your goods from a business based outside the EU, they are not covered under the EU Directive. For these goods, you should check the terms and conditions on the website of the business you bought them from.

Pay for public holidays

Question

I work part-time from Wednesday to Friday. This year Christmas fell on a Tuesday. Should I get paid for Christmas Day, even though I didn’t work that day?  What about New Year’s Day which fell on the following Tuesday?

Answer

Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day are public holidays. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are not. All workers are entitled to paid time off or pay for a public holiday. (Your employer can decide whether to give you time off or pay.) Part-time workers must have worked for the employer for at least 40 hours in the previous five-week period to have a public holiday entitlement.

If you work part-time and the public holiday falls on a day that you usually work you are entitled to a day’s pay or a paid day off for the public holiday. Part-time workers who are not rostered to work on a public holiday are also entitled to pay or to paid time off for the public holiday. This is one-fifth of their normal pay for the week as compensation for the holiday.

In your case, you should get one-fifth of your normal weekly pay for each of the two public holidays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. So you should get the additional pay or the equivalent amount of time off. Your employer can decide which option to give you.

If you have to work on a public holiday you are entitled to be paid at your usual rate and you are also entitled to either an additional day’s pay or a paid day off. You can get detailed information on employment rights from the workplacerelations.ie website.