HR in 90 Seconds - February 2020

Posted in : Supplementary Articles NI on 19 February 2020
Lynsey Rainey
Issues covered:

Finally, we have welcomed February after what felt like 99 days of January…there were lots of good things in January 2020 for us to look at!

  • Employment Law Revision Day with Mark McAllister - we take a look at the top takeaways.
  • Are you supporting Carers within your organisation?
  • Flexible working by default – could this be the way forward for employers? (Podcast)

Employment Law Revision Day – Top Takeaways

The first Legal Island webinar of 2020 was the all-important employment law revision day, if you missed the amazing annual review in 2019 this was your ideal opportunity to hear from Mark McAllister on what were the key employment law cases from 2019.

Mark finished the webinar with what should we look out for in 2020…

  1. The Uber decision with regard to the workers in regard to their status.
  2. The Mencap sleep-in and the national minimum wage case.
  3. The Morrisons case, the vicarious liability, the data breach case.
  4. The case called Dewhurst against Revisecatch, which infers that TUPE will apply not simply to employees but also to workers.

These are cases that are sitting within the wings, and they have been gestating for a long time, and maybe 2020 is the year that we'll get a superior enough court decision on.

Do you know how many Carers you have as employees in your organisation?

There is a growing and urgent need to support carers in the workplace, supporting employees who are working and acting as an unpaid carer. It is important to define a Carer and remember that you may need to identify a Carer who does not count themselves as a Carer.

As an employer have you considered how you can best support Carers in the workplace, following some research here are some ideas:

  1. Introduce a Carers Policy -this can encourage employees to inform employers about their caring responsibilities.
  2. Train line managers to support carers through an understanding attitude, line managers are key to making carer-friendly policies work.
  3. Provide Flexible Working options -this helps employees balance their work and caring commitments.
  4. Use FW options to support short-notice leave to Carers
  5. Educate employees in your organisation to support colleagues and peers in times when they may need to provide care to a dependent e.g. Create a carer's guide 

Flexible working by default – can it work?

Employers could be forced to make old jobs flexible by default rather than putting the onus on employees to request flexibility due to a bill making its way through parliament. In a recent Podcast Mairead and Hugh discuss the reality behind this Bill and can it really work?

In addition, Leeanne Armstrong, Legal Director in the Employment Team at TLT NI has provided us with a three-part series of guidance in Family-Friendly Policies which can be accessed here.

What's coming up with Legal Island?

HR Network Meeting (25th February 2020)

The next meeting of the HR Network Group, in association with Arthur Cox Solicitors, is on the 25th February where we will be discussing the use of Fixed Term contracts.  If you would like to be added to the HR Network mailing list then please email Rolanda Markey at  The meetings are a great opportunity to meet like-minded colleagues to discuss your burning issues, as well as an opportunity to hear from an expert on our selected topic and get answers to your employment law questions from the Employment team at Arthur Cox.  The meetings are held quarterly from 09.30 to 11.30 and places are limited. 

Webinar - Employment Law at 11

Friday 6th March 2020 (11:00am - 11:45am)

We’ve held webinars every month since and have answered many dozens of employment-related questions from listeners. Subscribers can access the full webinar recording and transcription, plus Seamus' answers to individual questions on the Northern Ireland Employment Law Hub.

Remember – send questions in live during the webinars or drop a line in advance to  Anonymity assured.

Register here:


This article is correct at 19/02/2020

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Lynsey Rainey

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