NI Employment Law In Brief: July 2023

Posted in : Supplementary Articles NI on 10 August 2023
Legal Island
Legal Island
Issues covered: Social Media, Family Friendly Rights, Childcare, Equality

July was a month of rain, rain and more rain! At least we had Barbenheimer, Wimbledon and the Women’s World Cup to entertain us as well as plenty of employment-related mishaps and triumphs. We’ve highlighted below the key themes, to help you keep up to date with all the developments.

Cost of Living

As prices go up, the only thing coming down has been the rain!  Speaking of rainy days, Catherine Rees from Morrinson Wealth Wellbeing outlined How to Weather the Cost of Living Storm with advice on how to support employees during financial uncertainty.


Whether or not you have a rainy day fund, one of the biggest headaches for working parents is access to childcare and paying for it!  Seamus McGranaghan from the employment team at O'Reilly Stewart solicitors considered how employers can support working parents, the differences between government support for childcare in England and NI and other summertime dilemmas, which you can watch here. Emma and Patricia from Tughan’s provided guidance for employers who have pregnant employees and are concerned duties/hours may be unsuitable in this month’s How do I handle it?

NI Falling Behind…

We’ve seen the introduction of childcare support in England and this month, the Flexible Working Bill in GB received Royal Assent granting a day one right to request flexible working. A senior lawyer has warned that Northern Ireland’s Employment Laws are being left behind...

Social Media

Hopefully, you’ve been sharing pics of summertime bliss – holidays, walks on the beach, enjoying an ice cream (or two!).  Social media is a dangerous area in employment law and much like Jaws, when people don’t consider what they post – it can come back to bite!  Such was the case in Shiels v Southern Health and Social Care Trust [2023] where a video was liked and shared by an employee, but the content caused complaints and led to an investigation which ultimately led to the Claimant’s dismissal.

In Higgs v Farmor’s School [2023] an employee made posts on Facebook relating to relationships education and complaints were made.  The balancing of rights is a troublesome area for both employers and the courts and will continue to pose issues in the future.

Employee Recognition and Reward

One in three American workers report that they haven’t received any praise from their supervisors in the last seven days, and before we can feel smug, it was revealed in the UK, that even more employees feel their bosses could do more to appreciate them.  Tescos has been considering the wider picture in terms of benefits and extended its benefits package for its 310,000 UK workers to provide them and their families with access to unlimited appointments with a general practitioner (GP), seven days a week. Every little helps! We also had some tips on how SMEs could Enhance Wellbeing: Strategies for Small Businesses

So, what do you do if you don’t have a huge budget to give massive pay rises or all-expense paid trips?  The key as explained in Recognizing the Importance of Recognition in the Workplace is providing tailored and timely praise rather than the one size fits all approach. Of course, knowing how to Maximizing Remuneration for Competitive Advantage in Your Business is beneficial as well.


This month saw McDonald's Workers Speak Out Over Sexual Abuse Claims while the fast-food giant acknowledged that employees deserved a work environment free from sexual assault, harassment, racism, bullying. MPs launched an inquiry into sexism in the financial sector and we discovered that  Ken would earn over £4 Million a year more than Barbie if he had the same impressive CV as her.

And that's it for July! We are galloping through the summer holidays.  If you have a topic or subject that keeps coming across your desk and you would love to hear from us about, don't hesitate to get in touch at

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Social Media in the Workplace | eLearning Course

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This article is correct at 10/08/2023

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.

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