Annual Review of Employment Law 2020

Annual Review of Employment Law 2020

This year's Annual Review of Employment Law conference take place online over TWO DAYS on Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 November 2020.

Legal Island was formed 22 years ago to help HR and employment law practitioners stay informed with new employment law changes affecting the workplace. 2020 has proved no different to any other year, with several important developments in HR and employment law, but the Covid-19 impact and subsequent lockdown has super-sized employment issues for employers this year.

Sessions include:

  • Review of the Year (Part 1 – 2020 Vision & Part 2 – Looking Forward to 2021)
  • Employer Liability for Covid-19 Infections and Other Workplace Issues
  • Homeworking and Remote Working – Employment Law and HR Considerations
  • The Northern Ireland Case Review 2020 and Key Next Steps
  • Remote Workplace Investigations and Disciplinary Hearings and Covert Recordings

Plus Adam Brett, Partner, Jones Cassidy Brett, and Legal Island have investigated over 250 published reasonable adjustment decisions and we will set out our practical guide to reasonable adjustments – what’s reasonable, in which circumstances, and what’s not – based on judicial application of the law. Every delegate will receive a copy of our guide, which sets out trends, themes, practical solutions, training exercises, information on assistance for disabled employees, and much more.

And don’t forget a little thing that will happen in 2021:

Brexit - Which Employment Laws Will Still Apply in NI? The short answer to that question is most EU-derived employment laws and pretty much anything else we decide for ourselves. But that's a glib and simple answer that hides myriad complexities. The revised protocol on NI and Ireland within the EU Withdrawal Agreement safeguards specific rights, particularly in respect of the Race Equality Directive, the General Equality Framework Directive and the Employment Equality Directive. When coupled with the non-regression principle, it looks like all EU-derived laws, including those on working time, will continue to apply directly in NI for the foreseeable future. We set out the applicable laws and how they should be applied in NI, post-Brexit. Oh, and changes to IR35 self-employed rules WILL come into force in April 2021 – not an insignificant change in itself. And new immigration and visa rules will also create major headaches for many employers.

This year, our Annual Review of Employment Law will be online and will last TWO days to cover all the challenges employers have faced in 2020.

  • No more missing out on any sessions – you can watch all of the sessions at your leisure after the event.
  • No more travel problems, carparking issues or last-minute rush
  • No more overnight stays for those not based near Belfast

But you still have everything you would expect from a Legal Island Annual Review of Employment Law:

  • The very best expert speakers and detailed Q&A sessions
  • Detailed notes and practical template, precedent and checklist documents
  • A mixture of up-to-the-minute legal updates and best practice sessions
  • Terrific networking opportunities – our online networking ‘roulette’ allows you to meet other delegates randomly or you can contact them, or speakers or exhibitors directly for one-to-one discussions
  • Relevant exhibitors and loads of prizes

Let us save you and your organisation time, money and stress by providing you with detailed updates on the Northern Ireland, GB and European employment law developments you need to know. Legal Island’s Annual Review of Employment Law – the original, biggest and best in Northern Ireland.

How we can help you
Our experts give you the latest information, practical tips and effective solutions to make your life easier and prepare your organisation for the year ahead.

After attending you will be able to:

  • Minimise your organisation’s risk of litigation.
  • Understand how the relevant new cases from Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Europe impact on your workplace.
  • Prepare for the year ahead.
  • Update your policies with the useful templates and precedent wording for key areas in your organisation – sent to you by email after the event.
  • Refer to all important legislative and case law changes which are relevant to your workplace, with an extensive folder of notes.
  • Catch up on any sessions you missed live and watch back any you want to review

Up to 13 hours of CPD hours are available from this event – this would include all missed recordings being watched afterwards and Q&As.  Please note, this is the maximum available and your hours will depend on your activity during and after the event.

When & Where?
We'll be hosting this event on our new online platform on Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 November 2020.

The only thing you won’t get this year is fed and watered – but we’ll even help you with our guide to online conference nutrition to help you stay focused during our two-day event. And we’ve reduced the price because of that. Twice as much content, all of it recorded for your convenience, and at a lower price.


Early Bird Rate: £395 + VAT (deadline 5pm on Friday 18 September 2020)
Standard rate: £455 + VAT
Early Bird small company/charity rate: £315 + VAT (deadline 5pm on Friday 18 September 2020)
Small company/charity rate: £365 + VAT

Save an additional £20 when you book and pay online. 

If you wish to be sure of your place(s) this year you can register online using the 'Book your place on this event now' button at the top of the page or by emailing

Have you got a question? We've compiled some of our most frequently asked questions into a guide to help put your mind at ease when registering for this year's event including information on Hopin. You can view it here.

More about our new online platform Hopin...
Our new online platform, Hopin, allows for us to provide all the things you expect from a Legal Island event - exceptional and expert speakers, comprehensive notes, template documents, lots of session options, exhibitors and Q&A. Hopin is a virtual venue with multiple interactive areas that are optimized for connecting and engaging those who attend. Participants can move in and out of rooms, network and visit exhibitor stalls just like an in-person event and enjoy the content and connections we've created for you.

Sponsored by:

NI AREL Sponsor


Skip to Day 1 Programme or Day 2 Programme

Day 1




Get to Know Us: Familiarise yourself with the functions of our online event platform to ensure you maximise return on your investment. Scott Alexander, Head of Learning & Development, Legal Island.


Introduction and Welcome: David Johnston, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Equality, PSNI, and Seònaid Ó Murchadha, Disability Employment Specialist 


Review of the Year Part 1 – Looking Back

Mark McAllister, Director of Employment Relations Services, LRA, sets out the key employment law changes affecting NI employers that have arisen since our 2019 Reviews. You’d be forgiven for thinking 2020 was just about Covid-19 in relation to employment but you would be very wrong. Mark discusses the many other changes, including

  • Massive changes to NMW rules,
  • TUPE developments,
  • Maternity and Parental Bereavement Rights,
  • The introduction of Abortion rights with concomitant right of conscientious objection for relevant employees,
  • Early learnings from early conciliation; and, of course,
  • Lessons from the Job Retention Scheme and carry-over of leave

And relevant case decisions continue to fill the legislative policy vacuum in NI, with persuasive EAT decisions examining issues such as the Morrison’s vicarious liability case and the development of “philosophical belief” cases.

NOTE: The contents of this session may change to reflect the most important and latest developments at November 2020. In part 2 of Mark’s review, he will look forward to employment-related changes he expects to see in 2021.


Q&A with Mark McAllister – Mark answers queries from the audience


Networking & Refreshment Break


Employment Status and Employment Rights – A Perfect Storm. We expect the decision in the Uber v Aslam case to be issued by the UK Supreme Court by the time of our Annual Review conference. That will likely transform the employment landscape but, in the meantime, we have seen occupations as disparate as hairdressers and tribunal judges being found to have ‘worker’ status, rather than being office holders or self-employed. Coupled with the introduction next year of changes to IR35 rules, millions of people could see their employment status radically change in the next few months. That changing status will bring with it new employment rights for individuals and, in many cases, massively increased costs for employers. Seamus McGranaghan, Director, O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors explains the recent developments and what employers should do now to prepare for a potential tsunami of new workers on their books.
















Exiting Employees – How to Compile the Best Exit Interview Questions, Create the Most Valuable Exit Interviews and Maintain Return on Investment in Employees. All organisations need some employee turnover to stay healthy and many of us have had more employee turnover than we had hoped for this year. It’s much better that employees leave for good reasons e.g. retirement, to advance a career, for lifestyle choices. Exit interviews – if you ask the right questions and create the right conditions to encourage openness and honesty – can give you valuable information, even if the reason for leaving is, unfortunately, redundancy. Are certain managers driving employees away? You can help the managers change their style. Are many employees leaving for better pay and conditions? You can at least consider your employee value proposition and what needs to improve if you are to stem a hemorrhage of staff. Have your redundancy processes been well handled? But there is more you can do. Helen O'Brien, Senior HR Consultant, BeyondHR considers:

  • Which questions elicit the most valuable information
  • Why you should create an ‘alumni’ network of former employees
  • Why you should hold staying in touch days for former employees
  • Why you should inform former employees of developments and opportunities in your organization
  • How to respond to negative online reviews by former employees
  • The best approach if exit interviews highlight poor behaviour by colleagues or managers


Q&A with Seamus McGranaghan – Seamus answers queries from the audience

Q&A with Helen O'Brien - Helen answers queries from the audience


Networking & Comfort Break


Employer Branding as a Recruitment Tool. Employer brand describes an employer's reputation as a place to work, and their employee value proposition, as opposed to the more general corporate brand reputation and value proposition to customers. Join Claes Peyron, MD, Universum, as he discusses the value of employer branding, and how to use it effectively, with our panel of guests.









Engaging Remote, Home and Hybrid Workers – Maximising Employee Engagement in the New World of Agile and Remote Working Schedules. Many employees, particularly those providing non-physical services, will continue to work from home or a remote location, and at times to suit their domestic circumstances, for the foreseeable future. Engagement and motivation are so important to organisational development and, when done properly, they can be incredibly powerful and effective in promoting the employer brand, recruiting and retaining employees and building sustainable organisational growth. Emer Hinphey, Managing Partner, ThinkPeople, sets out the results of our survey into employer actions that have been used to motivate remote workers since lockdown began in March and discusses the results and options with our panel of experts.


Lunch and Networking


Welcome Back and Summary. Introduction to Afternoon Sessions: David Johnston and Seònaid Ó Murchadha


Overtime, Sleepovers and other Regular Payments. We know that the PSNI/Agnew case on overtime and holiday has been accepted by the Supreme Court for an appeal. By the time our Annual Reviews of Employment Law take place in the autumn, we will have received that Court’s Mencap decision on rates of pay for workers who are required to sleepover in a workplace as part of their duties – the case was heard in February 2020. These cases and others surrounding working time are more than a potentially large expense for most employers - they are an existential threat to some, given the size of the back-pay bill in NI and the pricing policies applied by some service providers. Kiera Lee, Partner, Mills Selig sets out all the relevant working time knowns and unknowns at November 2020 and how to minimise the risks to your organisation.

Mind Your Language: Useful Words for Reducing Conflict. We all have choices when it comes to the words we use but most of us speak without actively considering the impact they might have on others. Some words and phrases can have a 'greenhousing' effect on conflict, allowing open discussions to flourish without rancour, in an atmosphere of positivity. Others cause people to shrivel up or become aggressive. Suppose your boss or a colleague has a great idea that you think is, well, not so great. Michelle Halloran, Principal Consultant, Human Resource Management Services, focuses on language that reduces conflict and defensiveness and will help you get your message across without causing an argument.



Networking & Comfort Break – Send in Your Questions


Reasonable Adjustments – a Detailed Study of Judicial Decisions. 1 in 4 people will experience mental health issues in their lifetime, according to the OECD. Many more of us will become physically disabled, particularly as we age. There have been many decisions issued by tribunals and courts in relation to reasonable workplace adjustments for disabled employees and prospective employees since the Disability Discrimination Act 1998 was introduced across the UK. Adam Brett, Partner, Jones Cassidy Brett, and Legal Island have investigated over 250 published reasonable adjustment decisions and we will set out our practical guide to reasonable adjustments – what’s reasonable, in which circumstances, and what’s not – based on judicial application of the law. Takeaway: Every delegate will receive a copy of our guide, which sets out trends, themes, practical solutions, training exercises, information on assistance for disabled employees, and much more.

Homeworking and Remote Working – Employment Law and HR Considerations. Remote and homeworking are here to stay for many of us, regardless of a return to work. Prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, we might have expected to see legislation conferring a right to “disconnect” for employees arriving before too long. Regardless of anyone’s opinion on flexible working last year, the lockdown has let the homeworking genie out of the bottle and it is not going back in. But homeworking and other remote working brings risks, for employers and employees alike, along with benefits. In this session, Leeanne Armstrong, Legal Director, TLT discusses four key issues of homeworking for employers - Equality; Health and Safety/Wellbeing; Data Protection; and Training – and how to minimise risks from same.




Q&A our speakers answer queries from the audience

Q&A with Michelle Halloran and Leeanne Armstrong – Michelle and Leeanne answer queries from the audience


Minimising Risks from Redundancy Selection. Coronavirus killed many people. The policy of lockdown saved lives but led to a recession, the likes of which none of us have seen in our lifetime. Although some organisations have grown during the crisis, most organisations, if they haven’t closed completely, have had to make a number of staff redundant or have reduced their hours of work. Employment tribunal claims will have increased at a seemingly exponential rate. The summer of 2020 saw record numbers of mass redundancies notified to the government. Any redundancy selection process will have problems, but some are inherently riskier than others. And certain approaches and management styles can increase or reduce the number of challenges to the process. In this session, Gareth Walls, Partner, A&L Goodbody recommends specific actions designed to minimise the risks and costs of redundancy selection processes.

Ethics at Work – An Employer’s Guide: in October 2019, the CIPD issued their ethics’ guide and argued through their new HR Profession Map that the HR profession should be ethical by ‘Building trust by role-modelling ethical behaviour and applying principles and values consistently in decision-making.’ Since then we have seen a sea-change in the economy and the HR profession, thanks to the impact of policies on the Covid-19 pandemic. Where do the ethics of HR now lie and how might ethical behaviour become your employer brand? Paul Gillen, Partner, Pinsent Masons LLP and former Chair, CIPD NI explains.







Q&A with Gareth Walls - Gareth answers queries from the audience

Q&A with Paul Gillen – Paul answers queries from the audience


Summary and Close: David Johnston and Seònaid Ó Murchadha


First Day of Conference Closes


Day 2




Welcome back: To ensure you maximise return on your investment, Scott Alexander, Head of Learning & Development, Legal Island, discusses key lessons from yesterday’s sessions.


Introduction and Welcome: Becky Jones, former Legal Director and Compliance Officer, Coca Cola Hellenic, discuss the options for you to look forward to on the second day of our conference.


Northern Ireland Case Review 2020 and Key Next Steps. NI has a very active tribunal system and our own employment judges that issue detailed and reasoned decisions. Jason Elliott BL, analyses case law and offers practical advice on what you should now do in order to comply with developing case law in NI. Some of the cases in this year’s NI case law review include:

James Robert Peifer v Sullivan Upper School [2019] NICA (Recruitment; Sex Discrimination; Indirect Discrimination; Justification; Proportionality)

Balcetis v Ulsterbus Ltd & Translink [2020] NIIT 2267/16 (Disability Discrimination; Unfair Dismissal)

Wardle v RMS Cash Solutions Ltd [2020] NIIT 10277/19 (Unfair Dismissal; Gross Misconduct; Investigation)

O’Hare v Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service [2020] NIIT 1086/19 (Unfair Dismissal; Reinstatement)

O’Brien & Ors v General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland & Ors [2020] NIIT 4195/17 (Age Discrimination; Objective Justification)

Ekeolu v Murphy t/a Vaders Cleaning Solutions [2020] NIIT 17538/19 (Unlawful Deduction from Wages)

Bell v Department for Communities [2020] 62/18FET & 722/17IT (Unlawful Deduction from Wages; Political Discrimination; Special Leave Policy)

Cullen v Lennon t/a Lukas Blooms [2020] NIIT 7102/19 (Constructive Dismissal; Unfair Dismissal; Time Limits)

Crean v BT Plc [2020] NIIT 612/19 (Unfair Dismissal; Gross Misconduct)

Kearney v Department for Infrastructure [2020] NIIT 16062/18IT (Unfair Dismissal; Gross Misconduct; Age Discrimination)

Robinson v 4G Mobiles & Data Limited t/a Connect Comms [2019] NIIT 7077/19IT (Unfair Dismissal; Modified Dismissal Procedure; Unlawful Deduction from Wages)

McKinley v Brett Martin Ltd [2020] NIIT 6421/19IT (Unfair Dismissal; Disability Discrimination; Reasonable Adjustments)

Walsh v Belfast Metropolitan College [2020] 14129/18IT (Unfair Dismissal; Statutory Procedure; Automatically Unfair)

Lewis v Historic Royal Palaces [2019] NIIT 4374/19 (Unlawful Deduction from Wages; Time Limit 'Not Reasonably Practicable')

Caren v Irish Hockey Company Ltd by Guarantee [2019] NIIT 17410/18 (Territorial Jurisdiction; Employment Status; Unfair Dismissal)

Deman v Queen’s University Belfast [2019] FET 5602/17 (Direct Discrimination; Race Discrimination; Religious Discrimination)

Ansyz v Sizzlers NI Ltd [2019] NIIT 9858/18 (Race Discrimination; Harassment; Statement of Terms and Conditions)

NOTE: The contents of this session may change to reflect the most important and latest developments at November 2020.


Q&A with Jason Elliott BL - Jason answers queries from the audience


Networking & Refreshment Break


New Immigration and Visa Costs. Even before the covid-19 crisis, employers raised concerns over the cost of the government’s post-Brexit immigration plans, when a report claiming many British workers were “unwilling” to fill current vacancies was released. Half of all firms surveyed by the FSB said they would be unable to meet the immigration fees currently levied on employers hiring non-EU staff if extended to EU workers. Those halcyon pre-coronavirus days now seem a lifetime away, but new visa and immigration laws come into force in a few weeks. Lisa Bryson, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland provides a practical explanation of the important rules and a template for employers to use, should they need to recruit from outside NI.

Remote Workplace Investigations and Disciplinary Hearings: Gone are the days for many of inviting lots of employees to provide witness statements in person or bringing everyone together in one room for a disciplinary or grievance hearing. Dismissal hearings were never the easiest of things to do but remote investigations and hearings bring different problems, not least confidentiality, and connection issues. On the other hand, there are some benefits, such as it being easier to find key words in soft copies and meetings can be recorded for cross-checking evidence. Christine Swail, Director, People Management Solutions, gives her top tips and provides a useful checklist for running remote investigations and hearings


Q&A with Lisa Bryson – Lisa answers queries from the audience

Q&A with Christine Swail – Christine answers queries from the audience


Networking & Comfort Break


The D&I Roundtable – Experts Discuss the Future of Diversity and Inclusion – led by Barry Phillips BEM, Chairman, Legal Island. Join Barry and our panel of guest D&I experts as they discuss the big D&I questions of the day, including maximising the Covid19 D&I dividend; minimising the C-19 negative D&I impact; how to have safe discussions about sensitive D&I issues at work; and BLM and political discussions in the workplace – are some matters less emotive than others.  Guest employment law expert: Ciara Fulton, Partner, Jones Cassidy Brett


















Calling Out the Boss – Standing Up for HR and an Ethical Approach to Business. Guest employment law expert: Paul Gillen, Partner, Pinsent Masons.

A series of challenges on the bystander effect and psychological safety in the workplace. In this session we consider how to create a framework for ethical decision making. What would you do in these scenarios? What should you do in these scenarios?

Q. The CEO/MD criticizes a colleague in public or at a meeting. What would you do? What should you do?

Q. The CEO/MD suggests moving an employee that s/he does not rate. What would you do? What should you do?

Q. The CEO/MD suggests that profits need to be higher year-on-year, regardless of the effect on the environment? What would you do? What should you do?

Q. The CEO/MD demands that planned redundancies are kept secret until the last moment possible? What would you do? What should you do?

Q. The CEO/MD is accused of sexual harassment. What would you do? What should you do?

Q. The CEO/MD has a bullish and bullying temperament. What would you do? What should you do?

Q. The CEO/MD takes credit for other people’s hard work. What would you do? What should you do?


Lunch and Networking


Welcome Back and Summary. Introduction to Afternoon Sessions: Becky Jones


Covert Recording in the 'Workplace' - When Might it be Lawful?

In July 2020, the CIPD published an extensive report into workplace technology. Amongst its key findings were:

• 45% of employees believe that monitoring is currently taking place in their workplace - wherever that might be.

• 86% believe that workplace monitoring and surveillance will increase in the future.

• 73% of employees feel that introducing workplace monitoring would damage trust between workers and their employers.

Of course, the other side of the coin is that it has never been easier in these days of remote working for employees to covertly record private and confidential meetings from wherever they are based. In this session, Louise McAloon, Partner, Worthington Solicitors sets out when it will (and will not) be lawful for employers and employees to covertly record each other’s activities or interactions.




Data Protection Update for Employers 2020. This has been a busy year for data protection issues and the lockdown has only added to the list. Anna Flanagan, Senior Associate, Pinsent Masons, highlights a number of issues of importance to employers, including:

  1. Updates from Regulators and enforcement action during/after the pandemic
  2. Working from home: risks associated with employee behaviour, employee monitoring, managing supplier contracts;
  3. Returning to work: health monitoring, contact tracing, adjustment on a phased basis, and mission creep as the emergency eases;
  4. Cyber risks: increase in COVID-19 related scams, and risks in employee behaviour.
  5. International Transfers and Brexit: transferring personal data to third countries, including the US following Schrems II decision.

Support documents include the Pinsent Masons’ white paper on data protection developments, including attacker trends.



Louise McAloon answers your questions

Anna Flanagan Answers your questions


Networking & Comfort Break


Review of the Year Part 2 – Looking Forward. Mark McAllister returns and delivers Case Law Developments Part 2, plus cases to watch out for in 2021 and other developments, such as this big one:

Brexit - Which Employment Laws Will Still Apply in NI? The short answer to that question is most EU-derived employment laws and pretty much anything else we decide for ourselves. But that's a glib and simple answer that hides myriad complexities. The revised protocol on NI and Ireland within the EU Withdrawal Agreement safeguards specific rights, particularly in respect of the Race Equality Directive, the General Equality Framework Directive and the Employment Equality Directive. When coupled with the non-regression principle, It looks like all EU-derived laws, including those on working time, will continue to apply directly in NI for the foreseeable future. Mark McAllister sets out the applicable laws and how they should be applied in NI, post-Brexit.

NOTE: The contents of this session may change to reflect the most important and latest developments at November 2020.


Q&A with Mark McAllister – Mark answers queries from the audience


Summary and Close: Becky Jones


Conference Closes


"Excellent event as per previous years."
Christine Sheridan, Head of HR, Belfast City Council

"Great speakers, content and pace. The venue was also very good."
Claire Edgar, HR, Compliance & Payroll Manager, Atlas Communications (NI) Ltd

"As always, a 5* event from Legal Island. Great live up of speakers, great take-home notes for sessions I couldn't attend and lots of treats during the day too!!"
Nicola Cherry, HR Director, Fusion Heating Ltd

"I thought the day was well planned and executed. The sessions with Mark, Ciara and Louise were excellent and very informed. The staff from Legal Island were amazing!"
Tracey McCabe, Director of Human Resources, Mount Charles

You're in good company, previous attendees include:


NI Annual Review Previous Attendee Logos



  • Seònaid Ó Murchadha
    Seònaid Ó Murchadha Disability Employment Specialist

    Founder of Amputee Disability Federation Ireland, Seònaid Ó Murchadha has been promoting the employment of people with disabilities for over 20 years, using her unique perception and engaging methods of communication to highlight the abilities of people with disabilities.  Most recently, Seònaid has been working with Dublin City University’s Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion helping organisations to build cultures of inclusion by providing access to the very latest developments in academic research, insights and tools on diversity and inclusion.

  • David Johnston
    David Johnston Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

    A Human Resources professional for over 24 years, and interested in equality and diversity matters, most of his career has seen him working in complex and high profile public service organisations, including: Inland Revenue, Police Ombudsman’s office, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. 

  • Mark McAllister
    Mark McAllister Director of Employment Relations Services
    Labour Relations Agency

    Mark McAllister is Director of Employment Relations Services with the LRA and part-time lecturer in Law. He specialises in employment law, dispute prevention and strategic collaborative working in industrial and employment relations. Mark is the former Northern Ireland Convenor of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and the Chair of the NI ICSA Governance Institute. He is an accredited mediator,  a member of the Employment Lawyers’ Group and the Industrial Law Society and is a regular speaker on the employment law circuit and contributor to employment law publications.

  • Seamus McGranaghan
    Seamus McGranaghan Partner
    O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors

    Seamus McGranaghan qualified as a Solicitor in O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors in 2003 and practices mainly in the areas of education and employment law. Seamus has assisted and advised many Boards of Governors, Senior Management Teams and Teachers in relation to all aspects of education and employment law. Seamus also provides advocacy services for Boards of Governors on both Expulsion Appeals and Independent Admissions Appeal tribunals. 

  • Helen O'Brien
    Helen O'Brien HR Senior Consultant

    Helen O'Brien joined BeyondHR, a Northern Ireland based HR and H&S consultancy firm in 2016.  Previous to this Helen was for many years the manager for the delivery of employment services in Ireland, Scotland and the North of England for a large UK consultancy business.

    She has experience in all aspects of the HR consultancy service from the preparation of employment documentation to employment advice, training, consultancy and representation at Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals. 

  • Emer Hinphey
    Emer Hinphey Partner
    Think People Consulting

    Emer Hinphey is an experienced HR and talent development professional.   In her role as Partner in Think People Consulting, Emer has worked with a range of local and global companies across industry sectors, developing strategy, managing complex HR projects and delivering successful leadership development. 

    Prior to setting up Think People Consulting, Emer worked as HR Manager for AIB International Financial Services and as Head of HR for a Telecommunications company.

  • Adam Brett
    Adam Brett Partner
    Jones Cassidy Brett

    Adam Brett is a Partner in Jones Cassidy Brett. For many years Adam jointly headed the litigation department of a major Belfast Commercial Practice, and for the last 20 years he has concentrated increasingly on employment and discrimination matters. Adam has throughout his career advised a wide range of educational and charitable bodies, including Schools, Universities, Colleges, and other educational institutions in relation to employment, student and other concerns.


  • Kiera Lee
    Kiera Lee Partner
    Mills Selig

    Kiera has 19 years’ experience in employment law acting mainly for employers in contentious and non-contentious matters. Her client list includes leading NI Companies and large employers (up to 2,000 employees).

    Kiera’s experience covers day to day HR problems and complex restructuring issues. She has given advice on a restructure and redundancy programme involving more than 800 employees and defended multi claimant tribunal claims for unfair dismissal arising from TUPE transfers.

    She also assists with strategic decisions, successfully managing the exit of senior executives and any contentious issues with restrictive covenants.  

  • Michelle Halloran
    Michelle Halloran Trainer
    Human Resource Management Services

    Michelle Halloran is an experienced Human Resource Management professional providing training and consultancy services to organisations nationwide, in the Public and Private sector. She has spent a long career originally in executive and general management roles, then specialising in Human Resources management in Ireland, the UK and Europe, across various sectors including investment banking, information technology, manufacturing and services plus some time in the public sector, before starting her own HR consultancy business 12 years ago. Her key areas of expertise are in workplace investigations, disciplinary and performance management and employee relations, and the practical application of employment law in a HR context.

  • Leeanne Armstrong
    Leeanne Armstrong Legal Director

    Leeanne joined TLT as a Legal Director in the Employment team in July 2018. Leeanne has experience of advising a range of public and private sector clients on a broad range of employment issues.

    Her experience includes support and representation of clients in the Industrial Tribunal and the Fair Employment Tribunal, TUPE, outsourcing, absence management, grievance and disciplinary procedures, redundancy, equality and diversity issues (including monitoring obligations). In addition, Leeanne has extensive experience supporting on employment aspects of multi-million pound M&As. Leeanne's depth of experience enables her to bring a practical and commercial approach to the advice she provides to clients, including in the management of tribunal litigation, so as to provide the client with the most favourable and cost-effective outcomes.

  • Gareth Walls
    Gareth Walls Partner
    A&L Goodbody

    Gareth Walls is partner and head of the A&L Goodbody Employment and Incentives team in Northern Ireland. Gareth represents a number of local, national and international brands in business support, strategic workforce planning and high profile tribunal matters. He also has significant experience in corporate immigration, redundancy, re-structuring and TUPE issues. Gareth is an accomplished commercial litigator with particular emphasis on procurement challenges and injunctive relief in the Employment context, as well as being a sought after speaker on Employment issues in Northern Ireland.

  • Paul Gillen
    Paul Gillen Partner
    Pinsent Masons

    Paul Gillen is a Partner in the employment & pensions team at Pinsent Masons LLP. Beginning his career in Human Resource Management, he spent more than 10 years working in a variety of HR roles including retail, construction, civil engineering, manufacturing and distribution.

    Paul is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and is currently vice chair to the Northern Ireland Branch Committee. Paul is a member of the CBI Employment and Skills committee and a Visiting Professor to the School of Law at the University of Ulster.

  • Becky Jones
    Becky Jones Former Legal Function Head

    Becky is the former legal Director, Company Secretary and Compliance Officer for Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland & Northern Ireland and previously Diageo Ireland. As a member of the Senior Management Teams and as Legal Function Head, she has been responsible for maximising commercial opportunities and good corporate governance whilst protecting and managing legal and regulatory risks. She has been widely recognised for transforming legal service delivery through the use of technology, training and her commercial and collaborative approach to business and leadership. 

    Becky loves to mentor and coach people who she meets as she is passionate about developing and growing people and ideas. Becky was also responsible for establishing various networks, particularly on equality and D&I, including Diageo Ireland Spirited Women and the CCHBC Inspire Network.

  • Lisa Bryson
    Lisa Bryson Partner
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Lisa is a partner in the employment and immigration team of Eversheds Sutherland.  Lisa trained and qualified with Eversheds LLP (as was then) in Nottingham and London before moving back ‘home’ in 2009.  She has led the employment and immigration practice in Northern Ireland since re-joining the firm in 2017.

    Lisa has considerable experience of providing contentious and non-contentious employment law advice to private and public sector clients.   She specialises in restructuring and TUPE work, major change programmes, executive matters and severances and Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunal litigation.  Lisa is an experienced Tribunal advocate and has appeared in numerous hearings both in Northern Ireland and England.  Lisa advises clients across a broad range of sectors with a particular interest in the financial and professional services, retail, media and telecommunications, transport and logistics and manufacturing sectors.

    The practice group works closely with businesses preparing for the immigration implications of Brexit and those businesses seeking to move their workforce around the globe and recruit new employees to ensure that all legal requirements are met.

  • Christine Swail
    Christine Swail Director & Co-Founder
    People Management Solutions

    Christine is Director and Co-Founder of People Management Solutions, an award winning HR Consultancy with offices in Belfast and Dungannon. Christine works with both small and large organisations putting basic best practice HR in place in smaller companies to working with larger multi-nationals on specific HR projects.  Christine has worked in HR throughout Ireland for over 25 years with some of the leading, some of the smallest and some of the most innovative companies. She was recently award the CIPD NI HR Consultant of the Year award.

  • Barry Phillips
    Barry Phillips Chairman

    Barry Phillips (CEO) BEM founded Legal Island in 1998. Since then, the company has become the leading workplace compliance training company in the island of Ireland. He was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List 2020 for services to employment and equality.

  • Ciara Fulton
    Ciara Fulton Senior Partner
    Jones Cassidy Brett

    Ciara Fulton is a Senior Partner in Jones Cassidy Brett, a niche employment law firm based in Belfast, which is renowned for its expertise in employment and equality law. Ciara is dual qualified and advises on all aspects of employment law in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. She has significant experience of advising clients on all aspects of employment law and cross-border issues.

  • Louise McAloon
    Louise McAloon Partner

    Louise heads up, leads and manages the employment department of Worthingtons Solicitors, which is currently the largest employment law practice in Northern Ireland. 

    With 14 years’ experience in employment law, Louise’s knowledge and attention to detail provides an expert and innovative approach that her clients value in relation to complex areas of litigation including Public Interest Disclosure, Equal Pay, Discrimination, Unfair Dismissal and Trade Union Activities.

  • Anna Flanagan
    Anna Flanagan Senior Associate
    Pinsent Masons

    Anna is qualified as a solicitor in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. She works as a Senior Associate in the Litigation & Regulatory Compliance team of Pinsent Masons, specialising in helping clients handle regulatory investigations and prosecutions to include Data Protection & Freedom of Information and Fraud. Anna also advises clients in relation to commercial litigation disputes, particularly litigation arising from Property and Energy matters.

  • David Gillick
    David Gillick Olympian, European Champion, Author and Health Advocate

    One of Ireland’s most successful athletes, a two-time European champion, an Olympian and a world finalist. David Gillick competed at the top of his sport through taking ownership, relocating, staying motivated, keeping a promise and building a plan. He retired in 2013 and found new challenges and opportunities in the Masterchef Kitchen. All seemed well but on the inside David was in turmoil and since has been vocal on his physical and mental struggles and the resulting tips and strategies he used to manage his mental wellbeing.

    David’s talks are engaging, motivating and real. He shares his story in an honest and human way which covers area around mindset, exercise, food and rest. With real life advice and tips the audience will have an insight into David’s tool box which helps him manage his health and wellbeing.

  • Jason Elliott BL
    Jason Elliott BL BL

    Jason Elliott was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2013.  He has developed a civil practice representing individuals, companies and public bodies in litigation.   This covers a range of areas of law such as personal injuries, wills and estates and employment law.  In terms of employment law, he has represented both applicants and respondents in the Industrial Tribunal.  Alongside his practice at the Bar, he is also a part-time lecturer in law at Ulster University where he takes the Employment Tribunal Representation module for Masters students.

Early Bird Offer

Save up to £60

Event details


9:15am - 4:00pm on Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 November


04 November 2020


Hopin (Online Platform)


Early Bird Rate: £395 + VAT (deadline 5pm on Friday 18 September 2020)
Standard rate: £455 + VAT
Early Bird small company/charity rate: £315 + VAT (deadline 5pm on Friday 18 September 2020)
Small company/charity rate: £365 + VAT

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