Annual Review of Employment Law 2020

Annual Review of Employment Law 2020

This year's Annual Review of Employment Law conference will take place online over two days on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 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 Ireland Case Review 2020 and Key Next Steps
  • Remote Workplace Investigations and Disciplinary Hearings and Covert Recordings

2020 has been a momentous year for Irish employment-related case law, such as:

  • Donal O’Donovan –v- Over-C Technology Limited and Over-C Limited [2020] IEHC 291 (Dismissal During Probation)
  • Desmond -v- Dunnes Stores Unlimited Company [2020] IECA 125 (Personal Injury)
  • Ryanair DAC & anor v Van Zwol & ors [2020] IECA 105 (Workplace Defamation, Trade Union Membership)
  • Doolin v The Data Protection Commissioner [2020] IEHC 90 (CCTV footage in disciplinary proceedings)
  • C.D. v The Board of Management of a National School [2019] IEHC 819 (Adequacy of Reasons for Disciplinary Action)
  • Patrick J. Kelly v The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and others [2019] IECA 299 (Objective Bias in Disciplinary Proceedings)
  • Daly v Ardstone Capital Limited [2020] IEHC 200 (Discovery of Documents)
  • Balans v Tesco Ireland Limited [2020] IEHC 55 (Deductions from Wages)
  • Baranya v Rosderra Irish Meats Group Limited [2020] IEHC 56 (Whistleblowing / Protected Disclosures)
  • Ryanair DAC v Peter Bellew [2019] IEHC 907 (Restrictive Covenants and Restraint of Trade)
  • Zalewski v The Workplace Relations Commission [2020] IEHC 178 (Lawfulness of WRC Hearings)

Take a moment and consider how many of the above cases might impact on the way you handle disciplinary and grievance issues in your workplace.

We haven’t even started on the impact of international case law that impacts on Ireland’s employers – but we can’t get away from the fact that most of our more recent employment rights are EU-derived and the CJEU has jurisdiction over those laws. And Brexit in January is not going to make things any easier.

Believe it or not, the above list only scratches the surface of what employers have faced and what we have for you this year. That’s why we have super-sized our annual reviews! This year, our annual review of employment law will be online and will last TWO days.

  • 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 Dublin

But you still have everything you have come to 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 Irish, GB and European employment law developments you need to know. Legal Island’s Annual Review of Employment Law – the original, biggest and best in 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 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 out new online platfrom Hopin on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 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: €475 (deadline 5pm on Friday 18 September 2020)
Standard rate: €565
Early Bird small company/charity rate: €375 (deadline 5pm on Friday 18 September 2020)
Small company/charity rate: €435

To secure 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:
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:

AREL Sponsors



"Very well organised conference, good range of presentations."
Padraic Mellett, Head of Corporate Affairs, HEA

"The topics and speakers were relevant and on point, fully engaging with delegates from both Public and Private sectors and keeping the theme's pertinent to both areas."
Ann Moran, Higher Executive Officer, Department of Defence

"Excellent day"
Brendan J. McDonald, Western Regional Manager, Courts Service

"Speakers were very interesting and relevant. The venue was perfect and catering was great."
Catherine Bermingham, HR Officer, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

"Very well-run event and all Legal Island organisers are fantastic."
Colette Ryan, HR Generalist, Grafton Merchanting ROI

"Broad and extremely useful topics covered which were extremely relevant
excellent event - very well run."
Declan Mangan, Pre-Investigation Support Manager, HSE

"Practical guidance on investigation management, really enjoyed Caroline McEnery's session and Jennifer Cashman's session as always was excellent."
Joanne Cranley, Head of HR Learning & Development, Bloomfield Health Services

"Variety of content. Nicely broken up. Good breaks. Excellent catering."
Michael Ganly, ER Policy Manager, Irish Civil Service

"It provides fantastic resources; the delegates are so well looked after!"
Marie O'Gorman, Administrative Officer, Tipperary County Council

"Quality of notes and speakers"
Paul Murray, Human Resources Officer, Tipperary County Council

"The day ran smooth, everyone was very professional, all of the speakers I saw were excellent, very knowledgeable."
Rebecca Hunt, HR Advisor, C&C Gleeson

"Succinct, summary information delivered in a really clear way."
Sandra Fagan, Head of HR, Marks and Spencer Ireland

"[I liked] The variety of speakers and excellent notes."
Sinead Larkin, HR Manager, KTL

"I liked the pace and the variety of presentations."
Stephen Hall, Principal Officer, Department of Defence

"The amount of quality information and takeaways from it."
Stephen Hickey, HR Business Partner, Glanbia Ireland

You're in good company, previous attendees include:

ROI 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.

  • Pat Brady
    Pat Brady Director & WRC Adjudication Officer
    Workplace Solutions

    Pat Brady is Director of Workplace Solutions and is an experienced WRC adjudication officer. Pat has exptensive experience in HR, employment law theory & practise and dispute resolution. He is an Accredited Mediator (CIArb) and a Certified Mediator (Mediators’ Institute of Ireland) and a qualified Arbitrator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and both experienced as, and one of a very small number of Certified Workplace Investigators (CIArb).

    He was previously Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Irish Branch) for 2011-2012, current Chairman of the HR & Employment Council of Chambers Ireland, a member of the panel of mediators at the Medical Council of Ireland and the Independent Appeals Assessor at Dublin City Council for Casual Trading appeals.

  • Jennifer Cashman
    Jennifer Cashman Practice Group Leader Employment Group
    Ronan Daly Jermyn

    Jennifer Cashman is Practice Group Leader of Ronan Daly Jermyn’s Employment Team and a member of the firm’s Healthcare and Cyber and Data Protection Teams.  Jennifer has more than 20 years’ specialist experience advising a wide range of employers across a number of sectors. A trusted advisor to employers in both the public and private sector, her clients include scaling and established Irish companies, public authorities, universities, and multinational companies in the technology, pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnostics sectors. Her focus is on providing strategic business advice and practical, commercial solutions for clients.

  • Bláthnaid Evans
    Bláthnaid Evans Partner & Head of Employment Practice
    Leman Solicitors

    Bláthnaid has extensive experience in all areas of employment law, having trained in one of the leading trade union / employee firms and subsequently working in a top 5 law firm.

    She advises on all contentious and non-contentious issues, with substantial experience in advising clients before all employment law forums including the WRC, Labour Court and High Court for employment-related injunctions.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Caroline McEnery
    Caroline McEnery Managing Director
    The HR Suite

    Caroline McEnery, Managing Director of The HR Suite and HR and Employment Law Expert. Caroline is a former member on the Low Pay Commission and is also an adjudicator in the Work Place Relations Commission.

  • Adrian Twomey
    Adrian Twomey Partner
    Jacob and Twomey Solicitors LLP

    Adrian Twomey is a Corkman living happily in exile in County Wexford. He graduated from UCC and Trinity College Dublin and has more than 25 years of experience representing clients in the field of employment law. He has acted for many of the world's largest corporations including airlines, banks and internet giants.

    Outside of the office, Adrian enjoys painting and other artistic endeavours and has an unhealthy fascination with German football.

  • Ger Connolly
    Ger Connolly Partner
    Mason Hayes & Curran

    Ger advises employers in the public and private sector on all employment law and industrial relations issues. Ger acts for clients in various employment claims such as unfair dismissal, equality/discrimination, occupational stress, fixed-term and part-time work, restraint of trade, strikes and picketing.

  • Michelle Ní Longáin
    Michelle Ní Longáin Partner

    Michelle is a partner in the Employment Department and is the firm's Compliance Partner. She has extensive experience in employment, equality and administrative law. Michelle qualified as a solicitor in Northern Ireland, practising there in employment and equality law from 1994 before moving to England and Wales in 1996 and returning to Ireland in 1999 when she joined the firm. Michelle advises public and private sector clients, primarily employers, on complex areas of employment, equality and administrative law. 

  • Clive Byrne
    Clive Byrne Director

    Clive has been Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) since 2008. Prior to that he was Principal of St Mary’s College Rathmines and Presentation Brothers College Glasthule. He was appointed to the Council of the NCCA in 2012 and is an Executive Board Member of the European School Heads’ Association.

  • Marian Jennings
    Marian Jennings Specialist in Employment & Business Law
    TU Dublin

    Marian is an experienced Law Lecturer, with a specialist offering developed over 20 years, in Employment and Business Law. She offers the combined value of a proven track record in academia together with professional private practice/in-house legal roles and significant board, governance and organisational management experience in the community and voluntary sector.  

  • Duncan Inverarity
    Duncan Inverarity Partner, Head of Employment Law Practice Group
    A&L Goodbody

    Duncan is Head of A&L Goodbody's Employment Law Group and has practiced exclusively in the area of employment law and industrial relations in multiple jurisdictions. Duncan advises public and private sector employers on both contentious and non-contentious matters. He advises Board rooms across Ireland and abroad on strategic and complex employment and industrial relations matters. Duncan also specialises in crisis management for clients and has advised on some of the most high profile corporate issues in Ireland. Duncan regularly appears for clients in the Workplace Relations Commission, the Circuit Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Duncan also acts for partnerships in mediated settlements and in proceedings in the High Court.

  • Deirdre Crowley
    Deirdre Crowley Partner in Employment & Technology Groups

    Deirdre Crowley is a partner in Matheson’s Employment and Technology and Innovation Groups. Deirdre is currently advising employers on Covid 19 related employment and privacy related compliance issues. Deirdre has represented many clients in their dealings with the Data Protection Commission, including prosecutions, investigations, audits and consultation processes. Deirdre has personally defended many household name companies in employment related disputes before the Workplace Relations Commission, the Labour Court and the Superior Courts. Deirdre’s combined employment and data protection practice is market leading, reflecting 18 years of experience. Deirdre is a highly sought after conference speaker and is a key speaker at our Legal Island Annual Reviews.   


  • Colleen Cleary
    Colleen Cleary Partner & Owner
    CC Solicitors

    Colleen Cleary established CC Solicitors in 2009.  The quality of service and advice is driven by Colleen who has been acknowledged as a top employment lawyer by the Legal 500.  Colleen is a skilled negotiator and is an accredited mediator with CEDR. She is Chair of the Employment Law Association of Ireland and is on the International Committee of the American Bar Association, Employment Lawyers Association in the UK and British and Irish Chamber of Commerce. She is also qualified in England and Wales.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Early Bird Offer

Save up to €90

Event details


9.15am - 4.30pm on Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 November


25 November 2020


Hopin (Online Platform)


Early Bird Rate: €475 (deadline Friday 18 September 2020)
Standard rate: €565
Early Bird small company/charity rate: €375 (deadline Friday 18 September 2020)
Small company/charity rate: €435

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