Employment Law in the Public Sector Update: Understanding Ruffley and Other Developments
Ireland’s public sector faces particular challenges in 2018. The public sector cases of Ruffley v The Board of Management of St Anne’s School and Lyons v Longford Westmeath ETB are relevant to all workplace investigations but are of particular importance in relation to bullying and harassment investigations. Ignore these cases at your peril. But how far must they be followed? We test the reach of Ruffley and Lyons in the public sector and provide answers.
Three major areas of employment equality law – gender pay gap reporting, reasonable accommodation and the objective justification of mandatory retirement – will be huge areas of risk for public sector employers this year.
Finally, there is no escaping the GDPR – changes to subject access request provisions, and the need to establish a lawful basis for processing personal data in the public sector are just three of the new risks to public sector organisations.
Why is this event important for YOU?
These employment-related risks are real.
- Do you know where to draw the line on an employee’s right to cross-examine their accuser or be legally represented at disciplinary investigations or hearings? Do you know the new standards set for handling bullying claims?
- Do you know how to calculate the gender pay gap between male and female employees, or what might constitute reasonable accommodation in the light of Nano Nagle, or how to apply the new Code on retirement?
- Are you sure you are prepared for the GDPR and are not exposed civil actions by data subjects?
There is a fine line between getting things right and getting things wrong and the experts from the ByrneWallace Employment Team explain the pitfalls that await and guide you along the correct path to follow.
After attending you will:
- Understand the principles of law set out in Ruffley and will know how to apply same if faced with similar allegations of bullying.
- Understand when it is a constitutional requirement that you may have to permit employees the right to cross-examine witnesses and be legally represented at various stages of disciplinary and grievance processes
- Understand how to conduct an employment equality audit for gender pay gap, reasonable accommodation and objective justification of retirement purposes
- Have checklists to assist you to minimise risks and meet your obligations under the GDPR
More value from this event
Although the focus of this year’s public sector employment law is on workplace bullying allegations and the investigation of same, the ByrneWallace experts also discuss other developments pertinent to public sector employers and unions, such as:
- Do employees have the right to legal representation and to cross-examine witnesses during investigations and hearings?
- The public sector will be at the heart of Gender Pay Gap Reporting; so how should you prepare?
- GDPR –applies from May 25th and we outline the key steps you need to take now to minimise risks.
Course overview/outline programme
- Dignity at Work and Related Developments Parts 1 & 2 – bullying, investigation, and legal representation issues
- Employment Equality Law Update – reasonable accommodation; gender pay gap reporting; justifying mandatory retirement of employees
- The General Data Protection Regulation – key areas of concern for the public sector
Who is it for?
This event is aimed at HR professionals and trade union representatives in the public sector and those in semi-state bodies.
Thursday 26th April 2018
9.20am – 1.00pm
ByrneWallace Offices, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2
Early Bird Rate: €295 (Deadline Friday 16th March 2018)
Standard Rate: €345
Save an additional €20 if you book and pay online.
NOTE: The programme for this event is subject to change and will focus on the most important factors for public sector employers at April 2018.
"The speakers were as always from ByrneWallace extremely knowledgeable and concise. The topics covered were of direct relevance to issues that my HR department is currently facing. There was also excellent use of case law and examples to illustrate and highlight current case law developments. "
Michelle Coughlan, Deputy HR Manager, Office of the Chief State Solicitor
"The fact that it covered the Protected Disclosures & Sick Regulations at just about the right level. Both very relevant and the speakers were experts in the field."
Colm Dorgan, HR Manager, Public Appointments Service
"A lot of good, relevant information, delivered in a clear and concise manner."
Emma Betts, HR Executive, TII
"The presentations were clear and interesting."
Lauren O'Hanlon, Administrative Officer, Department of Public Expenditure & Reform
"The event speakers were all uniformly excellent."
Gavin Duffy, SEO, HR An Bord Pleanála
Michelle Ní Longáin Partner
Michelle is a partner in the ByrneWallace Employment Department, which is one of Ireland’s leading employment law practices, consistently ranked as a Tier 1 firm by independent bodies such as Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. Michelle is also the firm's Compliance Partner. She has extensive experience in employment, equality and administrative law.
Emmet Whelan Partner
Emmet Whelan is a partner at ByrneWallace Solicitors, specialising in employment law. He advises on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious matters including employment litigation before the Rights Commissioner, Employment Appeals Tribunal, Equality Tribunal, Labour Court, Circuit Court and High Court.
Fleur O'Shea Associate
Fleur is an Associate in the ByrneWallace Employment Team with over 7 years’ experience in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law.
Fleur has particular expertise in data protection and is a member of ByrneWallace’s GDPR Steering Committee. She has advised numerous private and public sector employers in relation to data protection issues arising in the workplace including covert surveillance, investigations by the ODPC and data protection issues arising in the context of unfair dismissal proceedings.
John Kelly Solicitor
John is a solicitor in the ByrneWallace Employment Team. He joined ByrneWallace in 2017 and brings to the Firm almost 20 years’ experience of working within and advising the public sector. Prior to training as a solicitor, he worked in the Health Service Executive (HSE) where he held a number of senior management positions in healthcare and HR, including Industrial Relations and Employee Relations.
He is a member of ByrneWallace’s public sector team and has considerable expertise in public/administrative law. He regularly advises clients on fair procedures in investigations, particularly in the context of employment relationships that are governed by statute.