Essentials of Employment Law for NI Employers

Essentials of Employment Law for NI Employers

Due to the current situation with Coronavirus/Covid-19, this event has been postponed until Autumn 2020. If you'd like to be notified when the new date is confirmed, please email

How often have managers heard the phrase, “I know my rights”? Every one of us in Northern Ireland is governed by myriad employment rights and obligations. This best-selling Essentials of Employment Law course sets out the important ones in easy to understand sections and explains how the law of contract binds these rights and obligations together.

The programme for this event has been revised to make it more interactive - but still with extensive, comprehensive notes for future reference.

What are the learning outcomes from Essentials of Employment Law?
This event is an up-to-date and comprehensive overview (and comes with equally comprehensive notes) of the main employment laws that apply in Northern Ireland, such as family-friendly rights, holiday entitlement, discrimination and dismissal law and employment protection rights. Your understanding of these employment laws will be reinforced through group exercises.

What will be covered?

  • The nature of the Contract of Employment (including employment status, agency workers and implied/expressed terms)
  • Duration of employment (including flexible working and leave entitlements)
  • Equality and discrimination issues (including all of the main rights plus fixed term and part-time working)
  • Disciplinary and grievance issues (including statutory procedures and internal rules)
  • Terminating the Employment Contract (including contractual issues, unfair dismissal rights, redundancy and other termination payments)

Who should attend?
HR professionals or other managers who want to know more about employment law, as well as solicitors relatively new to this field or those who need a refresher. This event is not suitable for those with extensive knowledge of NI employment laws.

When and where?
9.30am - 4.30pm, Autumn 2020
The Merchant Hotel, Belfast


Early Bird Rate: £445+VAT (deadline Friday 27 March 2020)
Standard Rate: £495+VAT

Early Bird Charity/Small Company* Rate: £395+VAT (deadline Friday 27 March 2020)
Standard Charity/Small Company* Rate: £445+VAT

Save an additional £20 if you pay when booking online.

*All organisations with fewer than 50 employees or charities qualify for our Charity/Small company rate. The number of employees includes all branches, subsidiary/parent companies, boards, trusts and federated organisations.






Registration, Reading Time and Networking

9.30am- 9.45am

Construction of a Contract of Employment

Relationship between letters of offer, contract, policies and amendments.

Mairiosa McDaniel, Associate Solicitor, A&L Goodbody


The Nature of the Contract of Employment

Employee, self-employed or worker? Main terms and conditions of employment. The contract of employment. Express and implied terms.

Followed by Q&A

Mairiosa McDaniel, Associate Solicitor, A&L Goodbody


Group Exercise: Varying a contract

A case study on difficult issues that may arise when seeking to vary a contract. 

Mairiosa McDaniel, Associate Solicitor, A&L Goodbody


Break and Networking


Duration of Employment

Flexible working
National Minimum Wage
Leave – Annual leave, Maternity and Paternity leave, Parental leave

Followed by Q&A

Mairiosa McDaniel, Associate Solicitor, A&L Goodbody


Equality & Discrimination Issues (Part 1)

Fixed term and part time working 

Paul Upson, Associate Director, Napier & Sons Solicitors 


Equality & Discrimination Issues (Part 2)

The main rights, definitions and responsibilities

Paul Upson, Associate Director, Napier & Sons Solicitors 


Lunch and Networking


Part 2 Continued

Paul Upson, Associate Director, Napier & Sons Solicitors 

2.20pm - 2.45pm

Equality & Discrimination Issues (Part 3) - Group Exercise

Identify issues and potential remedies in these equality matters in this case study.

Paul Upson, Associate Director, Napier & Sons Solicitors 

2.45pm - 3.10pm

Discipline and Grievance

Discipline and grievance procedures – why have them? When do they apply? Drawing up rules and procedures and statute/Code compliance in NI.

Jason Elliott BL


Terminating Employment (Part 1)

Contractual issues
Dismissal – fair and unfair
Automatically unfair dismissal

Group Exercise – Is this dismissal fair or unfair? Why? What are the potential costs?  

Jason Elliott BL


Optional Comfort Break


Terminating Employment (Part 2)

Breach of contract and unlawful deductions from wages
Continuity of employment and calculating awards

Jason Elliott BL


What to Watch Out for in the Next 12 Months

Jason Elliott BL




"It was kept simple and to the point. Easy to follow and understand. Liked the relaxed feel of the event and this allowed for open discussion at times." 
Marie Curran, Senior HR Manager, Belfast HSC Trust

"Very well run course, with excellent speakers." 
Heather Dale, Personnel Administrator, Michelin Tyre PLC

"A complicated topic, kept simple."
Janice Irvine, HR & Administration Manager, Tata Steel

"I thought it was pitched at the right level, information and cases were relevant and up to date. Excellent refresher course."
Jean Oakes, Principal HR/OD Advisor, Belfast City Council

"Well structured event with clear and detailed notes for future reference."
Sheila Mawhinney, Finance Office Manager, Northern Ireland Assembly

"Good overall coverage of various topics and excellent notes provided."
Jenny Hodgen, HR Officer, The Orchardville Society

“The best thing was the knowledge of the speakers. I will use this in my day to day work in the decision making and processes.”
Kyra McDowell, Senior HR Officer. Firstsource

“Very valuable background information into employment law helps when making decisions on staffs' conduct and discipline cases.”
Maura Pettigrew, Conduct and Discipline Officer, NCIS

"The supporting pack provided is very comprehensive and will allow me to future reference advice going forward."
Clare Ellis, HR Business Partner, Ladbrokes


  • Mairiosa McDaniel
    Mairiosa McDaniel Associate Solicitor
    A&L Goodbody

    Mairiosa McDaniel is an Associate in the Employment and Incentives team at A&L Goodbody Belfast. She provides clients with a full range of employment law solutions on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Mairiosa advises clients throughout Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.

  • Paul Upson
    Paul Upson Associate Director
    Napier Solicitors

    Paul Upson is an Associate Director with employment and education law specialists, Napier Solicitors.

    Paul studied law at Queen’s University and before joining Napier Solicitors he gained over 15 years post qualification experience as an employment solicitor at a major national law firm. He has worked with clients in a wide variety of employment sectors, including schools, further education colleges and universities.

  • 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.

Event details


9:30am - 4.30pm


14 May 2020


The Merchant Hotel, Belfast


Early Bird Rate: £445+VAT (deadline Friday 27 March 2020)
Standard Rate: £495+VAT

Early Bird Charity/ Small Company* Rate: £395+VAT (deadline Friday 27 March 2020)
Standard Charity/Small Company* Rate: £445+VAT

Save an additional £20 if you pay online when registering.