2017 HRlink Year in Review
15/12/2017 - As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the industrial relations/ HR, policy and legislative developments that shaped the last 12 months of HRlink.
Ryanair decision to recognise trade unions significant - Ibec
15/12/2017 - Ibec Director of Employer Relations Maeve McElwee said: “The announcement of Ryanair’s decision to engage with relevant trade unions across Europe appears to be a seismic shift by company. This development comes after the latest phase of long standing and very public industrial relations challenges encompassing bases across Europe in France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and Portugal as well as the Irish operation.
Dealing with the fallout from the office Christmas Party
14/12/2017 - As we are in the midst of the Christmas party season, it is timely to take the opportunity to remind employers that these work social events are regarded as an extension of the workplace and that organisations need to be mindful of their responsibilities and the need to manage any incidents or issues that may arise at these events.
Draft legislation to address zero hours arrangements and banded hours contracts will remove flexibility on both sides of the employment relationship
13/12/2017 - The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD, has published the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017. The Bill purports to introduce more stringent requirements to provide written statements of employment to employees on commencement of their roles, new entitlements for employees to a specific “band” of hours of work in certain circumstances and the prohibition of so-called “zero-hours” working practices.
Mandatory company retirement age remains complex issue
13/12/2017 - In January 2016, the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 commenced. This Act amended Sections 6 and 10 of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2015. These amendments made it a statutory requirement for employers, who are applying a compulsory retirement age, to objectively and reasonably justify the reason for having such compulsory retirement age.
Labour Private Members’ Bill would lead to overregulation of genuine independent contractors’ arrangements
11/12/2017 - The Labour party has initiated a Private Members’ Bill purporting to address the issue of bogus self-employment. The Protection of Employment (Measures to Counter Self-Employment) Bill has been drafted but has yet to be introduced to either house of the Oireachtas.
Major topics dominating 2017 employment agenda will also be key in 2018
11/12/2017 - As we look back over 2017, our employer relations agenda has been dominated by employment rights regulation, industrial relations activity and the talent agenda. Of current concern to business are Private Members' Bills proposing to abolish mandatory retirement ages, introduce rigid rules on banded hours as well as over regulate self-employment.
Weather alert - advice for employers in affected areas
08/12/2017 - A company policy on absence due to bad or inclement weather should address the situation where employees are unable to attend work, or organisations do not have work available, due to weather-related circumstances outside of their control.
Ibec HR Leadership Summit 2017 – Leadership for a New World
23/11/2017 - “Leadership for a New World” was the theme of this year’s annual Ibec HR Leadership Summit held in Dublin’s Croke Park Stadium on Thursday 26 October 2017. The type of leadership needed at every level of the organisation to operate in an increasingly digitised and globalised economy was the focus of this year’s conference.
Failure to carry out risk assessment for breastfeeding mother is discrimination
20/11/2017 - A recent case heard by the Court of Justice of the European Union examined whether it was gender discrimination for an employer to fail to carry out an appropriate risk assessment for a breastfeeding employee.
High Court gives green light to worker to pursue UD claim lodged more than a year after she was fired over vulgar emails
20/11/2017 - In recent weeks, the High Court gave the green light to a worker to pursue an unfair dismissal claim lodged more than a year after she was fired over vulgar emails.
Managing overtime - tips on creating and applying a company policy
20/11/2017 - Working overtime is a common feature of Irish workplaces. The demand for and approach to overtime varies considerably from workplace to workplace. However, all employers need to be cognisant of certain legal requirements and the potential for complications to arise in overtime arrangements.
Sexual harassment in the workplace
20/11/2017 - This article addresses the legal considerations for employers who are presented with allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. Some key lessons from case law relating to sexual harassment complaints are summarised highlighting an employer’s liability for the harassment itself and the consequences of inadequate action when complaints are brought to their attention.
UK tribunal rules Deliveroo riders are self-employed
20/11/2017 - In the latest UK case involving the employment rights of workers in the gig economy, a tribunal ruled that food delivery company ‘Deliveroo’ couriers are not workers and are self-employed.
Economic context for wage negotiations - November 2017
16/11/2017 - Ibec's 'Economic Context for Wage Negotiations - A Guide for HR Managers' has been updated to take account of the latest economic indicators. The revised presentation should be of interest to member companies currently preparing budgets for next year or embarking on wage negotiations.
Eye and Eyesight Tests in light of the new PRSI Entitlements
16/11/2017 - Under the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations 2007, the employer is required to ensure that the provision of an appropriate eye and eyesight test is made available to every employee.
Government publishes Public Pay and Pensions Bill 2017
16/11/2017 - The government has published the Public Pay and Pensions Bill 2017. This legislation is primarily intended to permit the restoration of pay cuts made during the recession to the majority of public servants between 2018 and 2020. Many of these public servants would be eligible for increases between 6.2% and 7.4% between that period.
Managing Contractors - an OHS perspective
16/11/2017 - Many companies, regardless of size, are subcontracting various functions. In addition, there are contingent workers who are typically brought in for short periods of time. The challenge for many companies who outsource work is to determine who is responsible for what. Is it the host company/end user, the agency, the contract company, or the self-employed contractor?
New tool to help achieve gender balance in decision-making
16/11/2017 - Ibec and the 30% Club in recent months launched a Voluntary Code of Conduct for Recruitment and Executive Search Firms who are involved in senior level recruitment. This initiative is another tool to help organisations achieve gender balance in decision-making roles and hire the right candidate for the job, male or female, from 100% of the talent pool.
Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) for the Construction Industry signed into law
16/11/2017 - Sectoral Employment Order for the Construction Industry signed into law
T'is almost the season - plan now to avoid festive HR headaches
16/11/2017 - Unlike some areas of business, there is rarely an air of winding-down as Christmas approaches for HR practitioners. In fact HR often find themselves busier than ever dealing with everything from end of year salary reviews to the fallout from corporate Christmas social events.
Draft bill on zero-hour contracts "crude & disproportionate"
14/11/2017 - Responding to recent commentary by trade unions, Ibec maintained its position that the proposed draft bill on zero-hours contracts is crude and disproportionate.
Government launches Legislation Programme for Autumn Session 2017
17/10/2017 - In recent weeks Government announced the Legislation Programme for Autumn 2017.The programme includes priority legislation; Bills that are expected to undergo pre-legislative scrutiny; all other legislation; Bills currently on the Dáil and Seanad Order Paper; Bills both enacted and published since the Government came to office in May of 2016
National emergencies and the payment of wages
17/10/2017 - The national response to Hurricane Ophelia has generated a series of questions as to the rights of employees to be paid when, through no fault of their own, they are forced to stay home from work. Various news reports emerged over the course of the day attempting to address the key question - were employees entitled to be paid for the day in question?
Outline of an Induction plan for Senior Managers
17/10/2017 - Many companies believe that once a successful candidate, or employee moving up the ranks, has signed the contract, agreed a start date and successfully resigned or finished up previous duties that it's job done on the new appointment. However, at this stage, the job is only just beginning.
Reasonable accommodation - how much is enough?
17/10/2017 - Section 16 of the Employment Equality Act 2004 provides that an employer is not required to retain an employee if he/she “is not fully competent” and “fully capable” of carrying out their role. Notwithstanding this, an employee with a disability must be regarded as fully competent and capable if the employer can take “appropriate measures” which would enable them to perform their role
International Financial Services (IFS) Apprenticeships
13/10/2017 - Financial Services Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, in partnerships with the National College of Ireland has launched two new International Financial Services Apprenticeships, aimed at both entry level employees looking for a great career choice, as well as experienced professionals wishing to pursue a career change or a more technical role within the financial services sector
Ireland is well served by a voluntarist approach to collective bargaining
13/10/2017 - SIPTU recently called for a referendum on the issue of collective bargaining, no doubt with a view to paving the way for legislation requiring some form of mandatory trade union recognition. Such a move will upset this careful balance of industrial relations which has served us so well to date.
Occupational First Aid: The Requirements and Changes in progress
13/10/2017 - The recent changes to the Occupational First Aid (OFA) Training and Trainer requirements have highlighted the First Aider Role and prompted many companies to review this function within their organisations. This article outlines the basic requirements and highlights the ongoing changes to training.
Training levy increase unwelcome but presents opportunity for reform
12/10/2017 - The budget announcement that the National Training Fund (NTF) levy will be raised by 0.1% of payroll in 2018 to 0.8% and by a further 0.1% in both 2019 and 2020 can be viewed as a potential threat to business competitiveness. However, if properly implemented, the accompanying reforms also offer the opportunity to ring fenced funds for targeted in-work training programmes to help companies upskill their workforce.
Proposal to extend maternity leave in the case of premature births
04/10/2017 - From 1st October 2017, the period for which maternity benefit is paid is being extended in cases where a baby is born prematurely.
Not all routes lead to Dublin - Irish law does not always apply to Ryanair employees, says CJEU
21/09/2017 - The Court of Justice of the European Union has stated that a clause in Ryanair’s contracts of employment providing that any disputes in relation to its terms were to be resolved under Irish law before the relevant Irish authorities is not enforceable in certain cases involving workers in different jurisdictions.
Prepare now for European Safety Week!
21/09/2017 - The theme for 2016/17 is "Healthy Workplaces for All Ages". The campaign website contains lots of information tailored to the needs of employers, workers, HR Managers, OSH professionals and others.
Revised Third Level Graduate Programme allows no retrospection on duration of stamp 1G permission to work
21/09/2017 - This a brief overview of the Revised Third Level Graduate Programme published by INIS. The revised Programme offers graduates at level 9 or above of the National Framework of Qualifications up to a two year period or residence and right to work in the State. It will not be made retrospective for non EEA 2016 graduates from Irish colleges and universities who are (or are not) availing of the 2016 programme.
Putting the X factor into attracting and retaining talent
23/08/2017 - In a rapidly changing world where employee expectations are continuously evolving, the management of talent has become a sizeable and demanding task. At a recent Ibec event, Deloitte, Three Ireland and Citibank shared their expertise.
Quick tips on expediting the employment permit process
23/08/2017 - In order to work in Ireland a non EEA national, unless they are exempted, must hold a valid Employment Permit. We feature some reminders of Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation initiatives that are designed to make the permit application process faster and easier.
PAYE Modernisation, are you ready yet?
10/07/2017 - The modernisation of the PAYE system is due to take effect from January 1st 2019. The new Real Time Reporting (RTR) system will require employers to report pay, tax and other deductions as well as details of employees leaving employment, at the same time as they run payroll.
2017 a pivotal year for employment law developments
22/05/2017 - In light of 2017 proving such an exceptionally busy year for employment policy initiatives, the focus of Ibec's 2017 Employment Law Conference was to help employers navigate the road ahead.
Alcohol and drugs at work- a dismissible offence?
22/05/2017 - In some circumstances it may be reasonable to dismiss and employee who turns up for work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, employers need to adhere to their workplace policies and avoid acting hastily. Many factors will be considered in any subsequent claim.
Key takeaways from data protection case studies
22/05/2017 - A large retail bank's disclosure of personal information to a complainant's mother featured amongst the data security breach notifications dealt with by the Data Protection Commissioner in 2016.
Moving employees from weekly to monthly pay
22/05/2017 - The prudent employer will flag a proposed change from weekly to monthly pay well in advance to allow staff time to change direct debits. Providing a loan for those who may struggle financially with the changeover can also help overcome resistance.
Timely reminder of restrictions on fixed-term contract renewals
22/05/2017 - A recent Labour Court case resulted in a major award for a former fixed-term worker in a dispute over a contract of indefinite duration (CID). The case reaffirms that there must be objective grounds that justify offering a fixed-term worker a further temporary contract rather than a CID.
Too many bills seek to regulate employment relationship
22/05/2017 - Ibec's Director of Employer Relations, Maeve McElwee has described the number of Private Members' Bills currently seeking to regulate employment law as concerning. She warned these Private Members's Bills have little regard for consequences on competitiveness and sustaining jobs.
Workplace investigations - Style over substance?
19/04/2017 - The recent Labour Court decision in the case of Pinnacle Security Ltd v Chris Mabuza UDD1640 offers employers a moment to reflect on the importance of fair and reasonable procedures in carrying out a workplace investigation.
Workers' Memorial Day 2017
13/04/2017 - For everyone with an interest in the safety, health and welfare of people at work, Friday 28th April is an important date nationally and worldwide when we remember people killed or injured in work-related accidents.
Ibec 2017 Employment Law Conference to focus on proposed legislation
12/04/2017 - 2017 will be a pivotal year for employment law policy in Ireland, as developments continue apace. Several new policy initiatives, which will affect every business, have already dominated the headlines including proposals in relation to zero hour contracts and banded hour contracts and developments in retirement age, all of which present a variety of challenges for employers.
Labour Court considers collective bargaining application
12/04/2017 - The Communications Workers Union’s claim against Conduit Enterprises Ltd under revised industrial relations legislation was recently before the Labour Court for consideration.
Straight Ally’s at Work
26/01/2017 - A number of companies are taking their work supporting diversity and inclusion and LGBT colleagues in the workplace to a new level through the development of Straight Ally programmes. See attached flyer for the event details and how to book
Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Publishes Work Programme for 2017
26/01/2017 - On 17 January 2017 the Workplace Relations Commission published its Work Programme for 2017. The document highlights the core mission and details the services and operation the Commission provides.
Weather alert - advice for employers in affected areas
12/01/2017 - A company policy on absence due to bad or inclement weather should address the situation where employees are unable to attend work, or organisations do not have work available, due to weather-related circumstances outside of their control.
2016: HRlink Year in Review
16/12/2016 - As 2016 draws to a close, we look back over the past 12 months and share with you our review of some of the key legislative IR and HR developments that shaped the last 12 months of HRlink.
Cash in transit over the Christmas period
16/12/2016 - With high volumes of cash in circulation coming up to the busy Christmas period, the Gardai have issued seasonal guidance for firms in relation to lodging cash and ensuring the safety of staff dealing with persons from cash-in-transit companies.
Dos and Don'ts for the Holiday season
16/12/2016 - In some areas of business there can be an air of winding-down as Christmas approaches. However, this is rarely the case for HR who often find themselves busier than ever dealing with everything from end of year salary reviews to the fallout from corporate Christmas social events.
Case concerning employee who used grievance procedure as ‘first port of call’
15/12/2016 - One of the cases featured in our quarterly review of industrial relations decisions involved a dispute that arose when a HR Department refused to accept any further grievances from a worker whose continuous complaints they viewed as abusing the organisation’s grievance procedure and disrupting management time
CJEU rules candidates can be excluded based on age in police recruitment
15/12/2016 - Following a referral of the case from the Spanish courts, the CJEU last month ruled that the maximum age of 35 for the recruitment of certain police officer roles in the Basque Country was compliant with EU law. Some observers have suggested the decision in Corka Salaberria Sorondo v Academia Vasca de Policia y Emergencias (C-258/15) could open the door for other employers to impose age limits when recruiting into roles involving a high degree of physical work.
First Protected Disclosures cases involving awards for penalisation start to emerge
15/12/2016 - Over two years have passed since the commencement of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, however it is only recently that the first cases involving orders for interim relief and awards for penalisation under the Act have been heard.
Winning Workplaces – A Spotlight on Talent
30/11/2016 - The theme of Ibec’s HR Leadership Summit held at the Croke Park conference centre in Dublin last month (October 27th) was 'Winning Workplaces - A spotlight on Talent'. The event attracted more than 400 HR directors, managers and business leaders. At the summit, delegates heard contributions from a range of speakers who explored the key trends affecting the workplace. Unsurprisingly, there was a strong focus throughout the day on the topic of employee development as a means of attracting and retaining talent.
Be Winter Ready campaign 2016-2017
29/11/2016 - The Office for Emergency Planning, in the Department of Defence has launched their Be Winter-Ready campaign for 2016-2017. The campaign addresses issues arising specifically from our winter weather and includes a considerable amount of advice and information for the business sector.
Centralised public sector pay agreement critical for competitiveness
21/11/2016 - Recent weeks have seen significant pressure coming from trade unions, both in the public and private sectors, with higher pay demands. Ibec has indicated both to the Government and in the media the importance of maintaining a centralised public sector pay agreement for stability and competitiveness
A short guide to the Book of Quantum 2016
28/10/2016 - Much has been said and written about the new Book of Quantum, since its publication, but the reality is that the courts, the Injuries Board and others settling personal injury claims are required to have regard to it.
Ibec concern at government plans to legislate for low hours contracts
26/10/2016 - The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is proposing to legislate in relation to a number of recommendations arising from the University of Limerick study. Ibec has expressed its concern at the proposals, submitting that they will have an adverse effect on businesses at a time when we need to be enhancing economic competitiveness and sustaining employment, particularly in light of the UK’s impending exit from the European Union.
Ibec participates in Eurofound seminar on impact of digitalisation on work
26/10/2016 - In its contribution to the recent Eurofound seminar on the impact of digitalisation on work, Ibec highlighted the potential of the digital economy to create jobs and enhance productivity across our economy. It emphasised, however, that ensuring that people have the skills required in the future labour market is fundamental to realising this potential and enabling citizens to benefit from digitalisation and future work opportunities.
Ireland must work harder to attract skilled talent - Ibec President
26/10/2016 - A recovering economy and labour market brings with it different stresses for HR professionals, such as wage pressure and skills shortages but it also brings new opportunties and the potential to try new things, reinvigorate our skill set and excel in new areas. This was the message from Anne Heraty, CEO of CPL Resources and recently appointed Ibec President speaking at Ibec's HR Leadership Summit in Dublin on October 27th.
Options if an employee has difficulty attending for work because of disruption to public transport
31/08/2016 - Employers have various options to consider when deciding how to treat the periods of time when employees are unavailable for work due to disruption to public transport. The company’s approach should ideally be clarified beforehand.
Employment law implications of the Report of the Interdepartmental Group on Fuller Working Lives
30/08/2016 - The Report of the Interdepartmental Group on Fuller Working Lives fails to address is the removal of unnecessary barriers to working longer according to Ibec Solicitor and Employment Law Specialist Gillian Verrecchia. Failure to examine the existing latitude provided by EU law in relation to the provision of fixed term contracts post retirement would be a missed opportunity.
New reporting of accidents and dangerous occurrences regulations, will come into force on 1 November 2016
30/08/2016 - New reporting of accidents and dangerous occurrences regulations, will come into force on 1 November 2016
Sample paternity leave policy
05/08/2016 - The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 commenced on 1 August 2016. The Act enables a “relevant parent” to take two weeks paternity leave which must commence within the first 26 weeks of the birth/adoption of a child. Subject to eligibility and notification criteria being met, paternity leave will apply to births/placements that take place on or after the 1 September 2016. During paternity leave, employees who have the necessary PRSI contributions and hold a Public Services Card are entitled to paternity benefit from the Department of Social Protection.
Data protection queries from employees on the increase
28/07/2016 - There has been a steady increase in the number of queries and requests arising under the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2003 from employees to their employers in recent years. While some have referred to “digital ambulance chasing”* the reality is that employees, as data subjects, have considerable rights under the legislation. These rights, and employers’ obligations, look set to increase in strength and impact when the legislation is reformed as part of the General Data Protection Regulation due to come into effect in 2018.
"Beyond Tinkering and Tailoring: Transforming Organisations"
28/07/2016 - Ibec are partners in a European PROGRESS funded initiative which is being led by the University of Limerick and whose partners include Dell, Cranfield University and Abertay University. The focus of the GEM project is to bring together decision makers and policy influencers to accelerate progress towards gender balance in key decision-making processes.To disseminate the policy and practice findings of this research across industry the project will culminate with a conference "Beyond Tinkering and Tailoring" scheduled to take place on the 22nd September 2016.
Conflicting advocate generals' opinions on religious dress at work poses challenge for Court
27/07/2016 - An Advocate General for the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that private companies cannot impose a blanket ban on Islamic headscarves at work contradicting an earlier Advocate General opinion in a similar case.
Ibec's concern at Labour Court's application of new IR legislation
30/06/2016 - The Labour Court has issued its first recommendation under the revised dispute settling mechanism set out in the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Acts 2001 to 2015. The resulting recommendation (Freshway Food Company - and SIPTU Recommendation No. LCR 21242) has given rise to a number of concerns regarding pay rates, industry comparators, representation and the policy direction of the Labour Court in wage setting.
Ibec continues to assess possible impact of Brexit on Irish employment law
30/06/2016 - As Ibec continues to assess the possible impact of last week's referendum result in the United Kingdom, it is important to state that the comparison between Irish statutory employment rights and those that apply in the UK has always been a concern for Irish business, specifically when considering the issue of overall competitiveness. The impact of Brexit is difficult to evaluate at this early stage, particularly until greater clarity emerges on the mode of departure from the EU ultimately settled upon by the UK.
Health and Safety Good Practice Awards launched
31/05/2016 - The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work launched its two-year Europe-wide campaign called "Healthy Workplaces for all Ages" on 15 April. As part of the campaign, the EU-OSHA launched the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards. The awards aim to highlight organisations making outstanding and innovative contributions at work in the context of an ageing workforce. Irelands's Health and Safety Authority is accepting applications for the awards up to Friday, 9 September.
Hidden disabilities - #iseebeyond
31/05/2016 - Earlier this year, Headway, Brain Injury Services & Support spearheaded a public awareness campaign #iseebeyond to raise awareness of Hidden Disabilities, or disabilities that do not comprise a noticeable physical difference.
Ibec raises concerns about the implications of the Cush report for third level education
30/05/2016 - The report of an expert group on fixed-term part time employment in lecturing in the third level sector was published on 12 May. The government commissioned report by senior counsel Michael Cush, makes a number of recommendations which if adopted, Ibec believes, will further shackle a sector already operating under severe constraints.
Taking Diversity to the next level - Supply Chain Diversity
30/05/2016 - For some time now employers have been taking steps to ensure they have an inclusive culture, that their policies and procedures are ‘diversity proofed’. The whole area of supply chain diversity is a deeper aspect of diversity and inclusion and one that employers in Ireland have been slower to fully embrace. Supply Chain Diversity was the topic for a thought leadership event run by eir this month under the aegis of their diversity and inclusion programme. The audience comprised procurement and supply chain specialists from diverse range of organisations.
Ibec Employment Law Conference 2016 “Peak Performance”
26/05/2016 - Sponsored by Brightwater Recruitment Specialists, “Peak Performance” was the theme of this year’s annual Ibec Employment Law Conference, held in Dublin’s Croke Park on Thursday, 12 May. The steady improvement in the Irish economy provided the backdrop to this year’s event with renewed focus on the part of employers on getting the best from their employees.
Let’s talk about mental health?
26/05/2016 - Whether we talk about mental health or not, we know that at this time in our organisation, 1 in 4 of us is experiencing a mental health difficulty.To address this important issue and look at mental health for the benefit of the individual and that of the organisation, Ibec is hosting a breakfast briefing for employers on 3 June. The morning will begin with a keynote address by Dr Claire Hayes, Director of Aware on mental health and resilience in the workplace. This will be followed by a panel discussion with representatives from Vodafone, Obama Plaza and Core Media all of whose companies are engaged excellent practices around mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Six months of the WRC - learnings for employers
29/04/2016 - The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) became operational in October 2015. A previous HRlink article outlined Ibec's interpretation of the detailed guidelines for complainants and respondents (employers) utilising the new service for employment and equality complaints. This article has been updated to reflect the learnings from the first six months of operation of the WRC and to ensure that employers are fully aware of the implications of the new procedures for preparing and defending cases.
The future of mandatory retirement ages - what the law now requires of employers
28/04/2016 - The Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 has introduced significant changes to retirement ages. Consideration must now be given by all employers to objectively justifying both their contractual retirement age, and a fixed term contract if one is provided post contractual age. The means of achieving the aim must be both appropriate and necessary. Retirement ages and the implications of the Act for employers will be covered extensively at Ibec's Employment Law Conference 2016.
Address by Maeve McElwee, Ibec Director of Employer Relations at event to mark Workers' Memorial Day 2016
27/04/2016 - On April 28, as Workers’ Memorial Day was being marked globally, Ibec joined with the Health and Safety Authority, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Construction Industry Federation to remember all those who have been killed, injured and bereaved through workplace accident.
Recent au pair decision revives question of when is an employee not an employee
06/04/2016 - On 8 March 2016, the WRC awarded a Spanish au pair €9,229 when it held that she was an employee of her host family. This decision has, once again, revived the vexed question of when is an employee not an employee.
Ibec response to proposals for revision of Posting of Workers Directive
30/03/2016 - Ibec response to proposals for revision of Posting of Workers Directive
European Court of Human Rights rules employer entitled to read employee's private emails sent at work
28/01/2016 - In a case put before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), judges ruled that a company which had read an employee’s messages sent through Yahoo Messenger while he was at work was within its rights to do so. The majority decision finding against Mr Barbulescu, a Romanian worker, was that the monitoring of the Yahoo messenger service, which was specifically for work purposes, was limited in scope and proportionate. Mr Barbulescu had alleged a breach of the Convention of Human Rights when his former employer monitored his online Yahoo messenger account.
Ibec January 2016 Submission to DJEI in response to the University of Limerick Study on the Prevalence of Zero Hour and Low Hour Contracts among Irish employers and their employees
04/01/2016 - In this Submission, Ibec responds to the University of Limerick Study on the Prevalence of Zero Hour Contracts and Low Hour Contracts among Irish employers and their employees.
HRlink year in review
23/12/2015 - As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the IR and HR developments that shaped the last 12 months of HRlink.
A Year in Review - Ibec's Employer Relations Division in 2015
21/12/2015 - As 2015 draws to a close, we look back at the past 12 months and share with you our review of some of the key events of the year. Knowledge gathering and knowledge sharing is the foundation of the Employer Relations Division within Ibec and we have had another busy year making your voice heard.
Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 heralds change for employers and their ability to set compulsory retirement ages and fixed term contracts post retirement age.
21/12/2015 - The Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 heralds change for employers and their ability to set compulsory retirement ages and fixed term contracts post retirement age. The Act was signed into law by the Presidential Committee on the 10 December last and is expected to commence early in 2016.
A Study on the Prevalence of Zero Hours Contracts – an Ibec perspective
27/11/2015 - The above study was commissioned by Minister of State for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD in February 2015 following a wave of media reports on the exploitative nature of zero hours contracts. The resulting report, compiled by the University of Limerick, was published on the 3rd of November 2015.
Be Winter Ready
27/11/2015 - The Office for Emergency Planning, in the Department of Defence has launched their Be Winter-Ready campaign.The campaign addresses issues arising specifically from our winter weather and includes useful tips for the business community. See also Ibec's Inclement Weather guidance note.
Proposal to abolish retirement age
30/10/2015 - Deputy Anne Ferris introduced the Employment Equality (Abolition of Mandatory Retirement Age) Bill 2014 on 9 October last. The Bill itself proposes to abolish mandatory retirement ages by amending the Employment Equality Act 1998. Ibec objects to the abolition of retirement ages from an employers' perspective given the inherent difficulties and uncertainty it brings with it.
Threatened strike action by TEEU in Manufacturing Sector
05/10/2015 - Companies in the manufacturing sector have recently received correspondence from the TEEU calling for a one day national strike in the manufacturing sector on 2nd November in relation to the issue of apprenticeship student fees. This issue arises from the decision of the Government in Budget 2014 to impose the full amount of the (pro-rata) student charge directly on apprentices.
'Taming Tigers' author for Ibec HR Leadership Summit
29/09/2015 - “What flattened that grass overnight?” is an important question to a prey animal who like humans has an innate suspicion of a change in their environment. Humans share this innate suspicion of a change in our operational landscape but, says Jim Lawless (cultural consultant and Europe's most sought after motivational speaker) we can use our intellect to overcome our instinct to flee. By 'taming our inner tigers', he says, we can develop and and reach our potential. Jim Lawless will share his 10 Rules for Taming Tigers at Ibec's 2015 HR Leadership Summit!
Concept of a Living Wage is not fit for purpose - Ibec
29/09/2015 - Ibec published its position paper on the Living Wage at an Ibec members' forum on the topic held in Dublin on Sepember 28. Ibec believes that the concept of a living wage is not fit for for purpose and in its Living Wage Policy Brief, considers some other strategies more appropriate to securing improved pay.
New CJEU ruling on pay for certain travel times
29/09/2015 - The CJEU has ruled that the time spent travelling to and from first and last appointments by workers without a fixed office location can be considered working time. In assessing the impact of this case, points out Rhona Murphy Head of Ibec's Legal Services Unit, it is important to make the distinction between workers who have a fixed place of work at which they attend daily and those for whom their place of work, and proximity to work varies daily.
Workplace Relations Act 2015 - guidance document
29/09/2015 - The Workplace Relations Act 2015 has been signed into law and will come into effect on Thursday the 1st of October 2015. It brings to a conclusion an ambitious reform project initiated by Richard Bruton TD, the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation in July 2011.
World mental health day is October 10th 2015. What will your organisation be doing?
29/09/2015 - Walk in My Shoes, a campaign of St Patrick’s Mental Health Foundation, are raising awareness of the importance of mental health in the work place while generating vital funds to provide mental health support, information and services to people in communities throughout Ireland. On October 10th they are asking organisations to step out of their comfort zone and wear shoes you normally wouldn’t for a day – odd shoes, mismatched shoes, wellies, slippers - and raise awareness for mental health. Ibec and Walk in My Shoes are also collaborating on a breakfast briefing event as part of Ibec’s HR Roundtable series on Mental Health in the Workplace on November 4th. To book your place at this briefing please contact Alma Corcoran on 01 6051596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing attendance during the Rugby World Cup
28/09/2015 - The 2015 Rugby World Cup continues until the final on 31 October. See our guidance on managing attendance during RWC 2015 and kicking any issues into touch.
Work permit changes will ease shortages in several industries including IT and meat sectors
28/09/2015 - The Employment Permits (Amendment) Regulations 2015 commenced on 1 September 2015. The Work Permit changes will ease shortages in the IT sector in particular. A limited number of General Employment Permits in respect of meat boners are being made available to address skills shortages in that sector.
Changes to existing employment equality legislation in Ireland imminent
20/08/2015 - There are two pieces of draft legislation amending equality legislation making their way through the Houses of the Oireachtas at the moment. These are the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013 and the Employment Equality (Amendment) Bill 2015. The amendments will ensure that religious-run schools or hositals cannot discriminate staff on the basis of sexual orientation or based on lone parent or divorcee status. They will also have implications for contractual retirement age and the use of fixed term contracts post retirement.
The Future of HR: Preparing for Longevity
19/08/2015 - What happens to work when people live for a hundred years? If you are 60 and have not suffered any serious health concerns, you are well positioned to reach the big 100 according to Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice at London Business School and keynote speaker at Ibec's 2015 HR Leadership Summit on 21 October. Read Professor Gratton's insights into how the HR function will be responsible for translating these demographic trends into new approaches to long-standing practices such as recruitment, training and development, and remuneration.
Accrual of annual leave and sick leave
11/08/2015 - Section 86 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 amended sections 19, 20 and 23 of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 to bring the Act into line with recent rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union to allow workers to accrue annual leave during periods of sick leave.
The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 has been signed into law
27/07/2015 - The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 has been signed into law and will come into effect in the coming weeks. Thankfully, Ireland's voluntarist approach to industrial relations has been preserved under the new legislation
HR Leadership Summit speaker identifies top trends shaping HR Agenda
24/07/2015 - Global organisations today navigate a “new world of work” - one that requires a dramatic change in strategies for leadership, talent, and human resources.
The millennial generation will soon be integral to the future world of business
24/07/2015 - The millennial generation will soon be integral to the future world of business. In ten years they will make up 75% of the workforce. Looking for guidance on preparing for the millennials? Read the advice of Peter Cosgrove, Director with CPL and founder of the Future of Work Institute in Ireland. Peter Cosgrove will also share his insights with delegates at Ibec's 2015 HR Leadership Summit 'Future Workplaces' on 21 October 2015.
Number of women in decision making roles in Ireland remains an issue
30/06/2015 - A recent Ibec/ Department of Justice and Equality conference held in Dublin addressed the issue of women's under-representation in decision making roles and showcased better ways to promote gender-balanced leadership.
Speech by Maeve McElwee, Head of IR/HR at the Ibec Annual Employment Law Conference - 14 May 2015
28/05/2015 - Speech by Maeve McElwee, Head of IR/HR at the Ibec Annual Employment Law Conference
Ibec Employment Law Conference 2015 “The Future of Workplace Flexibility"
14/05/2015 - Sponsored by Brightwater Recruitments Specialists, “The Future of Workplace Flexibility” was the theme of this year’s annual Ibec Employment Law Conference, held in Dublin on Thursday, 14 May.
Employment Permit - Trusted Partner Initiative
13/05/2015 - Trusted Partner Initiative - Employment Permits
Concern at Circuit Court orders purporting to enforce Labour Court appeal decisions
25/03/2015 - Ibec has received a significant number of calls raising concerns following reports that the Circuit Court had made a “binding order” under section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act 1969. The orders have been referred to in some quarters as a legal “first”.
Warning on cost of paid paternity leave
26/02/2015 - Mixed messages are coming from government about the possible introduction of paid paternity leave, as part of the upcoming Family Leave Bill.
Legislative watch list 2015
23/01/2015 - The reform of dispute resolution agencies, changes to Registered Employment Orders and provisions that will allow for the accrual of annual leave during sick leave are among the items on this year’s employment related legislative watch list.
Apprenticeship Council issues calls for proposals
20/01/2015 - The Apprenticeship Council is inviting proposals from consortia of industry and education and training providers to develop new apprenticeships in areas outside the current 27 trades.
Workplace equality index
20/01/2015 - GLEN – Gay and Lesbian Equality Network has developed a Workplace Equality Index for Ireland. This Workplace Equality Index is an essential way for HR and Diversity professionals to measure their organisations' efforts to tackle discrimination and create an inclusive workplace for LGBT employees.
Changes to maximum working hours for Non EEA students on a stamp 2
23/12/2014 - From 1 January 2015 students on an immigration stamp 2 will be only permitted to work 40 hours per week during the months of May, June, July and August and from 15 December to 15 January inclusive. At all other times they may only work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week.
Clarification on remuneration, board and accommodation with Intra-Company Transfers
19/12/2014 - The following guidance note from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is designed to facilitate applicants for Intra-Company Transfer and Contract for Service Employment Permits in relation to the information required when filling out applications.
2014: the year in review
12/12/2014 - As 2014 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the IR and HR developments that shaped the last 12 months of HRlink.
HR Update 2014 - Pay
12/12/2014 - Data was collected in November 2014 in relation to companies’ pay expectations for 2014 and 2015. A total of 462 companies responded to the survey overall.
Gender balanced leadership – the route to success
09/12/2014 - Challenges, opportunities and solutions for achieving gendered balanced leadership were the topics of discussion at the joint Ibec and Department of Justice & Equality’s conference last week in Dublin Castle. The conference, aimed at promoting and supporting gender balanced leadership, brought together over 200 participants from both the public and private sectors to hear from business and political thought leaders on why gender balance is important for organisations and how that can be achieved.
EXPLAINER: WHY HOLIDAY PAY IS HITTING THE HEADLINES
05/11/2014 - In the UK, holiday pay has been making waves in the media recently. This stems from the CJEU case of ZJR Lock v British Gas Trading Limited, about sales commission and holiday pay, and the application of the of this case by the UK courts for other matters, such as the inclusion of overtime in holiday pay. In this article we take a look at this issue and compare this to the Irish situation.
Adaptable Organisation - HR Leadership Summit 2014
04/11/2014 - How to build an organisation that can outrun change by building a self-renewing organisation that taps into the imagination, talents and resourcefulness of its workforce and the science behind leadership were highlights of the recent Ibec HR Leadership Summit ‘The Adaptable Organisation’ held in Dublin’s Convention Centre on 23 October.
Address by Larry Murrin, Ibec President and CEO Dawn Farm Foods at the Ibec HR Leadership Summit
04/11/2014 - Address by Larry Murrin, Ibec President and CEO Dawn Farm Foods at the Ibec HR Leadership Summit themed The Adaptable Organisation, held on Thursday 23 October 2014 in the National Convention Centre
Creating an adaptable workforce - Ibec HR Leadership Summit 2014
04/11/2014 - The event also featured case studies involving DePuy Synthes Ireland and Openet who shared their experience on how they have embedded a culture of adaptability into their organisational culture, with delegates getting a hands-on look at the practical implications of achieving excellence in adaptability.
Ebola FAQs and General Continuity Planning Guidance
04/11/2014 - Should an organisation introduce special business interruption or pandemic plans? While there does not appear to be any concern or risk of an Ebola pandemic occurring in Ireland or outside of the three countries currently affected all employers should have plans for business interruption, whether this be from pandemics, power supply issues, emergencies or natural disasters. They should be revised, reviewed and tested regularly. Our Ebola FAQs may be of interest to managers dealing with employee queries together with our general Business Continuity Planning guidance document.
Ibec Absence Report 2014
03/11/2014 - The Ibec survey on rates of pay was undertaken in January 2014. A total of 362 companies responded to the survey. The total employed by these companies is 120,126 employees. A question on absence was included in the survey. All absence data is based on the year ending 31st December 2013.
Budget 2015 - implications for employers
17/10/2014 - Budget 2015 contains a number of very positive measures for employers and the wider economy. Ibec’s pre-budget submission had made key recommendations to Government for Budget 2015 which we are pleased to see have been acted upon. The overall impact of the Budget will support business and consumer confidence and crucially improve personal spending power for 2015.
Ibec calls for reform of Working Time Directive
15/10/2014 - Ibec calls for reform of Working Time Directive
LRC proposal on a code of practice for Sunday working in JLC-regulated sectors
15/10/2014 - The Labour Relations Commission (the “LRC”) is proposing a code of practice on Sunday working to provide for a Sunday premium rate to apply across sectors of the economy regulated by joint labour committees (“JLCs”)
Save the date: Investing in talent
15/10/2014 - Ibec and the Department of Justice and Equality, next month, be hosting a conference on Investing in Talent: promoting gender balanced leadership
Sleepover duty is working time; consequences for the health sector
15/10/2014 - Labour Court gives nine months to adjust rosters; employers must pay minimum wage for time spent asleep.
Employers may not require employees to make data access requests
15/09/2014 - The Minister for Justice and Equality has brought into effect a provision of the Data Protection Acts which prohibits employers from requiring employees to make data access requests. Whereas to date, some employers may have included criminal background checks in their recruitment process and required prospective employees to ask the Gardaí for their own criminal record and to hand the results over to the employer, the new provision prohibits the employer from doing so.
Government Proposals for systems of Registered Employment Agreements and Registered Employment Orders
15/09/2014 - Government proposals for new wage-setting mechanisms may impact sectors not previously governed by REAs. Ibec is seeking members’ views on the Government’s proposed replacement for the registered employment agreement (REA) mechanism. This new mechanism could apply to any sector of industry; it would not be limited to the sectors covered by the former REA system.
New speakers added to line-up for Ibec HR Leadership Summit 2014
19/08/2014 - James Winters, DePuy Synthes Ireland and Niall Horton, Openet have been added to the line-up of speakers for Ibec's 2014 HR Leadership Summit scheduled to take place in 23 October.
Engagement initiatives - HRUpdate Issue 1, 2014
18/08/2014 - With increasing attention on employee engagement and retention, the Ibec HRUpdate Issue 1, 2014 found that training and development was the most common engagement activity undertaken, with almost three quarters of companies (73%) providing opportunities, closely followed by employee briefings (70%) and social events (66%).
Whistleblowing legislation now in place
16/07/2014 - The Protected Disclosures Bill 2013 was enacted this week.
Back to Basics - from Contracts to Claims
19/05/2014 - Sponsored by Oracle and supported by Brightwater Recruitments Specialists, “Back to Basics – from Contracts to Claims” was the theme of this year’s annual Ibec Employment Law Conference, held in Dublin on Thursday, 15 May.
High Court confirms that occupational stress is not actionable
19/05/2014 - The High Court has provided a valuable distinction between occupational stress and workplace stress and bullying in Glynn -v- Minister for Justice Equality and Law Reform 
Ibec Head of IR/HR identifies key areas of work on employment law agenda currently being legislated for
19/05/2014 - Address by Maeve McElwee, Head of IR/HR, at Ibec’s 2014 Employment Law Conference “Back to Basics” held in Clontarf Castle, Dublin on 15 May 2014.
Critical questions for employers with DC pension schemes
07/04/2014 - The defined contribution option is now the standard model. While DC may be less challenging for employers than the defined benefit model, it still raises issues.
Injunction to prevent strike action at Irish Airports
12/03/2014 - The High Court granted injunctions preventing the four-hour work stoppage by Siptu members at the country’s three main airports due to take place on Friday 14 March. Mr Justice Paul Gilligan granted injunctions in proceedings taken by the Dublin Airport Authority and Ryanair preventing the strike from going ahead. Earlier this week Ibec CEO Danny McCoy wrote to Ibec members and outlined the efforts to resolve the industrial relations dispute relating to the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme through the appointment of an Expert Panel to investige how a final resolution can be secured.
Update on Workplace Relations Reform, March 2014
10/03/2014 - The Draft Scheme of the Workplace Relations Bill establishing a new two-tier workplace relations (the Workplace Relations Commission) structure to replace the current five bodies is reported to be at an advanced stage.
Minister signs orders in respect of JLC system
10/02/2014 - On 29 January 2014, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, took the next steps consequent on a review of the joint labour committees (JLCs) by the Labour Court.
2014 Funding supports for employment and R&D talent acquisition
09/01/2014 - It is important for employers to avail of any support schemes for which they are eligible when recruiting staff. These are divided into employment supports which aim to improve access to employment and R&D schemes that support talent acquisition and development.
HR Budget Update SURVEY RESULTS November 2013
19/11/2013 - Member companies were survey recently to see if they plan to review their company sick pay or maternity/adoptive benefit policies in response to new measures provided for in Budget 2014.
Innovation leaders describe their journey to IR/HR experts at Ibec’s 2013 HR Leadership Summit
15/10/2013 - Ibec’s 2013 HR Leadership Summit ‘Culture for Innovation’ was held in Dublin’s Convention Centre on 10 October.
Ibec rejects most of the findings of the review of JLCs
14/10/2013 - Ibec believes that the review into joint labour committees (JLCs) is deeply flawed and would create unjustifiable wage anomalies across the country.
Ibec concerned at implications for employers in proposed whistleblower legislation.
23/09/2013 - Ibec is concerned about the implications for employers of the Protected Disclosures in the Public Interest Bill.