HR in 90 Seconds - May 2018

Posted in : HR Updates ROI on 16 May 2018
Legal Island
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Last month’s article (HR in 90 Seconds - April 2018) proved really popular, so we thought that we would give it another go! This month, we bring you the HR stories we thought we could all learn a little something from! We’ve selected articles and summarised a few learning points to help you stay up to speed with minimal effort…

This month we have the opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of:

  • Having comprehensive and up to date policies. Ensuring that they are easily accessible and signed off by all employees;
  • How we can better understand why employees leave organisations to be able to deal with any retention issues that may exist within an organisation;
  • Knowing that Part-time employees are protected in law.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The recent media around the #metoo campaign - The Me Too movement being an international movement against sexual harassment and assault – has heightened our awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace. Caroline McEnery of the HR Suite took on the subject in her most recent article. She started with making the point that all claims of sexual harassment have potential to be costly for employers. There is a statutory obligation on employers to put in place adequate safeguards against inappropriate conduct. The following is a list of measures all companies should put in place to minimise the risk:

  • Ensure you have a comprehensive Dignity & Respect at Work Policy in your company handbook. You must ensure that all employees have signed off they have read and understood the same, the handbook should be easily accessible by all employees. 
  • Ensure that staff of all levels have received training on this policy as well as signing off that they have read and understood the contents of it.
  • Where funds allow, provide access to an Employee Assistance Programme.

To follow on from Caroline’s article and to take the notion of Sexual Harassment into the digital age Deirdre Crowley’s most recent hot topic article focused on instances of online sexual harassment in the workplace. Deirdre introduced the notion that employers should undertake a full HR audit – building into your dignity at work and social media policies that you are a supportive employer who will assist an employee to gain traction with a social media site that holds harmful material that originated in the workplace (or was likely to have done so), with the aim of having the offensive material taken down.

Deirdre concludes that until the law is reformed employers need to apply the principles of natural justice and fair procedures as well as existing law to best develop a response to a concern arising from digital sexual harassment at work on a case by case basis.

Our other HR articles this month looked at…

How to…retain your staff

In this month’s ‘How to…’ Dr Gerry McMahon reminded us that, as HR professionals, we all know that labour turnover rates vary widely across industries, organisations, occupations and regions. However, when the impact of labour turnover proves costly, employers are naturally motivated to do something about it. Dr Gerry gives us 7 actions/strategies that are most commonly applied and that can be adapted based upon the source of problem:

  1. Find out who’s leaving and why.
  2. Carry out exit interviews 
  3. Take the employee engagement, morale and satisfaction temperature periodically.
  4. Consider if the problem is sourced amongst newcomers – can it be addressed via professional recruitment, selection and induction processes.
  5. Provide training\development and career progression opportunities.
  6. Try to match the attendance (and work demands) to the employee. For example, implement flexible working.
  7. Beware of poachers/head-hunters and their habit of returning to re-poach the placement (or other employees) for another employer.

Preventing Discrimination against Part-Time Workers - How Do I Handle It?

In the most recent ‘How Do I Handle it?’ article Harry Wall of Ronan Daly Jermyn dealt with preventing discrimination against part-time workers. He discussed how to identify comparable employees, handling objective justifications and looking at benefits on a pro-rata basis. However, the main point that can be taken away is that it is advisable to keep a record of the status of all employees to ensure that any obligations applicable to part-time workers are being met under the part-time workers legislation. Similarly, consideration should be given to whether certain benefits can be applied pro-rata if such benefits are linked to hours worked by an employee. 

Free Webinars This Month (in association with the National College of Ireland)

Jennifer Cashman’s Employment Law Update

Friday 18th May 2018 (11:00 - 11:45)

Discussions will focus on the decision of the High Court in Hurley v An Post, a workplace bullying case where the employer was held liable for damages suffered by an employee initially caused by a one-off incident at work. In this webinar, Jennifer will also discuss topics that have been brought into focus by five other recent cases. Plus – any questions on employment law on relevant subject areas. Send in questions (anonymously) on the day or in advance to

Register Now:

Let’s discuss…Dismissals - Management and How to Minimise Risk for the Business

Wednesday 27th June 2018 (14:00 - 14:30)

In our HR webinar series along with the HR Suite, we continue to bring you a range of topics focusing on the day to day practicalities of HR. In this 30 minute webinar, Caroline McEnery, Managing Director of The HR Suite, will be discussing the practicalities of handling dismissals in the workplace and will provide some takeaway tips and advice on how to minimise the risk for the business during this process.

Register Now:

If you have seen any HR related articles you’d like to share with Legal-Island readers, drop a line to


This article is correct at 16/05/2018

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

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