HR in 90 Seconds - March 2018

Posted in : Supplementary Articles ROI on 10 April 2018
Legal Island
Legal Island
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We know how hard it is to stay up to date with latest developments in HR when you’re busy doing the day job and time is tight. Bring yourself up to speed with this 90 second summary of the HR stories you need to know about from the last few weeks! We’ve selected and summarised the learning points from the best of the latest HR-related articles to help update you in a minute and a half each month:

Long-term sick has definitely been the hot topic for the last number of weeks and there have been lots of questions and reading on the website around this, here is a summary of some of the thinking and some useful reading with a few points that you can takeaway...

It was interesting to see that the most read article on the website in the last month was on the accrual of annual leave during sickness from October 2015. In this article, Elaine Kelly from ByrneWallace considered the then-new rules on annual leave and sick leave. Elaine addresses the most frequently asked questions at a time when new legislation came into operation. Having read this article again it answers a lot of the FAQs that we get in relation to this topic and the content is still very relevant a few years down the line…it includes answers to questions including long-term sick and dismissal, holiday accrual, the calculation of holidays and carrying over holidays while on sick leave.

This article may lead us to think about what happens when, as an HR practitioner, you believe that an employee on long-term sick leave is abusing the sick leave policy. A frequent thought in this area is…can we engage a private investigator to follow the employee to gather evidence that we can then use in a disciplinary process?

In answer to this question Michael Doyle from A&L Goodbody reminds us that the hiring of a Private Investigator and the conducting of covert surveillance is a somewhat drastic step and an employer who has concerns about the veracity of an employee's medical-related absence should get the employee independently medically assessed. If those concerns are not adequately addressed via such a referral, only then should an employer consider the necessity of engaging a PI and take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with applicable data protection legislation. Michael gives us 4 key points should you who wish to engage a Private Investigator. These include:

  • Is it necessary and why?
  • Is the PI registered with the Private Security Authority?
  • Do you have a GDPR proofed written contract with the PI?
  • Is the surveillance limited to what is reasonable?

Michael is not the first expert to discuss this topic. In a previous ‘Hot Topics’ article in January 2017, Deirdre Crowley of Crowley Solicitors examined when private investigators can be used, the regulation of private investigators and what to consider in the terms of engagement of a private investigator.

Our regular How to... series with Dr Gerry McMahon has also given us some helpful absence management takeaways including using the ‘W.A.R.M.’ approach to the process, at the ‘Welcome Back To Work’ meeting. Gerry provides a full list of practical prescriptions available to employers for the effective management of absenteeism.

Our other HR articles this month looked at…

Disability in employment and reasonable accommodation

The topics of disability and reasonable accommodation have become a forefront HR subject of late. In this article Caroline McEnery focuses on disability in employment setting out the relevant legislation, what constitutes a disability, managing absence and reasonable accommodation?

How to…improve employee engagement

Employee engagement has been defined as an approach that ensures employees are motivated and committed to the organisation’s goals and values. Or put a different way it’s about people coming to work mentally as well as physically. With this in mind, Dr Gerry McMahon considers ‘Can employee engagement really be worth the investment?’ His research suggests that YES it is. This article is particularly useful as Dr McMahon summarises his findings in seven practices his research has found to be effective in this search for success.

And finally, if you’ve more than 90 seconds to spare…with the GDPR 25th May deadline fast approaching why not have a listen to Deirdre Crowley’s Guide to the GDPR for HR Professionals. In this webinar, Deirdre Crowley, Partner & Head of the Technology and Employment Law Units in Crowley Solicitors, sets out practical tips on how to become GDPR compliant.

Let’s discuss… Workplace Investigations

As part of our webinar series, Legal-Island have teamed up with the HR Suite to bring you a range of topics focusing more on the day to day practicalities of HR. The aim of the webinars will be to bring you some takeaway advice and tips on the HR topics that you want to hear about.

To kick-start the series we discuss Workplace Investigations. In this 30-minute webinar Caroline McEnery, Managing Director of The HR Suite, HR and Employment Law Expert and WRC Adjudicator, discusses the practicalities of conducting workplace investigations and provides some takeaway tips on how to avoid the common pitfalls.

All webinar recordings and searchable transcriptions are available in the resources section of the Irish Employment Law Hub.


This article is correct at 10/04/2018

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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