Irish Employment Law: What We Learned Last Quarter (Q2 2021)

Posted in : Supplementary Articles ROI on 5 July 2021
Legal Island
Legal Island
Issues covered: Covid-19; Collective Redundancy; Zoom Fatigue

Legal Island's Learning and Development team have collated all of the updates we sent our 1,600+ Irish Employment Law Hub subscribers in Q2 2021 and listed some of the most important and interesting ones below.  Click on the links to find out more:

In the quarter where Dublin was ranked the 39th most expensive city to live, case law, guidance and legislative changes have been coming in thick and fast, while HR teams and the media debate home working, hybrid working and employee health and well-being.

In the wake of publishing its sixth Annual Report, the WRC has also published a Code of Practice for employers and employees on the right to disconnect; a public consultation has was opened on the introduction of the right to request remote work.  A statutory sick pay scheme will be phased in over a four-year period, while a new pilot programme to test the effectiveness of a four-day working week has been launched.

Cabinet has approved strengthened gender pay gap legislation proposals. While a new report from the Women’s Council of Ireland calls for corporate boards to comprise 40% women within 3 years.

The government is to introduce legislative amendments to enable the WRC to continue to discharge its statutory functions in line with the Constitution in the wake of the Zalewski decision.

Meanwhile, The Supreme Court ended 2020 with its lowest waiting times in memory, and no backlog of cases. It has also confirmed that sectoral employment orders (SEOs) legislation is lawful.

Working from home and hybrid working looks set to stay and data from the second annual national remote working survey in Ireland shows that 95% of respondents were in favour of working remotely on an on-going basis to some extent.

Have a look at our updates in relation to remote working from ICTU, DETE and the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council.

If you’re thinking of making hybrid working the norm in your organisation, Niall Eyre discusses how to navigate the complexities, make and communicate decisions to ensure an effective hybrid working model.

Bringing you right up to date, remote working was given a boost in July with the launch of the #MakingRemoteWork campaign.

And quality of life and worker well-being is at the forefront of minds, Cariona Neary, of OCN Coaching Champions sets out how to train and inspire newly recruited employees in the hospitality/festival industry.

We have an excellent article on different aspects of the new unified Code on workplace bullying - the role of the contact person and the benefits of a combined dignity at work policy. Additionally, in his ‘How To’ article Dr Gerry McMahon outlines the role of the nominated person in bullying cases in seizing the ‘window of opportunity’ to resolve complaints at an early stage.

In Northern Ireland, the Equality Commission have teamed up with the LRA and NICICTU to produce helpful guidance for promoting equality in employment for women affected by Menopause. Check out our discussion on this very topic in our Employment law at 11 webinar recording.

Jennifer Cashman of RDJ and Cliona Kimber SC consider whether employers can require employees to get vaccinated. HSE managers have been told to risk-assess staff who are not vaccinated against Covid-19.

The General Scheme of the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Bill has been published. It will extend whistleblowing protections to volunteers, unpaid trainees, board members, shareholders and job applicants and to private sector organisations with 50 or more employees.

Meanwhile, the door opens for employees’ right to independent legal advice before signing an NDA.

Join us for a webinar this Thursday, 8th July with Caroline Reidy of the HR Suite as she discusses statutory sick pay and its implications for absence management.

And finally, 

We are delighted to launch our Workplace Wellbeing, Mental Health and Resilience podcast. This podcast series focuses on several key sessions recently delivered at Legal Island’s online Workplace Wellbeing, Mental Health and Resilience event in association with KinchLyons, which took place on 20th May 2021.

In episode 1 - Transitioning to a New Normal - Surviving & Thriving in a Post-Pandemic World - Billy Byrne, Executive Coach at KinchLyons, asks: What does wellbeing mean now for employees and their employers?

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This article is correct at 05/07/2021

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.

Legal Island
Legal Island

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