Annual Review of Employment Law 2020

Annual Review of Employment Law 2020

This conference has already taken place, and the feedback we received was excellent - from the presenters, the sessions, the detailed notes provided by the speakers, we're delighted with the feedback.

If you missed out and would like access to the Annual Review of Employment Law conference 2020 video and digital notes bundle, it's available here (priced at £455 + VAT).

Alternatively you can get the printed notes for the conference - our team will print the notes, sort them into sections and put them in our famous leather folders and post them to you upon receipt of payment. 332 pages in total. If you're interested, the printed notes are available here (priced at £225 + VAT).


The two-day Annual Review of Employment Law 2020 conference will take place via our online browser-based platform over TWO DAYS on Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 November 2020.

Register today and you'll join over 300 of your HR peers in learning from Northern Ireland's leading employment lawyers and HR professionals.

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a huge amount of uncertainty, leading to a year of unprecedented change for all employers and HR professionals, as well as employees.

The impact of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown has super-sized employment issues for employers this year. Amid the lockdown and uncertainty, many organisations were forced to drastically change their formal policies, procedures and established ways of working, with employees asked to either work differently, work from home or placed on furlough.

How we can help you

As we move towards a ‘new normal’ in both life and the workplace, this online conference will give you a comprehensive update with expert insight on the most important developments you need to understand from 2020, helping you build the resilience, knowledge and confidence to excel in 2021.

Let us save you and your organisation time, money and stress by providing you with detailed updates on the Northern Ireland, GB and European employment law developments that you need to know. This is the 22nd year of Legal Island’s Annual Review of Employment Law – the original, biggest and best in Northern Ireland.

After engaging with thousands of local HR professionals through our customer surveys, Northern Ireland Employment Law Hub and free webinar series, we have built this year’s Annual Review of Employment Law conference programme for you. All of the key topic areas are based on the questions and suggestions we received from you and your peers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We’ll answer hundreds of your top questions throughout the two-day conference. You still get everything you would expect from Legal Island’s Annual Review of Employment Law, including top speakers, a comprehensive set of digital notes and presentation slides for each session.

Sessions include:

  • Review of an Extraordinary Year (Part 1): The Impact of Covid-19 and Other Changes – Key Lessons (Speaker: Mark McAllister, Director of Employment Relations Services, Labour Relations Agency)
  • Covid-19: Employer Liability for Infections and Other Litigation (Speaker: Paul Gillen, Head of the Employment Team, Pinsent Masons)
  • Regulating Home and Remote Working – Top Tips from a Leading Employment Lawyer (Speaker: Leeanne Armstrong, Legal Director, TLT)
  • The Northern Ireland Case Review 2020 and Key Next Steps(Speaker: Jason Elliott BL)
  • Minimising Risks and Costs from Redundancy Selection(Speaker: Gareth Walls, Partner, A&L Goodbody)
  • Remote Workplace Investigations and Disciplinary Hearings: Getting it Right (Speaker: Christine Swail, Director, People Management Solutions)
  • Review of the Extraordinary Year (Part 2): Looking at What’s to Come in 2021 (including Brexit) (Speaker: Mark McAllister, Director of Employment Relations Services, Labour Relations Agency)
  • And much more (this year we’ve got 19 sessions in total and you’ll have access to every single one during the conference and via recordings)

How will you benefit from attending?

  • Minimise your organisation’s risk of litigation
  • Understand how the relevant new cases from Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Europe impact on your workplace
  • Prepare for the year ahead
  • Update your policies with the useful templates and precedent wording for key areas in your organisation – sent to you by email after the event
  • Refer to all important legislative and case law changes which are relevant to your workplace, with comprehensive digital notes

Access to every single session! Last year’s attendees could choose to attend 7 out of the 13 sessions, this year you can attend up to 11 live sessions, plus catch up on the others through recordings (meaning you can watch all 19 sessions). All sessions will be recorded so if you have to nip offline for a meeting or are unable to attend one of the days you can still watch back all the sessions at a later time that suits you. 

Up to 13 hours of CPD hours are available from this event – this would include all missed recordings being watched afterwards and Q&As. Please note, this is the maximum available and your hours will depend on your activity during and after the event.

When & Where?

We'll be hosting this event on our new online platform on Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 November 2020.


Standard Rate: £455 + VAT
Small Company/Charity Rate: £365 + VAT
Save an additional £20 when you book and pay online.

If you wish to be sure of your place(s) this year you can register online using the 'Book your place on this event now' button at the top of the page or by emailing

Have you got a question? We've compiled some of our most frequently asked questions into a guide to help put your mind at ease when registering for this year's event including information on Hopin. You can view it here.

More about our new online, browser-based platform Hopin

Our new browser-based platform, Hopin, enables you to experience everything you expect from a Legal Island event - exceptional and expert speakers, comprehensive notes, template documents, lots of session options, exhibitors and Q&A. Hopin is a virtual venue with multiple interactive areas that are optimised for connecting and engaging attendees. Participants can move in and out of rooms, network and visit exhibitor stalls just like an in-person event and enjoy the content and connections we've created for you. This platform is 100% browser-based, meaning you don’t need to download any unnecessary software. For the best experience, Hopin recommend that you use the Google Chrome browser.


Sponsored by:

NI Jobs





"Excellent event as per previous years."
Christine Sheridan, Head of HR, Belfast City Council

"Great speakers, content and pace. The venue was also very good."
Claire Edgar, HR, Compliance & Payroll Manager, Atlas Communications (NI) Ltd

"As always, a 5* event from Legal Island. Great live up of speakers, great take-home notes for sessions I couldn't attend and lots of treats during the day too!!"
Nicola Cherry, HR Director, Fusion Heating Ltd

"I thought the day was well planned and executed. The sessions with Mark, Ciara and Louise were excellent and very informed. The staff from Legal Island were amazing!"
Tracey McCabe, Director of Human Resources, Mount Charles

You're in good company, previous attendees include:


NI Annual Review Previous Attendee Logos



  • Seònaid Ó Murchadha
    Seònaid Ó Murchadha Disability Employment Specialist

    Founder of Amputee Disability Federation Ireland, Seònaid Ó Murchadha has been promoting the employment of people with disabilities for over 20 years, using her unique perception and engaging methods of communication to highlight the abilities of people with disabilities.  Most recently, Seònaid has been working with Dublin City University’s Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion helping organisations to build cultures of inclusion by providing access to the very latest developments in academic research, insights and tools on diversity and inclusion.

  • David Johnston
    David Johnston Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

    A Human Resources professional for over 24 years, and interested in equality and diversity matters, most of his career has seen him working in complex and high profile public service organisations, including: Inland Revenue, Police Ombudsman’s office, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. 

  • Mark McAllister
    Mark McAllister Director of Employment Relations Services
    Labour Relations Agency

    Mark McAllister is Director of Employment Relations Services with the LRA and part-time lecturer in Law. He specialises in employment law, dispute prevention and strategic collaborative working in industrial and employment relations. Mark is the former Northern Ireland Convenor of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and the Chair of the NI ICSA Governance Institute. He is an accredited mediator,  a member of the Employment Lawyers’ Group and the Industrial Law Society and is a regular speaker on the employment law circuit and contributor to employment law publications.

  • Seamus McGranaghan
    Seamus McGranaghan Director - Commercial
    O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors

    Seamus McGranaghan qualified as a Solicitor in O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors in 2003 and practices mainly in the areas of education and employment law. Seamus has assisted and advised many Boards of Governors, Senior Management Teams and Teachers in relation to all aspects of education and employment law. Seamus also provides advocacy services for Boards of Governors on both Expulsion Appeals and Independent Admissions Appeal tribunals. 

  • Helen O'Brien
    Helen O'Brien HR Senior Consultant

    Helen O'Brien joined BeyondHR, a Northern Ireland based HR and H&S consultancy firm in 2016.  Previous to this Helen was for many years the manager for the delivery of employment services in Ireland, Scotland and the North of England for a large UK consultancy business.

    She has experience in all aspects of the HR consultancy service from the preparation of employment documentation to employment advice, training, consultancy and representation at Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals. 

  • Claes Peyron
    Claes Peyron Managing Director - Nordics, UK & Ireland

    Claes has been with Universum since 2010 and in his role he advices organizations on how to leverage their employer brands and secure current and future talent needs. Claes is also a regular speaker on employer branding and talent trends conferences around the world. In addition, he leads Employer Branding Academy, Universum’s training offer. Prior to joining Universum, Claes was the Managing Director of the marketing strategy firm Marketing Clinic and before that he spent several years in executive positions in the IT and Media sector, incl 5 years with MTG.

  • Suzanna Vallely
    Suzanna Vallely Marketing Consultant
    Kukoon Rugs
    Suzanna Vallely is a multi-award winning Marketer with experience working with SME’s all over Ireland. Suzanna acts as Freelance Marketing Director for companies looking assistance with both digital and traditional marketing. 
    Suzanna was listed as the Young Construction Marketer of the Year 2019, has been a Guest Lecturer for University of Ulster and is previous President of Newry Junior Chamber of Commerce.
  • Peter Bates
    Peter Bates Head of Brand & Marketing
    EMEA at Citi

    Peter Bates is Head of Brand and Sponsorship for EMEA, responsible for brand communications for the franchise and coordination with the regional product marketing teams within the business across EMEA.  He has a strong interest in the role of a brand within an organization and is a steward of the Citi brand across the EMEA region. Peter continuously works to strengthen Citi’s brand, which in turn works to promote the bank, its products, its mission. Peter’s experience prior to Citi was in design within the brand and advertising industry, working for clients such as Ford Motor Company, Sky TV and The Post Office. Peter has an art school education and holds an MA from Central St. Martin’s School of Art and Design.

  • Anna Beggan
    Anna Beggan Partner

    Anna joined Tughans as a Partner in June 2006 to head up the Employment Team and has grown and developed the team to now be one of the largest and most highly regarded in Northern Ireland.

  • Emer Hinphey
    Emer Hinphey Partner
    Think People Consulting

    Emer Hinphey is an experienced HR and talent development professional.   In her role as Partner in Think People Consulting, Emer has worked with a range of local and global companies across industry sectors, developing strategy, managing complex HR projects and delivering successful leadership development. 

    Prior to setting up Think People Consulting, Emer worked as HR Manager for AIB International Financial Services and as Head of HR for a Telecommunications company.

  • Sam Davidson
    Sam Davidson Group HR Director
    Henderson Group

    Since graduating from Queen’s University, Belfast in 1985, Sam has spent his entire career working within the HR field. Starting in Northern Ireland Electricity, Sam spent five years learning the ropes of what was then ‘personnel management’ as a graduate and during this time helped to set up the first Equal Opportunities unit in the organisation. Sam left NIE to join Nortel Networks, and has acted as HR Business Partner for a number of international business units. Sam joined Henderson group in 2004, as their first Group HR Director, and is still thoroughly enjoying the journey as they continue to grow and become a truly leading organisation within the food sector on the island of Ireland and indeed Great Britain.

  • Nora Smith
    Nora Smith Chief Executive

    Nora became Chief Executive of CO3 in March 2014. With over 500 members and operating for over 30 years, CO3 is a mature and strategic organisation, which ensures that CO3 members remain at the centre of its work.  CO3 provides much needed support, advice, information and development opportunities for Voluntary and Community and Social Enterprise leaders in NI.

  • Orlagh O'Neill
    Orlagh O'Neill Partner
    Carson McDowell

    Orlagh O'Neill is a Partner and Head of the Employment Team at Carson McDowell Solicitors in Belfast. She advises mainly employer clients on a wide range of employment issues and has acted for some of Northern Ireland's largest employers, including Royal Mail and BT. She is a committee member and vice chair of the Employment Lawyers Group of Northern Ireland, a member of both the UK and Irish Employment Law Groups (ELA and ELAI) and a regular speaker at annual employment law update conferences.

  • Adam Brett
    Adam Brett Partner
    Jones Cassidy Brett

    Adam Brett is a Partner in Jones Cassidy Brett. For many years Adam jointly headed the litigation department of a major Belfast Commercial Practice, and for the last 20 years he has concentrated increasingly on employment and discrimination matters. Adam has throughout his career advised a wide range of educational and charitable bodies, including Schools, Universities, Colleges, and other educational institutions in relation to employment, student and other concerns.


  • Kiera Lee
    Kiera Lee Partner
    Mills Selig

    Kiera has 19 years’ experience in employment law acting mainly for employers in contentious and non-contentious matters. Her client list includes leading NI Companies and large employers (up to 2,000 employees).

    Kiera’s experience covers day to day HR problems and complex restructuring issues. She has given advice on a restructure and redundancy programme involving more than 800 employees and defended multi claimant tribunal claims for unfair dismissal arising from TUPE transfers.

    She also assists with strategic decisions, successfully managing the exit of senior executives and any contentious issues with restrictive covenants.  

  • Michelle Halloran
    Michelle Halloran Trainer
    Human Resource Management Services

    Michelle Halloran is an experienced Human Resource Management professional providing training and consultancy services to organisations nationwide, in the Public and Private sector. She has spent a long career originally in executive and general management roles, then specialising in Human Resources management in Ireland, the UK and Europe, across various sectors including investment banking, information technology, manufacturing and services plus some time in the public sector, before starting her own HR consultancy business 12 years ago. Her key areas of expertise are in workplace investigations, disciplinary and performance management and employee relations, and the practical application of employment law in a HR context.

  • Leeanne Armstrong
    Leeanne Armstrong Legal Director

    Leeanne joined TLT as a Legal Director in the Employment team in July 2018. Leeanne has experience of advising a range of public and private sector clients on a broad range of employment issues.

    Her experience includes support and representation of clients in the Industrial Tribunal and the Fair Employment Tribunal, TUPE, outsourcing, absence management, grievance and disciplinary procedures, redundancy, equality and diversity issues (including monitoring obligations). In addition, Leeanne has extensive experience supporting on employment aspects of multi-million pound M&As. Leeanne's depth of experience enables her to bring a practical and commercial approach to the advice she provides to clients, including in the management of tribunal litigation, so as to provide the client with the most favourable and cost-effective outcomes.

  • Gareth Walls
    Gareth Walls Partner
    A&L Goodbody

    Gareth Walls is partner and head of the A&L Goodbody Employment and Incentives team in Northern Ireland. Gareth represents a number of local, national and international brands in business support, strategic workforce planning and tribunal matters. He also has significant experience in corporate immigration, redundancy, re-structuring and TUPE issues. Gareth is an accomplished advocate with particular emphasis on equality matters, unfair dismissal, covenants and injunctive relief in the Employment context, as well as being a CEDR qualified mediator.

  • Paul Gillen
    Paul Gillen Partner
    Pinsent Masons

    Paul Gillen is a Partner in the employment & pensions team at Pinsent Masons LLP. Beginning his career in Human Resource Management, he spent more than 10 years working in a variety of HR roles including retail, construction, civil engineering, manufacturing and distribution.

    Paul is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and is currently vice chair to the Northern Ireland Branch Committee. Paul is a member of the CBI Employment and Skills committee and a Visiting Professor to the School of Law at the University of Ulster.

  • Becky Jones
    Becky Jones In-House Global Employment Counsel

    Becky is In-House Global Employment Counsel at Citco. Becky’s primary objective in Citco to provide counsel to senior leaders on employment related legal issues, policies and procedures influenced by domestic and international employment legislation. As part of the CITCO’s HR team Becky has a global consultancy role, with responsibility for designing, coordinating and communicating the implementation of best in class employee relations practices across Citco offices.  She is also responsible for driving Diversity & Inclusion and best employment practices across the company.

    Previously Becky worked in FMCG as Legal Director, Compliance Officer and a member of senior management teams for Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland and also Regional Legal Counsel for Diageo Ireland providing practical commercial legal solutions for the entire business as well as pioneering new technological solutions and creating diversity and inclusion networks.  She is passionate about personal development and is a coach and mentor to a number of people.  She regularly speaks about D&I matters including mental health and resilience as well as providing training on a variety of legal topics.

  • Conor Curran
    Conor Curran Head of Diversity & Inclusion
    Queen's University Belfast

    Conor is a qualified employment lawyer and HR professional with over 15 years’ experience of embedding effective D&I strategies in large complex organisations, having previously worked in the policing, justice and health sectors. In his current role as Head of Diversity & Inclusion, he has helped Queen’s University Belfast develop a reputation as leader in Equality, Diversity & Inclusion best practice, both locally and nationally. A Russell Group University, with a workforce of 4,500 staff and 27,000 students from almost 100 different countries, Queen’s is also widely recognised as Northern Ireland’s top university and one of the country’s most diverse organisations.


  • Jason Elliott BL
    Jason Elliott BL BL

    Jason Elliott was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2013 and is the Associate Head of School of Law at Ulster University.  As a practising barrister, he has developed a largely civil practice representing individuals, companies and public bodies in litigation.  This covers a wide range of areas including personal injuries, wills and employment law. In terms of employment law, he has represented both applicants and respondents in the Industrial Tribunal. At Ulster University, Jason lectures extensively on the civil areas of practise such as Equity and Trusts and delivers employment law lectures for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. 

  • Lisa Bryson
    Lisa Bryson Partner
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Lisa is a partner in the employment and immigration team of Eversheds Sutherland.  Lisa trained and qualified with Eversheds LLP (as was then) in Nottingham and London before moving back ‘home’ in 2009.  She has led the employment and immigration practice in Northern Ireland since re-joining the firm in 2017.

    Lisa has considerable experience of providing contentious and non-contentious employment law advice to private and public sector clients.   She specialises in restructuring and TUPE work, major change programmes, executive matters and severances and Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunal litigation.  Lisa is an experienced Tribunal advocate and has appeared in numerous hearings both in Northern Ireland and England.  Lisa advises clients across a broad range of sectors with a particular interest in the financial and professional services, retail, media and telecommunications, transport and logistics and manufacturing sectors.

    The practice group works closely with businesses preparing for the immigration implications of Brexit and those businesses seeking to move their workforce around the globe and recruit new employees to ensure that all legal requirements are met.

  • Christine Swail
    Christine Swail Director & Co-Founder
    People Management Solutions

    Christine is Director and Co-Founder of People Management Solutions, an award winning HR Consultancy with offices in Belfast and Dungannon. Christine works with small to medium sized organisations putting best practice HR in place as well as working with larger multi-nationals on specific HR projects and complex workplace disputes.  Christine has worked in HR throughout Ireland for over 25 years with some of the leading and most innovative companies. Key areas of expertise include workplace investigations, mediation, employee relations and HR related training. Christine was recently awarded the CIPD NI HR Consultant of the Year award.

  • Barry Phillips
    Barry Phillips Chairman
    Legal Island

    Barry Phillips (CEO) BEM founded Legal Island in 1998. Since then, the company has become the leading workplace compliance training company in the island of Ireland. He was awarded a British Empire Medal in the UK New Year’s Honours List 2020 for services to employment and equality.

  • Lisa Kepinski
    Lisa Kepinski Inclusion Institute
    Founder & Director

    Lisa is the founder & director of Inclusion Institute. She brings over 25 years’ experience working in diverse, global environments, as a senior executive for Global Diversity & Inclusion with AXA, Microsoft, & Hewlett-Packard setting strategic direction internationally. Her current global organization, Inclusion Institute, is focused on consultancy, training, coaching, & research to increase inclusion. Lisa’s special expertise in behavioral science and organizational development integrated with inclusive culture make her a unique resource for change at all levels. She partners with organizations on how to successfully achieve their goals for creating a more inclusive culture for sustainable growth and achieving their strategic mission. Lisa works for impact in our workplaces and societies.

  • Raafi-Karim Alidina
    Raafi-Karim Alidina Consultant & Author
    Frost Included

    Raafi-Karim Alidina is a consultant at Frost Included, where he designs and implements behavioural insights interventions to improve equality, diversity, and create inclusive cultures in organizations. Raafi is co-author of Building an Inclusive Organization: Leveraging the Power of a Diverse Workforce.

    His research on using behavioural economics for inclusion in organisations and the development of a behavioural measure for inclusion as part of his Masters in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School was awarded the Jane Mansbridge Research Award, and the Susan C Eaton Memorial Prize for the top HKS Masters Thesis in Social Policy.

  • Michael Wardlow
    Michael Wardlow Chair of NI Public Sector Chairs' Forum and Chair of NI Police Fund

    Michael was the Chief Commissioner for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, a part-time public appointment for 8 years until February 2020. A self-employed consultant, a role he took up in September 2009 after almost 15 years as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education.

    Michael is a regular speaker and facilitator at a variety of international reconciliation events and have carried out a number of evaluations of peace building projects in Europe, Asia and Africa.

  • Niamh Shiells
    Niamh Shiells Head of Leadership and Team Coaching
    Advance Coaching

    Niamh is an Accredited Professional Executive and Systemic Team Coach, former Chair of Association for Coaching Ireland and an AC Fellow. She has nearly two decades' experience of coaching with local and global leaders and teams and helping them shape Emotional Intelligence and Resilience development opportunities. Supporting “well beings” is not just a nice human thing to do but also an essential sustainability strategy for engagement, performance and service/business continuity.

  • Kerry Anthony MBE
    Kerry Anthony MBE Group Chief Executive
    Inspire Wellbeing

    Kerry has worked in the health and social care sector for over 20 years, primarily in the fields of homelessness, mental health and addiction. Prior to joining Inspire, she was the CEO of Depaul Ireland for 12 years, where she also supported the development work of Depaul International across a number of countries. She holds a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Voluntary Sector Management. Kerry has held a variety of Trustee roles and is currently a board member of Tuath Housing Association. A key area of interest for Kerry is leading through values.

  • Helena Woodward
    Helena Woodward Director of HR for Global Centres
    Baker McKenzie - Manila, Buenos Aires, Tampa & Belfast

    Helena is a Strategic HR partner with over 20 years’ experience mostly within high growth organisations. Her area of expertise is building a compelling employee value proposition to attract and retain top talent through creating the right culture.  She holds a BSc in Psychology from the University of Liverpool and has led high performing HR teams at Baker McKenzie, NYSE Euronext and Santander. Helena is currently the Director of HR for Baker McKenzie Global Centers (Manila, Buenos Aires, Tampa & Belfast). Wife, mother and dog owner!

  • Louise McAloon
    Louise McAloon Partner

    Louise heads up, leads and manages the employment department of Worthingtons Solicitors, which is currently the largest employment law practice in Northern Ireland. 

    With 14 years’ experience in employment law, Louise’s knowledge and attention to detail provides an expert and innovative approach that her clients value in relation to complex areas of litigation including Public Interest Disclosure, Equal Pay, Discrimination, Unfair Dismissal and Trade Union Activities.

  • Anna Flanagan
    Anna Flanagan Senior Associate
    Pinsent Masons

    Anna is qualified as a solicitor in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. She works as a Senior Associate in the Litigation & Regulatory Compliance team of Pinsent Masons, specialising in helping clients handle regulatory investigations and prosecutions to include Data Protection & Freedom of Information and Fraud. Anna also advises clients in relation to commercial litigation disputes, particularly litigation arising from Property and Energy matters.

  • David Gillick
    David Gillick Olympian, European Champion, Author and Health Advocate

    One of Ireland’s most successful athletes, a two-time European champion, an Olympian and a world finalist. David Gillick competed at the top of his sport through taking ownership, relocating, staying motivated, keeping a promise and building a plan. He retired in 2013 and found new challenges and opportunities in the MasterChef Kitchen. All seemed well but on the inside David was in turmoil and since has been vocal on his physical and mental struggles and the resulting tips and strategies he used to manage his mental wellbeing.

    David’s talks are engaging, motivating and real. He shares his story in an honest and human way which covers area around mindset, exercise, food and rest. With real life advice and tips the audience will have an insight into David’s tool box which helps him manage his health and wellbeing.

Event details


9:15am - 4:00pm on Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 November


05 November 2020


Hopin (Online Platform)


Standard Rate: £455 + VAT
Small Company/Charity Rate: £365 + VAT
Save an additional £20 if you pay online when booking.