Employment Equality Law in Ireland Update 2020

Employment Equality Law in Ireland Update 2020

Employment Equality Update 2020 – in Association with Beo Solutions

Introduction - Why this event and why now?

This is Ireland’s only event with a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of employment equality law developments.

So much has happened in the field of employment equality law since our last review (honestly, this last year has not only been about Covid-19) and we focus on the key areas of employment equality developments that will impact in Ireland, such as:

  • CJEU and Irish Case Law Developments, with Marguerite Bolger SC and Michelle Ní Longáin – cases and other employment equality developments from home and abroad in the last year relevant to Ireland’s workplaces
  • Challenging Everyday Racism. David Stephenson BL of Doughty Chambers, London and Manchester, helps you understand the ‘Psychology of Race’ and Unconscious Bias in Discrimination Cases
  • Workplace Sexual Harassment in Ireland. Kiwana Ennis BL sets out why four out of five workers experiencing sexual harassment at work in Ireland do not report the incident to their employer
  • Equality Implications of Covid-19 Part 1: The Unequal Impact of Coronavirus. Clíona Kimber SC interprets the equality impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Ireland
  • Equality Implications of Covid-19 Part 2: Discrimination by Association – The Latest Equality Battleground in the New Normal. Clíona Kimber SC, explains why, in the light of lockdown, homeworking options and the risks to health from Covid-19, claims of associated discrimination are likely to rise
  • Equality Implications of Covid-19 Part 3: Mental Health and Employment and the Role of Disability Discrimination Law. Cathal McGreal BL sets out how the law has developed over the years and how the impact of Covid-19 is likely to shine a spotlight on this sensitive area

If you value employment equality law or advise on same, this is an essential CPD learning opportunity.

Join our speakers, including two Senior Counsel, three leading Junior Counsel, and a senior employment partner at Ireland’s only employment equality law update for experienced legal and HR practitioners.

Why is this event important for YOU?

As an employment law practitioner, other representative at hearings or seasoned HR professional you have to keep up to date with developments in this area if you are to defend or pursue cases successfully. You need to know what has changed in order to give the latest, practical and correct advice.

Speakers will concentrate on important case law and useful arguments; the ratio and how these decisions impact on existing law. They will also provide detailed notes, practical templates and advice to all delegates.

After attending you will:

  • Know the latest developments in employment equality laws affecting Irish workplaces.
  • Be able to advise on these developments and have detailed reference notes.
  • Have networked with equality experts and peers with a serious interest in employment equality laws – previous years have seen several Adjudication Officers and Labour Court Chairs at this event, alongside many lawyers, other representatives and senior HR practitioners.

More value from this event

This event comes with a full and comprehensive set of up to the minute notes for future reference, including analysis of relevant case law published in the month prior to this event. Delegates will also be able to access recordings of all sessions when made available after the event for 10 working days.

Course overview/outline programme

  • Chair: Bernadette Treanor, Managing Consultant, Beo Solutions, and former Equality Officer

Day 1: 21st Oct:

  • Irish Employment Equality Case Law Review 2020:Marguerite Bolger SC
  • Challenging Everyday Racism: David Stephenson BL, Doughty Chambers
  • Workplace Sexual Harassment in Ireland: Kiwana Ennis BL

Day 2: 22nd Oct:

  • International Developments 2020: Michelle Ní Longáin, Employment Law Partner, ByrneWallace
  • Mental Health and the Law: Cathal McGreal BL
  • The Equality Impact of Covid-19: Clíona Kimber SC
  • Associated Discrimination: Clíona Kimber SC

Who is it for?

This course is designed with experienced employment law practitioners, in-house lawyers and HR professionals in mind. NOTE: Speakers on this course are asked to assume that delegates have a reasonably sound knowledge of employment equality law. This event is not suitable for beginners in this field.

Price...

Early Bird: €375 (deadline 5pm on Friday 4th September)
Standard Rate:
€425
Multi-booking discount:
if you have more than one attendee to this event, please contact vanessa@legal-island.com to avail of €30 discount per attendee.

Programme

Time

Session

 

Day 1: 21st October 2020

9.00

Get to Know Us: Familiarise yourself with the functions of our online event to ensure you maximise return on your investment. Scott Alexander, Head of Learning & Development, Legal Island.

9.10

Introduction and Welcome: Setting the scene and what to expect from the day (Bernadette Treanor, Managing Consultant, Beo Solutions, and former Equality Officer).

9.20

Irish Employment Equality Case Law Review 2020: Marguerite Bolger SC provides an overview of this year’s important Irish employment equality cases before the Labour Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and highlights the key lessons for employers and employment law practitioners. Cases include:

Cunningham v Irish Prison Service [2020] IEHC 282 (Disability Discrimination and Reasonable Accommodation)

Reeves & anor and Lennon & anor v Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal & ors [2020] IESC 31 (Constitutional vindication of the severely disabled minor applicants' rights)

M.A.M. (Somalia) v Minister for Justice and Equality and others [2020] IESC 284 (Family Reunification and Refugees)

Coyle v The Labour Court and Blackrock College 2020 IEHC 111 (Permanent v Fixed Term Contract)

A Pharmacy technician v A Pharmacy [2020] ADJ-00022633 (Pregnancy-related dismissal)

Aoife Commons v Dublin City Council [2020] ADJ-00024040 (Equal Pay)

A service user v A public service body [2020] ADJ-00017370 (Equal Status - disability discrimination)

A Support Pharmacist v A Pharmacy Chain [2020] ADJ-00022879 (Family Status and Gender discrimination)

Kathleen Dempsey v The West of Ireland Alzheimer Foundation [2019] ADJ-00014857 (Age and Retirement)

NOTE: Subjects covered in this session may vary from those shown and will focus on the most important Irish cases at October 2020.

10.05

Q&A

10.15

Break and Networking

10.45

Challenging Everyday Racism – Understanding the ‘Psychology of Race’ and Unconscious Bias in Discrimination Cases. David Stephenson BL of Doughty Street Chambers, London, was recommended by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 as a leading Junior since 2014/15 and was nominated for Employment Junior of the Year in the 2017 Chambers UK Bar Awards. In this session, David explores and explains the psychology of racism and the unconscious bias that lies behind everyday racism in the workplace and society.

11.30

Q&A

11.40

Comfort Break

11.45

Workplace Sexual Harassment in Ireland.  According to a recent survey from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, four out of five workers experiencing sexual harassment at work in Ireland do not report the incident to their employer while only one in four of the minority who did report such incidents felt that their complaint was taken seriously and dealt with satisfactorily. Kiwana Ennis BL sets out the issues and pitfalls encountered in the complaint and investigation process in respect to allegations of sexual harassment – including tackling the difficult issue of ensuring that both the complainant and the respondent are treated fairly throughout the process – which may go towards explaining why such a high number of workers do not report the unwanted sexual behaviour to their employer. She also sets out some recommendations that may improve the complaint and investigation process and in turn result in a reduction of the number of incidences. 

12.30

Q&A

12.40

Summary and Close: Final words from Bernadette Treanor

 

Day 2: 22nd October 2020

9.15

Get to Know Us: Familiarise yourself with the functions of our online event to ensure you maximise return on your investment. Scott Alexander, Head of Learning & Development, Legal Island.

9.20

Welcome to Day 2: Bernadette Treanor welcomes delegates back and summarises learning points from Day 1 of the event

9.30

Equality Implications of Covid-19 Part 1: The Unequal Impact of Coronavirus. The coronavirus pandemic has not affected everyone equally. Older people and disabled people were particularly vulnerable and more likely to be seriously infected or die. Pregnant women were also at a higher risk. In cities, in particular, black and ethnic minority people were disproportionately likely to get seriously ill or die than white people, perhaps partly because so many 'BAME' and non-national employees work in health and social care. Are employers prepared for workplace personal injury claims, coupled with discrimination? Younger workers and those in lower paid employment were much more likely to have been laid off or suffered a loss of pay. Plans for gender pay gap legislation were shelved (although they may be revived under the new programme for government). On the upside, so many people worked from home it must now be well-nigh impossible for employers to validly argue that homeworking cannot be a reasonable accommodation for disabled and vulnerable employees. Clíona Kimber SC interprets the equality impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Ireland and sets out the likely employment equality and liability risks faced by employers as a result.

9.50

Equality Implications of Covid-19 Part 2: Discrimination by Association - The Latest Equality Battleground in the New Normal. A hitherto little-known (and little used) provision under the Employment Equality Acts is 'discrimination by association'. Discrimination by association happens when a person is treated less favourably simply because they are associated with or connected to another person who comes under the nine grounds. Suppose:

  • An employee can't return to work because they have child caring responsibilities. Acting against the employee could constitute discrimination by association under the family status ground.
  • The employee has a family member with a disability or underlying health issue who might be impacted by their return to work in a high risk environment. Acting against the employee could constitute discrimination by association on the disability ground.

Clíona Kimber SC, explains why, in the light of lockdown, homeworking options and the risks to health from Covid-19, claims of associated discrimination are likely to arise when employers refuse to allow flexible working or dismiss employees (or even threaten to dismiss employees), based on their personal circumstances. Clíona also sets out how best to minimise risk and respond to allegations.

10.20

Q&A Clíona Kimber SC answers your questions.

10.30

Networking Break

11.00

Equality Implications of Covid-19 Part 3: Mental Health and Employment and the Role of Disability Discrimination Law. The coronavirus pandemic was a source of obvious distress for most of us. For some, it has caused more than distress and inconvenience – it has caused enough fear and anxiety to push them into a state of mental ill-health sufficient to meet the definition of disabled under the Employment Equality Acts. But employment equality law has had a chequered history in relation to its protection of employees with mental health issues. Cathal McGreal BL sets out how the law has developed over the years and how the impact of Covid-19 is likely to shine a spotlight on this sensitive area.

11.45

Q&A

11.55

Comfort Break

12.00

EU and International Developments: Almost all employment equality rights in Ireland are derived from EU legislation. Therefore, employment equality cases decided at the CJEU have a huge influence on our domestic laws and often set a precedent that must be followed by courts in Ireland. Michelle Ní Longáin, Employment Law Partner, ByrneWallace, provides her annual in-depth analysis of the year’s important European cases and other overseas’ developments in the employment equality field. Cases include:

  • In NH v Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI [2020] CJEU (Case C-507/18) (Equality & Recruitment)
    • VL v Szpital Kliniczny et al [2020] CJEU (Case C–16/19) AG Opinion: (Discrimination against one group of disabled employees by comparison with the treatment of other disabled employees)
    • Ryanair Designated Activity Company v Országos Rendőr-főkapitányság [2020] CJEU (Case C-754/18) (residence card and visa requirements)

Plus – Is it time for the Irish government to take a leaf out of the UK government's book and review support in the workplace for survivors of domestic abuse? Still on UK matters, August 2020 sees the end of a consultation on departures from retained EU case law by UK courts and tribunals. Might hitherto persuasive case law from the UK cease to have such an effect in Ireland after Brexit?

NOTE: Subjects covered in this session may vary from those shown and will focus on the most important CJEU cases at October 2020.

12.45

Q&A

12.55

Summary and Close: Final words from Bernadette Treanor

Testimonials

"Expert speakers pitched at the right level."
Norah Mason, Assistant National Director of HR - Employee Relations, Health Service Executive

"What I liked most about the event was the general overview of current issues/cases involving this topic. Overall a very good event."
Caroline Browne, Managing Director, HRP Group

"It is a comprehensive update in the area of employment equality law in Ireland delivered by the industries experts."
Olivia Hande, Workplace Investigator, Beo Solutions

"[I liked] the expertise of the speakers and legal notes."
Marian Jennings, TU Dublin

"This was a fantastic event, really worthwhile and it evoked very interesting debate and thought both during and after the course. The materials provided were excellent."
Laura Corrigan, Solicitor, Vhi Healthcare

"Very impressed by all the speakers and the quality of the papers, exceeded expectations. Thank you!"
Alice Duffy, Matheson, Associate Solicitor

"Great summary of the year's events. I really liked the exchange of views between expert practitioners it felt like being at a masterclass - 5/5 stars!"
Orlaith Mannion, Equality Tribunal, Equality Officer

"Excellent - the presentations were of a very high standard and greatly assisted with level of expertise from the Equality Officers in the room."
Pat Brady, Workplace Solutions, Director

Presenters


  • Bernadette Treanor
    Bernadette Treanor Founder
    Beo Solutions

    Bernadette Treanor is the founder of Beo Solutions, an employee relations and engagement consultancy which provides best practice expert leadership and impartial organisational support in the areas of employee relations, employee engagement, workplace investigations, disciplinary hearings and mediation. 

    An expert in equality law, Bernadette provides Equality reviews and assessments, including assessments of cases being prepared. She is a Committee member of the Employment Law Association of Ireland (ELAI) and CIPD member. She reviews equality Decisions issued by the Equality Tribunal for Legal Island monthly and chairs its annual Equality Conference aimed at equality practitioners.

  • Marguerite Bolger SC
    Marguerite Bolger SC Senior Counsel

    Marguerite Bolger is a Senior Counsel specialising in employment law and has appeared in many of the key employment cases before the Irish and European courts. 

  • David Stephenson BL
    David Stephenson BL
    Doughty Street Chambers

    David practises principally in the fields of employment and discrimination law and has a proven track record of dealing with complex employment litigation. He has been recommended by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 as a leading Junior since 2014/15 and was nominated for Employment Junior of the Year in the 2017 Chambers UK Bar Awards.

    He is regularly instructed in high-value multi-day cases dealing with complex and intricate issues of fact and law. He has developed a broad practice covering all aspects of discrimination in the employment and non-employment fields.

  • Kiwana Ennis BL
    Kiwana Ennis BL

    Kiwana Ennis graduated from UCD in 1998 before completing her Barrister-at-Law degree at the Honourable Society of Kings Inns. She was called to the Bar of Ireland in 2000. She specialises in employment and equality law and, as an experienced practitioner, has been involved in all aspects of advising and representing clients at various stages of the litigation process. She appears regularly before the Workplace Relations Commission, the Labour Court, and the civil courts acting for both employer and employee and has been involved in cases concerning both the private and public sector. She has also been engaged periodically to act as an independent investigator in workplace investigations.

  • Clíona Kimber SC
    Clíona Kimber SC Senior Counsel

    Cliona Kimber spent 15 years as a specialist barrister and litigator in employment and equality law before becoming Senior Counsel in 2016. She published a number of books including Sex Equality Law (2000), Employment Equality Law (2014) and Disability Discrimination Law (1993). Prior to this, Ms. Kimber was editor of the Irish Employment Law Journal for 10 years and of the Employment Law Reports. She is also on the Committee of the Employment Bar Association of Ireland.

  • Cathal McGreal BL
    Cathal McGreal BL

    Cathal McGreal BL is a graduate of UCD and the Honourable Society of Kings Inns with post graduate work in labour law and human rights (B.L. B.C.L. (Eurolegal) 1998). He is a practising barrister specialising in criminal law and employment law. He is a published author in both fields. He has represented public and private sector (individual and corporate) clients at every level of the courts and tribunal system. A lecturer at UCD, he also lectures widely on the conference circuit on current law and practice. 

  • Michelle Ní Longáin
    Michelle Ní Longáin Partner
    ByrneWallace

    Michelle is a partner in the Employment Department and is the firm's Compliance Partner. She has extensive experience in employment, equality and administrative law. Michelle qualified as a solicitor in Northern Ireland, practising there in employment and equality law from 1994 before moving to England and Wales in 1996 and returning to Ireland in 1999 when she joined the firm. Michelle advises public and private sector clients, primarily employers, on complex areas of employment, equality and administrative law. 

Early Bird Offer

Save up to €50

Event details

Duration

9.00 – 12.45, 21 Oct & 9.15 – 1.00, 22 Oct 2020

Date

21 October 2020

Location

Online

Price

Early Bird Rate: €375 (deadline 5pm on Friday 4th September)
Standard Rate: €425