Employment Equality Update 2023

Employment Equality Update 2023

Come to Ireland’s only employment equality dedicated event to provide a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of employment equality law developments. We focus on the key areas of employment equality developments that will directly impact your organisation. 

If you value employment equality law, or provide advice on equality issues, this is an essential CPD learning opportunity. 

After attending this event you will: 

  • Gain knowledge of the latest developments in employment equality laws affecting Irish workplaces in 2023. Renowned employment equality experts will provide comprehensive explanations, ensuring you are up to date with the current legal landscape. 
  • Obtain specialist guidance from our experts who will take live questions throughout the event. Engage in discussions and hear answers to questions from other delegates with a serious interest in employment equality laws including Adjudication Officers, lawyers, other representatives, and senior HR practitioners. 
  • Advise confidently on key equality developments with access to detailed reference notes from the event prepared by our legal experts. 
  • Access session recordings for continued learning after the event. 


This event comes with a full, 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 after the event.

Who should attend this event?

This event 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. 

Why should you attend this event?

As an employment law practitioner, representative at hearings, or seasoned HR professional we know you understand the importance of staying up to date with the latest developments in this area if you are to defend or pursue cases successfully, and ensure your organisation is up to date with best practice. You need know what has changed to give the latest, practical and correct advice. 

Our event brings together top equality law experts who 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 and advice to all delegates. 


Day 1

Get to Know Us: Familiarise yourself with the functions of our online event to ensure you maximise return on your investment. Knowledge Partner, Legal Island. 
Introduction and Welcome: Setting the scene and what to expect from the day.Maeve Regan, Consultant Solicitor in Human Rights and Employment Law 
Opening Address: Ms Justice Marguerite Bolger, High Court Judge 

Too Old to Work? A Review of Age Discrimination and Mandatory Retirement Ages in 2023 

In March 2023, we heard how an age discrimination case regarding a public sector employee (Mallon V Minister for Justice) was granted ‘leapfrog’ appeal to the Supreme Courton the grounds of it being matter of general public importance 

In the private sector, there is no statutory retirement age in IrelandThe Employment Equality legislation permits employers to set a contractual retirement age, but the employer must show that the retirement age can be objectively and reasonably justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are proportionate and necessary.”  This is easier said than done! Over the years, we have seen many cases challenging an employer’s “objectively justified” retirement age. 

Following a recent flurry of decisions in this area, Clíona Kimber SC explores the challenges for Irish employersprovides the latest on the case-law and addresses key learnings for employers and employment lawyers 


Q&A Clíona Kimber SCanswers your questions 

Break – Stretch Your Legs, Get Away from the Screen, and we will see you in 25 mins 

‘It’s Endemic’: How to Challenge Everyday Biases – Understanding the ‘Psychology of Race’ and Implicit Bias in Discrimination Cases.  

According to the Irish Network Against Racism (INAR) Incidents of discrimination at work quadrupled last year. Preliminary findings of 2022 INAR Report found a record 69 cases were reported up from 16 in 2021.  

In this sessionJoy-Tendai Kangere BL explores and explains the psychology of racism and the implicit bias that lies behind everyday racism in the workplace and society. 


Q&A Joy-Tendai Kangere BL answers your questions 

Screen Break – See you in fifteen minutes 

EU and International Equality Law 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. Cases at the European Court of Human Rights can also havea big impact in Ireland. Michelle Ní Longáin, Partner, Byrne Wallace LLP,provides an in-depth analysis of the year’s important international cases and other overseas’ developments in the equality field.  

Other international developments this year include: 

  • EU Pay Transparency Directive  
  • EU Gender Balance on Boards Directive 
  • EU Adequacy of Statutory Minimum Wages Directive  

NOTE: Subjects covered in this session may vary and will focus on the most important CJEU/ECtHR cases and other international developments as at October 2023. 


Q&A Michelle Ní Longáin answers your questions 


Summary and Close: Final words of Day 1 from Maeve Regan.  

Day 2

Welcome Back to Day 2:Knowledge Partner, Legal Island & Maeve Regan welcome delegates back and summarise key learning points from Day 1 of the event 

Disability Discrimination Special: Navigating Irish Employment Law & Fostering Inclusionthrough Reasonable Accommodation  

It was reported earlier this year that the majority of calls to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) in 2022 related to disability discrimination both under the Equal Status Acts (42%) and the Employment Equality Acts (39%).  

We’ve seen recently how employers are becoming increasingly live to the competitive advantage that comes with promoting and supporting a more inclusive workforce, including a neurodivergent one. Difficulties inevitably arise however when employers are not upskilled on managing neurodivergent employees and we are now seeing a rise in neurodiversity-related discrimination claims 

Furthermore, the rapid change in our way of working over the past number of years has been source of obvious distress for many of us. For some, it has caused enough fear and anxiety to push them into a state of mental ill-health sufficient to meet the definition of disability under the Employment Equality Acts.  

Cathal McGreal BLexplores employment equality law’s chequered history in relation to its protection of employees with disabilities including neurodivergent employees and those with invisible disabilities and what employers can do to comply with their legal obligation to provide reasonable accommodation.    


Q&Cathal McGreal BLanswers your questions. 


Break – Stretch Your Legs, Get Away from the Screen, and we will see you in 25 mins 


Irish Employment Equality Case Law Review 2023 

Claire Bruton BLprovides 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.  

Some of the cases included this year are:  

  • Tara McManus v Garda Representative Association  
  • Nadine Harty v Causeway Hospitality Ltd Greenway Manor Hotel  
  • The Board of Management of Wilson's Hospital v Enoch Burke   
  • Bartender v Bar  
  • Daniel Asari v XYZ Retail Ltd  
  • Sales Sense International Limited v Richard Toibin  
  • Patrick McInerney v Irish Wheelchair Association  
  • Marta Siudak v Slane Trading Company Limited  
  • Commissioner of An Garda Síochana and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform v Roland Boyle

  • Morgan v Labour Court

  • Mallon v The Minister for Justice

  • O’Mahony v UL

  • Jazz Pharmaceutical v Spillane 

NOTE: Subjects covered in this session may vary and will focus on the most important Irish cases as at October 2023. 


Q&AClaire Bruton BLanswers your questions 

Screen Break– see you back in five minutes  

Looking Forward: Other Employment Equality Developments to Watch Out For 

We cover a lot of equality issues elsewhere in this event. In this final session,Conor Power SC explores other equality matters not discussed in depth in other sessions, but which are nonetheless developing and will impact soon in Ireland, such as: 

  • Review of Equality Acts following Consultation and IHREC submission – will equality legislation be expanded to include discrimination on the grounds of socio-economic status and on the grounds of criminal conviction? 
  • Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 - what are the employment equality issues? 
  • Irish Corporate Governance (Gender Balance) Bill 2021 - should Ireland adopt this before it is forced to by an EU Directive? 
  • Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022 -'Nonsensical Word Salad' or 'Landmark' Legislation? 
  • Employment Equality (Amendment) (Non-Disclosure Agreements) Bill 2022 - what is the future of non-disclosure agreements? 

NOTE: Subjects covered in this session may vary from those shown and will focus on the most important employment equality developments asat October 2023 that are not explored in detail elsewhere in this programme. 


Q&A Conor Power SC answers your questions 


Summary and Close: Final words of Day 2 from Maeve Regan  



"Wide variety of topics covered, and excellent notes provided."
Shane Gallen, Associate, Lewis Silkin

"Well delivered with up to the minute advice and case law."
Norah Mason, Assistant National Director of Human Resources, Health Service Executive

" The quality of the speakers is very impressive and it's great that I can rewatch the sessions - that's a real bonus."
Stacey Golden, HR Business Partner, Office of Government Procurement

"Very well organised, very relevant."
Celine Maguire, Group Head of HR, Queally Group

"Really good, very informative, great speakers"
Jane McCarthy, HR Manager, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

"This event was very well organised, easily accessible and pleasant to engage with."
Aisling Carey, Legal Researcher, Workplace Relations Commission


  • 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. 

  • Claire Bruton BL
    Claire Bruton BL Barrister

    Claire Bruton is a practising barrister specialising in employment law. She is editor of the Employment Law Reports and Irish Employment Law Journal. She is the co-author of The Irish Legal System (2009, Tottel) and is a co-author of Employment Equality Law (co-authors Bolger and Kimber) published by Round Hall Press in November 2012. 

  • 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.

  • Conor Power SC
    Conor Power SC Senior Counsel

    Conor Power is a senior counsel. 

    He has been practising barrister for 20 years and his areas of practice areas include employment law, equality and human rights law.

    Conor has represented and advised private, institutional, corporate and State clients

  • Joy-Tendai Kangere BL
    Joy-Tendai Kangere BL Barrister

    Joy-Tendai Kangere is a barrister specialising in employment and equality law at The Bar of Ireland,  Writer and Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Advocate.

    Joy-Tendai Kangere is a dedicated advocate inspired by the African principle of Ubuntu ( I am because we are) which speaks to community, unity, respect, and dignity. Joy-Tendai is fuelled by being community-focused and authentically using her voice to elevate everyone that she connects with. She is alumnus of UCD Sutherland School of Law and The Honorable King’s Inns.

    A seasoned communicator Joy-Tendai is a Barrister, lecturer, writer, trainer, and co-founder. She regularly contributes to topics of race and race relations, intersectionality, diversity, justice and equity as well as being called upon for her expertise on the effects of socio-economic exclusion.

  • Maeve Regan
    Maeve Regan Consultant Solicitor

    Maeve Regan is a Consultant Solicitor in Human Rights and Employment Law.  Maeve is the Consultant Editor and co-author of Employment Law (second edition, Bloomsbury Professional, 2017) and General Editor and co-author of the first edition of Employment Law (first edition, Bloomsbury Professional, 2009).  Maeve trained with Arthur Cox and subsequently worked with Community Law and Mediation, FLAC and Mercy Law Resource Centre, where she held the position of Managing Solicitor. Since 2009, Maeve has been a lecturer on the Law Society Diploma in Employment Law.

  • Marguerite Bolger
    Marguerite Bolger High Court Judge

    Marguerite Bolger is a judge of the Irish High Court and currently sits in the non-jury and judicial review list.  She was previously a Senior Counsel and practised extensively in employment law and equality law before the Irish and European courts.  She is the author of a number of legal articles and textbooks including the 2nd edition of ‘Employment Equality Law’ due to be published by Roundhall Thomson Reuters shortly.

  • Michelle Ní Longáin
    Michelle Ní Longáin Head of Employment Law
    ByrneWallace LLP

    Michelle is a Head of Employment Law at ByrneWallace LLP and is the firm's Compliance Partner. She is also Head of the firm’s Public Sector Group. 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.

Event details


9am - 1pm, 18th & 19th Oct


18 October 2023




Standard Price: €445

Standard charity/small business price: €395

Save an additional €20 when you pay with a card when booking online!