Employment Equality Update 2022

Employment Equality Update 2022

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

We focus on the key areas of employment equality developments that will impact in Ireland. Chaired by Bernadette Treanor, Managing Consultant, Beo Solutions, and former Equality, sessions include:

  • Opening Address: Ms Justice Marguerite Bolger, High Court Judge, reflects and gives her thoughts on legal developments.
  • Irish Employment Equality Case Law Review 2022 with Claire Burton BL  – Important cases from Ireland’s courts in the last year relevant to Ireland’s workplaces.
  • EU and International Developments: Michelle Ní Longáin provides an in-depth analysis of the year’s important international cases and other overseas’ developments in the equality field.
  • New Code of Practice on Workplace Harassment: Mary Paula McGuinness BL explains the impact on employment and provides relevant examples of steps an employer should take to be compliant.
  • Establishing Quantum and Setting Out Issues: Cathal McGreal BL discusses the findings from our study of employment equality awards, major issues that have affected the levels of quantum and outlines legal points that have tended to increase awards or lead to lower awards.
  • Strategy in Litigating Equal Pay Claims: Clíona Kimber SC, explains the very real opportunities to challenge unequal pay by reference to the code of pratice on Pay Inequality, and how, combined with gender pay gap reporting, there should be a real momentum created in the case of equality of pay between men and women in Ireland.  
  • Looking Forward: Other Employment Equality Developments to Watch Out For: Conor Power SC highlights equality matters that are developing and will soon impact Ireland.

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

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 or simply to ensure your organisation is up to date with best practice. 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 explained by renowned employment equality experts.
  • Have had the opportunity to question those experts about specific issues that matter to you and your organisation.
  • Have had the opportunity to hear answers to questions from other delegates with a serious interest in employment equality laws – previous years have seen several Adjudication Officers at this event, alongside many lawyers, other representatives, and senior HR practitioners.
  • Be able to advise on these developments and have detailed reference notes.
  • Have access to session recordings to watch after the event

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.

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.

When & Where?

This event will take place online on the Hopin platform between 9.00am and 1.00pm on Tuesday 18 & Wednesday 19 October 2022.

Price..

Standard Rate: €445
Standard Charity/Small Business Rate: €395

Early Bird Rate: €395 (deadline 5pm on Friday 2 September 2022)
Early Bird Charity/Small Business Rate: €345 (deadline 5pm on Friday 2 September 2022)

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

More about our online events platform Hopin

This event will be hosted on a browser based platform named Hopin.  We have provided some information below to assist you when accessing the event:-

  • If you are using a Laptop. PC or Apple Mac please use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers
  • The latest version of Edge may be used as long as all recent updates have been made within the last 4 weeks
  • If you are using a mobile device then Safari is recommended for IOS and Google Chrome on Android

We understand that some IT policies may restrict the downloading of new browsers, please check and if this is the case you may have to use your own personal device to access the event.

If you would like further information regarding the above, please contact us at events@legal-island.com and we will be happy to discuss with you further.

In association with:

Beo Solutions

Programme

Day 1: Tuesday 18 October 2022

9.00

Get to Know Us: Familiarise yourself with the functions of our online event to ensure you maximise return on your investment. Rolanda Markey, Legal Island.

9.05

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

9.15

Opening Address: Ms Justice Marguerite Bolger, High Court Judge

9.30

Irish Employment Equality Case Law Review 2022

Claire Bruton BL 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 this year include:

  • Claire O'Neill v Paddy Browne's Pub ADJ-00017470 (26 January 2022) (Employer liability for third party harassment)
  • Felipe Ongaro v Red Cow Moran Hotel ADJ-00031638 (08 February 2022) (continued use of a word when clearly informed that it was offensive constitutes harassment)
  • Cassidy v Portfolio Concentrate Solutions unlimited ADJ-00027954(18 February 2022) (retirement at 65 not necessary or proportionate)
  • Tattan v The Gresham Hotel ADJ-00032622 (22 February 2022) (Disability discrimination and wearing of face coverings)
  • Kiernan v J and E Davy trading as Davy Stockbrokers ADJ-00030172(10 March 2022) (reasonable accommodation and direct discrimination in performance procedures)
  • Reid v Teagasc ADJ-00028084 (11 March 2022) (Equal pay claim and justification)
  • Geraghty v The Revenue ADJ-00000031 (28 April 2021) (Justification of retirement ages and disapplication of domestic legislation)

NOTE: Subjects covered in this session may vary from those shown and will focus on the most important Irish cases at October 2022.

10.25

Q&A Claire Bruton BL answers your questions

10.35

Screen Break

11.00

New Code of Practice on Workplace Harassment

The 2022 Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment and Harassment at Work was issued in February. That same month, RTÉ reported on a survey that showed that 58% of women said they had experienced harassment in their workplace. In 2020, according to a survey from ICTU, four out of five workers who experienced sexual harassment at work in Ireland did not report the incident to their employer. Indeed, last October the Law Society of Ireland highlighted a range of evidence-based recommendations in the landmark Dignity Matters Report to address bullying, harassment and sexual harassment in the solicitors’ profession.

The new Code recognises that sexual harassment, and harassment on the eight non-gender prohibited grounds, pollute the working environment and can have a devastating effect on the health, confidence, morale and performance of people affected by it. The anxiety and stress caused by harassment may lead to victims taking time off work due to sickness and stress, being less efficient at work or leaving their jobs to seek work elsewhere.

But what impact should the new Code have in employment and what are the actions an employer should take in order to be able to rely on the defence of 'reasonably practicable steps' in relation to harassment inside and outside the workplace? Mary-Paula Guinness BL explains by way of relevant examples. 

11.45

Q&A Mary-Paula Guinness BL answers your questions

11.55

Screen Break

12.00

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 have a big impact in Ireland. Michelle Ní Longáin, Partner, ByrneWallace LLP provides an in-depth analysis of the year’s important international cases and other overseas’ developments in the equality field. Cases this year include:

  • Kocur v Angard Staffing Solutions Ltd & Anor [2022] EWCA Civ 189 (UK case on application of EU Temporary Agency Workers Directive)
  • Kinlay v Bronte Film and Television Ltd [2021] ET Case Number: 2200251/2020 (GOR in Employment – How Far Does it Extend?)
  • Sullivan v Bury Street Capital Limited [2021] EWCA Civ 1694 (Paranoid delusions do not establish disability in UK - does this hold in Ireland)
  • Lee v United Kingdom [2022] ECtHR Application no. 18860/19 (Religious and philosophical beliefs in the workplace - are Ireland's laws adequate?)
  • Vlahov v Croatia [2022] ECHR 149 (Freedom of association and a trade union’s right to restrict membership)
  • XXXX v HR Rail SA [2022] CJEU Case C‑485/20 (Alternative employment for disabled workers)

Other international developments this year include:

  • EU Pay Transparency Directive (Will Ireland’s new GPG laws be adequate?)

NOTE: Subjects covered in this session may vary from those shown and will focus on the most important CJEU/ECtHR cases and other international developments at October 2022.

12.45

Q&A Michelle Ní Longáin answers your questions. 

12.55

Summary and Close: Final words of Day 1 from Bernadette Treanor

 

Day 2: Wednesday 19 October 2022

9.15

Welcome Back to Day 2: Christine Quinn, Legal Island & Bernadette Treanor welcome delegates back and summarise key learning points from Day 1 of the event

9.30

Establishing Quantum and Setting Out Issues.

In 2017, we produced our first study on employment equality awards at the then new WRC and appeals to the Labour Court. We covered 4 years’ worth of cases in 2019 and we’re back post-covid to report on awards and more in employment equality cases from 2015 onwards.

  • How have things changed in the intervening period?
  • What now are the average levels of compensation set by Adjudication Officers and the Labour Court in Employment Equality cases?
  • What are the highest and lowest awards?
  • Might claimants with representatives expect higher levels of awards or more success? 

We have surveyed published equality decisions from the establishment of the WRC in October 2015 and set out the figures for you to contemplate. We have also analysed the arguments and major issues that have affected the levels of quantum. Cathal McGreal BL discusses his findings and outlines legal points that have tended to increase awards or lead to lower awards. Cathal also once again asks the audience for their opinion on the appropriate level of compensation that they expect to be awarded in our group case study survey. Can you do any better this time around?

10.15

Q&A Cathal McGreal BL answers your questions.

10.30

Break

11.00

Strategy In Litigating Equal Pay Claims

Equal pay claims will come into a new focus following the new statutory code of practice on Pay Inequality launched in March 2022 to help eliminate pay inequality in Ireland, and the pressure on public sector pay due to the cost of living.   April also saw the publication of the case of Reid v Teagasc ADJ-00028084, where the respondent was ordered to pay compensation to the Complainant in the amount of €40,000 in an equal pay case AND the Adjudication Officer also ordered the Head of HR to apologise to the Complainant for the department's "very inept performance" in their handling of the matter. December this year will see the publication of the gender pay gaps in our public sector organisations and our larger private sector employers.

Mounting a large equal pay case across a sector of the workforce can lead to important strategic decisions and raise a number of questions.  For example,

  • Which factors in a gender pay gap exercise might give rise equal pay concerns?
  • What data does the employee need to bring home a claim? 
  • What team does the employer need to assemble to defend a claim?
  • How can they work with their lawyers, statisticians and accountants to counter sector averaging and pay averages?
  • How can this be done with existing GDPR constraints?

Clíona Kimber SC, explains the very real opportunities to challenge unequal pay by reference to the Code and how, combined with gender pay gap reporting, there should be a real momentum create in the case of equality of pay between men and women in Ireland. 

11.30

Q&A Clíona Kimber SC answers your questions

11.45

Screen Break

12.00

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 2021 Consultation and IHREC submission
  • Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 - 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?
  • 'Speak Out' - the Anonymous Violence and Harassment Reporting Tool - is this the way to impact on harassment in the workplace?

NOTE: Subjects covered in this session may vary from those shown and will focus on the most important employment equality developments at October 2022 that are not explored in detail elsewhere in this programme.

12.45

Q&A Conor Power SC answers your questions

12.55

Summary and Close: Final words of Day 2 from Bernadette Treanor

Testimonials

"Minimal disruption to working day and platform was very easy to navigate. 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

"While it is always great to be able to meet in person, nonetheless there are great benefits to the digital alternative, particularly when it runs seamlessly from the outset across the two days. I am always going to be a fan of the environmental advantage of the digital experience. That is important. Also the ease of being able to listen to the speakers, have the ppt to hand, and, in the case of wanting to look at the papers also, being able to bring them up easily. All of this was great."
Maryrose Molloy, Lecturer, Dublin Business School

"This was the first digital conference I have attended, and I was beyond impressed by the professionalism of the platform, how smooth and efficient the speakers ran, and the ability to still interact with speakers. A fantastic, worthwhile experience overall!"
Katie Cundelan, Legal Research Intern, Workplace Relations Commission

"Event ran smoothly platform held up well, nice to have the polls and chat function. Easy to move between them and access information as needed. 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

"Excellent, it was easy to understand, and the quality of the connection was excellent".
Jennifer McCann, Solicitor

"The topics covered were very relevant, the speakers were knowledgeable and experts in the areas covered, and I also liked that it was split into two days this year."
Orla Jones, Adjudicator, Workplace Relations Commission

"Very efficient. The event ran very smoothly. Great introduction and setting of the scene by Bernadette. I really liked her acknowledgement of frontline workers."
Marian Jennings, Lecturer, TU Dublin

"It was very clear coverage, and the speakers were excellent. Best digital connection I have had."
Maura McKenna, Legal Advisor, Workplace Relations Commission

 "Minimal disruption to working day and platform was very easy to navigate."
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

"While it is always great to be able to meet in person, nonetheless there are great benefits to the digital alternative, particularly when it runs seamlessly from the outset across the two days. Also the ease of being able to listen to the speakers, have the ppt to hand, and, in the case of wanting to look at the papers also, being able to bring them up easily. All of this was great."
Maryrose Molloy, Lecturer, Dublin Business School

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
    Marguerite Bolger High Court Judge

    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. 

  • 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. 

  • Michelle Ní Longáin
    Michelle Ní Longáin Partner & Head of the Public Sector Group
    ByrneWallace LLP

    Michelle is a partner in the Employment Department of 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. 

  • 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. 

  • Mary-Paula Guinness BL
    Mary-Paula Guinness BL

    Mary-Paula is a former Solicitor who transferred to the bar and specialises in employment law.

  • 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

Early Bird Offer

Save up to €50

Event details

Duration

18 & 19 October

Date

18 October 2022

Location

Hopin

Price

Standard Rate: €445
Standard Charity/Small Business Rate: €395

Early Bird Rate: €395 (deadline 5pm on Friday 2 September 2022)
Early Bird Charity/Small Business Rate: €345 (deadline 5pm on Friday 2 September 2022)

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