Employment Law in the Public Sector

Employment Law in the Public Sector

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Why this event and why now?

The employment law in Ireland’s public sector is an annual event run by Legal Island and the award-winning Employment Team at ByrneWallace LLP.

On 10th May 2023, we will focus on the key areas of development over the last 12 to 18 months that are of particular importance to public sector employers.

Why is this event important for YOU?

The public sector environment is highly regulated and subject to a higher level of scrutiny by the Courts and the WRC in employment and industrial relations claims. This is a time of change for the public sector, with various developments to consider. Changes require HR managers to stay up to date with employment law developments and ensure that procedures and practices are fit for purpose. This, in turn, will reduce the risk of claims, awards and reputational damage. You will also save a huge amount of time and money.

This event is specifically designed with public sector organisations in mind. The experts from the ByrneWallace LLP Employment Law Team highlight risks and best practice that will help you avoid litigation and save time, money and lots of stress.

Recognised nationally and internationally as a top tier Irish law firm, ByrneWallace LLP is one of Ireland’s leading advisors to the public sector, advising many government departments, local government, regulatory bodies, and semi-state and public sector organisations including universities, health, education, justice, utilities, environmental, energy, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, marine, culture, transport, tourism and industry bodies.

For over 50 years, the firm have been advising the public sector on their full range of legal needs, and during this time have developed a deep understanding of the environment in which they work, their key challenges and requirements.  The firm has a strong culture of excellence and accountability, which resonates with the public sector, and invests substantial resources in providing the highest standard of service, insights and advice to meet, anticipate and exceed their clients’ evolving needs.

After attending you will:

  • Be aware of the latest important employment-related case law and what it means for your public sector organisation
  • Understand the latest developments in relation to a statutory right to request remote working and the associated benefits and risks of remote working
  • Be aware of current developments regarding equality laws in Ireland, particularly gender pay gap reporting
  • Be in a position to analyse various options and risks associated with a return to public sector workplaces


Who is it for?

This event is aimed at HR professionals and other persons with an interest in HR and employment law in the public sector and semi-state bodies.

Date & Duration

This event will take place in-person between 9:15am and 1:00pm on 10th May 2023 


 ByrneWallace LLP, 88 Harcourt St, Saint Kevin's, Dublin, D02 DK18

Notes & Slides

All notes and slides will be available digitally.


 All speakers will be from the award-winning ByrneWallace LLP Employment Team.


Standard Rate: €395

Save €20 when you book and pay online when booking.

In association with:

ByrneWallace LLP Logo





Welcome and Introduction

Laura McKee, Knowledge Partner, Legal Island


1.  Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022

The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 has passed all stages of the legislative process and will soon be signed into law. This will be a key area for all employers in the public sector to be aware of. In this session, Brian Murphy, Associate, ByrneWallace LLP explores how the Bill will impact:

  1. Flexible working for parents and carers
  2. Remote working
  3. Domestic violence leave
  4. Leave for medical care purposes
  5. Other aspects of the Bill




Comfort Break


2.  Update on Recent Equality and Disability Law Developments. 

Employment equality is a key area in the public sector and Michelle Ní Longáin, Partner and Head of Public Sector Group, ByrneWallace LLP in this session will focus on the most important developments in this area, to include:

  1. Definition of a disability
  2. Procedural requirements and dismissal cases
  3. Developments in reasonable accommodation including IHEC Code of Practice
  4. Recent developments in age discrimination and retirement




Networking Break


3. The European Union (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022

Loughlin Deegan, Partner, ByrneWallace LLP will examine:

  1. Changes to probationary periods
  2. New information required when varying written employment terms and conditions
  3. New rules around exclusivity / parallel employment
  4. Changes to training requirements for employees
  5. Minimum predictability of work and amendments to the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997
  6. Employment outside of Ireland and the information that must be provided to employees
  7. Other developments in the Regulations and how they will affect the public sector.




Comfort Break


4.  2023 Employment Case Law Round-Up for the Public Sector

There have been a number of important cases since our last event in 2022. Here are just a few of the top cases Emmet Whelan, Partner, ByrneWallace LLP will cover at this year’s event:

  • Maurice Power v Health Service Executive [2022] IESC 17 – Supreme Court Fixed term contracts case
  • Nolan v Fingal County Council [2022] IEHC 335 – Protected disclosures & penalisation
  • Leonard v Health Service Executive [2022] IEHC 487 – Injunction preventing appointment of another person to a role
  • The Board of Management of Wilson's Hospital v Enoch Burke [2022] IEHC 719 – Disciplinary process & injunction

This session will cover the most relevant and important employment cases as at May 2023 for public sector employers and, consequently, the actual cases covered may vary from those currently shown.



Round Up and Acknowledgments




"The speakers were very knowledgeable, and the structure of the course was excellent."
Stephen Fagan, Executive Officer, Department of Social Protection

"Found the slides very clear. Oral presentations added detail. Great to have access to the recordings for future reference."
Arlene Forster, Chief Executive, NCCA

"I enjoyed all the presentations! They were very informative. It was good to be able to access from home. Relevant topics - presentation timings just right!"
Rosaleen Perry, Assistant HR Manager, Property Registration Authority

"Very informative and relevant content."
Owen Martin, HR Manager, Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services

"I found the course very useful and the modules and topics excellent. I enjoyed the variety of the topics and how relevant they were to my work in HR."
Gráinne Smyth, Clerical Officer, Office of Public Works

"Very topical and informative. Topics discussed were highly relevant."
Debbie Caffrey, Civilian HR, Dept of Defence

"Very informative and logical presentations. Agile and flexible course structure which aligns well with how we are working currently."
Seán Holly, Head of HR, National Library of Ireland

"Excellent - really enjoyed it, topics were very relevant and excellently communicated. Relevancy of topics and only 1/2 day so was able to focus without worrying about work in the background."
Ashley Harries HR Business Partner National Shared Services Office

"Very well facilitated, kept well to the time schedule. Very well run and informative course."
Sharon Lewis, Executive Officer, HSE

"The level of knowledge and pace of delivery was excellent. Even though accessing the course remotely I felt fully and actively engaged."
Declan Mangan , Pre-Investigation Support Manager, HSE

"Excellent course with great content. the presenters were excellent and really informative, worked very well, the PowerPoint presentations were very good. I liked how it was recorded so that you can look back to review the information again."
Kieran Joyce, Head of HR, Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board

"Very informative and outlined material in an easy-to-follow manner."
Leslie Hamilton , HEO, Department of the Taoiseach

"Technology worked very well and was easy to use. It was easier to keep to time as the questions were in the chat room and the presentations were not interrupted."
Edna Hoare, Assistant National Director of HR, HSE

"Excellent platform, packages were not too long and had all of the relevant information."
Jean Murray, Head of Human Resources, Property Registration Authority

"All topics are very relevant to my job and were very well addressed by the presenters."
Marta Alvarez, Assistant principal Officer, Revenue

"Excellent instructions prior to the event, no problems joining etc. I particularly liked the Information on the Codes of Practice and Rights to request remote working. The information regarding the vaccination policies was very interesting and something we haven't considered in any depth."
Pauline Leonard, AEC Project Executive, Western Development Commission

"It was very relevant and informative with useful practical guidance."
Joanna McBride, Director of Research, Training and Corporate Services Office of the Planning Regulator



  • Brian Murphy
    Brian Murphy Associate
    ByrneWallace LLP
  • Emmet Whelan
    Emmet Whelan Partner
    ByrneWallace LLP

    Emmet Whelan is a Partner in the ByrneWallace LLP Employment team. With over ten years’ employment law experience, Emmet advises on all aspects of employment law and in particular specialises in contentious employment matters and employee benefits. Clients include senior executives and large public and private sector employers. 

  • Loughlin Deegan
    Loughlin Deegan Partner
    ByrneWallace LLP

    Loughlin is a Partner in the ByrneWallace LLP Employment team. He represents and advises clients across the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment law matters. He is former chairperson of the Employment and Equality Law Committee of the Law Society of Ireland.

  • 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. 

Event details


9.15am - 1.00pm


10 May 2023


ByrneWallace LLP, 88 Harcourt St, Saint Kevin's, Dublin, D02 DK18


Standard Rate: €395

Save €20 when you book and pay online when booking.