Legal Answers to HR Dilemmas

Legal Answers to HR Dilemmas

Join us for a comprehensive exploration of the 5 most challenging HR dilemmas from start to finish of the employment relationship that may result in complicated dismissals: recruitment, probation, unsatisfactory performance, misconduct/gross misconduct and redundancy.  

Our expert panel of legal professionals will guide you through the intricate maze of employment law in these 5 areas, offering practical solutions, best practices, and legal insights to help you navigate these complex waters with confidence while ensuring your organisation stays legally compliant and reducing the risk of costly employment litigation and consuming valuable senior management resources.  

If you're navigating the retraction of job offers, extending probationary periods, conducting difficult performance discussions, handling sensitive redundancies, or addressing cases of gross misconduct, this event is your one-stop destination for HR success.  

Whether you are a seasoned HR professional or just starting your career in the field, this is your ticket to mastering the complexities of employment law and HR in today's dynamic workplace landscape. Don't miss out on this opportunity to sharpen your HR toolkit, gain a competitive edge and ensure legal compliance while achieving your organisation's HR goals of securing and retaining optimal talent. 

Who should attend this event?

HR professionals, line managers and anyone else within an organisation with responsibility for invoking company policies and procedures, risk assessment, compliance and governance, including those who make manage, advise and/or make decisions regarding employment contracts, probation periods, performance, misconduct, redundancy, dismissal etc.   

This event is in partnership with:


Get to Know Us: Familiarise yourself with the functions of our online event to ensure you maximise return on your investment.  Victoria Smith from Legal Island’s Knowledge Team welcomes delegates to our event 




Risk 1: Recruitment Roulette  

In this session, we delve into the world of HR recruitment where we will unravel the complexities and pitfalls of tricky dilemmas that HR professionals often encounter. From navigating diverse candidate pools to handling sensitive situations, our expert speaker will share their legal knowledge and strategies to empower HR professionals to recruit with confidence and compliance. 

Emma Quinn, Associate, Eversheds Sutherland will answer your questions on recruitment including: 

  1. Discrimination do employers have a free hand when deciding who to hire for the role? What is positive discriminationShould I be doing it? Are there any risks?  

  1. Interviews are there implications for how employers conduct interviews? Should I retain interview notes? Is there any difficulty “weeding out” CVs and only granting interviews to certain candidates? 

  1. Background Checks how do I legally conduct background checks? Can I carry out criminal record checks? Are references necessary or even useful anymore? 

  1. Offers should I make offers ‘subject to contract’? Can I later retract an offer, even if the contract of employment is signed? Can I make an offer conditional? What if an employee accepts the offer and doesn’t show up or later retracts their acceptance?  



Comfort break 




Risk 2: Probationary Predicaments 

A probationary period is a very useful mechanism to enable employers to trial the working relationship early in the employment journey and ensure that the employee is a good cultural fitHowever, in practice probationary periods can be challenging for employers as they involve making critical decisions about the employee’s suitability in a short space of time while navigating legal complexities. Last year, we saw the introduction of The European Union (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022 add another layer of complexity to managing probationary periods in the Irish workplace. So how do you make the probationary period work for your organisation? And what do you do if it doesn’t?    

In this session, Marie Claire Scullion, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland will discuss various aspects of probationary periods including their purpose and the legal consequences that flow from them. This session will also dispel some of the myths around their effect and discuss what constitutes best practice both during a probationary period and in the event of an extension.   

You will learn how to get the most out of the probationary period by getting top tips and best practice guidance on: 

  1. Contracts - is your probationary clause fit for purpose in 2024?  

  1. Performance- skillfully addressing unsatisfactory performance during probation.   

  1. Extension or Exit? - how to extend or end a probationary period and terminate the contract of employment quickly, skillfully and legally and avoid claims of wrongful dismissal, discriminatory dismissal or unfair dismissal.   


Comfort Break  




Risk 3: Performance Management Challenges 

Effective performance management boosts productivity, addresses issues, and helps retain talent.  

Julie Galbraith, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland will address some of the most common challenges you face in performance management day to day including how to: 

  1. Enhance employee performance - carrying out regular performance reviews and produce well-documented performance improvement plans, conducting effective evaluations while considering mental health and facilitating reasonable adjustments/accommodations for disabilities and handling dismissals thoughtfully, especially in cases of sickness or discrimination claims. 

  1. Resolve conflict and ensure legal compliance - navigating formal and informal processes by adhering to the WRC’s Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures, addressing grievances during performance issues and smooth transition to disciplinary actions when warranted 

  1. Improve workforce management - striking the right balance between evaluation of performance and employee well-being, fostering a workplace that is not only compliant with legal requirements but also fair and supportive and consistently delivering effective performance management solutions. 





Welcome Back. Introduction to Afternoon Sessions. 




Risk 4: Misconduct Dilemmas 

Prioritising fair and legal handling of employee misconduct allows you to safeguard your organisation's reputation, minimise legal liabilities, and nurture a productive and cohesive workplace culture. Legal compliance also protects your organisation from costly litigation and preserves its reputation. 

Julie Galbraith tackles some of the prevalent day-to-day challenges encountered in management of workplace misconduct, including strategies for addressing issues such as: 

  1. Effective misconduct management - dealing with misconduct inside and outside the workplace, identifying the criteria for categorising misconduct as "gross misconduct”. How, and when, to suspend. 

  1. Fair procedures - conducting thorough investigations and effective evidence collection, navigating the disciplinary process and any subsequent appeal with fairness, including demonstrating ‘reasonableness’ in your decision, and addressing grievances raised during the process. 

  1. Lessons from case law - the legal cases you need to be aware of to improve best practice in your organisation. 




Risk 5: Redundancy Risks  

As an HR professional, it's essential that you deal with redundancies fairly in your organisation to maintain employee morale and trust. Fair treatment during redundancies will help you build and preserve your organisation’s reputation, attracting and retaining talent in the long run. Ensuring fairness in the process also reduces the risk of costly legal disputes and fosters a harmonious workplace culture, which ultimately contributes to your organisation's overall success. 

Conor Fynes, Solicitor, Eversheds Sutherland discusses: 

  1. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail – laying the groundwork for a fair process. 

  1. Fair consultation and selection - collective and individual consultation – the law and best practice, what does ‘meaningful’ consultation actually mean? And special categories – dealing with employees on maternity leave, sick leave or those requiring reasonable adjustments/accommodations. 

  1. A fair exit - defining ‘suitable’ in alternative employment? What if an employee accepts the alternative role? What if they refuse the alternative role? Statutory redundancy pay and enhanced redundancy pay. How, why and when to use a Compromise Agreement. 


Comfort Break 


The Tricky Questions 

This is your chance to put your questions to the Employment team at Eversheds Sutherland! 

Do you have a tricky question of your own? Drop us a line before the event and we will put it to the Eversheds Sutherland Partners – 


Summary and Close 



  • Conor Fynes
    Conor Fynes Solicitor
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Conor is a Solicitor in the Employment Law department. Conor has experience acting for and advising clients in both the public and private sectors on a wide range of issues affecting the employment relationship, from pre-employment matters through to termination of the employment relationship.

    Conor’s advisory work includes drafting employment contracts, consultancy agreements, employment policies and termination agreements. Conor also regularly provides on-the-spot advice in relation to day-to-day matters to include grievances and disciplinary matters, absence management and performance issues, whistleblowing, working time, payment of wages, equality/discrimination and the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

    Conor has experience in litigation and dispute resolution matters and has advised clients in relation to the Workplace Relations Commission, Labour Court, and civil court processes.

  • Emma Quinn
    Emma Quinn Associate
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Emma advises clients in both the public and private sectors on a wide range of issues affecting the employment relationship, from pre-employment matters through to termination of the employment relationship.

    Emma’s advisory work includes drafting employment contracts, consultancy agreements, employment policies and termination agreements. Emma also regularly provides on-the-spot advice in relation to day-to-day matters to include grievances and disciplinary matters, absence management and performance issues, whistleblowing, working time, payment of wages, equality/discrimination and the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

    Emma has experience in data protection matters and regularly advises clients in relation to data subject access requests and their obligations under the GDPR.

  • Julie Galbraith
    Julie Galbraith Partner
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Julie Glbraith is Partner in the Employment Law department at Eversheds Sutherland. She advises clients on all aspects of the employment relationship from recruitment to termination. She works with public and private sector clients on contentious and non-contentious employment issues to deliver on the business needs of our clients. She advises HR, legal and business teams on the multitude of day to day and strategic issues such as disciplinary, grievance, performance management, equality, data protection, TUPE and termination of employment matters. 

    Julie is secretary and board member of the Employment Law Association of Ireland and lectures on the Law Society Employment Law Diploma course. She regularly speaks to the media on employment topics. 

  • Marie Claire Scullion
    Marie Claire Scullion Partner
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Marie Claire is a partner at Eversheds Sutherland specialising in employment law with over 18 years’ experience.

    She advises national and international clients on all aspects of employment relationships, non-contentious and contentious. Marie Claire advises on the day-to-day employment issues that arise and guides employers through restructuring programmes and advises on TUPE issues, disciplinary matters, protected disclosures and termination of employment. She also advises businesses on their data protection obligations in the workplace and assists employers in their GDPR compliance.

    Marie Claire tutors on the Law Society of Ireland’s employment law professional practice course and is a member of DCU’s Anti-Bullying Centre Advisory Board.

Event details


9.30am - 4.00pm


20 March 2024


Online - zoom


Standard Price: €445

Standard charity/ small business rate: €395

*Save an additional €20 when you book and pay online at the time of booking.