William Fry Employment Report 2013

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The research upon which this William Fry report is based was undertaken by Amárach Research. …

The research upon which this William Fry report is based was undertaken by Amárach Research.

Two separate surveys were conducted, one among employers and one among employees of organisations operating in Ireland and of a size of 50 employees or more. A range of questions relating to social media in the workplace were asked of both groups to allow for an employer and employee perspective to be captured. A total of 200 employers were surveyed via telephone interviews and 500 employees were interviewed online. All interviewing was conducted in February 2013.

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  • 1. Social Media in the WorkplaceWilliam fryemploymentreport 2013
  • 2. CONTENTS• Foreword• Key Findings• Recruitment• Ownership• Productivity• Brand Protection• Disciplinary Issues• Social Media Policy• About the Research• About William Fry
  • 3. Welcome to the William Fry Employment Report 2013which focuses on social media in the workplace.Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook andTwitter have revolutionised communication. There havebeen many reports on social media in the workplaceinternationally, but the Irish workplace has not beenextensively reviewed. We commissioned a survey to gainan insight into how social media is being used in theIrish workplace. The survey was conducted with 200Irish based companies, both domestic and international,and 500 employees.The purpose of our report is to help employers managesocial media in the workplace effectively by pre-emptingand avoiding potential employment issues.The overriding message for employers is the need toimplement a social media policy tailored to the needsof their organisation, to review that policy regularly,to ensure that employees are aware of the policyand understand how it affects them and to enforceit consistently.We hope you find this report interesting and informativeand we welcome your feedback.Alicia ComptonEmployment & Benefits PartnerPhone: + 353 1 639 5376Email: alicia.compton@williamfry.ieCatherine O’FlynnEmployment & Benefits AssociatePhone: + 353 1 639 5136Email: catherine.o’flynn@williamfry.ieFOREWORDThis survey examined a number of areas arising from the useof social media in the workplace, including its importance inthe recruitment process, its effect on productivity, disciplinaryissues and ownership of social media accounts and theircontents.Our findings show that evidence on social media of badlanguage or discriminatory views of job candidates influencesemployers’ decision to hire. In relation to Recruitment weconsider the extent to which employers can screen the onlineactivity of job candidates.Candidates are protected by the Employment Equalitylegislation which prohibits discrimination on nine specificgrounds such as gender, sexual orientation, age and race.An employer who checks the profiles of candidates on socialmedia platforms could be liable under this legislation if acandidate can show that the reason he/she was not offereda job was connected with material relevant to one of thenine grounds and seen by the prospective employer on thecandidate’s social media account.A key emerging challenge for employers is the Ownership ofsocial media accounts and/or contacts on those accounts.The most significant challenge is what happens to work-related contacts when the employee leaves the organisation.61% of employees have work-related contacts on theirpersonal social medial accounts yet only 3% of employersknow what work-related social media contacts their employeeshave. The question of ownership should be dealt with as earlyon in the employment relationship as possible.We also examine issues around productivity and whetheraccess to social media sites during work hours decreasesProductivity. While 47% of employees believe that accessto social media during working hours decreases productivity,only 38% of employers agree. Issues regarding employeeproductivity relating to the use of social media should betreated in the same way as any other underperformance issue,such as, by putting a performance improvement plan in place.Businesses are turning to social media to enhance andstrengthen their brand. Social media facilitates onlinerelationships with potential customers or clients. To ensureBrand Protection, employers should set out clear guidelineson communications on social media and specify howemployees should report negative comments made aboutthe organisation.Disciplinary Issues arise in connection with employees’social media activity. Although 51% of employers and 40%of employees say that activity on social media should betreated differently if it takes place outside working hours,the same considerations apply regardless of when the activitytakes place.Employers may be held vicariously liable for acts of bullyingor harassment of employees carried out by their colleagues onsocial media sites, even if the comments are posted outsideof working hours. It is not a defence for an employer to saythat those acts were carried out without their consent orknowledge. It will be helpful to a defence, however, to showthat the employer took practical steps to prevent the actcomplained of. A clear and comprehensive social media policywhich deals with appropriate conduct is key.We have set out best practice for putting in place a SocialMedia Policy and list the issues which should be addressedwhen preparing a Social Media Policy. A social media policyshould be a considered policy which meets the needs of theorganisation to which it applies. It should cross refer to otherrelevant HR policies. Given the speed of developments in thisarea, the social media policy should be updated regularly andeffectively communicated to all employees.key findings
  • 4. - 4 -RECRUITMENTOur survey results indicate that employersare influenced by evidence on social mediaof discriminatory views and bad languagewhen it comes to job applicants. Social mediaundoubtedly provides a significant resourcefor recruiters in terms of sourcing candidatesbut is it acceptable to use social media toscreen candidates?Social media screening has become an issuein other jurisdictions to the extent that severalUS States have enacted legislation prohibitingemployers from requesting login details of thesocial media accounts of job applicants.There is no legislation prohibiting anemployer requesting login details in Ireland.However, when an employer reviews a jobcandidate’s social media accounts, twoissues should be considered.Firstly, candidates are protected by theemployment equality legislation whichprohibits discrimination on the nine groundsof gender, civil or family status, sexualorientation, religious belief, age, disability,race or nationality or membership of theTraveller community. An employer couldbe liable under equality legislation if acandidate can show that the reason he/shewas not offered a job was connected withmaterial relevant to one of the nine groundsand seen by the prospective employer on thecandidate’s social media accounts.• If reviewing a candidate’s socialmedia accounts forms part ofan organisation’s recruitmentprocess, let candidates knowthat this will take place, explainwhat form it will take and why itis considered necessary havingregard to the nature of the job.• Ensure that information sourcedfrom social media is obtainedand retained in accordance withdata protection requirements.• Ensure that any decision not torecruit an individual is not basedupon any of the discriminatorygrounds covered by theemployment equality legislation.Best Practice86%of employers say the useof bad language on acandidate’s social mediaaccount would affect theirdecision to hirethat candidate.81%of employers say theywould be put off byinappropriate photos/videos on a candidate’ssocial media account.82%of employers would benegatively influenced bydiscriminatory views ona candidate’s socialmedia account.Secondly, data protection legislation andguidance issued by the Data ProtectionCommissioner suggests that employers must,at a minimum, advise candidates that onlinescreening will take place, explain what formit will take and why screening is considerednecessary having regard to the nature ofthe job. Other data protection obligations,including how a candidate’s personal datagleaned in the screening process shouldbe stored and protected from unnecessarydissemination must also be considered.ScreeningThe UK’s first Youth Police andCrime Commissioner, Paris Brown(17), recently resigned from her postfollowing criticism of messages postedby her on Twitter when she was agedbetween 14 and 16.The Police and Crime Commissionerresponsible for recruiting Ms Brownhas been criticised for not carryingout checks on social media beforeMs Brown’s appointment. TheCommissioner has suggested thatsuch checks are likely to be part offuture recruitment processes.
  • 5. - 5 -OWNERSHIPOwnership of social media accounts, and ofthe contacts, friends or followers on thoseaccounts is an emerging issue for employers.As the economy recovers and movementincreases within the job market these issueswill arise more frequently.Customer or client facing employees oftenset up social media accounts to reinforcecustomer/client relationships and may beencouraged to do so by their employer.Employees can amass a significant numberof contacts, friends or followers on socialmedia accounts. Who owns those workrelated contacts and social media accountsand what happens to them when theemployee leaves the employment.An employer cannot claim ownership over allwork related contacts simply because they arework related. Disputes between employers andemployees regarding ownership of social mediamaterial are governed by contract and commonlaw principles developed through case law.There is no Irish case law on this issue to date,however developing UK and US case law mayindicate the approach the Irish courts will take.WHOSE CONTACT ISIT ANYWAY?The leading UK case involvingownership of LinkedIn contacts is HaysSpecialist Recruitment (Holdings)Limited v Ions (2008). Mr Ions leftHays to set up a rival agency. Hayssuspected that Mr Ions was usingconfidential information concerningclients and contacts which he hadcopied to his LinkedIn account duringhis employment. A search of Mr Ion’se-mail account revealed that, duringhis employment, Mr Ions had invitedtwo existing clients of Hays to join hisLinkedIn network.When deciding on the claim broughtby Hays for breach of contract theCourt considered that an employeerecording client contact detailswith a view to their future use in acompeting business was potentially abreach of the employee’s employmentof employers allowemployees to storework related contactson their personal socialmedia accounts.8%of employers know whatwork related contacts theiremployees have ontheir personal socialmedia accounts.3%61%of employees have workrelated contacts ontheir personal socialmedia accounts.obligations. Essentially, while anemployer may authorise employees togather contact details on their LinkedInaccounts that information is confidentialinformation, and remains the propertyof the employer. This illustrates thedistinction between ownership of aLinkedIn account and ownership ofthe information contained withinthat account.The Court directed disclosure of thosecontacts whose names and addressesMr Ions had taken from his work emailaddress book and all emails sent to orreceived by his LinkedIn account fromthe Hays computer network whilst MrIons was an employee of Hays. He wasalso ordered to disclose all documents,including invoices and emails, evidencingthe use of the LinkedIn contacts and anybusiness names obtained from them.
  • 6. - 6 -of employers have discussedwith their employees the positionregarding work related contactson social media accounts upontermination of employment.17%onlyOWNERSHIPAfter her employment was terminated,Edcomm, using Dr Eagle’s LinkedInpassword, accessed the account andchanged the password so that Dr Eaglecould no longer access the account.Edcomm then changed the accountprofile to display Dr Eagle’s successor’sname and photograph, although DrEagle’s honours, recommendationsand connections were not deleted. Forseveral weeks thereafter, a search for DrEagle on LinkedIn found the informationfor her replacement instead.The Court held in Dr Eagle’s favour andpointed out that Edcomm, althoughclearly concerned about its employees’social media presence, did not have apolicy in place determining who ownedthe accounts.LOCKED OUT OF LINKEDINIn March 2013, judgement was deliveredin a US case involving ownership of aLinkedIn account. In Eagle v Edcomm,Dr Eagle, former CEO of Edcomm, fileda complaint alleging that Edcommhijacked her LinkedIn account afterher employment was terminated. WhileDr Eagle was CEO of Edcomm, sheestablished a LinkedIn account withthe encouragement and assistance ofEdcomm. She used this account topromote Edcomm’s services, to fosterher professional reputation, to connectwith her family and to build social andprofessional relationships.
  • 7. - 7 -We asked employers and employees to tell us who ownedthe followers, contacts and friends on employees’ personalsocial media accounts.The results show two very different points of view and asignificant degree of uncertainty in the minds of employersand employees.• Deal with ownership of workrelated contacts on employer oremployee owned devices andsocial media accounts at the startof the employment relationship.• Set the boundary betweenpersonal and professionalcontacts and/or other importantbusiness information.• Amend contracts of employmentand staff handbooks so thatconfidential information and posttermination restrictions capturework related contacts on socialmedia accounts.• Require employees not to addwork related contacts to personalsocial media accounts or makeclear the basis on which they arepermitted to so do.• Require employees to deletework related contacts fromsocial media accounts ontermination of employment.• Inform employees that they arenot permitted to hold themselvesout as employees on their socialmedia accounts once theiremployment has ended.I OWN52%UNSURE47%EMPLOYEROWNS 1%EMPLOYEEOWNS 24%EMPLOYEETHINKSI OWN63%UNSURE31%EMPLOYEROWNS 6%WE OWN25%UNSURE61%EMPLOYEEOWNS 14%EMPLOYEETHINKSEMPLOYERTHINKSTwitter®I OWN37%UNSURE56%EMPLOYEROWNS 7%WE OWN29%UNSURE57%EMPLOYEEOWNS 14%EMPLOYEETHINKSEMPLOYERTHINKSFacebook®Linked In®Best PracticeUNSURE61%WE OWN15%EMPLOYERTHINKS
  • 8. - 8 -PRODUCTIVITY81%of employees accesssocial media sitesat work.47%of employers think thatsocial media access,while at work, increasesworkplace morale. 36% ofemployees agree.31%of employees accesssocial media sitesmultiple times a dayat work.42%of employers allow someform of social mediaaccess while at work.Our survey indicates that 47% of employeesbelieve that access to social media duringwork hours decreases productivity. It isinteresting that only 38% of employers agree.As the majority of employees access socialmedia from personal devices while at workthere is limited value in imposing absoluterestrictions upon employees accessing socialmedia on employer-owned devices.If an employer is concerned about anemployee’s productivity, whether it isconnected with suspected high levels ofsocial media use during the working day,or for any other reason, these concernsshould be addressed through theimplementation of a performanceimprovement plan.• Set realistic guidelines foremployees regarding theaccessing of social mediasites at work irrespectiveof whether on employer oremployee owned devices.• Deal with concerns aboutproductivity due to suspectedsocial media usage at workin the same way as any otherperformance issue is dealtwith - by putting a performanceimprovement plan in place.ON AVERAGEEMPLOYEESSPEND56MINUTESper working dayon social media sites.Best Practice
  • 9. - 9 -Business is increasingly turning to socialmedia to enhance reputation and grow.Social media provides unique opportunitiesto connect and network with potentialcustomers or clients that were simply notavailable before.A key issue for employers is to identify howemployees will participate in this processand to set out clear guidelines as to how,what and by whom information relating tothe employer’s business is communicatedon social media. Employees shouldbe encouraged to report commentsconcerning the business made onsocial media to a central point withintheir organisation.The potential for an organisation tointeract negatively with customers andclients on social media at a speed and ona scale previously unimagined is also anissue for employers.BRAND PROTECTION38%of employees say theywould do nothing if theycame across negativecomments about theiremployer on socialmedia sites.56%of employers encouragetheir employees to reportnegative comments.• If employees are encouragedor required to use businesssocial media accounts ensurethat account passwordsand login details are notchanged by employeeswithout permission.• Define who is permitted to postor comment on business socialmedia accounts.• Consider whether postingsor comments need to bemonitored in advance to ensureappropriate content.• Ensure employees are clearabout what to do if theyread comments about theorganisation on social media.• Ensure employees are notpermitted to post confidentialinformation on personal socialmedia accounts and areclear as to what confidentialinformation means.• Decide whether employees maypost work related photographsor comments on personal socialmedia accounts.of employers are notconcerned that confidentialbusiness informationmay be posted on socialmedia sites by employees.73%Best Practicereputation riskIn a much viewed YouTube video,an employee of a multi-national fastfood operation was seen preparinga sandwich for delivery. It was clearfrom the video and the accompanyingnarrative by a co-worker that thesandwich was being prepared withoutregard to hygiene or food standardsand in a way that would be damagingto the employer’s brand.Within days of the video being postedonline it had been viewed more thana million times. Both employeeswere dismissed.In a case involving a UK supermarketchain, an employee was dismissedfor posting a video on YouTube ofcolleagues having a fight with plasticbags. The video clip was viewed byeight people, three of whom were themanagers of the supermarket wherethe employee worked and who took thedecision to dismiss the employee.The Employment Tribunal held thatthe dismissal was unfair since therewas no actual risk of reputationaldamage to the supermarket.
  • 10. - 10 -Employers may have regard to employeeconduct which takes place on socialmedia sites. Conduct which is linked ordamaging to the employer, has an impactupon the employee’s ability to do his/herjob or causes offence to other employees,requires action. Although 51% ofemployers and 40% of employees saythat activity on social media shouldbe treated differently if it takes placeoutside of working hours, the sameconsiderations apply regardless of whenthe conduct takes place.When an employer is consideringtaking disciplinary action against anemployee, the employee may say thathe/she thought their social mediaaccount was private or that he/she has aright to freedom of expression. In fact,employees should not assume that postsor comments will remain private giventhe nature of the internet. In addition,the freedom of expression enjoyed bythe employee must be balanced againstthe right of the employer to protect theirreputation and to observe their dutyof care to other employees.EMPLOYEE ACTIVITY ONSOCIAL MEDIAKiernan v Awear (2007) was one of the firstIrish cases to raise the issue of social mediain the workplace. The case involved theposting of comments by Ms Kiernan abouther branch manager on the social networkingsite Bebo outside of working hours. Theremarks were brought to management’sattention by a customer. Ms Kiernan, whohad a previously clean disciplinary record,was dismissed for gross misconduct. Onappeal to the Employment Appeals Tribunal,it was held that the sanction of dismissal wasdisproportionate to the offence.A different determination was made inO’Mahony v PJF Insurances Limited (2010),a case which also involved an employeeposting disparaging comments about theemployer and a director of the organisationon her Facebook page. Ms O’Mahony wasdismissed and challenged the dismissalin the Employment Appeals Tribunal.The Tribunal held that the posts werepersonally offensive to one of the directorsin particular and that the breach of trust wasso significant that Ms O’Mahony’s positionbecame untenable.Employers may be vicariously liablefor acts of bullying, harassment ordiscrimination of employees carried outby their colleagues on social media sites.It will not be a defence for the employerto say that such acts were carried outwithout their consent or knowledge. Itwill be helpful to a defence however, toshow that the employer took practicalsteps to prevent the act complained oftaking place. Key to this would be tohave in place a clear and comprehensivesocial media policy which identifies andrequires appropriate conduct concerningcolleagues both during and outside ofworking hours on social media sites.As with any disciplinary matter withwhich an employer must deal, sanctionsfor misconduct in relation to socialmedia must be proportionate to thecircumstances and the disciplinaryprocess followed must be fair.In Toland v Marks & Spencer (2013)Ms Toland was awarded €18,000compensation in her claim for unfairdismissal. Ms Toland had been dismisseddue to a breach of the organisation’s socialnetworking policy. In giving evidence tothe Tribunal, Ms Toland said that herparticipation in the social networking siteswas limited and that she did not intend tohurt or disrespect anyone. Ms Toland didaccept that by commenting on posts byother staff members she did participate inconversations regardless of her intentions.As Marks & Spencer could not provide thewitness who made the decision to dismissthe employee at the hearing or any notes ofthe disciplinary meeting, the Tribunal treatedthe case as an uncontested unfair dismissal.However, the Tribunal did accept that therewas some contribution to the dismissalby Ms Toland as a result of her “carelessmisuse of a social networking site and thecompensation awarded reflects this”.Disciplinary Issues
  • 11. - 11 -VICARIOUS LIABILITYThe UK case of Otomewo v CarphoneWarehouse (2012) illustrates theimportance of having an effectivesocial media policy in place to dealwith claims of vicarious liability.Mr Otomewo was a manager in aCarphone Warehouse store. Duringworking hours, two of Mr Otomewo’scolleagues took his iPhone without hisconsent and used it to post a statusupdate on his Facebook page saying“finally came out of the closet, I amgay and proud”.At a Tribunal hearing it wasacknowledged that Mr Otomewo wasnot gay and that his colleagues did notbelieve that he was gay. However, itwas accepted that the status updatecaused Mr Otomewo embarrassmentand distress as it could be seen by hisfriends and family.The Employment Tribunal found that itwas reasonable for Mr Otomewo to beembarrassed and distressed by the statusupdate on his Facebook page which wasunwanted and an unnecessary and anunwarranted intrusion into his private lifeon a public space amounting to sexualorientation harassment. The EmploymentTribunal found that the comments weremade in the course of employmentand that Carphone Warehouse, as theemployer, was liable for such actions.of employershavedisciplinedemployeesbased on theiractions onsocial media.of employeessay theirorganisationhas disciplinedemployeesbased on socialmedia activity.21%26%• Ensure your social media policystates what is/is not permittedotherwise it will be difficult todiscipline an employee for anysocial media policy breach.•  The social media policy shouldcross refer to other relevantHR policies.•  Before taking disciplinaryaction against an employee,consider whether there is awork-related context and/or whether the activity inquestion actually affectsthe work relationshipand/or impacts upon theemployer’s reputation.•  Regardless of what theemployee is thought to havedone, fair investigatory anddisciplinary procedures mustbe followed.•  Adopt a consistent andproportionate approach todisciplinary sanction forbreach of social media policy.Best Practice
  • 12. - 12 -SOCIAL MEDIA POLICYSocial media is an increasingly importantpart of the personal lives of employeesand of business life and it is here to stay.Employers should consider the issuessocial media raises in their workplace andregulate its use and application. Key tothis is to have a comprehensive, tailoredsocial media policy in place and to ensurethat employees read and understand it.Where employees are required to use theirown devices for work the social mediapolicy should cover BYOD (Bring YourOwn Device). Irrespective of whetheremployees use their own or employerowned devices, employers should requireemployees to use privacy and lock settingsto minimise the risk of unauthorisedaccess to those devices.POLICY - WHY BOTHER?In Walker v Bausch & Lomb (2009) thepolicy at issue was the employer’s intranetusage policy. However, the decidingpoint holds good for social media. In thisIrish case an employee posted to theorganisation’s intranet a message that hadserious implications in terms of publicityand workplace industrial relations. Theemployee was dismissed and challengedthe dismissal. The Employment AppealsTribunal found that the organisation’sinvestigation was fair but that thedismissal was not. A factor in the decisionwas that there was no proof that theemployee had ever received or reviewedthe organisation’s intranet policy.Crisp v Apple (2011) is a UK caseconcerning Mr Crisp who worked atan Apple store and posted derogatorycomments on his Facebook page abouthis work and certain Apple products.These comments were brought to theattention of Mr Crisp’s manager.Mr Crisp was dismissed for grossmisconduct and challenged hisdismissal. The Employment Tribunalin the UK upheld the dismissal.In arriving at its decision, the EmploymentTribunal was influenced by the fact thattraining and policies on the use of socialmedia had been provided to Mr Crisp byhis employer.43%of employees areunsure whether theirorganisation has a socialmedia policy.84%of employers say thatsocial media is importantto their organisation.Only 51%of employers have asocial media policy.
  • 13. - 13 -Employers-Is your policyvery wellunderstoodby employees?51%NO49%YESEmployees-Do you fullyunderstand yourorganisation’ssocial mediapolicy?47%NO53%YESOf the employees who arerequired to use personaldevices for work, 60% saythat their employer does nothave a BYOD policy in place.3%1%10%16%21%36%46%PosterUpdate ofContractWord of MouthManualInternetTrainingEmailHow is your organisation’s social media policycommunicated to employees?
  • 14. - 14 -• Define the scope - apply it topersonal and professional useon personal and work devices;cover activity inside and outsideworking hours.• Set realistic guidelines regardingusage during work hours -consider allowing social mediaaccess in moderation once it doesnot affect productivity; confirmthat excessive use of socialmedia during working hours mayconstitute misconduct.• Provide guidelines for employeecommunications in social media- advise employees to keeppersonal and work-related socialmedia activities separate; statethat employees are personallyresponsible for their posts; adviseemployees to think before theyengage and be mindful of thirdparties’ rights; inform employeesof the need to use privacysettings/lock devices.• Cross refer to other relevantworkplace policies - e.g. disciplinary,bullying and harassment, equality,email and internet and dataprotection.• Address confidential/sensitiveinformation i.e. - remind employeesthey must not discuss clients,business partners or colleagueswithout permission outside theorganisation or post any informationthat is not public.• Reputation management - confirmwhat employees should do if theysee any inaccurate or negativecomments about the organisationon social media.• Ownership - confirm whether theorganisation has a proprietaryinterest in any accounts and/orinformation generated by employeeson social media.• Address consequences - confirm thatfailure to adhere to the social mediapolicy may lead to disciplinary action.policy guidelinesWe have set out a number of key guidelines which we recommend including in your organisation’ssocial media policy.• Implement a social mediapolicy based upon actualbusiness needs, bearing inmind what role social mediahas to play in the business.• Ensure the social mediapolicy is reviewed regularlyas developments may quicklyrender it out of date.• Include the employer’sposition on BYOD whereemployees are required orpermitted to use their owndevices for work.• Ensure the social mediapolicy is communicatedeffectively to all employees.Retain proof that it hasbeen received, readand understood.Best Practice
  • 15. - 15 -The research upon which this report is based was undertaken by Amárach Research.Two separate surveys were conducted, one among employers and one among employeesof organisations operating in Ireland and of a size of 50 employees or more. A range ofquestions relating to social media in the workplace were asked of both groups to allow foran employer and employee perspective to be captured. A total of 200 employers weresurveyed via telephone interviews and 500 employees were interviewed online. Allinterviewing was conducted in February 2013.Amárach Research is a full service market research and consultancy firm operating inIreland since the 1980’s. Amárach Research is proud to be fully Irish owned, run andwholly independent. Amárach provides a range of research and consultancy services forblue chip and public sector clients who are seeking to gain a competitive advantage throughunderstanding their customers and markets in more detail. Amárach Research brings clarityto complex issues through best in class research and analytic methods.ABOUT THE RESEARCH
  • 16. - 16 -William Fry is a leading full service Irish law firm with offices in Dublin, London, New Yorkand Mountain View, California. Our client-focused service combines technical excellencewith commercial awareness and a practical, constructive approach to business issues. Weadvise leading domestic and international corporations, financial institutions and governmentorganisations. We regularly act on complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions and commercialdisputes. Strong client relationships and high quality advice are the hallmarks of our business.Our Employment & Benefits Team is one of the largest employment law practices in Ireland.Our areas of expertise include:• Advising on all legal issues relating to the employment relationship• Representing clients before courts and tribunals in discrimination claims, unfair dismissalcases, breach of contract actions, injunction proceedings and prosecutions• Industrial relations• Advising on employment and pension issues in business sales, group reorganisations,insolvencies and outsourcings• Advising on all aspects of pensions law for employers, trustees, pension product providersand individuals• Employee share plans• Providing bespoke employment law training sessions for HR personnel• Advising on health and safety mattersOur clients include many leading multinational and Irish companies, pension scheme trusteesand public sector organisations. Our team has advised on the employment and pensions aspectsof many of the major corporate transactions in Ireland in recent years. We have successfullyrepresented clients in a number of High Court and Supreme Court cases in which the judgmentshanded down have clarified key points of Irish employment law.Recent directory commentary includes:“Practice head Boyce Shubotham is ‘tactically astute in all his dealings’, Maura Roe ‘remainscalm and focused’, and Alicia Compton is ‘excellent’.” (Legal 500 EMEA, 2013)“A well-connected practice that really tries to understand its clients. I have yet to give the lawyersa scenario which has stumped them - you can always find an expert in your area.” (ChambersEurope, 2013)“William Fry is fabulous. It understands the issues clients face and ensures transactions progresssmoothly...” “everyone we deal with is just superb. We value the team’s judgement and view themas colleagues” (Chambers Europe, 2012)“William Fry’s ‘first class’ team is capable of ‘devising and delivering a solution’ that clients arehappy with.” (Legal 500 EMEA, 2012)Boyce ShubothamPartnerT. +353 1 639 5362E. boyce.shubotham@williamfry.ieAlicia ComptonPartnerT. +353 1 639 5376E. alicia.compton@williamfry.ieMaura RoePartnerT. +353 1 639 5246E. maura.roe@williamfry.ieMichael WolfePartnerT. +353 1 639 5204E. michael.wolfe@williamfry.ieLiam ConnellanPartnerT. +353 1 639 5110E. liam.connellan@williamfry.ieCatherine O’FlynnAssociateT. +353 1 639 5136E. catherine.oflynn@williamfry.ieAisling ButlerAssociateT. +353 1 639 5178E. aisling.butler@williamfry.ieLorna OsbourneAssistantT. +353 1 489 6408E. lorna.osbourne@williamfry.ieCONTACTMaryrose DillonAssociateT. +353 1 489 6520E. maryrose.dillon@williamfry.ieLouise HarrisonAssociateT. +353 1 489 6580E. louise.harrison@williamfry.ieLouise MooreAssistantT. +353 1 489 6526E. louise.moore@williamfry.ieCiara RuaneAssistantT. +353 1 489 6644E. ciara.ruane@williamfry.ieNichola HarkinAssistantT. +353 1 489 6616E. nichola.harkin@williamfry.ieMary GreaneyAssistantT. +353 1 639 5358E. mary.greaney@williamfry.ieAnne O’ConnellAssociateT. +353 1 639 5286E. anne.oconnell@williamfry.ieABOUT WILLIAM FRYFollow us on twitter @WFEmploymentLaw
  • 17. - 17 -A selection of the clients of our Employment & Benefits Team“A well-connected practice that really tries to understand its clients. I have yet to give the lawyers ascenario which has stumped them – you can always find an expert in your area.”Chambers Europe, 2013
  • 18. - 18 -notes
  • 19. williamfry.iewww.williamfry.ie Copyright © William Fry 2013. All rights reserved.The material contained in this publication is provided for information purposes onlyand does not constitute legal or other professional advice. It does not take account of specific circumstancesand cannot be considered a substitute for specific legal or other professional adviceDublin . London . New York . Mountain View, CA.