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Employment Law & Employment Relations Review


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Seminar to Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development Western Branch 2010

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Employment Law & Employment Relations Review

  1. 1. Employment Law and Employment Relations Review CIPD Western Region 17 th November 2010 Dr. Michelle O’Sullivan University of Limerick
  2. 2. Review Topics <ul><li>Employment Relations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>JLC constitutional challenge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Croke Park </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Air traffic controllers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Employment law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research on equality cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>European Developments </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. JLC Sectors <ul><li>Constitutional cases by IHF and Quick Service Food Alliance </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial Relations Amendment Bill (2009) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>JLCs to stay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inability to pay clause </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Competitive disadvantage, displacement of workers? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consent of employees? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. JLC Constitutional Challenge <ul><li>QSFA constitutional challenge still to be heard </li></ul><ul><li>50-60 NERA prosecutions pending constitutional challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Estimated unpaid wage liability to business = €50,000-€100,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Frank Fahey: NERA budget should be cut </li></ul>
  5. 5. Air Traffic Controllers Dispute <ul><li>The IAA suspended 15 controllers for following a union instruction not to engage in a number of disputed new work practices </li></ul><ul><li>Debate over introducing a law banning industrial action in essential services </li></ul><ul><li>History? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Croke Park Agreement <ul><ul><li>Redeployment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisational rationalisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Merit based promotion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No strike clause </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay review 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No compulsory redundancies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay freeze </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retirement pay calculation </li></ul></ul>In Return For: Unions Got:
  7. 7. Croke Park: Key issues <ul><li>“ Subject to no currently unforeseen budgetary deterioration” </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery of reforms </li></ul><ul><li>Pensions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sept 2010 - LRC proposals for pensions based on average salary, not final salary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Index-linking pension issue postponed to 2014 </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Employment law developments <ul><li>Redundancy </li></ul><ul><li>Dismissals </li></ul><ul><li>Race equality </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><li>EU developments </li></ul>
  9. 9. Redundancy Requirements <ul><li>Employer should </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consult with employees prior to restructuring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish criteria for selection for redundancy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inform employees of these criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enquire about employee’s ability to do other work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow employee being made redundant to make representations as to why they should be retained. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inform employee of right of appeal </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Constructive Dismissal <ul><li>“ It is not open to an employee to demand that a grievance be investigated in any particular way. An employer is entitled to some latitude in how he goes about such an investigation. However, one thing is clear; he must conduct an investigation that is fair and thorough” </li></ul><ul><li>Doyle Fleming v National Irish Safety Organisation </li></ul>
  11. 11. Dismissal Injunctions <ul><li>Bank manager, Irish Life & Permanent </li></ul><ul><li>CEO, IRS Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>General Manager, Citywest Hotel </li></ul><ul><li>HR Manager, Iarnrod Eireann </li></ul>
  12. 12. Granting Injunctions <ul><li>1. Employee entitled to the benefit of fair procedures. What fair procedures demand depends on the terms of the employee’s employment and & circumstances of proposed dismissal. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Can the employee establish that he has a strong case that he would be successful at the trial of the action? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Court must be satisfied that damages would not be an adequate remedy. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Equality: Race <ul><li>Failure of the company to provide health and safety training and documentation in a language employee understood amounted to discrimination. </li></ul><ul><li>Stukonis v Coalport Building Company </li></ul>
  14. 14. Equality Tribunal Cases: Claimants <ul><li>Grounds: gender, age, disability, race </li></ul><ul><li>80% of private sector cases from services </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 claimants not represented </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most successful representatives: Equality Authority, unions, private legal representation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>65% claimant failure rate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Private sector claimants win more than public sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Average compensation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>€ 11,689 </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Technology in Employment <ul><li>AWear employee dismissed over comments on Bebo </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Won unfair dismissal case </li></ul></ul><ul><li>GMIT lecturer – damage to reputation in email </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Out of court settlement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>DCU lecturer dismissed over comments on blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Won €45,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PWC email </li></ul>
  16. 16. European Developments <ul><li>Temporary Agency Work Directive </li></ul><ul><li>EU Directive on self-employed </li></ul><ul><li>Parental leave </li></ul><ul><li>Pregnant workers </li></ul><ul><li>Third party harassment </li></ul>
  17. 17. Temporary Agency Worker Directive <ul><li>Must be implemented December 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Issues to be decided </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualifying period </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What pay elements included </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consultation on the Directive </li></ul><ul><li>Views can be submitted by 30 November 2010 to [email_address] </li></ul>
  18. 18. EU Directive on self-employed workers and assisting spouses <ul><li>Self-employed women & assisting female spouses </li></ul><ul><li>Equivalent access to maternity leave as for employees, but on a voluntary basis. </li></ul><ul><li>Right to social security coverage on an equal basis as formal self-employed workers. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Parental leave Directive <ul><li>Longer leave – each parent will be able to take four months off per child. </li></ul><ul><li>Extra month cannot be transferred from one parent to the other </li></ul><ul><li>Employee applying for or taking parental leave will be protected from any less favourable treatment. </li></ul><ul><li>On return from parental leave, right to request changes to working hours </li></ul><ul><ul><li>employers obliged to balance the needs of employee & company. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Pregnant Workers Directive <ul><li>Changes approved by European Parliament </li></ul><ul><li>Minimum leave 20 weeks paid </li></ul><ul><li>Minimum 6 weeks leave after birth </li></ul><ul><li>No dismissal of pregnant workers from beginning of pregnancy to at least 6 months following end of maternity leave. </li></ul><ul><li>Restrictions on night work/overtime before, during & after birth </li></ul><ul><li>Paid paternity leave 2 weeks </li></ul>
  21. 21. Third party harassment & violence <ul><li>Guidelines by EU-level employers' and trade unions' </li></ul><ul><li>For healthcare, education, local and regional government, commerce and private security sectors. </li></ul><ul><li>The guidelines include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing awareness and understanding of the issue among employers, workers and public authorities (such as health and safety agencies, the police); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk assessment of potential problems and responses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training managers and workers in how to prevent or, if necessary, manage the problem </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Other EU Developments <ul><li>EU Council </li></ul><ul><ul><li>adapting citizens’ skills to new challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>modernising education systems; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>promoting the participation of the young/old </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Council call for increased involvement of older people in society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>removing obstacles to employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>improving employment conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ECJ: Pay of pregnant employees moved/suspended for health and safety (Parviainen) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Some good news! <ul><li>From 2003-2009: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees in private sector reported increased job satisfaction between 2003 & 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees reported higher levels of organisational commitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultation & flexible working associated with job satisfaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ESRI National Workplace Survey </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>THANK YOU </li></ul>