But doing the ‘right thing’ morally and legally when it comes to matters of equality and diversity isn’t always straightforward. Within the legislation, employees’ rights and interests can occasionally compete and even collide, sometimes as a result of membership of one gender or another, other times rooted in differing social mores as a result of cultural differences or religious views. In social contexts, we can avoid declaring ourselves on how best to proceed in such cases - whose rights should have primacy - in the interest of not causing offence. All too often, employers do not have that option and are required to meet these challenges head on. That is why this year the focus of Ibec’s Employment Law Conference will be on equality in the Irish workplace - what it means, what is required for legal compliance and the consequences of failing to meet the necessary standard.
The advent of the #MeToo movement has received extensive coverage in the global media, but for those tasked with applying its principle of ensuring victims are heard, complex questions of natural justice can arise. At this year’s conference, Ibec solicitors will explore recent case law on sexual harassment with a particular emphasis on best practice in the conduct of workplace investigations.
With the publication of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill imminent, Ibec examines how businesses will need to adapt to the new statutory requirements. If the aim is to address the absence of equal representation of genders at different levels of an organisation, how can this proposed change in the law best support this?
Ibec solicitors will examine the likely impact of the proposed new law on Irish workplaces.
The balancing of gender equality and caring responsibilities remains a key challenge in achieving diversity in the workplace. The introduction of paid paternity leave in Ireland in recent years aimed to correct what had previously been an overwhelming emphasis on the role of working women in this respect. A number of employment law policies are now gaining traction on the sharing of maternity leave, longer (and paid) parental leave for both parents and the introduction of work/life balance measures. At this year’s conference, we evaluate which of these proposals are likely to become law, how soon and in what form.
For many of us, our own equality and diversity awareness remains a work in progress. It sometimes requires that we consider ways of being in the workplace of which we have no direct experience. Ibec’s Employment Law Services Unit is eager to support members in any way we can in navigating what can be a complex and sensitive area of employment law. Book now to avail of early bird rates and join us in Croke Park on the 3rd of April 2019.
Wednesday, 30 January 2019