Ibec Annual Employment Law Conference 2018
Hard cases make bad law – the battle for a balanced approach to employment regulation
Ireland’s economy is the fastest growing in the eurozone for the fourth year in a row. It is now critical that we do not jeopardise the second chance we have been given to be the best small country in the world in which to do business. This requires an evidenced based approach to law making that regrettably seems to elude us at this point in time. In the last year alone, the employment relationship has been the subject of more than ten proposals for new legislation (when Private Members Bills are included) purporting to regulate everything from extreme weather to trade union representation. As employers will be well aware, this heaps further regulation onto a contractual relationship that is already heavily regulated. Some of this legislation is necessary and proportionate and the business community recognises the need for a balanced approach to employment regulation. However, there is an increased appetite for pitting employers and employees against each other despite the negative impact this is may have for workplace relations. At this year’s conference, Ibec will examine what is driving these new legislative proposals and what impact they are likely to have on Irish business in the coming year.
Following the deferment of access to the State pension to up to 68 years of age on a phased basis, employers are faced with more and more requests from employees to remain in the workplace beyond the age of 65, which is the traditional age at which employees are required to retire. With the introduction of a new Code of Practice on Longer Working, Ibec’s solicitors examine the legal principles underpinning retirement in Ireland and what might be done to better support employers and their employees in facilitating those who wish to work longer while still affording employers an element of certainty in planning their workforce.
Employers have learned to navigate the wealth of employment legislation applying to Irish business, but one area of law which continues to pose challenges is that of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, not least in its application to the issue of managing intoxicants in the workplace. While some workplaces will have a clear imperative to test for competency to drive a vehicle in a public place or man heavy machinery, in other desk based environments, the issue can be less clear. Testing positive for intoxicants can have implications under equality and data protection legislation and employers find themselves balancing competing legal rights of employees and their colleagues to whom the employer also owes a duty of care. At this year’s conference, Ibec’s solicitors review the case law in this area and outline best practice in addressing substance misuse at work.
In addition, there will be renewed focus on effecting dismissals and how the higher courts address the issue of termination of employment. We will also examine the five most significant employment law cases of the last 12 months. To get a unique insight into developments in employment law from an employer’s perspective, register to attend this year’s Ibec Employment Law Conference. It will be of considerable interest and relevance to employment law practitioners, employers and senior HR managers.
For Agenda and speakers information please visit www.ibec.ie/EmployConf
An early bird price €330 + VAT available till 6th April 2018
Member rate €360 + VAT
Non member rate €430 + VAT
For all queries on the event, please call the event organiser:
Aleksandra Kobajlo, Tel: +353 1 6051586