“The nature and shape of employment has changed considerably in the past number of years. Greater internationalisation, flexible work options and the recruitment and retention challenges of a recovering economy are all having an impact on how employers need to respond to the market place. For instance, the appeal of a so-called, “gold plated” permanent job has dimmed for some employees at a time when we’re seeing the emergence of the “Gig Economy”. For others, working beyond the official retirement age - because of preference or necessity – will become the norm.

And as the nature of Employment evolves so too does the Law. With the pace of change we’re experiencing Employers need to keep ahead of the latest developments to ensure that work practices reflect and implement current legislation. With the possibility of penal fines, work disruption and reputational damage, non-compliance for any business operating in Ireland simply isn’t an option. I would add that there needs to be greater respect for the statutory dispute bodies in this country.” That’s according to Kieran Mulvey the leading employment an industrial relations expert who is the key-note speaker at an invitation only event on Employment Law titled “The Economy and other challenges for Irish workplaces in 2017” hosted by leading law firm Philip Lee (www.philiplee.ie).


Patrick Walshe, one of Ireland’s leading Employment Law experts and partner at Philip Lee identified and discussed the key priority issues that employers face this year and beyond.  He offered his insights into handling these matters, such as:

  • Disciplinary procedures and termination
  • Suspension of employees
  • Whistleblowing / protected disclosures
  • Zero Hours and similar contracts
  • Retirement
  • Employees vs independent contractors
  • Au Pairs
  • Brexit

He said: “The legal and regulatory framework around Employment Law has become more sophisticated and complex. That’s why it’s essential that employers understand their rights and responsibilities.  Apart from reputation damage, there are cost implications.  To point out two, the most available figures show that the average award for Employment Equality Claims in 2014 was €22,614 while the average Unfair Dismissals award in 2014 was €15,862.46 with Unfair Dismissal, Minimum Notice and Redundancy being the top 3 causes of complaint.

With the additional challenge of Brexit and its potential implications on the horizon, the need for Ireland Inc. to be fully compliant with Employment Law should be a major priority for every enterprise.”