Mar 15, 2021
 in 
Tips & Advice

Irish Employment Law Update: Volume 1, Issue 2

 By 
Richard Grogan
 • 
4 min read

This article will cover the following topics:

  1. Senior Executives and Stress
  2. Gender Equality and Gender Pay Gap
  3. Reputational Risk and Crisis Management
  4. Pregnancy Dismissals
  5. COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP)

1. Senior Executives and Stress

While stress can affect anyone increasingly managers and executives are suffering from stress. Now when we talk about stress we are referring to workplace stress which could have been avoided.

What are the types of symptoms? These include:

  1. Difficulty sleeping
  2. Feeling disconnected from work
  3. Difficulty concentrating
  4. Feelings of not getting support

What are the causes? These include:

  1. Excessive workloads
  2. Excessive demands
  3. Lack of support
  4. Excessive hours of work with little uninterrupted rest periods
  5. Being nearly available 24/7

What to do?

Firstly for us your health comes first so talk to your GP.

Secondly if you want to know your rights and what you can do which may be everything from just needing to know how it can be dealt with to the looking for an exit and everything in between we are here to help.

You can contact us on info@grogansolicitors.ie for a totally confidential consultation.

2. Gender Equality and Gender Pay Gap

As we head towards International Women's Day we need more men to step up but also to be included in looking to bring about solutions.

There are a few practical steps:

  1. That the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill is moved on. It stalled when the last Dáil finished and has languished since with no action.
  2. There needs to be buy in to the EU Commission proposal on addressing equal pay. We attach the proposal here - it's a 1 minute read.
  3. When the Directive is adopted we cannot have the normal 2 year last minute implementation.
  4. The current rules on bringing an equal pay claim requires the person bringing the claim to prove the differential. That needs to change as often it is impossible to get that information.
  5. Maternity Leave must not become a bar to career progression or affect salary increases.
  6. There needs to be greater State supports for childminding services to facilitate women in workplaces.
  7. The EU Commissions proposals to ban employers requesting information on prior salaries, disclosure of pay rates , and , strong enforcement will go a long way.

Q&A – Equal pay: Commission proposes measures on pay transparency to ensure equal pay for equal work - Link here

3. Reputational Risk and Crisis Management

When it comes to senior executives and managers departing an organisation reputation is as important as the exit package. It is a service we have provided for years as part of our Employment Law service but formalised it as a separate service within the Firm three years ago.

For senior executives exiting can be voluntary or enforced. In enforced exits it is rarely to do with the quality or professionalism of the individual. It simply can be that their face no longer fits. That can be incredibly upsetting as the executive has done nothing wrong. In negotiations for an exit reputation is an integral part of any exit strategy particularly where the executive has a regulatory role.

Understanding the dynamics is an important element in representing any executive. Equally understanding the potential reputational risk to the organisation they are leaving if it becomes public is equally integral in the negotiations their exit package. We also understand the tax planning opportunities to maximise benefits. Our Reputational Risk and Crisis Management service only acts for executives and managers which makes it unique. Already COVID is throwing up challenges for executives departing.

4. Pregnancy Dismissals - Our Approach

Our approach is a bit different than some.

So what claims can be made. You might think it is just one - it can be a multiple. So let’s look at what claims an employer might face if they dismiss a pregnant worker.

Let’s say that happens today and the employee has 6 months service.

  1. An Employment Equality claim for being discriminated today 9/3 by being told they are being dismissed
  2. An Unfair Dismissal claim with date of dismissal as 16/3 as entitled to 1 weeks’ notice so that is a separate incident on a separate date
  3. A Maternity Protection Act claim to issue the day after they should have returned to work

Now some might say these are caught with the Henderson and Henderson Rule that you cannot litigate the same thing twice. Fair point but the breaches happen on different dates so separate claims. Then you might say you cannot bring a UD and Equality claim for dismissal at the same time. The notification on the 9th and the date the dismissal by law takes place being the 16th are separate dates.

One is being "told" the other is being "terminated". There is a 4th claim we shall deal with it another day.

5. Claiming the PUP - If you are dismissed and claim the PUP you could torpedo an Unfair Dismissal Claim

How you might ask. Simple:

  1. The PUP is for those on layoff not for those dismissed.
  2. Claiming the PUP in such cases is a Social Welfare Fraud.
  3. Committing a Social Welfare fraud can mean a Tribunal refuses jurisdiction to hear the case.
  4. If you are dismissed, you must be seeking work. Being on the PUP is not notifying Social Protection you are available for work or to do courses.
  5. If a Tribunal hears you claimed the PUP not Jobseekers, then issues of reporting to the Social Protection Authorities arises.
  6. In a Unfair Dismissal case the employer is entitled to get a certificate from the Department at the request of the employee of the Social Welfare payments.
  7. If you are represented and the representative finds out, you were fraudulently claiming the PUP the representative must report this to the Department.

If an employee who is dismissed claims the PUP, then it may be "Goodnight Josephine" to their claim for Unfair Dismissal. If an employee’s abuses Social Welfare the laws deem them to know this.

Why did we post this?

This abuse is now becoming common.

If you require further information please get in touch with Richard Grogan & Associates here.

*Before acting or refraining from acting on anything in this guide, legal advice should be sought from a solicitor.

**In contentious cases, a solicitor may not charge fees or expenses as a portion or percentage of any award of settlement.

-----

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Lawyered.

Published by
Richard Grogan
Solicitor

Follow us
on Instagram