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COVID-19: Employment & Benefits

30 June 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, employers are being faced with extremely difficult decisions concerning their businesses and employees. Now, more than ever, it is important that organisations can rely on expert legal advice to help them successfully navigate the full range of issues. Whether organisations are concerned about qualification criteria for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme or pension trustees are unsure of permissions required to host “virtual” meetings, we are available to provide expert assistance.

If you would like to discuss the potential impact of these issues on your business and its future operations, contact a member of our Employment & Benefits or Pensions teams.

Webinar: Employment Law Top Tips - Top 5 HR Challenges

21.04.21

We will host our Top 5 HR Challenges webinar, from 11.00am - 11.45am on Wednesday 21 April. At this webinar, our speakers will discuss the top 5 Employment law issues they see on a regular basis and will give advice and practical tips on how to effectively deal with these challenges as they arise. 

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Why our Teachers Need to Know Their Law

25.02.21

We hosted a webinar in collaboration with The Education Support Centres Ireland (ESCI) on Why Our Teachers Need to Know Their Law on Thursday 25 February.

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How Third Level Colleges Should Handle Complaints

24.02.21

We hosted a webinar discussing How Third Level Colleges Should Handle Complaints by and against students on Wednesday 24 February.

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Employment Law Top Tips - Living with Remote Working

11.02.21

We will host our Living with Remote Working webinar, from 11.00am - 12.00pm on Thursday 11 February. With many employees likely to retain some element of remote working as we return to 'normal', we will look at the main issues employers need to consider when it comes to remote working and what happens when employees end up working remotely in another jurisdiction.

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Nowhere to Hide: Why Data Protection Affects the Way Secondary Schools Operate

21.01.21

We hosted a webinar in collaboration with the National Association of Principals and Deputies (NAPD)  for secondary schools on Thursday 21 January looking at Data Protection and how secondary schools operate.

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Nowhere to Hide: Why Data Protection Affects the Way Primary Schools Operate

20.01.21

We hosted a webinar in collaboration with the National Association of Principals and Deputies (NAPD) for primary schools on Wednesday 20 January looking at Data Protection and how primary schools operate.

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Crisis Management for HR Managers

24.11.20

We hosted a webinar on Crisis Management on Tuesday 24 November.

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Remote Working: Managing Your Team and Yourself

19.11.20

We hosted our Remote Working: Managing Your Team and Yourself webinar on Thursday 19 November.

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Underperformance of Secondary School Staff –The Elephant in the Room

13.11.20

On Friday 13 November, we hosted a webinar looking at Underperformance of Secondary School Staff.

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Underperformance of Primary School Staff –The Elephant in the Room

11.11.20

On Tuesday 10 November we hosted a webinar looking at Underperformance of Primary School Staff. 

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Custody & Guardianship Issues for Schools
02.10.20

We hosted a webinar on Friday 2 October discussing the challenges for schools in accommodating diverse family units, many of whom are either parents or guardians of children in our schools. 

HR in the New Normal

16.09.2020

We hosted a webinar on Wednesday 16 September at 11am looking at HR in the New Normal. 

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Limiting Your Liability as Secondary Schools Re-open

26.08.20

We hosted a webinar discussing Limiting Your Secondary School’s Exposure to Liability as You Prepare to Reopen with our Education Team.

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Limiting Your Liability as Primary Schools Re-open

26.08.20

We hosted a webinar discussing Limiting Your Primary School’s Exposure to Liability as You Prepare to Reopen with our Education Team.

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The Future of Hospitality 

02.07.20

We hosted a webinar discussing The Future of Hospitality at 11am on Thursday 2 July.

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Managing Pupils with Complex Special Needs in Mainstream and Special School Settings

18.06.20

We hosted a webinar discussing Managing Pupils with Complex Special Needs in Mainstream and Special School Settings with our Education Team.

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Re-Opening Schools: Practical Issues for Primary and Secondary Schools

03.06.2020 and 04.06.2020

We hosted a webinar series discussing Re-Opening Schools: Practical Issues for Primary and Secondary Schools.

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Pensions & COVID 19: Post COVID-19 Pensions - What to Expect

14.05.2020

We hosted

a webinar discussing Post COVID-19 Pensions - What to Expect with Elma Fox, President of the Irish Institute of Pensions Management. 

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Getting Back to Work: Employment Law and Health & Safety Issues

06.05.2020

We hosted a webinar discussing the key considerations around Health & Safety in the workplace in light of COVID-19.

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Employment & COVID 19: What Now & What After?

21.04.2020

We hosted a webinar discussing Employment & COVID-19 - What Now & What After? During the session, our employment law specialists discussed a number of COVID-19 related legal principles and protections. 

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Pensions & COVID 19 - What Employers & Trustees Should Know

31.03.2020

We hosted a live webinar discussing Pensions & COVID-19 with Jerry Moriarty, CEO of the Irish Association of Pensions Funds. During this remote session, we looked at the key actions and considerations that employers and trustees should examine as we begin to deal with the challenges of COVID-19. 

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Online Board of Management Meetings – Stick to the Guidelines

03.03.2021

We summarise the main points to be aware of when conducting Board of Management meetings online. It should be noted that many of the same principles apply in both online and physical settings.

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Remote Working Here to Stay - The National Remote Work Strategy

19.01.2021

The Government has published its first National Remote Work Strategy (the Strategy). Among the commitments contained in the Strategy is planned legislation giving employees the right to request remote working.

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COVID-19 Vaccine – Essential Points for Employers to Consider

15.01.2021

With the rollout of the COVID-19 phased vaccination programme now underway across the Ireland and beyond, it looks like 2021 will herald a return to a somewhat normal life, and with it, a return to the workplace.

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Education Update: Schools Dealing with Suspected Cases of COVID-19 in a GDPR Environment

23.09.2020

Now that we are a few weeks into the new school year, many schools predictably have to deal with suspected cases of COVID-19. 

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COVID-19 Employment Update: Changes to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment

11.09.2020

We review the recent changes to the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) scheme. 

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COVID-19 Employment Update: Key Features of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme

11.09.2020

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) was replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) on 1 September 2020.

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Working From Home - Tax and Employment Law Implications

02.09.2020

The COVID-19 crisis has had a profound impact on the way we live, interact and work.

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Irish Immigration System Proves Adaptable as COVID-19 Measures are Extended

19.08.2020

We outline the latest contingency arrangements put in place by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) and Department of Justice and Equality (DJE) for foreign nationals seeking to obtain and maintain permission to work and reside in Ireland in the midst of a global pandemic.

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Pensions and the Pandemic:  No Certainty on Death?

19.08.2020

Death in service benefits have taken something of a back seat to concerns relating to the employer contribution, regulatory guidance and the State Pension age debate during the past few months. In this review, we will shift the focus to death in service benefits and highlight some of the main issues that might arise for employers, administrators and trustees.

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Short-Term Pain for Long-Term Gain: A Sustainable State Pension?

18.08.2020

The Programme for Government published in June by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party confirmed that the increase to the age at which the State pension becomes payable, to age 67, will not occur as planned in 2021

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Privacy and Security: The Risks of Working from Home

29.06.2020

As many businesses continue to operate remotely, new risks continue to emerge due to the new “shared working environment”. Confidential information can be intercepted, shared or overheard more easily. We look at some real-life examples and provide suggestions for how to limit the risk of your confidential information being leaked.  

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Virtual Employment Hearings in Ireland – A New Reality for Employers?

29.06.2020

The Workplace Relations Commission has designed a new service delivery model for dealing with employment related complaints. We examine the new reality for WRC and Labour Court procedures and what employers can expect in terms of the listing and conducting of employment dispute hearings in the months ahead.

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Education Update | Principals and Boards: Why You Need to Urgently Review Your Code of Behaviour

25.06.2020

One tangible consequence of the coming into effect of the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018 is that, apart from oversubscription, you can only refuse to enrol a student if their parents refuse to sign up to the school’s Code of Behaviour. Principals and Boards of Management need to urgently consider whether their Code of Behaviour is robust enough to enable them to deal with students that may potentially pose a serious threat to the health and safety of staff and students. Given the COVID-19 pandemic schools need to ensure when they re-open in September that their Code of Behaviour is fit for purpose. A robust code should enable schools to adequately deal with student misconduct that poses a threat to the health and safety of other students and staff.

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Pensions Survey Results: Regulatory Guidance During the Pandemic

23.06.2020

We recently co-hosted a webinar, with the Irish Institute of Pensions Management, on Post COVID-19 Pensions.  We take a look at the results from the pensions survey circulated to over 200 pensions industry professionals in advance of the webinar.  Firstly, we focus on the results from our question on the pensions guidance provided by our regulatory authorities during the pandemic. 

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Pensions Survey Results: Automatic Enrolment - Thoughts on Implementation

23.06.2020

In our recent Pensions Survey, we asked the recipients whether the implementation of automatic enrolment in Ireland will happen in light of the economic consequences of COVID-19. We delve into the results and responses. 

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Pensions Survey Results: The Employer Contribution

23.06.2020

Have employer pension contributions been reduced or suspended to your pension scheme as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?  We look at the results to this question and what impact the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme will have on pension schemes. 

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Employers & COVID-19: 7 Things to Consider for a Return to the Workplace

15.06.2020

Employers are now being faced with the welcome problem of dealing with employees returning to the workplace. We take a look at the key changes on the employment landscape post-lockdown.

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Pension Investments and COVID-19: Tips, Trends and Talking Points

05.06.2020

Many pension members approaching retirement will feel that the COVID-19 crisis could not have come at a worse time, as it has caused equity markets to tumble and bond yields to fall. We look at some of the issues facing trustees and members.

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COVID-19 Irish Immigration Contingency Arrangements

05.06.2020

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Immigration Service Delivery are continually updating their contingency arrangements to keep immigration services operational during this pandemic. We explore how both bodies are adopting a flexible approach for both foreign nationals and their employers during this testing time.

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COVID-19 and Work Related Stress: Managing Mental Health of Remote Workers

A recent LinkedIn survey of remote-working employees in Ireland has revealed that over half have experienced greater levels of stress due to their current working conditions. With offices not due to reopen until August, we outline the health and safety considerations for employers when managing a remote workforce.

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Education Update: Key Employment Concerns as Schools Consider Re-Opening

27.05.2020

The Government has published guidance to all employers on measures to be put in place to facilitate a return to work and to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Although further directions are expected from the Department of Education and Skills the published guidelines apply to schools as employers. We review and comment on the main points.

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Key Employment Concerns as Ireland Prepares to Return to Work

12.05.2020

The Irish Government has published a ‘Return to Work Safety Protocol’ to provide guidance for employers and workers on measures that will facilitate the safe re-opening of workplaces in the context of COVID-19. We highlight key next steps for employers and address issues that employers are facing in preparing for the return to work.

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Employment & Benefits | Spike in Popularity for Immigrant Investor Programme After COVID-19?

01.05.20

The Irish Government created the Immigrant Investor Programme to support investment and to enhance Ireland’s position as one of the world’s most globalised economies. Interest in the IIP is increasing as dynamic business professionals recognise the advantages both personally and professionally of maintaining a foothold in Europe. Following high praise received from the head of the World Health Organisation’s Emergencies Program regarding Ireland’s preparedness in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is reasonable to predict that the IIP could experience a further spike in popularity during and / or after the pandemic.

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Employment & Benefits | COVID-19: How to Deal with Employees’ Annual Leave

01.05.20

The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 provides that the timing of an employee’s annual leave can be determined by the employer “having regard to work requirements”. We believe this gives employers the right to compel their employees to take annual leave during the emergency period.

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Pensions & COVID-19: A Single Member Scheme Spotlight

20.04.20

Many investors and business owners alike have significant concerns on the longer term economic consequences of COVID-19. Whatever the scale of the economic fall-out it will have some impact on demand for property investment, the rental sector and SMEs in Ireland. Many single member pensions will have exposure to alternative asset classes such as directly held property and to corporate debt, where many borrower companies will be SMEs.

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Pensions & COVID-19: The Post-Crisis Pensions Landscape

20.04.20

The Roadmap for Pensions Reform contained a commitment by Government to implement an Automatic Enrolment (AE) retirement savings system by 2022.  

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Pensions & COVID-19: The Pension Authority Announcement and the UK Pensions Regulator Guidance

20.04.20

The UK Pensions Regulator has issued a number of detaiostled guidance notes, some of which may have originally been prepared with Brexit in mind and which are now providing some much needed direction for trustees, employers and administrators during the COVID-19 crisis. 

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Pensions & COVID-19: The Contributions Conundrum

20.04.20

A suspension of the employer pension contribution can free up cash for many businesses, but it can also create significant issues for schemes that are already dealing with funding deficits. We look at some of the main issues faced by trustees where the sponsoring employer has made a request to suspend contribution.

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Pensions & COVID-19: The State Pension Age in a Post Pandemic Ireland

20.04.20

The mooted increases in the State Pension age was a divisive issue during General Election 2020 with many political parties promising that it would not be increased to 67 in 2021 as planned. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we take a fresh look at this debate and consider the direction that it is likely to take with a possible economic recession and high levels of unemployment on the immediate horizon. 

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Employment & Benefits | Clarity Needed on Changes Announced to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

17.04.20

Minister Paschal Donohoe announced changes this past week to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme in response to practical issues which arose when the scheme was implemented. These changes were intended to iron out inherent anomalies and to implement Phase 2 of the scheme. We provide an overview of the changes.

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Employment & Benefits | Updated and Continued Guidance for Concerned Employers

03.04.20

We explore the options available to employers significantly affected by the COVID-19 crisis including the various employment specific supports available to employees. We also look at the criteria businesses must satisfy in order to qualify for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.

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Education | Teachers and SNAs to Help Deliver Essential Public Services?

31.03.20

It is important for Boards of Managements to be aware of the provisions of Circular 24/2020 and the impact it may have on the employment of teachers and special needs assistants. We look at the scope of the Circular.

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Employment & Benefits | Call for Clarity – Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Bill 2020

26.03.20

The Irish Government has introduced emergency measures in order to provide financial support to employees affected by the COVID-19 crisis. However, the rushed nature of its introduction has left many employers with questions as to how these measures are going to operate in practice as the penalties for non-compliance are severe and far reaching.

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Education | Tech Savvy Teachers – Top Tips for Working from Home

24.03.20

The recent directive by Government for schools to close in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has necessitated teachers to work remotely. We provide some helpful tips on keeping personal data safe when working at home.

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Employment & Benefits | Call for Clarity – Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Bill 2020

23.03.20

The Irish Government has introduced emergency measures in order to provide financial support to employees affected by the COVID-19 crisis. However, the rushed nature of its introduction has left many employers with questions as to how these measures are going to operate in practice as the penalties for non-compliance are severe and far reaching.

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Pensions: COVID-19 First Aid Kit for Employers and Trustees

20.03.20

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing a significant global slowdown in economic activity and a severe effect on the financial markets, we briefly analyse some of the key issues that will need to be addressed by pension scheme trustees and employers in the coming weeks and months.

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Employment & Benefits | Paying Employees in Uncertain Times

18.03.20

We look at an employer’s obligation to pay employees where it is no longer in a position to provide employees with their normal contractual hours as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

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Pensions Not Immune from COVID-19

05.03.20

As stock markets tumble, the virus has continued to spread throughout the world with Ireland reporting its first case at the end of February. We look at the effects the virus is already having and the outlook for pensions in a very uncertain market. 

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Discuss your COVID-19 queries now with Melanie Crowley.


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