High Court Rules on the Right to Legal Representation and Cross-Examination in Pre-Disciplinary Investigations

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Lorraine Smyth, Partner — ByrneWallace

In Michael Lyons v Longford Westmeath Ed. and Training Bd. [2017] IEHC 2, the Hight Court found that the procedures adopted in a bullying investigation failed to afford the Applicant fair procedures on two key grounds: (1) the investigation did not afford the Applicant the right to cross examine the individual who had made the accusations, and (2) representation was permitted by a colleague or trade union, but not by a solicitor or counsel. As a result of this decision, HR professionals and employment practitioners should re-assess common practices in investigation procedures.

Public Services and Procurement (Workers’ Rights) Bill

Proposed Bill or Initiative

Authors: Emmet Whelan, Partner & Aoife Clarke, Solicitor — ByrneWallace

The Public Services and Procurement (Workers’ Rights) Bill (the Bill) seeks to protect the employees of economic entities who bid for public contracts, and to remove wages and working conditions from being used as elements of competition among bidders for public contracts. The Bill, which would amend the European Union (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 284 of 2016), was introduced to the Oireachtas on June 22, 2017, and is at the First Stage.

Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

Proposed Bill or Initiative

Authors: Emmet Whelan, Partner & Aoife Clarke, Solicitor — ByrneWallace

The Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill seeks to prohibit employers from discriminating against job applicants who originate from a disadvantaged local authority estate or an area with high levels of criminality or anti-social behavior. Further, it prohibits service providers from discriminating against people because of where they live. The Bill, which seeks to amend both the Employment Equality Act 1998 and the Equal Status Act 2000 by adding “socioeconomic ground” as a classification protected from discrimination, is currently at the Second Stage.