UK Employment Law

HRM Guide Updates

New Employment Law Service for Ireland

January 16 2005 - John Dunne, Chief Executive of the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland (CCI) believes that the top management worry for Irish owner managers is keeping up with employment legislation and ensuring they are fully compliant.

Speaking at the launch of CCI’s new Chamber HR service, Dunne said:

"Feedback from our members strongly indicates that businesses, especially SMEs, struggle to understand and keep abreast of changes in employment legislation. Yet they are responsible for compliance and implementation. Poor HR practice is not a defence in court."

The Chamber HR service will offer, for the first time in Ireland:

- employers interpretation of the law
- expert advice on human resources management, and
- indemnification against the legal and award costs associated with pursuing a claim in the Labour Relations Commission or Employment Appeals Tribunal.

"Chamber HR seeks to protect those who endeavour to comply with the laws but lack the expertise to do so, "said Dunne. "Just last week, a bar worker was awarded 3000 euro by the Employment Appeals Tribunal for unfair dismissal having been sacked for allegedly selling cannabis to colleagues while at work. When it comes to employment law, ignorance is no defence," he said.

The service is being partnered by Peninsula Business Services, a large UK employment law consultancy with offices in Dublin and Manchester.

Peter Done, Managing Director of Peninsula added, "from personal experience, I know that common sense doesn’t count and owner managers need expert advice and support. That is the genesis of Chamber HR. Peninsula is proud to be involved in providing this unique and indispensable service."

Chamber HR will be available to all chamber members through CCI’s 59 affiliated chambers of commerce on the island of Ireland.

Background

There are 25 Acts and eight bodies regulating the area of employment and in the last five years, almost 50 new pieces of labour legislation have been introduced.

According to the Employment Appeals Tribunal Annual Report 2002:
- The number of appeals and claims referred to the Tribunal in 2002 stood at over 6,000 - an increase of around 20% on the previous year.
- Of those that went to completion in 2002, approximately three out of every four were decided in favour of the employee.
- The average waiting period between the date of receipt and date of hearing for unfair dismissals cases received in 2002 was nearly six months in Dublin.
- In unfair dismissal cases alone, almost 1m euro in compensation was awarded by the Tribunal.

Chamber HR

Chamber HR is a human resources management (HRM) consultancy based service available at three levels of service - silver, gold and platinum. As the terms imply, the higher the service level, the more numerous and extensive the benefits.

Features include:
- A 24-hour HRM advice line.
- Indemnification against the negative financial costs of resisting a claim in the Labour Relations Commission or Employment Appeals Tribunal as well as indemnification against having to pay possible awards that can be made against the respondent.
- A full face-to-face consultation service which includes a comprehensive management control system providing staff contracts of employment, employee handbooks for all staff, employers’ reference manuals and any other relevant documentation as well as full training for the nominated users of the system.
- Continuous updates on new EU and government legislation in the area of HRM


 


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