News and Recent Work UPCOMING EVENT: ByrneWallace LLP Employment Law in the Public Sector Wednesday, 1 May 2024
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UPCOMING EVENT: ByrneWallace LLP Employment Law in the Public Sector Wednesday, 1 May 2024

Thursday, 11 April 2024

The ByrneWallace LLP annual conference which deals with employment law developments in the public sector takes place in our offices on Harcourt Street on Wednesday, 1 May 2024 from 9.15am to 1pm. 

This annual event, which is hosted in association with Legal Island, is specifically designed with public sector organisations in mind, and the topics for discussion on the day have been chosen based on feedback from HR professionals working in this sector. 

The full programme of topics is as follows:

An overview of recent changes to the public sector sick pay regime

Sick leave is an important concern for all public sector bodies, where there are standardised sick leave regulations across the sector. Those regulations have recently been amended, so this is a very good time to consider this issue in detail.  This session will provide expert input from ByrneWallace LLP on the management of sick leave in the public sector, specifically dealing with the following issues: 

  • Summary of the main effects of the Public Service Management (Sick Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 SI 407 of 2023. 
  • Discussion about the practical aspects of the management of sick leave in the public sector. 
  • Consideration of interaction between sick leave and reasonable accommodation. 
  • Recent case-law in respect of sick leave and sick pay. 

Employment Equality: Recent Developments relevant to the public sector

Employment equality is always a key area for public sector employers, as they aim to become an employer of choice for an increasingly diverse workforce. In this session we will focus on the most important developments in this area, including:  

  • Understanding Disability: Recent developments on defining what constitutes a disability in the workplace, and how to deal with new areas and issues. 
  • Advancements in Reasonable Accommodation: Highlighting the IHEC Code of Practice and recent case law. 
  • Evolving Perspectives on Age Discrimination: With a focus on the continuing developments in the area of retirement ages.
  • Other key developments of interest to the public sector. 

Probation Management: Navigating New Norms in the Talent Battlefield 

The probation period is a critical phase in the employment relationship, serving as the foundation for setting clear expectations and standards. We are just over a year on from the implementation of The European Union (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022, which has significant provisions related to probation periods. This session considers issues in the area for public sector employers, considering the management of new joiners, the management of probationary practices, and addressing new challenges. We will examine: 

  • Navigating Probationary Periods: An overview of the changes brought about by the Regulations and challenges in a public sector setting.  
  • Internal Promotions and Probation: whether and how a probation period applies to employees who are promoted within the organisation.  
  • Extending the probationary period and challenges. 
  • Lessons from recent case law including Whelan v Minister for Transport (High Court, 2023). 
  • Dismissals during probation, challenges and pitfalls, and the relevance of O’Donovan v Over-C (Court of Appeal, 2021). 
  • Other issues to consider in a probation policy in the public sector. 

2024 Employment Case Law Round-Up for the Public Sector 

  • There have been a number of important cases since our last event in 2023. Here are just a few of the top cases we will cover at this year’s event: 
  • The Supreme Court’s judgment in Revenue Commissioners v Karshan t/a Domino’s Pizza, considering the key question of when an individual qualifies as an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor.  
  • The Supreme Court’s judgment in O’Sullivan v HSE, considering the suspension of a doctor in the context of an investigation process.  
  • The High Court judgment in Gaelscoil Moshíológ v. Labour Court, dealing with a termination of employment in a school context and criticisms of delays in the statutory employment process. 
  • The High Court judgment in ESB v Sharkey, considering the right to silence in an employment investigation process. 
  • This session will cover the most relevant and important employment cases as of May 2024 for public sector employers and, consequently, the actual cases covered may vary from those currently shown. 

Speakers will include: 

For more information on this event, contact