Ireland - Contentious Workplace Relations - DAC Beachcroft
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Ireland - Contentious Workplace Relations

Internal management issues can become Workplace Relations Commission or Superior Court claims.

Our Employment team works exclusively in the fast moving area of employment law. We know how to handle on-going, as well as anticipated disputes so as to minimise risk. Our focus is to achieve the best possible and most timely outcome. If a claim cannot be avoided, we strive to protect employers and their managers in the carriage of the dispute. We have longstanding relationships with many of the businesses that we advise on employment matters. When they encounter claims we defend their interests vigorously, informed by an understanding of the business as well as the legal risks.

We regularly act as advocates in the Workplace Relations Commission in employment and discrimination disputes. Our clients are primarily businesses, and we also act for insurers in employment related claims and defend numerous public sector bodies.

Where appropriate we work collaboratively with our other in-house specialists across insurance and regulatory matters. We understand how to facilitate insurers in managing cases with accurate and timely reserving and cost-effective case management.

Our lawyers have acted in landmark High Court cases, involving various levels of seniority within organisations and across multiple sectors, in such matters as:

  • Non-payment of bonuses in the High Court as well as the wages disputes in the Workplace Relations Commission;
  • Employment and industrial relations injunctions;
  • Breach of contract claims to include use of confidential information and solicitation of staff and customers;
  • Occupational stress and psychiatric injury claims;
  • Permanent health insurance entitlements arising from long term absence.

We have recently assisted various household names on the resolution of sensitive disputes to include such issues as bullying, harassment, victimisation and penalisation claims, suspensions, and disciplinary investigations. We have recognised expertise in handling the entire life cycle of interpersonal complaints to include drafting terms of reference and providing advice to decision-makers in every step of internal processes, as well as advocacy at tribunals and drafting detailed legal submissions.

Barry Reynolds has acted as investigator in complex and highly sensitive matters at senior level and entailing whistleblowing. This included a compressed but very detailed process comprising of drafting terms of reference, conducting witness interviews, and preparing a detailed report capable of withstanding judicial scrutiny.

Our advice is informed by the potential damage to businesses of cases both financially and reputationally, and particularly in light of privacy and disclosure issues arising from employment. We will assist in the promotion of alternative dispute resolution where this presents an appropriate alternative to formal and traditional approaches. We have guided clients through mediation dispute resolution both at Workplace Relations Commission and in High Court proceedings. We also advise employers on mediated and other informal resolutions within the workplace itself.

We work with all parties to an actual or potential dispute to find solutions and will ensure clients benefit from our engagement with the reputational, policy and financial implications of disputes.

We have chaired and delivered seminars on recent reforms and published guidance on both the latest reforms in workplace relations disputes and mediation, which now applies across the full spectrum of employment rights claims.

The leading directories have recognised our particular strength "in the discreet resolution of sensitive disputes through internal investigations and internal risk management."

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