Top Five Employment Law Issues For 2018

Author:Mr Bryan Dunne and Tina O'Sullivan

Looking back on 2018, we saw many interesting developments across many areas of employment law. A major talking point amongst employers was the introduction of the GDPR in May. Following that, a highly controversial High Court decision from 2017 supporting legal representation at internal disciplinary processes was overturned by the Court of Appeal in October.

We look back at our top five most popular briefings and podcasts in this update. Our employment podcast series will be continuing in 2019 with the first update on what we expect to be the main employment law trends and themes this year issuing later this month.

  1. GDPR and HR - As you are now well aware, the GDPR was implemented on 25 May 2018. The GDPR has put personal data protection front and centre as a fundamental right of the individual, including that of the employee and is arguably the most significant legal development in the workplace for a generation.

    Since the implementation of the GDPR, employers have experienced a significant increase in the volume of data subject access requests ("DSAR") from prospective, current and past employees. In addition to DSARs, employers have been faced with complaints to the Data Protection Commissioner where they have either failed to comply with such DSARs or where they have sought to limit the scope of such a request. Employers should adopt strict data retention policies and delete older data where possible to help reduce the administrative burden in dealing with DSARs.

    Our countdown to GDPR articles deal with the key issues for employers in GDPR compliance and are available to view through the following link. You can also access a panel discussion on GDPR and HR at episode 33 in the Matheson Employment Law Podcast series.

  2. Disability discrimination and reasonable accommodation - In January 2018, the Court of Appeal delivered its decision in Nano Nagle School v Daly [2018]. This case dealt with the very practical question of just how far an employer is required to go to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability in the workplace, and at what point can an employer lawfully conclude that an employee's disability is such that they are no longer capable of performing the role that they have been hired for.

    This outcome was a very positive judgment for employers in which the Court ruled that while disability discrimination legislation does envisage some degree of adjustment as a means of reasonable accommodation...

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