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The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 – Far Reaching Implications for Employers

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 (“the Bill”) which is now at committee stage is expected to be enacted later this year. The Bill if enacted will have wide ranging effects for employers, in particular regarding “low hour” or “zero-hour” contracts. Below, we discuss a number of the more topical aspects of the Bill which we expect to be of concern to employers:-

  1. Terms of employment

If enacted, it will be a requirement for employers to provide employees with a written statement within five days of commencement of employment confirming the following:-

  • The full names of the employer and employee;
  • The address of the employer;
  • The duration of the contract;
  • The method of calculating remuneration;
  • The hours the employee is to be expected to work per week.

From a practical point of view and in an effort to avoid the sanctions under the Bill, it is advisable that employers should include the foregoing information in any offer letter being issued to a new employee. A contract of employment can then be issued inside the 8-week period as provided for in the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994.

In the Bill’s current format, where an employer is convicted for failure to comply with the foregoing, they may be liable on summary conviction to a Class A  (ie up to €5,000) fine and or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months.

  1. Banded hours of work

In circumstances where the average hours an employee is working per week is greater than the contracted hours then in such circumstances, the employee on request is entitled to move to a higher band of hours. The reference period to be taken into account is proposed to be 12 months and the bands are as follows:-

Band                                                 From                                   

A                                                          3 to 6 hours

B                                                          6 to11 hours

C                                                          11 to 16 hours

D                                                         16 to 21 hours

E                                                          21 to 26 hours

F                                                          26 to 31 hours

G                                                         31 to 36 hours

H                                                         36 hours plus.

 

The above is of concern to employers and is expected to have a detrimental effect on businesses. In reality, it is widely expected that this new provision will force employers to close during quieter periods so as to avoid employees gaining rights under this provision. The concern is that if employees gain the right to move up in the bands then the employer may not be in a financial position to meet the increased wages over the longer term. The Bill is silent on the reduction of hours when the hours are not available at a later date.

  1. Employers to offer hours to part time staff

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 imposes an obligation on employers to offer additional hours that may become available to existing part-time staff. The provision in its current format essentially prevents an employer from offering such additional work to full-time individuals. This measure clearly has an overly burdensome effect on how an employer can run their business. The provision is wide and fails to address issues such as skills and training and puts unreasonable expectation on employers to provide such additional hours to staff that simply may not be trained or qualified to carry out such work. Furthermore, it is likely that the provision will have a serious impact on custom and practice within organisations. For example, in situations where it is customary that overtime is regularly worked by full-time staff, it will not be within the gift of an employer to allow full-time staff to continue in this form. It will be set out in legislation that any such available hours will have to be provided to part-time workers where there are part-time workers employed.

  1. Prohibition on zero-hour contracts

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 imposes a strict prohibition on zero-hour contracts. If passed zero-hour contracts will only be allowed in circumstances which are genuinely casual in nature and in emergency cover situations. Again, the restriction is overly restrictive and may well result in employers not being able to fill casual or part-time roles for fear of falling foul of the proposed legislation.

  1. Conclusion

It is clear from the foregoing that if passed the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 will have far-reaching implications for employers. Given the overly onerous provisions in the Bill, it is regrettable that there does not appear to have been prior consultation with employers. In the circumstances, you may consider it appropriate to raise the issue with your elected representatives.

If you would like further information in relation to the above please contact Brian Kirwan at brian@amoryssolicitors.com, or telephone: 01 213 59 40 or your usual contact at Amorys.

Dated this 09th July 2018

Brian Kirwan
Amorys Solicitors, Suite 10, The Mall,
Beacon Court, Sandyford Business Park, Dublin 18,
Tel: 01 213 59 40, Email: brian@amoryssolicitors.com
Website: www.amoryssolicitors.com

 

Employment Rights during Adverse Weather Conditions

In the aftermath of Storm Emma, we answer five common questions from employers on the impact of severe weather conditions on the employer/ employee relationship.

  1. My office was closed during severe weather conditions. Do I have to pay my staff for the days on which my business was shut?

Yes.   An employer who closes a usual place of business prevents an employee from performing the employment contract – technically you are in breach of contract and it follows that an employee should not be at a loss as a result

  1. My office was open for business during the severe weather conditions but my employees could not get to work, am I obliged to pay them for the days not worked?

Unless specifically agreed in the employment contract or dealt with in an Adverse Weather Conditions Policy to the contrary, you do not have to pay your employee for days on which s/he could not attend work due to adverse weather conditions if the office was open for business during that time.  For the same reason as outlined above it is the employee who is in breach of the employment contract and the employer should not therefore be at a loss as a result.

Your options are to agree with the employee to work from home (but see below re Heath and Safety obligations), require him/her to make up the lost hours through working overtime – usually during the following month-, assign a day or part thereof to annual leave, grant a day or part thereof authorised leave with or without pay or a combination of any of these.

However deducting pay may not be the best approach for an employer to deal with loss suffered as a result of adverse weather conditions.  An employer would be well advised to consider other ways in which to recover the loss suffered such as agreeing with the employee to make up the time the following week or to assign the day to authorised leave or a combination of both.  Staff morale and your reputation as a good employer may benefit in the long run if you pay staff on a snow day.

  1. Some of my employees could get to work during the bad weather but as crèches and schools were closed, others were unable to attend work due to lack of child care arrangements. What are my options in this situation?

This situation is usually treated separately to inability to access work due to weather conditions as legislation specifically dealing with this situation is in place under Parental Leave Acts 1998 – 2006.

A parent of a child has the right to take a reasonable amount of time off where it is necessary to deal with the unexpected disruption, termination or breakdown of arrangements to care for the child. An employee finding himself/ herself in this scenario must explain the reason for the length of his/her absence to an employer as soon as reasonably practicable. Unless specifically agreed in an employment contract or contained in a policy, you do not need to pay your employee for this day. However as with answer no. 2 above this is one situation where the letter of the law says one thing and common sense dictates another. There is a value to having strong staff morale and a reputation as a good employer and it might therefore be worth assigning authorised leave with pay to the snow day. The employee is protected from suffering any detriment for taking the time off and cannot be the subject of disciplinary action as a result. The child must be under the age of 8.  Further details on unpaid parental leave are available on the Workplace Relations Commission Guide to the Parental Leave Acts.

  1. How can I best deal with the impact of Adverse Weather Conditions on my business in the future?

The best way to deal with the impact of adverse weather conditions on your business is to have a plan in place to ensure the critical dependencies of your business are met during the relevant period in a way which does not pose a risk to the health and safety of your employees.  The Department of Jobs and Enterprise has issued a Business Continuity Planning in Severe Weather Conditions Checklist which offers useful tips to business owners to follow in such circumstances.

In addition, as part of a Business Continuity Plan your organisation should have an Adverse Weather Conditions policy in place which:-

  1. Acknowledges that an employer has a duty of care to ensure that employees do not risk their health and safety attending work during extreme weather conditions;
  2. Confirms a general expectation that every staff member will make every reasonable effort to get to work;
  3. Sets out a general obligation on staff members to report inability to attend and the reasons for same specifically referring to usual mode of transport and lack of available alternatives by way of public transport or otherwise to a person of suitable authority within your organisation as soon as reasonably practicable;
  4. Outlines the options available to the staff member who has been unable to attend work due to extreme weather or other circumstances outside his/her control (ie to work from home, requirement to work overtime, usually during the following month, surrender a day or part thereof to annual leave, elect to have a day’s authorised leave with pay, overtime or a combination of all perhaps).

As with any policy, it should be communicated to the workforce and, if necessary, training should be provided to those who will be handling the day to day aspects of weather disruption.

If an employer has reason to believe that an employee is using the weather or other event as a convenient excuse, the employer can choose to investigate the matter and take disciplinary action if necessary.

  1. The nature of my business requires employees to work during adverse weather conditions. How can I best deal with this?

In this day and age, many jobs can be done from home, and employees who frequently work at home should be encouraged to do so when bad weather approaches.

However, employers need to be aware that asking an employee to work from home during adverse weather conditions when a requirement to do so is not included in his/her contract of employment, constitutes a unilateral variation of the contract which requires advance consultation with the staff member.  Therefore technically speaking if you have not agreed this arrangement with the employee in advance of the snow day, an employee is not obliged to work from home.

Employers should also consider the health and safety aspects of homeworking before imposing such a requirement: some employees’ homes will simply not be set up to be turned into a temporary workplace.  Even when employees work from home, an employer still owes that employee a duty of care to ensure a safe place of work exists.

  1. During extreme weather conditions, I find it difficult to keep a moderate temperature in the office. Is there a minimum and/or maximum temperature required for a workplace?

There is no prescribed temperature as ‘too hot’ under current rules but generally an employer has an obligation to ensure a safe place of work for its employees. The Guide to Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 acknowledges that for most people an acceptable temperature for office work lies between 18C and 23C.

Notwithstanding the above, a minimum temperature of 17.5 C for the first hour of work has been set by section 7 of the Guide to Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 and 16 C for the hours after that in a sedentary workplace environment.

If you would like to comment or have a query in respect of any aspect of the within article or if you would like us to draft an appropriate Adverse Weather Conditions Policy for your employment contracts contact deirdre@amoryssolicitors.com or your usual contact at Amorys.  Telephone 00353 1 213 59 40.

© March 2018

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information herein it is not intended to be relied on as, nor does it constitue, legal advice.  Specific advice is required in each individual scenario.

ARE YOU READY FOR THE GENDER PAY GAP?

Are you aware of the new Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (Gender Pay Gap Information) Bill 2017 which is in the Seanad. The Bill was proposed by the Labour Party and has been accepted by the Government as part of its Programme for Government.

  • Employers of 50 employees upwards will be required to report the average pay differential between male and female earnings in roles (gender pay gap).
  • Employers will be required to report on:
    • The difference in the average hourly rate of pay between male and female employees
    • The difference in bonus pay between male and female employees
    • The proportion of male and female employees who are eligible to be paid a bonus
    • The proportion of male and female employees at four levels in an organisation called quartiles
  • It will be an offence to breach the obligation to report the Gender Pay Gap, and there will be a fine of up to €5,000 for a breach.
  • At present the average gender pay gap in the Republic of Ireland is 14.9%, and this differs from industry to industry. Employers should review the gender pay gap in their industry and how they compare.
  • Employers should take care in carrying out any scoping exercise to clarify the gender pay gap. This information may be sought by employees or by Discovery in a litigation context.
  • The Bill is not detailed and is based on the UK model, which is already being implemented on a voluntary basis.

Employers should take pro-active steps to consider their gender pay gap and how they should deal with this as the requirement to report the gap should be in place in the next few months.

 

“I found the whole process of redundancy stressful. During the redundancy process I found myself overwhelmed at times.

You however were stoic and grounded and I found that helpful“

Anonymous, testimonial 2017

If you would like any further information please contact Davnet O’Driscoll, Amorys Solicitors, Davnet@amoryssolicitors.com

Guide for Employers on New Developments on Performance & Absence

Davnet O’ Driscoll has been invited to speak at the Legal Island Annual Review of Employment Law Conference on 2, 15 and 30th November 2017 to guide employers on new developments on performance and absence, and their responsibility to reasonably accommodate disability. This is an area of risk for employers. Davnet will also update on recent equality developments.

See below for further information:

https://www.legal-island.ie/events-ie/annual-review-of-employment-law-2017-red-cow/

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Record Damages for Discrimination and Gender Pay Gap

Female army Captain, who served in the army for 9 years was awarded record damages for discrimination when all of her Captain colleagues (who were male) were promoted to Commandant after 9 years in accordance with the Defence Forces Regulations when she was on maternity-leave. The Captain first applied to the High Court to judicially review the decision of the Minister for Defence not to promote her to Commandant. The High Court found the Minister for Defence had breached the Equal Treatment Directive between men and women in not automatically promoting Ms Byrne to Commandant due to her maternity-leave.

As the Captain had left the Army, the Minister for Defence argued the Court should only consider the Captain’s loss of earnings due to the failure to promote her to Commandant in making an award. But the Court found it was foreseeable that Ms. Byrne would leave the army as a result of not being promoted as she was excluded from the promotion process due to her maternity leave. Ms. Byrne was not told that there was a Board being established to consider the issue of promotion. She was treated in a less favourable manner to her work colleagues who were all male. The Court found Ms. Byrne should receive damages for loss of earnings as a result of leaving the army which included pension loss, overseas duties for future duties, bringing it to a total amount of €412,397. This was doubled to take into account taxation to of €824,794. It also took into account her earnings in her new employment.

There are costly implications for employers who fail to treat male and female employees equally. The recent spotlight on the gender pay gap in broadcasting is bringing differences of payment for like work between male and female employees to the fore. Consultation on steps to be taken to address the Gender Gap has been opened today and is advertised in the Independent Newspaper. Employers should take note.

This is a summary of a recent decision and specific legal advice should be obtained in any situation. If you have any comment on this article or would like any further information, please contact Davnet O’ Driscoll at Davnet@amoryssolicitors.com

(c) August 2017

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Corporate Manslaughter Bill 2016

The Corporate Manslaughter Bill 2016 which is making its way through the Oireachtas at the moment creates 2 new criminal offences which will have significant impact on healthcare service providers. Firstly, an offence of “Corporate Manslaughter” is created when a person’s death is caused by gross negligence by an organisation. Corporate manslaughter can be committed by an “undertaking” which is a company, or corporate body, charity, government department or statutory body and can result in a large fine for the organisation. Secondly, management employees may be in addition charged with a criminal offence of “grossly negligent management causing death” in an organisation which has been convicted of Corporate Manslaughter. This occurs when a member of staff (“high managerial agent”) knew or ought to have known of risk of death or serious personal harm, and failed to take reasonable efforts to eliminate the risk which contributed to a death. This means a Director, Manager or Senior Official in a company or state body could also be charged and given a jail sentence in the event of a death.

CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER BILL 2016

 

Corporate Manslaughter occurs when an organisation which has a duty of care to an individual fails to meet the standard of care required to prevent substantial risk of death or serious personal harm, and to take all reasonable measures to anticipate and prevent risks. The size and circumstances of the organisation will be taken into account. The duty of care applies to all employers, subcontractors, owners/occupiers of property, producers of goods and service-providers. A Court will take a number of factors into account in assessing whether there is a breach of the standard of care required and specifically the management, rules, policies, allocation of responsibilities, training and supervision of staff, previous response of the organisation to other incidents involving death or serious personal harm, the organisation’s goals, communications, regulation, assurance systems and whether it is a licensee or contractor.

 

All management and officeholders should be aware that they might come within the definition of a “high managerial agent”. A “high managerial agent” is a Director, manager or officer of an organisation or someone acting in that capacity. A Court will consider the actual and stated responsibilities of the employee to establish if the employee should have known of the risk, and whether it is in the power of the employee to eliminate the risk. If it is not in the power of the employee to eliminate the risk, whether the employee passed information on the risk to others who can eliminate the risk in considering a charge of “grossly negligent management causing death”. Prosecutions for the 2 offences are on indictment in the Circuit Court. An organisation which is convicted of Corporate Manslaughter will be liable for a substantial fine. A “high managerial agent” convicted of “grossly negligent management causing death” will be liable for a fine and or term of imprisonment of up to 12 years.

 

In addition to other sanctions, a Court may make a Remedial Order to address the problems identified to prevent any recurrence and can consult with relevant trade unions and regulatory and enforcement authorities in considering the conditions. The organisation may be subject to a Community Service Order or Adverse Publicity Order where it is required to publicise its conviction for Corporate Manslaughter, the fine and any Remedial Order online or by other means. A “high managerial agent” who is convicted of “grossly negligent management causing death” can also be disqualified from acting in a management capacity for up to 15 years on indictment or subject to a fine of a maximum of 5 million euro and or up to 2 years in prison. The Court is entitled to enquire into the financial circumstances of an individual in setting the fine. If an organisation has been dissolved and reformed and the Court is satisfied the purpose of this is to avoid criminal liability, the Court can disregard the fact that an organisation has changed name.

 

This is a summary of the bill which has been published and specific legal advice should be obtained in any situation. If you have any comment on this article or would like any further information, please contact Davnet O’ Driscoll at Davnet@amoryssolicitors.com

 

Employment Law Briefing with a Twist

On Thursday, 9th March 2017 as part of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Local Enterprise Week, Amorys Solicitors in association with JCI Dublin Southside hosted a mock Workplace Relations Commission tribunal in the Beacon Hotel, Sandyford, Dublin 18.

The glamourous world of fashion was revealed when a high-flying PR executive was dismissed after a fashion show fell flat amid suspicions that she was planning to start her own company with a prized client. The question, hotly contested on the night, was: did the company follow proper procedures, and was the employee a victim of bullying, harassment and unrealistic expectations?

At the mock hearing business leaders and HR professionals experienced the theatre of the Workplace Relations Commission, learned how the process works and are now fully equipped to minimise the risk of claims, prepare for tribunals and successfully defend a claim for unfair dismissal.

The tribunal was presided over by Davnet O’Driscoll, WRC Adjudicator designate and solicitor with Amorys Solicitors. Stephen Fitzpatrick BL, barrister, and Deirdre Farrell, solicitor also with Amorys represented the parties.

Deirdre Farrell, solicitor with Amorys Solicitors, commented: “Up-to-date information about recent developments in employment law isn’t always easy to find, understand and then translate for your business. This event provided an excellent opportunity for employers and HR professionals to work together to understand what is involved in, and how to effectively manage, an employment tribunal.”

Amorys Solicitors would like to thank JCI Dublin Southside and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Local Enterprise Office for the support and sponsorship provided to them.


Left to right Deirdre Farrell, Solicitor, Amorys Dublin, playing the solicitor for Nigella Dawson.
Ben Stafford, Community Officer, Junior Chamber Ireland – Dublin Southside, playing Nigella Dawson, the ex-employee and claimant.
Davnet O’Driscoll, Workplace Relations Commission Adjudicator, playing herself.
Theresa Cahill, President, Junior Chamber Ireland, playing Edwina Monsoon, CEO of Saving Face Ltd., the employer.
Stephen Fitzpatrick BL, Co-President, Junior Chamber Ireland – Dublin Southside, playing the barrister for Saving Face Ltd.
© Photo by Peter Cavanagh

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Join us at our Mock Employment Tribunal

We all love the drama of good court case or employment tribunal — but what if it was your company in the dock?

This March, as Dublin 18.part of Local Enterprise Week, Junior Chamber Ireland (Dublin Southside) in association with Amorys Solicitors, will be hosting a mock Workplace Relations Commission tribunal in the Beacon Hotel, Sandyford, Dublin 18.

We step into the glamourous world of fashion when a high-flying PR executive is dismissed after a fashion show falls flat amid suspicions that she is planning to start her own company with a prized client. But did the company follow proper procedures, and was the employee a victim of bullying, harassment and unrealistic expectations?

The mock tribunal presents a great opportunity to experience the theatre of the Workplace Relations Commission, understand how the process works and build your confidence to prepare for any future hearings without risk to your business.

The session promises to be dramatic and entertaining, and will also offer practical information and experience that is relevant to all business owners, managers and employees having or seeking to secure a managerial role.

The tribunal will be presided over by Davnet O’Driscoll, a WRC Adjudicator designate and solicitor with Amorys Solicitors. Stephen Fitzpatrick BL, barrister, and Deirdre Farrell, solicitor also with Amorys will be representing the parties. This event will provide attendees with:

  • An opportunity to help demystify Workplace Relations Commission proceedings relating to a claim for unfair dismissal.
  • Guidance on how to implement workplace policies in your business.
  • A chance to learn how to prepare for, present and defend an unfair dismissal claim.
  • A forum to question and discuss employment law issues with experienced employment law lawyers

The seminar is free to attend, however, it is expected to be very popular and places are limited so please register your attendance on Eventbrite. More info on Local Enterprise Week events in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown can be found here.

 

Programme:

6.30pm        Arrival, registration, refreshments
7.00pm        Mock Workplace Relations Commission Tribunal
8.15pm        Q&A session
8.30pm        Drinks & Canapes
9pm             Evening ends

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Paternity Leave Rights for Fathers Commence 1st September 2016

The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 gives 2 weeks paternity leave to fathers or the spouse, civil partner or cohabitee of children born on or after 1 September 2016, or to a spouse, civil partner, cohabitee, of an adopting mother or sole male adopter adopting a child on or after 1st September 2016.

  • Paternity leave can be taken from the date of birth or adoption of the child at any time prior to the expiry of 26 weeks after the date of birth or adoption.
  • Notification to the Employer of the employee or contractor’s paternity leave should be given as soon as reasonably practicable, but no later than 4 weeks before the expected week of confinement of the mother or the adoption placement.
  • Paternity leave is given in a single block of 2 weeks. This is to enable the parent to provide or assist in caring for the child and to support the other parent.
  • Only one parent is entitled to paternity leave in relation to the birth or adoption of a child even where there is a multiple birth or adoption of 2 or more children at the same time.
  • If an employer has reasonable grounds for believing an employee on paternity leave is not using the paternity leave for caring or support for the child, the employer may terminate the leave. The employer can serve a notice containing the grounds for termination of leave requiring the employee to return to work.
  • Records of paternity leave dates must be kept for a period of 8 years or an employer, risks being found guilty of an offence, and a fine of up to €4,000.
  • While on paternity leave the employee is protected from unfair dismissal, penalisation, including selection for redundancy, unfavourable changes in terms or conditions or employment as a result of paternity leave. The employee can make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission of a breach of the Act.
  • Employees or self-employed contractors are entitled to paternity benefit where the Claimant has qualifying contributions.
  • Employers should update their Contracts of Employment and Employee Handbooks to incorporate this change. 

    This is a summary of recent changes and specific legal advice should be obtained. If you have any comments or queries, please contact Davnet@amoryssolicitors.com

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Recruitment and Vetting of Candidates by Employers

The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016 requires that all employees employed whether on a temporary, or agency contract, as an intern or on a voluntary basis who provide services to children under 18 or to a “Vulnerable Person” must be vetted by the National Vetting Bureau (formerly Garda Vetting Bureau). This came into force on 29 April 2016. A “Vulnerable Person” is an adult with a mental illness, dementia or intellectual disability or is a person who is suffering from a physical disability to such a degree which restricts the capacity of the person to guard themselves against another person and requires assistance with daily living activities, washing, walking, and eating. This includes hospital and elderly patients.

All persons and organisations providing services to children or Vulnerable Persons must be registered with the National Vetting Bureau. Where the person or organisation was registered with the Garda Vetting Bureau prior to 29 April 2016, this registration transfers over. Existing employees of organisations or persons registered with the National Vetting Bureau prior to 29 April 2016 do not require to be vetted, however, all new employees of organisations or persons from 29 April 2016 onwards must be vetted prior to providing any services to children or Vulnerable Persons. Failure to do so is an offence. The new e-vetting process is completed in a number of weeks.

The candidate who has applied to be vetted should be notified that information regarding  criminal records or a finding or allegation of harm to another person from the Garda Siochana or a regulatory organisation which reasonably gives rise to a bona fide concern that the person may harm, cause a child or Vulnerable Person to be harmed or put at risk may be disclosed to a prospective employer. Where an individual has one conviction only, which was over 7 years previously, and was minor, this will not be disclosed to allow the individual to move on. The candidate can make a submission in response to the National Vetting Bureau’s notification.

In considering whether to disclose the information received about a candidate, the Chief Bureau Officer will not disclose this unless he has a bona fide concern that the individual may harm or incite another person to harm a child or Vulnerable Person, the disclosure is necessary, proportionate and reasonable, takes into account the submission made by the candidate, and fair procedures in making a disclosure to a potential employer. Where this information is disclosed to an employer, the employer must consider carefully the suitability of the candidate and fitness for the role in light of the disclosure of a criminal record or finding or allegation of harm to another person. This will require detailed consideration of the type of role being offered, and the nature and extent of access to children or Vulnerable Persons by the candidate.

Under the regulatory regime in the UK which vets candidates who work with children and Vulnerable Persons, a decision is made by an assessing officer regarding what information should be disclosed to a potential employer. In a recent case, the assessing officer decided  the fact that a candidate had been acquitted of the rape of a 17 year old should be released to a potential employer. The individual who was accused of rape is a taxi driver and former teacher. This individual challenged the lawfulness of this disclosure as a breach of his human rights under Articles 6 and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 6 gives the presumption of innocence to individuals and Article 8 the right to privacy of individuals. The decision of the assessing officer to disclose this acquittal was upheld by the UK Court of Appeal as reasonable, proportionate, and necessary in the circumstances. The incident was an isolated incident but a very serious one. The officer believed that a correct balance was struck in disclosing the acquittal in order to protect children and Vulnerable Persons and reconciling the rights of the individual who was acquitted. Even though this impacts on the candidate as he may not get employment in a chosen profession, it does not prevent him from gaining employment in another profession to support his family.

 

If you have any comments on this article or would like any further information, please contact Davnet O’ Driscoll at Davnet@amoryssolicitors.com