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Employment law | Legal Guides

Employment law is highly complex. If you are an employer or an employee with a query about employment law, we recommend that you talk to your solicitor.

You can also find information about employment law using the links below:

How a solicitor can help employees

Your solicitor is in your corner. If you are faced with an issue at work, you can talk to him or her in confidence. Your solicitor will:

  • Explain the law.
  • Help you to understand your rights.
  • Explore your options.

Issues for employees

Your solicitor can advise on a range of employment-related issues. These include:

  • Termination of employment including unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal.
  • Breaches of equality law and discrimination.
  • Obligations under the terms and conditions of your employment contract.
  • Legal entitlements.
  • Bullying and harassment.
  • Health and safety law. 

Your options

Your solicitor will explore all of your options and how you might achieve your preferred result. These are sometimes called ‘remedies’. Some employment disputes are resolved by negotiation or mediation. Mediation is where an independent person or organisation steps in to help the people involved in a dispute to solve the problem in a fair way.

There are a number of statutory bodies such as the Labour Court and the Workplace Relations Commission that offer remedies in employment. Alternatively, you may decide to pursue an action through the civil courts. Talk to your solicitor about all the ways you may try to achieve your preferred result.

There are strict time limits attached to the various remedies, which your solicitor will tell you about. The way that you choose to pursue your case will affect the cost involved.

How a solicitor can help employers

Getting advice from a solicitor will make sure that you are up-to-date with the most current information in a way you can understand. Your solicitor’s guidance can help you to avoid problems by putting the correct procedures and policies in place now. Whether you are an existing employer or starting off in business, your solicitor is in your corner.

Issues for employers

There are many legal issues and considerations that your solicitor can advise on, including:

  • Making clear who is an employee and who is not.
  • The employment contract and the employee handbook.
  • Employee entitlements in relation to:
    • Pay.
    • Rest periods.
    • Hours of work.
    • Breaks.
    • Pensions.
    • Leave.
  • Retention of employment records.
  • Insurance considerations.
  • Equality.
  • Data protection.
  • Health and safety obligations.
  • Disciplinary matters.
  • Termination of employment including dismissal and redundancy. 

Resolving issues

It is important to talk to your solicitor before issues become more serious. When a dispute arises, your solicitor can advise you on your options for resolving the issue. This includes alternative dispute remedies – options that do not involve going to court. This might include mediation, arbitration or using Ombudsmen or other regulatory bodies. In other words, an independent party will step in to help those involved in a dispute to resolve the problem in a fair way.

Your solicitor can help you bring the dispute to a quick and satisfactory conclusion.