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Briefings

Essential employment-related information in only one hour

Briefings sessions are held in the Agency's premises in either the Belfast Office or the Derry/Londonderry Regional Office and are free of charge.

There is no charge for attendance at any of these events.
Book online by clicking on the briefing title or scroll down to the appropriate description below to see event availability for both Belfast and Derry/Londonderry locations.

 

Available Briefings:

 

Alcohol and Drugs Misuse at Work

Briefing highlights 

This briefing provides essential information on issues that can arise as a result of substance use in the workplace, such as increased absence from work, poor performance and increased risk of accidents and injury. It informs employers of how to deal with these issues appropriately, whether as disciplinary or capability matters and when and how to provide support to employees in such circumstances.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this briefing, participants will be able to:

• identify when to assist or discipline employees
• draft a policy on Alcohol Misuse at Work
• draft a policy on Drug Misuse at Work

Not Currently Available

Early Conciliation

Briefing highlights

This briefing provides an overview to the introduction of Early Conciliation (EC). It looks at the background to the Labour Relations Agency (LRA) proposal; the proposed EC model; how it will work in practice and the key differences between the LRA and ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) models and some of the key legal challenges dealt with by GB Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal over the interpretation of the EC requirements mandatory from 6 May 2014.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this briefing, participants will be able to:

• understand the LRA proposed model for EC and how it will operate in Northern Ireland
• understand what prospective claimants must do to comply
• understand how prospective respondents will become involved in the EC requirements

Employment Law – NI and GB, the differences

Briefing highlights

This briefing is intended to give participants an overview of the main differences between employment law in Northern Ireland as compared with Great Britain.  Employment law is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and in recent years reforms that have occurred in GB have not been replicated in NI thus creating several distinct differences in core areas of employment law such as unfair dismissal and the law as it relates to trade unions and industrial action.  Some areas of employment law may possibly be reformed in 2018 and this briefing will also touch upon these areas. 

Learning outcomes

At the end of this briefing, participants will:

  • be aware that there are over 20 significant areas of difference in employment law between the two jurisdictions
  • be able to recognise the ramifications of core differences in employment law in NI as compared to GB
  • be prepared for potential changes in employment law in Northern Ireland in the coming months
  • be able to apply the knowledge gained in their own areas of interest accordingly

Variation of a Contract

Briefing highlights

This briefing is intended to give general advice and guidance about the main legal considerations which may arise when employers or employees wish to make changes to the contract of employment. It focuses on:

  • establishing a contract
  • employment status
  • contract terms
  • variation by an employer
  • variation by an employee
Learning outcomes

At the end of this briefing, participants will:

  • be able to explain the main contract terms such as implied terms; express terms; statutory terms; custom and practice and incorporated terms
  • be able to describe the requirement that the employer issues an employee with a Written Statement of Main Terms and Conditions of Employment
  • be able to specify the options facing an employee where a contract is varied without their agreement
  • have an understanding of the employee’s right to request a contract variation, ie flexible working and the employer’s business reasons to deny such a request
Not Currently Available

Whistle-Blowing: The basics and pending changes

Briefing highlights

This briefing explains the basic law on the public interest disclosure legislation and how it is a rapidly changing area of law. The law in this area is due to change under the forthcoming Employment Bill (NI) and so will be of particular interest to policy makers, HR professionals and trade union representatives.  

The Public Interest Disclosure legislation provides the basis of protection from detriment or dismissal when there has been an incident of whistleblowing in the workplace which qualifies an individual for the protection of the law.  Quite often there can be confusion over what and who is protected and what the underlying legal issues are.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this briefing, participants will be able to:

  • Grasp the basic legal framework surrounding public interest disclosure
  • Begin to devise policy documents based on the legal framework

Prepare for  future reforms in this area in NI under the Employment Bill

Not Currently Available

Workplace Mediation

Briefing highlights

This briefing provides an overview of mediation as a route for the resolution of workplace disputes. We will look at the role of the mediator and some of the skills involved but this briefing is not intended to equip participants as mediators. It is suitable for HR practitioners and anyone with an interest in finding out how their organisation might manage conflict more effectively.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this briefing, participants will:
• understand what workplace mediation is
• understand the principles of mediation
• understand the benefits of mediation
• understand when mediation may be appropriate
• understand the mediation process

Zero Hours Contracts

Briefing highlights

This briefing will be of interest to anyone either working on a zero hours contract or someone who hires people on zero hours contracts who need to know about core legal issues surrounding these type of contracts.  It looks at the sometimes emotive issue of zero hours contracts in terms of the difficulties of not having a singular definition and issues such as – paper versus practice, case law decisions, consultations in GB and NI and the potential future regulation of such contracts.  

Learning outcomes

At the end of this briefing, participants will be able to:

  • distinguish between  a contract of service and contract for services
  • utilise relevant  case decisions as they may apply to their organisations
  • prepare for future regulation of zero hours contracts in terms of policies and clauses
Not Currently Available

Telephone Enquiry Point

The Agency’s Enquiry Point is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. Enquiry Point advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Enquiry Point is also an important contact point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.

The Enquiry Point provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.

While the advisors cannot provide a legal opinion they can help callers gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as well as identifying possible options to help resolve their issues.

028 9032 1442

Monday - Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm

Contact Us

Please note that we cannot deal with employment-related enquiries by e-mail. To receive information or advice about an employment-related issue, please telephone our Helpline on Belfast 90 321442 where an officer will speak with you directly about your query. Please note that the Agency can arrange the services of an interpreter if required.

If you have an employment relations issue in Great Britain please contact the ACAS Helpline on 0300 123 1100 .

For all non-employment related queries or questions please fill in the box below.