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GUEST BLOG: Is your commute working time?

A recent case of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has raised an interesting question as to whether employees are entitled to be paid for time spent commuting to and from work where they have no fixed place of work?

The Tyco case involved a security company whose employees were employed to install and maintain security equipment at clients’ premises within a specific territory assigned to them.  The employees had no fixed commute as their employer had closed down its regional offices.  Instead, employees could be required to travel up to 100 km to their first job of the day, which depending on traffic could take up to three hours.  The employer did not accept such travelling time was working time and instead deemed the working day to begin only when the employee arrived at the first client’s premises and finish when the employee left the last client of the day.

The CJEU disagreed with the employer and instead held that time spent travelling to and from work for employees who do not have a fixed place of work is working time for the purposes of the EU Working Time Directive.  The CJEU stated that the employees were at their employer’s disposal during such time spent travelling.

The CJEU did not accept, however, that employees must necessarily be paid for this commuting time.  It explained that the purpose of the EU Working Time Directive is to regulate the health and safety of employees and not to regulate remuneration (save as it affects annual leave provisions). 

In Ireland, the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 implements the EU Working Time Directive into Irish law. The Labour Court has considered the position of commuting in a number of cases.  The Labour Court’s current position appears to be that time spent travelling to the place of work is not working time and the definition of ‘working time’ appears to only cover time when the employee is actually carrying out the activities of their employer.  This position appears to conflict with the position as outlined by the CJEU in the Tyco case where the employee has no fixed place of work. 

While the EU Working Time Directive and the decisions of the CJEU do not apply directly to private sector companies, the Labour Court will be influenced by the CJEU’s decision in the Tyco case.  The definition of ‘working time’ in the Directive and the 1997 Act are similar.  

Neither private sector nor public sector employers will be required by EU legislation or the Tyco decision to pay employees for this travel time. Whether an employer decides to do so in Ireland will be a decision for individual employers in line with their contractual obligations or subject to any collective agreement in place. 

As regards calculating the Irish national minimum wage, the definition of ‘working time’ in the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 specifically excludes time spent travelling to and from the ‘place of work’.  Unfortunately that Act does not define the ‘place of work’ and therefore the question can be asked whether the exclusion covers the position of employees who have no fixed place of work, such as in the Tyco case.

Finally, please note that workers involved in road transport are covered by separate legislation.  

This article is intended to provide only general information for the clients and professional contacts of Maples and Calder. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render legal advice

 

James Scanlon is Head of Employment Law at Maples and Calder’s Dublin office and was assisted by Sinéad Egan, Associate. Should you have any queries on this or any employment matter please contact James or your usual Maples contact.

t: +353 (0)1 619 2061 | e: [email protected] | w: www.maplesandcalder.com

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Chartered Accountants Ireland Salary Survey 2015

Earlier on this year The Chartered Accountants Ireland Leinster Society in association with The Panel, published their annual Salary Survey 2015.

To download your free copy please click on our resource section to the right on the screen.

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GUEST BLOG: Performance Management Trends

Many leading companies are still continuing to struggle, if recent research trends are correct, with a key fundamental people management issues, namely performance management. With a growing emphasis in companies on cost management, productivity and having to do more with fewer resources, the importance of an effective performance management process cannot be overstated.

So why is the delivery of performance management so problematic in organisations today? The finger of blame is frequently pointed at a number of issues, such as the lack of training for Line Managers, poor quality workplace conversations and particularly an understanding of how to manage under performance together with a failure to equip Line Managers with the tools they need to manage their teams – to name just a few.

So what exactly do businesses need to do to bring their performance management processes up to scratch and ensure they are getting maximum contribution from their employees. The following points are very relevant:

1. Must Add Value

In many businesses, performance management is still seen as paper driven process. The added value of the process is hardly ever seen. The real question employers need to ask themselves is “how does the performance management system contribute to the company’s bottom line? If this is not clear, the next question must be “to what extent is the current performance management system fit for purpose”? Many companies struggle with these questions.

Leading companies today are continually reviewing / amending their performance management processes to ensure that they remain, at all times, fit for purpose and contribute to the bottom line. In recent times, we have seen the introduction of 360 Review, Peer Reviews and Competency Reviews to keep this momentum going.

2. Provide Training

The importance of training cannot be overstated particularly in dealing with employee under performance. Managers are typically expected to know how to ‘do’ performance management. But it’s not a skill that comes naturally to everyone. Often Line Managers push under performance or inappropriate behaviour under “the carpet” because they don’t know how to tackle it and are worried about getting into a confrontation with employees. A simple training programme can ensure Line Managers understand the company’s performance management processes, are confident about implementing them and have the skills to get the best out of their employees.

3. Concentrate on the Conversations

Many Line Managers link performance reviews with filling in forms which end getting filed in HR and nothing ever happens. The critical aspect of performance management is developing a structure for good conversations between Line Managers and employees to building relationships and raising overall performance standards.

Yet it’s not uncommon for employees to come away from performance reviews feeling aggrieved by feedback or confused by what they are supposed to be doing differently. Line Managers need help to improve their feedback and communication skills so that performance conversations are productive and impactful and employees are clear about what’s needed and what kind of behaviour is expected.

4. Make it meaningful

Employees need to be clear about their objectives and how their role fits into the bigger picture. This in turn will help them prioritise and improve their motivation. Good performance management processes ensure employees understand what’s important, what they are doing well, what they need to improve on and how success will be measured and rewarded.

If employees can see that such discussions with their Line Manager and decisions made in performance reviews are carried through, they are much more likely to focus their efforts enthusiastically on the right things and deliver their objectives.

5. Reduce the Paperwork

Line Managers often perceive performance management as ‘difficult’ or time consuming. The introduction of simple performance management software by HR can greatly assist a Line Manager in this task. It must be remembered that the major emphasis in this process is on the employer / employee discussions and not on the paperwork.

Quality conversations will lead to results and some automation in terms of the paper processes will make it much easier for Line Managers to keep performance management meaningful and adding value to the Company. Leading companies are constantly implementing the above points.

Niall Glynn

Niall Glynn & Associates Limited was established in 2010 to provide Business Solutions and HR Advice to companies and Senior Executives.

Our approach is to work closely with Senior Executives in a confidential way and coach them to both prepare and overcome any barriers in terms of achieving their future career goals / ambitions.  

We also help SMEs improve their business performance by successfully implementing tailored Core HR Processes and Business Performance Improvement Models.

t: +353 (0)1 276 6598 | e: [email protected] | w: www.niallglynn.com |

 

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The Panel announces the following promotions

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The Panel announces the following promotions

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Anne Keys from The Panel co-hosts panel discussion at the GAIMOps Conference 2015

On Wednesday 21st October, our Joint Managing Partner Anne Keys participated in the GAIMOps Conference at Powerscourt Hotel, Co. Wicklow. A conference aimed towards C-level Hedge Fund Operations, Due Diligence and Compliance professionals.

Anne was delighted to moderate at the Talent Management session and to co-host the second session on Board diversity on day 1 of the main conference.

The first panel discussion covered “Talent Management: The challenges of sourcing and retaining talent in the fast changing International Fund Industry: Is building the pipeline of qualified, experienced candidates, the key? Why is Board diversity important? How is it making a difference?

Anne Keys along with her panellists, Joanna Thompson de Colonges (International Marketing Funds Consultant, and Paris Chair of 100Women in Hedge Funds), Richard Aslett (CEO at Sanlam Asset Management) and Raymond O’Neill (Director, Arc Consulting and iNED) spoke at length on the challenges facing organisations today that are looking to attract and retain top talent in a competitive market. While financial rewards and incentives are very important, Richard Aslett mentioned that the industry is maturing and candidates are looking for a sense of purpose in their roles. “Employee engagement” is a huge focus within the industry and that the needs of their team change over time. Anne discussed how candidates are gravitating towards “client and employee centric” companies and that companies need to know and sell their USPs to attract top talent. The panel spoke about building the pipeline of candidates and that organisations really do need to facilitate the advancement and retention of all candidates. The industry also needs to consider older workers as they possess a huge bank of knowledge and for this reason they can add significantly to any firm. Raymond predicted that demand in corporate governance candidates will remain for the foreseeable future as the industry continues to deal with significant waves of regulation.

Joanna Thompson mentioned that the industry does need to focus on how to attract high calibre graduates back to Financial Services. Financial services has to rebuild its reputation amongst the graduate population. Financial Services is competing heavily with the fintech sector currently.

The panel took questions from the audience on education V experience, flexible working arrangements and how open the sector is to candidates outside the industry with transferable skills.

During the afternoon Anne was joined by co-host Joanna Thompson de Colonges for a breakout session in the Laragh room on the topic of “Why is board diversity important? How is it making a difference?“. The discussion focused on how investors are now taking huge interest in the diversity of the board of directors and this is seen as a good corporate governance for an organisation. If the investor drives and requires diversity on boards, this will lead to a significant change in board composition.

The GAIMOps 2015 takes place between the 20th and the 22nd October.

For more information on the event see HERE.

Images from the morning panel discussion

Raymond O'Neill, Joanna Thompson de Colonges, Anne Keys and Richard Aslett at GAIMOps

 

Richard Aslett
Richard Aslett
Joanne Thompson de Cologes
Joanne Thompson de Cologes
Raymond O'Neill
Raymond O’Neill

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Anne Keys from The Panel co-hosts panel discussion at the GAIMOps Conference 2015

On Wednesday 21st October, our Joint Managing Partner Anne Keys participated in the GAIMOps Conference at Powerscourt Hotel, Co. Wicklow. A conference aimed towards C-level Hedge Fund Operations, Due Diligence and Compliance professionals.

Anne was delighted to moderate at the Talent Management session and to co-host the second session on Board diversity on day 1 of the main conference.

The first panel discussion covered “Talent Management: The challenges of sourcing and retaining talent in the fast changing International Fund Industry: Is building the pipeline of qualified, experienced candidates, the key? Why is Board diversity important? How is it making a difference?

Anne Keys along with her panellists, Joanna Thompson de Colonges (International Marketing Funds Consultant, and Paris Chair of 100Women in Hedge Funds), Richard Aslett (CEO at Sanlam Asset Management) and Raymond O’Neill (Director, Arc Consulting and iNED) spoke at length on the challenges facing organisations today that are looking to attract and retain top talent in a competitive market. While financial rewards and incentives are very important, Richard Aslett mentioned that the industry is maturing and candidates are looking for a sense of purpose in their roles. “Employee engagement” is a huge focus within the industry and that the needs of their team change over time. Anne discussed how candidates are gravitating towards “client and employee centric” companies and that companies need to know and sell their USPs to attract top talent. The panel spoke about building the pipeline of candidates and that organisations really do need to facilitate the advancement and retention of all candidates. The industry also needs to consider older workers as they possess a huge bank of knowledge and for this reason they can add significantly to any firm. Raymond predicted that demand in corporate governance candidates will remain for the foreseeable future as the industry continues to deal with significant waves of regulation.

Joanna Thompson mentioned that the industry does need to focus on how to attract high calibre graduates back to Financial Services. Financial services has to rebuild its reputation amongst the graduate population. Financial Services is competing heavily with the fintech sector currently.

The panel took questions from the audience on education V experience, flexible working arrangements and how open the sector is to candidates outside the industry with transferable skills.

During the afternoon Anne was joined by co-host Joanna Thompson de Colonges for a breakout session in the Laragh room on the topic of “Why is board diversity important? How is it making a difference?“. The discussion focused on how investors are now taking huge interest in the diversity of the board of directors and this is seen as a good corporate governance for an organisation. If the investor drives and requires diversity on boards, this will lead to a significant change in board composition.

The GAIMOps 2015 takes place between the 20th and the 22nd October.

For more information on the event see HERE.

Images from the morning panel discussion

Raymond O'Neill, Joanna Thompson de Colonges, Anne Keys and Richard Aslett at GAIMOps

 

Richard Aslett
Richard Aslett
Joanne Thompson de Cologes
Joanne Thompson de Cologes
Raymond O'Neill
Raymond O’Neill

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The Panel attends the 3rd annual #SocialRecruitin in London

Image courtesy of Martin JW Dixon

The Panel were delighted to have attended the 3rd annual #SocialRecruitin event in London on Wednesday 7th October, a great day bringing together recruitment professionals from all around the world. The theme of the event was “The Art & Science of Recruitment” and concentrated on how to best integrate recruiters with the world of social media.

The day began with a humorous introduction by comedian Deborah-Frances White. This was followed by a master class by Michelle Carvill (Founder Carvill Creative & Marketing Manager at Made Simple Group) on “Measuring the value of Social Media”.

This was followed by networking time before keynote speaker James Caan (CEO of HB Private Equity, former Chairman of Start Up Loans UK and former Dragon) took to the stage in front of full house for an inspiring talk about the “Power of Social Media”.

Throughout the day there were also a number of breakout sessions with speakers such as “Mr Google Dave” Dave Hazelhurst (Partner at PH Creative), Chris Anderson (Football Analytic and Author) and Susie Wolff (Williams Martini Formula One Racing Test Driver).

With so much tips and advice on offer what were the things to take away from the event?

It is all about visual content and for recruiters to become more marketing savvy as opposed to sales savvy. That there is a sense that the younger generation use their mobile technology for everything bar making phone calls. We also learnt that it is essential for recruiters to engage in order to build their candidate base and successfully recruit. Social media is definitely the future of recruitment and if used right the perfect way to monetise recruiters social media output.

Representing The Panel at the event was Paul McArdle (Managing Partner) and Alan Bluett (Partner).

Master class with Michelle Carville
Chris Anderson (Football Analytic & Author)
Paul McArdle and Keelan McGowan
Susie Wolff, Williams Marting Formula One Racing Test Driver

 

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The Panel are proud to participate in #JerseyDay in aid of GOAL Ireland

The Panel team is delighted to be taking part in this year’s GOAL #JerseyDay which is taking place today Friday 9th October.
 
It has given us all an opportunity to dust down our club, country or county jerseys and wear it into the office, whilst raising vital funds for GOAL.
 
All monies raised from The Panel Jersey Day will go towards GOAL’s life-saving programmes across some of the most vulnerable communities across the developing world. We are happy to do our part!
 
GOAL is currently working in 19 countries, which includes a large-scale response to the Syrian refugee crisis. For more information on GOAL’s work and programmes click HERE.

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The Panel attends the IACT Annual Gala Dinner 2015

On Friday 2nd October, The Panel was delighted to attend the Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers (IACT) Annual Gala Dinner at the Shelbourne Hotel.
 
The black tie event celebrated another successful year for the IACT and was attended by over 300 treasury professionals.
 
The dinner was opened up by the current IACT President Remco De Vries (Head of Treasury at Experian) on the importance and power of words. This was followed by a 4-course meal and after dinner speaker, mentalist David Meade, who shared memory tricks and other illusionist moves with the audience.
 
The event was concluded with ample time to network till late.
 
Representing The Panel at this event was: Paul McArdle (Joint Managing Partner), Alan Bluett (Partner) and Richie Goggin (Recruitment Manager).

Alan Bluett (The Panel) and Kevin Twomey – Global Head of Sales BOI Global Markets
The IACT Committee
Attendees listening to guest speaker
Mentalist David Meade entertaining the crowds
Richie Goggin and Paul McArdle
Margot Scallon and Geraldine D'Arcy
Margot Scallon and Geraldine D’Arcy