The Panel attends the IMI National Management Conference 2016

On Thursday 29th September, the annual IMI National Management Conference took place at the IMI Conference Centre, Sandyford, Dublin 6.

This year’s topic was “Managing Disruption, Seizing Opportunity” and saw an impressive line-up of speakers.

  • An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
  • Dr Simon Boucher
  • (Moderator ) Jonathan McCrea, broadcaster and founder of Whipsmart Media
  • George Yip, strategist and author of China’s Next Strategic Advantage
  • Professor Frances Ruane, economist and former Director of the ESRI
  • Adrian Furnham, leadership and talent consultant
  • Eoin Kennedy, Head of Product, New Ireland Assurance
  • Sydney Finklestein, leadership expert, author and Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
  • Pat Lam, Head Coach of Connacht Rugby

Talks varied from “Imitation to Innovation – China’s Next Strategic Advantage”, “Economic lens – looking positively beyond the immediate”, “Managing and Motivating People in Disruptive Times”, “Pension Disruption and the Paradigm shift”, “Superbosses – how exceptional bosses master the flow of talent” to “Transformation through culture”.

Congratulations to the organisers on a great event.

Present from The Panel was Paul McArdle (Managing Partner) and Sarah Kelly (Partner, Legal & HR).


Jim Power Breakfast Talk Thursday 20th October – “Global Challenges and Opportunities for Ireland”

On Thursday 20th October at 7:30am, Alan Bluett (Partner at The Panel), invites you to a Breakfast Talk at The Marker Hotel, Dublin 2.

Keynote speaker at the event will be Economist Jim Power. He will lead and hold a discussion around “Global Challenges and Opportunities for Ireland”.

To register for this event please RSVP Mal Convery HERE.

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Jim Power is a graduate of University College, Dublin with a BA in Economics & Politics, and a Master of Economic Science Degree. During a career within the financial services industry, he has worked as Treasury Economist at AIB Group and Chief Economist at Bank of Ireland Group Treasury and Friends First Group. In October 2000 he testified before a UK House of Lords Committee on Economic & Monetary Affairs on Ireland’s experience in EMU. He argued with prescience that the Irish political elite would not be capable of managing a small open economy in a monetary union and suggested that Britain would be ill-advised to join the Single Currency. He has taught Financial Management to under-graduates in Dublin City University; Economics on the Local Government MBA at Dublin City University and Business Economics on the Executive MBA and the Full Time MBA at the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin. In September 2014, he will teach Business Economics on the Full Time MSc Management at the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin. 

He writes regular columns in both The Examiner and The Sunday Business Post online edition and contributes to numerous other newspapers and magazines on an occasional basis. He is also a frequent contributor to radio and TV on a variety of different shows. He is a board member of Agri-Aware, the food awareness body and is Chairperson of Love Irish Food. He is editor of Friends First regular ‘Economic Outlook’, which has become established as one of Ireland’s leading commentaries on the Irish economy. His first book ‘Picking up the Pieces’ was published by Blackhall Publishing in November 2009. 

To register for this event please RSVP Mal Convery HERE.

>> Places are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment <<


7:30am-8am: Registration & Networking

8am – 9am: Talk followed by Q&A

9am-9:30am: Event close


The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2, D02 CK38


The basis.point 4th Annual Corporate Golf Challenge 2016

On Friday 23rd September, The Panel took part in the 4th Annual basis.point Corporate Golf Challenge at Milltown Golf Course, Dublin 14.

The Panel has been sponsors to basis.point’s charitable work for a number of years, but earlier on in 2016 became an official patron. As such we were delighted to see such a good turn out on the day and were also delighted to enter our own team into the competition.

Over 100 players took part in the shot-gun challenge.

After the competition participants were treated to an award ceremony at the club house followed by a dinner. Speaker at the event was Allison Aldred from Suas. Basis.point’s chosen charity. Adrian Waters spoke about the work carried out by basis.point and what they have achieved over the last twelve months and are hoping to achieve in the future.

Congratulations to Pat Horgan from State State and his team who were the winners of the Cathal Lavelle Trophy 2016.

The Panel team headed by captain Anne Keys also included: Aidan Tansey, Paul Byrne (BNY Mellon Corporate Trust) and Deirdre Cantwell (Acumen & Trust).

Aidan Tansey and team captain Anne Keys
Aidan Tansey and Anne Keys
Allison Aldred, the CEO of SUAS
Speaker Allison Aldred, the CEO of SUAS

All images credited to John Ohle Photography

For more information on basis.point click HERE.

For more information on SUAS click HERE.


The Panel attends The Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers Golf Outing

On Tuesday 20th September, The Panel was delighted to take part in the Annual IACT Shotgun Start Golf Day at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club.

The Panel team captained by Alan Bluett (Partner, Banking & Treasury) also featured Dennis Murray, Aidan Tansey, and Conn Connolly (CEO, Real Irish Golf).

This 14 team event was as always superbly organised (thanks to Michele in the IACT for organising and her able helper/photographer on the day Patrick Corkery!) and The Panel team did their best, but did not win.

The golfing event was followed by an award ceremony and dinner in the club house. Well done to all involved and congratulations to the winning team.

Team The Panel: Dennis Murray, Aidan Tansey, Conn Connolly and Captain Alan Bluett.

All images comes courtesy of The Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers (IACT)


PRMIA Event – 23rd September with guest speaker Frank De Jonghe

On Thursday 23rd September PRMIA Ireland held its third event of 2016 and in attendance from The Panel was Alan Bluett (Deputy Regional Director PRMIA Ireland). Key note speaker was Frank De Jonghe, Partner with EY and leader of the Quantitative Advisory Services within the EMEIA Financial Services practice. Based in Belgium, Frank has been visiting professor at Ghent University for over 10 years, where he lectures on financial risk management and derivative pricing for Masters Students in Banking & Finance. Frank also holds a PhD in theoretical physics. Over 90 people attended the event so it was standing room only for late arrivals!

Frank spoke on the Challenges in Financial Risk Management and What these mean for the CRO of the Future.  His talk was topical, challenging, extremely engaging and he attempted to set a marker on where risk management may be by 2025. I would be doing Frank a dis-service trying to synopsise his articulate words so I will just briefly outline what I took away from the talk:

  • Risk Managers of the future need to engage & interact as much as possible with every part if the business
  • Risk teams ideally need a mix of skills and experience, such as quant, Psychology, IT, etc
  • Pay constant attention to the frequency, presentation and layout of reports
  • Lay the data groundwork
  • Watch out whenever fair value is subject to hedging or offsetting

AND some good quotes:

“We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible because only in that way can we find progress”

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction”

Frank’s talk was followed by a Q&A session officiated by Conor Griffin (Director EY and PRMIA Ireland Committee Member) and a reception afterwards to allow for networking.

The event was introduced by Monika Smatralova (Regional Director PRMIA Ireland) with other PRMIA Ireland committee members in attendance, namely Brian O’Kelly and Alan Bluett (Deputy Regional Director PRMIA Ireland).

Special thanks to EY Dublin for kindly hosting the event.

Conor Griffin (Director EY & PRMIA Ireland Committee Member), Guest Speaker Frank De Jonghe and Monika Smatralova (Regional Director PRMIA Ireland). 
The room whilst filling up, in total over 90 people attended the event
Alan Bluett (Deputy Regional Director PRMIA Ireland), Guest Speaker Frank De Jonghe and Monika Smatralova (Regional Director PRMIA Ireland)
Monika Smatralova (Regional Director PRMIA Ireland)
Frank De Jonghe Q&A session officiated by Conor Griffin 

The Leinster Chartered Accountants Annual GAA Luncheon 2016

It was our pleasure to attend The Leinster Chartered Accountants Annual GAA Charity Luncheon in aid of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland in Croke Park last week (Thursday 15th September).

The event is a great opportunity to network and had a brilliant line up of speakers including; Marty Morrissey (sports commentator and television presenter), Alan Brogan (former Dublin GAA player), Conor Mortimer (former Mayo GAA player) and Charlie Redmond (former Dublin GAA player).

Richard Goggin (Senior Recruitment Manager, Financial Services & Accountancy) and Áine Finlay (Recruitment Consultant, Financial Services & Insurance) were representing The Panel.

Image Source: The Alzheimer Society of Ireland Twitter
Image Source: Chartered Accountants Ireland Twitter



The Panel to take part in the basis.point 4th Annual Corporate Golf Challenge

As a patron of the charitable work carried out by basis.point Ireland, The Panel is looking forward to taking part in this year’s annual golf challenge tomorrow Friday 23rd September.

This will be the 4th event of its kind and participants will be playing for the Cathal Lavelle Trophy at the beautiful setting at Milltown Golf Club, Dublin.

The event is expected to be as enjoyable as last years, when over 140 golfers took part. The golf challenge will be followed by a gala dinner.

The Panel team will be headed up by our Managing Partner Anne Keys



They did it again! Congratulations Maria Louise & Diana

On behalf of all the team here at The Panel we would like to extend our congratulations to our colleague Simona Fufezan’s daughter Maria Louise and fellow student Diana Bara.

In January of this year they secured first place at the Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in Dublin and have since worked hard to improve their already impressive project entitled “An Investigation into the Effects of Enzymes Used in Animal Feed Additives on the Lifespan of Caenorhabditis Elegans”.

Yesterday (19th September), they were awarded third prize at the 28th European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Brussels, the European leg of the competition and won €3,500 for their hard work. Full winners list .

We are all incredibly proud of and happy for Marie Louise and Diana. Well done girls!!

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GUEST BLOG: When did you last review / update the company’s employee handbook?

Updating legislative changes:

The past number of years has seen the introduction of a significant number of pieces of employment legislation. Has your Company taken both the time and opportunity to embrace these new requirements and ensured that all employees are fully aware of these changes? Far too many companies today adopt the view that most employees are aware of these changes and do not take the time to amend their Employee Handbook. 

The importance of an updated Employee Handbook:

Frequently, when a dispute arises between an employer and employee, one of the first documents that is referenced is the Employee Handbook. Often it is hopelessly out of date and does not reflect the Company’s Terms and Conditions of Employment that are currently in force. An Employee Handbook can often form the basis of a resolution of a dispute however, an out of date Employee Handbook, can in fact often end up making the situation worse as a result of not being “fit for purpose”.  Furthermore, another possible consequence of an out of date Employee Handbook is that a dispute can end up being drawn out much longer resulting in higher legal and HR advisory costs for the employer. Also, for some companies, it is often a recommendation from a Third Party Hearing that the employer upgrades the Company’s Handbook. This does not reflect well on a Company. Far too often, it is only after such an experience that a Company instigate and indeed complete a review of an Employee Handbook to prevent a re-occurrence. 

Leading companies take a different view. They are constantly reviewing and amending their Employee Handbook to ensure that they are fit for purpose and fully contribute to the performance of the business today. When significant change takes place in an organisation, these companies will re-issue an updated set of policies thereby ensuring that the Employee handbook remains “Fit for Purpose”. 

New guidelines:

In the same way as companies have to upgrade their technology hardware and software, companies are also revising / updating their Employee Handbook to ensure that it reflects the business environment today. Companies need to ask themselves are our Reward policies, Grievance and Discipline procedures, Bullying, Harassment and Sexual Harassment and Health and Safety policies and procedures fully up to date and do they reflect the business market today? In addition, in more recent times, employers have found it necessary to introduce new guidelines for employees in terms of Internet usage, Emails and Social Media to name but a few.

Action steps:

So what should a Company do to ensure that their Employee Handbook is “Fit for Purpose”? They should request that their HR function undertakes a review of best market practice for their business sector and produce an updated version of the Employee Handbook. They should inform employees that such a review is taking place and that when completed; employees can expect to receive an amended version of the Employee Handbook.


About 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] | |


GUEST BLOG: An Eye-Opening Example of Reinstatement

In the recent case of Troy v John Player & Sons, the EAT reinstated an employee, Mr. Troy, into his previous role.  He had been made redundant in June 2013 from John Player & Sons and had in fact gone on to secure new employment elsewhere.  Nevertheless the EAT decided that the redundancy in June 2013 was not genuine and, approximately 3 years after he left John Player & Sons, Mr. Troy was reinstated this year.  

In the normal course, Mr. Troy would be entitled to his loss of pay from John Player & Sons since June 2013; however this is not expressly referred to in the EAT’s decision.

Under the Unfair Dismissals legislation it is indeed possible that, instead of awarding compensation, an order can be made to reinstate an unfairly dismissed former employee into his previous role or, alternatively, reengage him in another reasonably suitable role.  However, reinstatement and reengagement can have unintended consequences and such draconian orders are very much a rarity in practice.

In this case, as part of the redundancy procedure, Mr. Troy was deemed by John Player & Sons not to be capable of performing certain functions of the newly created roles in the company which were to replace the 22 redundant roles of which one had been held by Mr. Troy.  Also, apart from the purported redundancy, there had been performance issues with Mr. Troy during his employment. 

Previous case law has evidenced a reluctance on the part of the EAT and courts to order reinstatement where there are issues with the relevant former employee’s performance.  However, this EAT stated that Mr. Troy “was more than capable to perform any additional functions required by the Employer.” 

The case has been appealed to the Circuit Court which will involve a complete re-hearing of the evidence.  One might expect the decision of the EAT to be overturned, but until such time the EAT’s decision in this case is a marked change from previous practice.  

About James

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: |