Law & Regulation
Law & Regulation News
Law & Regulation News
Rising Trend in Workplace Conflicts and Disputes Continue
Figures from a recent HR Barometer reveal that 74% of Organisations reported experiencing workplace conflict in 2023. This represents a notable 5% increase from the previous year.

What’s the Cause of Increasing Workplace Conflict?

The figures reveal a rise in both grievances and disciplinary issues. One broad interpretation of the figures may indicate that Organisations continue to grapple with the ongoing post-pandemic challenges of managing Employee expectations around hybrid and remote working.

Digging into the figures more closely, over half of the Organisations surveyed reported ineffective line management as a leading cause of disputes. This number suggests that Employees may be experiencing issues with their immediate superiors regarding clarity of instructions, support in the workplace, or fair treatment.

In addition, just over half of Employers also identified a lack of effective performance management as a significant cause of conflict and dispute. Relevant considerations included how performance is monitored, how feedback is given, and how Employee’s objectives are set and evaluated.

The third most cited cause of conflict and disputes was poor communication which was cited by 43% of Employers. Ineffective communication leads to unclear expectations, insufficient information sharing, or misinterpretations between management and staff or amongst coworkers.

Impact on HR

As Irish workplaces are experiencing a continuing uptick in conflict and disputes, there is a growing pressure on HR departments and people managers to resolve these difficult interpersonal scenarios.

While a certain level of conflict is to be expected in the workplace, failure to deal with Employee conflict leads to a range of negative business outcomes like low Employee morale, high turnover and low retention. As Employee expectations around flexible working practices continue to evolve, Managers and HR professionals will need to remain responsive to Employee concerns and identify the appropriate level of intervention needed to defuse workplace clashes or misunderstandings and seek to resolve workplace conflict before it escalates.

Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings Bill 2024.
Auto-enrolment in retirement savings is expected to be introduced in January 2025 following the recent publication of the Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings Bill 2024.

Key elements of the proposed legislation that need to be considered by Employers now include:

Scope: Employees will be automatically enrolled in the system if they are:

  • Between the ages of 23 and 60.
  • Not already a member of a qualifying pension plan, and
  • In receipt of total gross pay in all employments of at least €20,000 per annum.
Charities Regulator notes court ruling
A prosecution brought by the Charities Regulator against Clare Biodiversity clg was heard (9 April 2024) in Kilrush district court. The charity was fined €50 having pleaded guilty to failing to file an annual report with the Charities Regulator.

All charities are required by law to submit an annual report on their activities and finances within 10 months of the end of their financial year. The contents of these reports are published on the Register of Charities and provide essential information to help inform donors and the general public. Clare Biodiversity clg is among a small number of charities being prosecuted that are companies which had made their annual returns to the Company Registration Office during the same period.

The Charities Regulator began a programme last year to improve compliance rates with annual reporting obligations, targeting approximately 1,700 charities that have either never filed or are late filing their annual report to the Charities Regulator.