SFA Employment Law Conference 2017 - Compliance is a growing burden on small businesses

Monday, 9 October 2017

  • Oonagh Buckley, DG of the Workplace Relations Commission, addresses SFA Employment Law Conference 2017
  • 60% of SFA member companies will create additional jobs this year
  • Compliance is a growing burden on businesses who are also facing the challenges of GDPR and Brexit

Speaking at the opening of the Small Firms Association (SFA)'s annual Employment Law Conference, in Clontarf Castle, Dublin, today, SFA Director Sven Spollen-Behrens, stated that "The establishment of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in 2015 was a major change in the employment law landscape, one that small firms have been adapting to over the past two years. We are very pleased to welcome Oonagh Buckley, Director-General of the WRC, to speak directly to SFA members and listen to their concerns.

“The regulatory burden of complying with over 40 pieces of employment law is a major challenge for all small businesses, many of whom cannot afford to employ a dedicated HR person. Owner-managers are juggling this growing burden of compliance while also trying to manage rising business costs and the uncertainty created by Brexit. It is imperative that the Government develops a robust SME Test to assess the impact of any new legislation on small business before it is enacted."

The conference will also prepare small business for the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Spollen-Behrens commented “The clock is ticking, counting down to the introduction of the GDPR, which introduces major new obligations on businesses of all sizes. It is one of the most significant legislative changes for business in many years, yet a staggering 70% of businesses are unaware of when the GDPR will become effective.”

“Small businesses already employ half the private sector workforce and 60% of member companies will create additional jobs this year. The high turnout at today’s conference shows the dedication of our members to remain up to date and informed in the constantly evolving area of employment law.”


Photos are available on request from Gary O'Neill Photography at info@garyoneillphotography.com or 0877974300

For further comment or interview, contact Sven Spollen-Behrens, SFA Director, 01 605 1602 / 087 160 9403 or sven@sfa.ie


The SFA Employment Law Conference takes place in Dublin on 9 October in Clontarf Castle. In addition to GDPR, employers will get information and advice on the Workplace Relations Commission, managing probation, lessons from employment case law, discipline and dismissals. More information is available at www.sfa.ie/events.