Press Release

Southern Region

Bullying and harassment (preventative measures)

4 March 2015

Southern Region - RDJ 

Jennifer Cashman, Partner, RDJ; Conor O'Connell, Chairman CIPD Southern Region;
and Jennifer O'Sullivan, Senior Associate, RDJ

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to bullying & harassment

CIPD Southern Region Committee hosted a well attended breakfast meeting on Wednesday 4th March, 2015 sponsored by Ronan, Daly, Jermyn (RDJ) Solicitors and held at RDJ law offices at Citygate, Mahon. Speakers, Jennifer Cashman, Partner at RDJ, and Jennifer O’Sullivan, Senior Associate, RDJ, gave very enlightening and informative presentations on how organisations can proactively manage bullying and harassment claims from escalating. Conor O’Connell, Chairman – CIPD Southern Region opened the event by welcoming the large gathering and introducing the speakers.

Both speakers demonstrated their extensive knowledge and experience in the area of bullying and harassment and workplace investigations, laying out a roadmap to an appreciative audience, made up of HR and Business Professionals. Highlighting the issues arising from bullying and harassment in the workplace as:

  • High turnover
  • Low productivity
  • Lost innovations
  • Difficulty in getting quality staff due to negative publicity

The issue of bullying and harassment is a very real and complicated one, so learning how to manage such situations professionally is critical to any business, the very clear message was Prevention is better than Cure.

Preventative measures were stated as:

  • Promote understanding of policies.
  • Ensure HR and line managers are fully equipped to support the policy.
  • Promote awareness among employees of internal and external support structures.
  • Designated contact persons.
  • Employee assistance programs.
  • Sufficient liability insurance.

Case law and examples along with tips on how to manage complaints in a timely and effective manner, including mediation which was strongly recommended as a very viable option to resolving conflict, were all welcomed by the audience. Following procedures and legislation can also limit the liability of employers – so risk assessments are worthwhile action to take.

Conor O’Connell, Chairman – CIPD Southern Region closed the proceedings by thanking the speakers; RDJ Solicitors for their continued support of CIPD Southern Region events programme; Audrey Burke-McCarthy (Organiser) and the audience for attending. A gift sponsored by the Irish Examiner was presented to both speakers as a token of appreciation.

Excellent audience feedback, confirmed that this event was well worth attending.

The next Southern Region Event will be a presentation entitled Don’t Fool Around with Health & Safety, taking place on Wednesday 1st April @ 5:30pm. The speaker will be Brian Higginson, HSA. A formal announcement will be issued shortly.


CIPD members can download the slides from this event here.

For further information please contact

Mari Manning
PRO-CIPD Southern Region
M. 0863630367


Ronan, Daly, Jermyn Solicitors

Ronan Daly Jermyn is one of Ireland's leading law firms. With offices in Cork, Dublin, Galway and London, we offer our clients legal advice on a truly national scale at a local level. Our firm is big enough to bring you a wealth of experience but small enough to provide one-to-one contact. We give you market-leading expertise with the benefit of local access – representing both corporate and private clients in all sectors of business. We also advise a significant number of public sector bodies and government agencies.

Jennifer Cashman, Partner And Head Of Employment Team

Experience: Jennifer has over 15 years experience in advising and guiding clients on the practical application of all aspects of employment law. She advises public and private sector employers on the negotiation and drafting of Executive Service Agreements; Transfer of Undertakings Regulations (TUPE); contentious issues such as restrictive covenants, discrimination, wrongful and unfair dismissal, redundancies (individual and collective) and issues associated with contingent workers. Jennifer’s focus is on providing practical and commercial solutions to her clients which comprise Local Authorities, semi-state bodies, schools, multi-nationals and SMEs.

Jennifer is recommended as a Band 2, Leading Lawyer in Employment Law in Chambers Europe. Chambers 2014 notes that clients say Jennifer 'has an in-depth knowledge of the law and an ability to provide various solutions before choosing the most appropriate option for us to follow'. Jennifer is also recommended in Legal 500.

Education: BCL (University College Cork). LLM (University College Cork) and Diploma in Employment Law (UCD).

Professional: Admitted as a solicitor in Ireland. Member CIPD.

Jennifer O’Sullivan, Senior Associate, Employment Team

Experience: Jennifer provides solution focused advice on all aspects of employment law, from HR advisory work to contentious matters before the courts and employment law forums.  Jennifer has particular experience in advising clients in the conduct of internal investigations, disciplinary and appeal procedures and regularly sits in an advisory role on panels in these processes. Jennifer advises on all employment issues arising in commercial transactions and internal restructuring strategies, with a particular emphasis on issues arising under the TUPE.

Jennifer also regularly advises clients in the specialist area of data protection on issues such as data breaches, data subject access requests and transfers of data abroad.

Jennifer is recommended in Chambers Europe as a Leading Lawyer in Employment Law. Jennifer is described in Chambers 2014 as 'very solution-oriented" and as being 'praised by clients and peers alike'. Chambers 2013 notes that 'Jennifer attracts plaudits from market commentators, who describe her as "consistent, clear, responsive and decisive"'.

Education: BCL (UCC); LLM (UCC), Dip Emp law (Law Society of Ireland), H Dip Human Resource Management (UCC).

Professional: Admitted as a solicitor in Ireland. Member CIPD.