Rebecca Ireland Partner

Photograph of Rebecca Ireland

Contact Details

“Rebecca is always contactable, and responds extremely promptly to emails. I have found her to be incredibly helpful and professional.”

Head Teacher St Marylebone, Church of England
Rebecca is a highly experienced employment lawyer, having specialised in the area over 21 years ago, and is also a qualified mediator. 

Main areas of expertise

Rebecca has extensive experience of advising employers, across a diverse range of business and public sectors, in a myriad of often complex and sensitive contexts. She also assists senior executives in reviewing and negotiating contracts and exit packages. Rebecca adopts a practical, commercial solutions-focussed approach and works closely with HR teams and in-house lawyers.

Significant expertise

Education

  • Working very closely with the Head teacher and Chair of Governors of an Academy on several highly sensitive matters, including long term sickness absence and disability issues, particularly considering disability discrimination angles (mental health and physical disabilities), and safeguarding/child protection situations, including liaising with the Police.  Data protection, freedom of information, regulatory and reputational issues also came into the equation.

IT & Technology sector

  • Providing employment and immigration advice to, and taking on a project management role for, a USA and German based client who is expanding in the UK, in relation to securing a Sole Representative Visa initially and, subsequently, a Sponsorship Licence to facilitate future Intra-Company Transfers.  Also assisting with the recruitment of UK nationals.
  • Full case preparation and negotiating settlements through ACAS in relation to breach of contract claims regarding non-payment of bonuses and commissions to Sales Director and Manager.

Distribution Companies

  • Heavily involved at all stages of a contentious, but ultimately negotiated, exit of our client's then Managing Director, involving a mutual grievance between the major shareholder and him, together with allegations of bullying & negligence. Considering the company law issues of forcing an exit, including the effect of the shareholders agreement, and the related employment law implications and risks.
  • Defending an unfounded constructive dismissal claim against a blue chip corporate client. The claimant's non-legally qualified representative conducted the proceedings in an unreasonable and threatening manner, which was challenging when managing the case preparation.  Ultimately, the ET dismissed the claim.

Business restructuring, TUPE and outsourcing

  • Assisting various clients with their redundancy and restructuring exercises at all stages and with varying levels of involvement.
  • Considerable expertise of advising at all stages of private and public sector outsourcing and restructuring projects. Such support includes due diligence, evaluation of employment-related risks, drafting contractual documentation, advising on proposed reorganisations and involvement in developing business strategy.
  • Challenging the rejection by an Insolvency Practitioner of client's claim for unpaid commission against the company in administration, involving an analysis of the employment status of the client before and after the TUPE transfer to the new company, and the client's objection to transferring, and obtaining Leading Counsel's opinion.

Claimant work

  • Full conduct of a complicated claim for unlawful disability discrimination by association (Equality Act 2010) on behalf of Claimant, including a challenge over the client’s employment status, and therefore the Employment Tribunal's jurisdiction to hear the claim.  Advocating at the three day liability hearing and then, having won, at a contentious one day remedies hearing.

Expertise

Rebecca’s Blog

Government study on racial disparity published

In response to the Government's recently published audit on racial disparity in Britain, Rebecca Ireland, partner in Blake Morgan's Employment law team commented...

Fathers would like more work-life balance

A report by Working Families, Modern Families Index, found that 47% of working fathers would like a less stressful job to better balance the demands of work and family life and over a third would be willing to take a pay cut to achieve a better balance.

What future for zero hours contracts?

As a number of high-profile retailers, pubs and leisure sector businesses pledge to move staff away from zero hours contracts, we consider the pros and cons – should all employers follow suit?

Articles by Rebecca

Sleep-in shifts and the national minimum wage

Article

Whether or not to pay staff in relation to sleep-in shifts is not always straightforward and establishing whether someone is working or not is crucial. Rebecca Ireland and Madeleine Mould explains the law around this complex area.

Disparities in outcomes revealed by Government Audit

Article

The recent publication of the Government's Race Disparity Audit showed huge disparities in outcomes including lower employment levels for ethnic minorities.

Could poppy seeds lead to you failing a drug test at work?

News

Angela Rippon hit the headlines when she tested positive for opiates after eating poppy seed bread, Rebecca Ireland, outlines what HR professionals should consider if drug testing is carried out in the workplace.

See all

Speaking Engagements

Employment Club Seminar - Reading
Southampton

Come and join us at our Employment Club Seminar in Reading on 23 March.

Managing Workplace Conflict Effectively
Southampton

We are running our hugely popular workshop "Managing Workplace Conflict Effectively" on Thursday 15 March 2018 in our Reading office.

Related Knowledge & Resources

What is a qualifying disclosure?

The Court of Appeal gives guidance on identifying the difference between "allegation" and "information" for the purposes of whistleblowing protection.

Unfair dismissal developments

Managing dismissals fairly is not always straightforward as can be seen from some recent EAT decisions that have considered the tricky issues of dismissal for gross misconduct and misconduct where there had been no previous disciplinary warnings.

The Government’s response to the Taylor Review – more certainty for all or just more red tape for businesses?

In July 2017, the "Good Work: the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices” set out over 50 recommendations for improving workers’ rights.

Academy Conversions

A guide to how Blake Morgan can help with your Academy conversion.

Guide: Our workplace mediation service

Do you have conflict in the workplace that takes up your valuable time and has a damaging effect on team performance?

Immigration Compliance Audit Service

Blake Morgan is one of the few larger law firms that offer an immigration compliance audit service. We are well placed to do so, drawing on our immigration and commercial expertise.