Business and Employment

Our business and employment solicitors can advise you on all aspects of employment and contract law. We can also help if you’re facing a dispute at the workplace, and help you enforce your employment rights as an employer or an employee or applying for licences or work permits. We also provide a comprehensive service on GDPR.

We understand that you may be worried about your income, reputation, or the emotional impact of an employment issue. In situations like this, it helps to have the experts on your side, and we’ll support you every step of the way.

What can we help with?

Employer/employee relations

New employment legislation requires an employer to produce a contract of employment within two months of an employee starting work. Following six months’ continuous employment, an employee may submit a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission should they have a complaint in relation to a breach of legislation or their contract with you, their employer. At Prospect Law we strive to provide services that meet your specific needs in this changing legal environment. We provide clear and constructive commercial advice, draw up any legal documents you may require, and help you manage your business relationships. Our niche services to SMEs include obtaining general work permits for your work force. We are not just lawyers — we are business partners.

Good employer-employee relations are vital to a successful business. Having good systems in place to manage these relationships is key in our experience. At Prospect Law, we have decades of experience in preparing tailor made contracts of employment. In preparing a contract of employment for you, for example, we will raise such questions as whether you need a probation period, sick leave, grievance procedures and notice periods in the event of termination. We also provide general advice on such issues as how to deal effectively with employee grievances, bullying and harassment complaints and termination of employment processes, including redundancy procedures.

Work permits

The State offers general work permits, under certain terms and conditions, to applicants outside the EU and the European Economic Area (which includes Norway, Iceland and Liechtensten, in addition to EU member states). Work permits will not be issued in such areas as food preparation or hospitality, however. Butchers, bakers, flour confectioners, fishmongers, poultry dressers, chefs (with the exception of executive chefs), head chefs, sous chefs, and specialist chefs are excluded from the regulations. General work permits will be issued for all other jobs on condition that that they pay at least €30,000 per annum. Work permits are also available for designated industries (quotas are in force for meat processors, horticultural workers and dairy farm assistants).

As an employer, you must meet the ‘labour market needs test’ in submitting a general work permit application. The Department will not issue such a permit unless at least 50 per cent of your employees are EEA nationals (the so-called 50:50 rule) at the time of application. So, if you are seeking to recruit workers abroad, you must meet the advertising requirements that are laid down. You may then apply for a general work permit to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Other services provided to SMEs by Prospect Law include:

Partnership agreements

Partnerships can be an excellent way to develop your business. It is critically important, however, to have a solid foundation for such a venture. Questions that arise when a partnership ceases can create problems, such as who is liable for debts and how are assets divided, as well the transfer of tenancy. So, a solid partnership agreement that covers these and other issues is essential.

Tenancy agreements

Commercial space is at a premium today, especially in Dublin city, so, as the owner of an SME, you may find yourself renting a property. Having a tenancy agreement in place is crucial, as it clarifies the rights of both tenant and landlord. Renewal rights, break clauses, inspection, rent reviews, subletting and the duration of agreement are important considerations in commercial tenancy agreements in our experience. The heads of agreement are usually negotiated between the two parties. Prospect Law will assist with any further negotiations that may be necessary following agreement on the main items. In the current market, landlords can seek clauses that may lead to risks for a tenant, long term, as well restricting the tenant’s rights. For example, landlords often require a tenant to sign a deed of ‘renunciation’, which means that no rights will accrue to the tenant following a lengthy period of tenancy.

Licencing applications for retail units and restaurants

The law has changed in relation to off-licence applications. Applications for retails off-licences are made to the National Excise Licence Office. For restaurant licences, a court application is required. As well as preparing the necessary legal documentation, our service includes identifying an architect or surveyor experienced in this field who can, if needed, certify the suitability of your premises, and compliance with planning and fire safety regulations. He or she will be required to give oral evidence to the District Court, and your agent will also be required to give details of your proposed business, and, in particular, the measures to be taken to ensure that no alcohol is sold to minors.


Internet search engines make it difficult to protect your online privacy. In a world where vast swathes of personal data have been amassed, including by social media platforms, and by corporations such as Google, concerns about privacy are growing. If you wish to erase unwanted personal data that appears high in search engine results, Prospect Law can help. Our track record in getting unwanted search engine results removed is outstanding.

The Right to Erasure (also known as the ‘right to be forgotten’) is a new right that became law here in May 2018, when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was transposed into Irish law. The GDPR protects the privacy of citizens in the European Union and the European Economic Area by regulating data protection. The regulation also addresses the export of personal data outside these regions, so it gives you added protection against the intrusions of multinational corporations who share and sell personal data.

There are two types of data under GDPR: personal data and ‘special category’ personal data. Personal data are data that relate to or may identify a living person, either alone or in tandem with other available information. Your name, telephone number, bank details and medical history all constitute personal data. Special category data refers to personal data that relate to any of the following:

  • the data subject’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs
  • the data subject’s membership of a trade union
  • the data subject’s physical or mental health, condition or sexual life
  • the data subject’s committal or alleged committal of an offence
  • any proceedings in relation to such an offence, and their outcome, including the sentence of any court

The right to be forgotten allows you to request the deletion of personal information that has been published on the Internet. There are many reasons why you might wish your personal data to be deleted. For example, it may be that it is inaccurate, out of date, embarrassing, irrelevant, or a risk to your job or business prospects. It’s important to remember that the right to privacy is not an absolute right. However, the argument that your right to privacy overrides the public’s ‘right to know’ is supported by case law from the High and Supreme Courts of Ireland, European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights and other privacy law rulings.

Getting an item removed from a search engine depends on a host of factors. If you wish to get an item removed from a search engine, contact our office to arrange a consultation to enable us to assess the merits of your case. If it goes ahead, we will offer a significant refund of our service fee in the unlikely event that your case does not succeed.