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Woman working abroad

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Duty of Care in Ireland

The ability of organisations to manage their global talent and to adapt to the concept of a borderless workforce will be crucial in the coming years. In seeking to expand abroad, or conquer new markets, businesses may be required to send staff to jurisdictions which impose a particular duty of care on employees, or perhaps even to ‘high-risk’ areas.

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In Ireland, the legislation on health and safety in the workplace places very specific obligations on employers. In addition to statutory obligations, an employer owes a common law duty of care to employees by virtue of the contract of employment between the parties and the inherent relationship of “trust and confidence” between employer and employee. It is important to note that both an employee’s physical and mental wellbeing are contemplated under the Irish legal framework. Issues surrounding mental wellbeing in the context of bullying and/ or harassment in the workplace are detailed further below.