Chambers Ireland Weekly Digest: 15th January 2018

  1. CSR for SMEs Guide

Chambers Ireland is delighted to have published a CSR for SMEs Guide, which we will be distributing free of charge to the network this week. The guide outlines the benefits of CSR and ways that SMEs can engage, including the offer of one-on-one meetings with CSR experts from Chambers Ireland’s Policy Council at a location convenient to them, and free of charge. This is an excellent opportunity for an SME to develop a plan for CSR in their company with the help of an expert.

We will be posting 10 of these guides to each Chamber this week and a PDF version will also be available on our website. We will be promoting this guide on social media and would greatly appreciate corresponding promotion by your Chamber when the guide is received.

Should you have any queries regarding this guide or CSR more broadly, you can contact Chambers Ireland Senior Policy & Public Affairs Executive, Elisha Collier O’Brien via her email address:

  1. Understanding GDPR

On the 25th May 2018, the EU will introduce a new legislation called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will replace the current structure on the handling of data. It will apply to all businesses who supply goods and/or services to EU citizens and therefore handle personal data.

In addition, the GDPR contains the following changes:

  • Enhanced documentation to be kept by data controllers.
  • Enhanced privacy notices.
  • More detailed rules regarding ‘consent’.
  • Mandatory data breach notification requirements.
  • Enhanced data subject rights.
  • New obligations on data processors.
  • Expanded territorial scope.
  • Appointment of Data Protection Officers

Many of the implications of the new GDPR will affect companies on a commercial level. However, it also has an impact on many areas from a HR/employment perspective and fines for non-compliance can go up to a maximum of  €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover (whichever is greater).

Peninsula have offered to support our members to separate fact from fiction on how the new legislation impacts them.

If you would like more information on GDPR and the supports that Peninsula can offer please email or

Alternatively, you can call Peninsula on 01-8506025.


  1. Lobbying Act – deadline 21 January 2018

Please note that the deadline for Lobbying returns covering the period from 1 September – 31 December 2017 are due on 21 January 2018. As the deadline falls on a Sunday we advise that Chambers complete returns on or before Friday 19 January.

Please be aware that the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) are fully implementing the penalty provisions in the Lobbying Act. The provisions contained in Part 4 of the Act give the Standards Commission the authority to investigate and prosecute contraventions of the Act and to levy fixed payment notices for late filing of lobbying returns. Please see the attached enforcement document for details of further contraventions.

If your Chamber is registered on the system and does not file a return for each period ahead of the relevant deadline you will be automatically issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of €200 by the SIPO enforcement team and your organisation may be subject to an investigation potentially resulting in prosecution and a fine of up to €2,500.

SIPO are now pro-actively monitoring media outlets to identify organisations which are lobbying but have not registered or have not completed a return in relation to a subject matter reported in media. They are also looking increasingly at the content of Lobbying returns to ensure they are of a “meaningful” nature, contravention of which could lead to investigations and prosecution.

We strongly recommend that you put appropriate systems and reminders in place for the future to prevent exposure to financial and reputational risk by contravening this legislation. Chambers Ireland is supporting Chambers in addressing their obligations under the legislation but is not in any way responsible for your compliance, nor can we continue to monitor individual Chambers’ compliance in this matter. Returns for this period follow the same process as previous and can be made through the online system at

If you have any queries please contact

  1. Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland – Consultation

Chambers Ireland will be attending a public consultation forum on the future of policing organized by the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland. The consultation will form the basis of an independent examination of all aspects of policing in Ireland being undertaken by the Commission, including a review of all functions currently carried out by An Garda Síochána.

The consultation will take place at Wood Quay Avenue, Dublin City Council civic offices, Dublin 8 on Monday, 22 January at 6PM  and will be moderated by human rights expert Professor Mary Rogan, of Trinity College Dublin.

If you have any particular views on this issue that you would like brought up, please let us know by contacting Gabriel Doran on

If you interested in attending this consultation, please register on the event webpage by clicking here.

  1. Innovation Cluster for Entrepreneurship Education (ICEE)

Two webinars will be taking place on 19th and 24th of January at 11.00 (CET) to present and discuss the final findings of a major multi-country research on the impact of entrepreneurship education to be published by the Eastern Norway Research Institute (ENRI) in January 2018.

The Innovation Cluster for Entrepreneurship Education (ICEE) is an Erasmus+ policy experimentation project led by JA Europe in collaboration with Ministries of Education in Estonia, Finland, Italy and Latvia and Enterprise Flanders (under Belgium’s Flemish Ministry of Economy); three research institutes (Eastern Norway Research Institute, The Foundation for Entrepreneurship – Young Enterprise Denmark, JJ Strossmayer University in Croatia), and 5 national JA organizations (in Belgium, Finland, Italy, Estonia, and Latvia). The research on the impact of entrepreneurship education was led by the Eastern Norway Research Institute and it involved 25 academic and vocational schools in the 5 participating countries over two years. 12,000 people responded to pre and post surveys and 150 people were interviewed.

REGISTER for the webinars through the following links:

HERE for 19th January

HERE for 24th January

More information:

  1. Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund for Start-Ups

Enterprise Ireland have revealed their first start-up fund for this year, with the maximum support available worth €50,000 for a 10% ordinary equity stake for each applicant start-up company deemed eligible. The total fund is worth €750,000.

The fund is open to early stage companies in manufacturing and internationally traded services, including the following subsectors: Internet, Games, Apps, Mobile, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Food, Cleantech and Industrial Products.

The call opens for applications on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 – all completed applications to the fund must be made via the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System and a video pitch must also be submitted additionally, on the platform.

The completed application form must be submitted by 3pm on Tuesday 6 February 2018.

The Video Pitch must be submitted by 11.59pm on Tuesday 6 February 2018.

To access the online application platforms and for more information on the fund, visit the webpage on the Enterprise Ireland website by clicking here.

  1. Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has announced a new round of the tariff suspension/quota schemes and is calling for applications from manufacturers in the chemicals, microelectronic and related sectors. The tariff suspension scheme offers the possibility for such companies to import raw materials, components or intermediate products from outside the European Union free from tariff duty, if the item cannot be sourced in the EU. The tariff quota scheme is designed to address shortages in the availability of required materials within the EU and can be applied for in the same way as suspensions.

Closing date and time for the receipt of the next round of applications is 5.30p.m. on Friday, 26 January 2018. Applications should be sent by e-mail to and posted to the Department. Please note that late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

The suspension of duties on these applications, if they are successful, will come into effect 12 months after the application is made. Further information on the Tariff Suspension or Quota Scheme may be found here:

  1. Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government publishes first Marine Spatial Plan

In December 2017, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy published Towards a Marine Spatial Plan for Ireland (MSP) – a roadmap for the development of Ireland’s first marine spatial plan, which will act as a clear framework to this type of spatial planning in parallel with the progress of the National Planning Framework, Ireland2040.

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government have stated that the MSP will be developed over the next three years and will provide a framework for specific sectoral policies and objectives to be realised. According to the Department the MSP is intended to become a decision making tool for regulatory authorities and policy makers for the future, including individual consent applications which will require referring to the provisions of the plan in the same way that terrestrial plans form part of the decision making tool-kit in the on-land planning process.

For further information on the Marine Spatial Plan, click here.

  1. Commission for Regulation of Utilities – Consultation on Water Connection Charging Policy

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has launched a consultation on the Connection Charging Policy proposed by Irish Water.

Full details on the consultation including proposals, timelines and how to respond to the consultation are on the consultation’s webpage on the CRU website,

The response deadline is 23 March 2018.

Any submissions on the Irish Water Connection Charging Policy proposals must be sent to the CRU who will make the final determination on the enduring connection charges policy to be implemented by Irish Water.

In parallel, Irish Water has uploaded the relevant ancillary documentation for review by stakeholders here:

Should you have any comments on the ancillary documentation only, please submit your comments to the following dedicated email

Irish Water will acknowledge all submissions received in relation to these ancillary documents and at the end of the CRU consultation period will publish a consolidated response to the submissions received.

  1. Mental Health Ireland to launch Smiley Pancake campaign

The #SmileyPancake campaign with Mental Health Ireland will take place on Pancake Tuesday, 13th February 2018. The idea behind it is to get everyone having a pancake on Pancake Tuesday (and that’s pretty much everyone in Ireland!) to pop a smile on it with some toppings, share a photo of it on social media or an internal communications platform, and then donate to Mental Health Ireland. The donation can be via text to donate (€4) or cash donations into a collection bucket.

For further information, graphics for your own internal posters, collection buckets and much more please contact Jill O’Herlihy, Mental Health Ireland at or 087 795 7717.

If you have any questions in relation to annualised hours, please contact Peninsula’s expert employment law advisors on the 24 Hour Advice Service on 01 855 5050