American Chamber policy is formalised by its working groups addressing public policy and shared best practices in Human Resources; Healthcare; Research, Development & Innovation; Taxation; Employment Law and General Counsel.
Navigate to each group by selecting the links below:
The American Chamber working groups are comprised of experts in the particular areas drawn from the member companies. The groups typically meet several times a year to provide insight in the memberships priorities and inform American Chamber policy. Each group is led by an expert Chair who additionally acts a spokesperson for the American Chamber on their particular topic.
Human Resources Leadership Group
Chair: Libby Gribben
The American Chamber's Human Resource Leadership Group was established in 2002. The concept behind the group's establishment was to provide a forum for senior HR executives to meet and discuss issues of general interest and importance within member companies. The group acts as key influencers in areas of concern for member organisations and in particular how they relate to the HR arena.
A key activity for the HR Group is the preparation of position papers on areas of strategic concern, such as upcoming legislation that may impact upon members. In particular, working with the Employment Law Sub-Group, the HR Group monitors closely any developments in Industrial Relations legislation with a view to protecting the Direct Engagement model that is so successfully employed by our members.
Of equal importance to the legislative work of the Group is the organisation of seminars and events with the aim of sharing best practice amongst the membership. The group will be continuing with this work and rolling our several expanded programmes in 2014. The Member-to-Member (M2M) HR Best Practice sessions have been an outstanding success and 2014 will see the continuation of this highly regarded programme and details of these events will be unveiled throughout the year.
In 2014 the Partner to the HR Leadership Group is Laya Healthcare.
Chair: Tony Phelan
Our membership is increasingly concerned about the rising cost of providing health insurance in Ireland. It is anticipated that these cost increases will continue for a number of years into the future. In response to these concerns the Chamber established an ad hoc Healthcare Group in late 2013 to explore current cost challenges around healthcare, health inflation and the health insurance market.
The Group will focus on both short and long term objectives and it is anticipated that this will lead to positions being crafted for the approval of the Chamber's Board. Membership of the group features a cross section of Directors of HR and Benefits Managers, and has drawn from outside expertise in its work to date.
Research, Development & Innovation Network
Chair: Mark Gantly
The R&D Network comprises representatives of US multinational companies that take a strategic view of R&D as part of their mandate in Ireland and are deeply engaged or have the ambition to engage in R&D activity here. The network facilitates an open discussion on the environment for R&D in Ireland. Its objective is to identify positive steps that can be taken to enhance the R&D environment for maximum economic and societal benefit.
The value of R&D investment into the Irish economy is manifold and goes beyond the direct employment it provides. It acts as an anchor, embedding Irish operations of foreign multinationals at the heart of global operations. This in turn makes the long term retention of these investments easier and increases the likelihood of future projects also locating in Ireland. The network will provide valuable input to on-going and future policy development by Government and State agencies with the goal of enhancing Ireland's offering to R&D investors.
Chair: Feargal O'Rourke
The American Chamber's Tax Policy Working Group consists of senior tax experts from major US ICT, pharmaceuticals, life sciences and financial services companies together with professional tax and legal advisors from the leading accounting and law firms.
The group's mandate is to guide the Chamber's response to domestic and international tax issues as they impact on foreign direct investment in Ireland. The group's role is also to assist the Chamber in making representations to Government and policy stakeholders on domestic taxation measures and to proactively work with policy makers in shaping tax policy. The group meets on a regular basis and provides briefings to the board, regional meetings and member forums. It takes an active role with the media in communicating the American Chamber's detailed responses on taxation matters.
The retention and defence of Ireland's corporate taxation regime with its headline rate of 12.5% remains a top priority for the American Chamber. The Government has in turn been steadfast in its commitment to maintaining this rate which is a welcome source of certainity for current and potential investors.
Employment Law Sub-Group
The American Chamber's Employment Law Sub-Group was established in 2011 and is comprised of legal experts in the area. The primary purpose and scope of the group is to lobby for change at the formulation stage of EU and Irish Law. In addition, the group is tasked with keeping the Board, and the wider Human Resources Leadership Group, up to date with any legal changes that may be of relevance to the American Chamber's members, recommending any appropriate interventions.
Similarly, the group keeps the membership informed of changes in law, which may directly affect the way they do business.
Ireland currenly offers industry a highly efficient and flexible workforce. Operational flexibility has been a key ingredient in the success of Ireland's FDI base and its ability to continue growing even in a difficult economic climate. The Chamber believes that Ireland must retain its reputation as a business environment that is nimble and responsive to the highly uncertain global environment and that anything that puts this at risk should not be contemplated. The Employment Law Sub-Group is engaged with all relevant departments and officials to ensure that the voice of US multinationals is clearly appreciated.
Throughout 2014 the Sub-Group aims to continue providing valuable support and information to the wider HR Leadership Group, the Board of Directors and of course the wider membership.
General Counsel Forum
Chair: David Dobbyn, Xilinx
Vice Chair: Karen Holmes, Websense
The General Counsel Forum was established in 2013 to support the shared thinking, best practice and promote ideas that influence and enhance policy within the legal remit of the multinational sector. Its membership is drawn exclusively from General or Lead counsel within US multinationals and by invitation only. The forum's mission is to provide an independent, peer-led safe space for an open exchange of ideas and challenges by US multinational GCs in Ireland with a route into policy makers and opinion leaders to influence the position of Ireland as the global location of choice for US investment.
The forum meets in camera to discuss topics of current or long standing relevance to GCs. These discussions are aided by accessing expertise from within the Chamber membership or externally when required.