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First Tuesday Q and A

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Features

Once an employee qualifies for SMP, what happens to her entitlement if she ceases to work for the employer either before or during her period of maternity leave?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/03/2019 To recap, an employee qualifies for statutory maternity pay (“SMP”) if she has: been employed by her employer for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks ending with the week immediately preceding the 14th week before the expected week of childbirth (“EWC”); become pregnant and has reached, or gi...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Pay and Conditions of Employment
Features

Does an employee who has received a payment in lieu of notice also have to receive payment for holidays that they would have accrued had they worked their notice period?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/03/2019 Employers who do not need and/or wish employees to work their notice period can make a payment in lieu of notice (“PILON”). An employer will usually include a PILON clause in its employment contracts to ensure it has the option to terminate an employee’s employment at any time. However, in the abse...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment
Features

An employee is on long-term sickness absence and has exhausted their entitlement to statutory sick pay, what payment should they receive in respect of their notice period if they are dismissed?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/03/2019 There is a statutory minimum period of notice that must be given to bring a contract of employment to an end, except where one of the parties is entitled to terminate without notice due to gross-misconduct, for example. The contract of employment can specify a longer period of notice but, where the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence
Features

We have an employee who was employed under a fixed term contract for 6 months which was renewed for a further three months. The post is now being made permanent. Can we automatically offer it to this employee or do we need to advertise externally?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/03/2019 Employees engaged under fixed term contracts have certain rights from the outset of their employment, as contained within the Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 (“FTER 2002”); for example, the right not to be treated less favourably th...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment
Features

How should employers deal with SARs that relate to disciplinary and grievance procedures?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/02/2019 Subject access requests (‘SARs’) are dealt with under Article 15 of the GDPR which permits data subjects to find out if their personal data is being processed; and, if so, to obtain personal data via a SAR. However, difficulties can arise for employers when data requested contains other employees’ ...
Features

Can an employer refuse to pay an employee who is suspended pending investigation if they breach a term of their suspension?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/02/2019 Suspension is a protective measure often utilised by employers when investigating misconduct if the employer believes that the employee’s presence at the workplace could impede an investigation. As suspension is a protective measure rather than a punishment, employers should continue to pay a suspe...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Pay and Conditions of Employment
Features

Provide guidance for employers on how to deal with an employee who is requesting time off for cosmetic or elective surgery.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/02/2019 This can be a tricky situation for employers, as it may be unclear whether the employee’s time off should be treated as sickness absence or a period of annual leave. Employers may find that an employee will prefer to take annual leave if the employer does not offer company sick pay. On the other ha...
Features

If an employee takes ill during a period of unpaid leave, are they still entitled to receive SSP?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/02/2019 An employee may become ill during a period of unpaid leave, be that a career break or sabbatical. In order to be eligible for statutory sick pay (‘SSP’) an employee must meet the following eligibility criteria: be an employee; be too ill to undertake any work under his contract of employment on an...
Features

Can an employee claim constructive dismissal if a work colleague makes a discriminatory comment to them and the employer fails to discipline the colleague? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/12/2018 Ultimately this will depend on the specific facts of the case but it is important to remember from the outset that it is difficult to successfully make a claim for constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer breaches an employee’s contract of employment in such a serious ...
Features

In a redundancy situation, are workers with less than one year’s service counted for the purposes of triggering statutory collective consultation obligations? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/12/2018 Under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (‘TULRCA’), where an employer is proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant at one establishment within a 90 day period, it must: Inform; Consult; and Notify the Department for the Economy. In the redundancy context, an emp...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Collective and Trade Union Issues