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First Tuesday Q and A

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Features

How can employers support a growing band of aging workers and avoid age discrimination through their practices and policies?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2018 There are many practices that employers can implement to show support to ageing workers and thus prevent age discrimination. Although age discrimination is well established in statute under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, there remains an increasing number of age ...
Features

Can a disciplinary sanction be increased as a result of an appeal hearing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2018 This question was addressed by the Court of Appeal in England in McMillan v Airedale NHS Foundation Trust [2014] IRLR 803 CA. In this case, it was held that an employer does not have the right to increase a disciplinary sanction on appeal unless it has express provision to do so in its disciplinary...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment
Features

During a redundancy consultation process is an employer entitled to interview external candidates for a vacant position in addition to interviewing employees at risk of redundancy? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 It would not normally be appropriate to consider external candidates for a vacancy during a redundancy exercise. There is nothing wrong with implementing a competitive interview process to choose between candidates (i.e. to match vacant roles with the potentially redundant employees) but to conside...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Policies and Procedures
Features

Is there a maximum workplace temperature beyond which employees cannot be expected to work?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 The recent spell of good weather has generated increased questions regarding temperatures in the workplace. Regulation 7 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993 provides that during work hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be re...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety
Features

Is an employer obliged to provide a reference for an employee and does an employer have to obtain employee consent before doing so under the GDPR or Data Protection Act 2018?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 Firstly, there is no legal obligation for an employer to provide a reference. However, there may be a contractual obligation if provision of a reference is stated in terms of employment or a contractual staff handbook. The GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA 2018”) require a lawful basis for pr...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act
Features

What should an employer do if an employee who has submitted a grievance then submits a claim to the tribunal before the grievance has been dealt with?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 Firstly, employers should note that there is no legislative prohibition on an employee commencing a tribunal claim before their grievance has been concluded. In fact, it is relatively common for employees or ex-employees to bring a claim prior to a grievance outcome being reached. This is due to th...
Features

What are the consequences for an employer who does not let an employee bring a companion to a disciplinary or grievance hearing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/07/2018 All individuals engaged under a contract of employment, agency workers and home workers have a statutory right under Article 12 of the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999, to be accompanied to a disciplinary or grievance meeting. The accompanying individual may be a colleague, trade ...
Features

Does an employer have to allow paid or other leave when an employee suffers a family bereavement?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/07/2018 There is no specific statutory right to paid or other time off for a family bereavement, save in the limited circumstances where “emergency leave” applies. However, an employer may have a bereavement policy or compassionate leave policy in place which covers situations where an employee loses a clo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Policies and Procedures
Features

Is a female employee entitled to be on statutory maternity leave while her partner is also on shared parental leave?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/07/2018 The aim of shared parental leave is to enable both parents (or the mother’s partner) to have time off after their child is born without actually increasing the overall amount of leave that may be taken. To be eligible for shared parental leave, the mother must: Have employee status; Be continuousl...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Working Time and Leave Policies and Procedures
Features

Is it unlawful to pay a term-time worker rolled-up holiday pay?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/07/2018 Rolled-up holiday pay is when an employer does not pay the employee holiday pay while they are on holiday, but instead makes an additional payment during the weeks that the employee works. This represents the pay due in respect of the holiday periods. In relation to term time workers, employers wil...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave