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First Tuesday Q and A

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Features

Do We Have to Obtain Employee Agreement to Place Them on The JSS?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/10/2020 Yes. The Job Support Factsheet states that employers must agree the new short-time working arrangements with their employees, including any contractual changes and notify employees in writing. On request, the employer must provide HMRC with a copy of its agreement with the employee regarding reduc...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Coronavirus/Covid-19
Features

Do Employees Have To Have Been Furloughed Previously To Be Put On The Job Support Scheme?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/10/2020 No, employees do not need to have been furloughed previously in order to be put on the JSS. In fact, employers can avail of the JSS even if they did not use the CJRS at all. However, the JSS is intended to primarily assist small to medium sized businesses (“SMEs”) and large employers need to demons...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Coronavirus/Covid-19
Features

If we reduce an employee’s hours, what happens to their accrued holiday?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/08/2020 Under regulation 15 and regulation 16 of the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 (“WTR”), a worker is entitled to a period of 5.6 weeks’ paid leave in each leave year (pro-rated for part-time workers). This entitlement equates to 28 days for those who work 5 days a week and is comprise...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave
Features

If an employee has failed to attend a disciplinary hearing, can we proceed in their absence?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/08/2020 When dealing with misconduct by a member of staff, it is important that a fair procedure is followed, otherwise any resulting dismissal may be considered unfair (providing the individual satisfies the eligibility criteria for bringing an unfair dismissal claim). In accordance with the LRA Code of P...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues
Features

Is there a minimum period for which employees must be furloughed under the “flexible furlough scheme”?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/08/2020 Prior to 1 July 2020, employees had to be furloughed for a minimum period of three consecutive weeks. However, from 1 July 2020, the flexible furlough scheme commenced which enables employers to pick and choose when employees are on furlough and when they are working. Therefore, there is currently...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Coronavirus/Covid-19
Features

Can we make our employees wear face masks when in the office?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/08/2020 Public Health NI strongly advises individuals to think about wearing a face covering in particular circumstances, such as short periods in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible. It is anticipated that face masks could become compulsory in shops in Northern Ireland from 20 August 2...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Coronavirus/Covid-19
Features

If an employee has been advised to self-isolate but a test shows they are negative for COVID-19, can they return to work before the self-isolation period is up?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/07/2020 Yes, once an employee has received a negative COVID-19 test they are able to return to work provided that they feel well enough to do so.
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety Coronavirus/Covid-19
Features

If an employee has been advised to self-isolate (e.g. through the test and trace system) are we entitled to ask for evidence to verify this?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/07/2020 Northern Ireland has its own test and trace system in place via the Public Health Agency (“PHA”). The PHA contact tracing system identifies individuals who have been in close contact (for example, being less than 2 metres apart for more than 15 minutes) with someone who has tested positive for COVI...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Coronavirus/Covid-19
Features

Are employees who are self-quarantining following a foreign holiday entitled to SSP?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/07/2020 The rules on self-quarantine following over-seas travel do not apply universally to the UK and are a devolved matter, which means employers need to tread carefully to ensure that they are following Norther Ireland specific guidance. Therefore, the more relaxed approach taken by England is not curre...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety Coronavirus/Covid-19
Features

How can we ensure that employees inform us if they are told to isolate as part of the test and trace system?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/07/2020 This is a concern for many employers, particularly as employees who are advised to self-isolate will likely only be entitled to receive SSP (unless their contract permits them to receive enhanced sick pay). As the current SSP entitlement is £95.85 per week, employees may not want to inform their em...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety Coronavirus/Covid-19