First Tuesday Q&A

The claimant was dismissed by reason of gross misconduct and in particular.

What is the date of termination of an employment if an employee is (a) put on garden leave and (b) paid in lieu of their notice period? Is an employee entitled to receive all benefits he/she would have been entitled to if they continued working if that employee is paid in lieu of notice or is it acceptable to limit the pay in lieu of notice to basic pay only i.e. excluding bonus, commission or pension contributions or benefits in kind?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/08/2014 When an employer decides it wishes an employee to leave it often wants them to stop working immediately. In this case it has two options: the employer can either summarily terminate the employment and make a payment in lieu of notice (PILON), or it can place the employee on garden leave. The right ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time

At what point can an employer justify “frustration of contract”?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/07/2014 A contract of employment may come to an end when an unforeseen event makes performance of the contract impossible or radically different from what the parties originally intended. The contract is then said to have been “frustrated”. When a contract is frustrated it ends automatically by operation o...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Dismissal Contracts of Employment

Are fixed term employees entitled to statutory redundancy pay if the fixed term contract is over 2 years in duration? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/06/2014 Yes, a fixed-term employee will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment if they have at least two years' service and the reason for the non-renewal or termination of their contract is redundancy. The non-renewal of a fixed term contract will, in the majority of cases, be for redundancy reason...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy Contracts of Employment

What are the consequences of an individual accepting an offer of employment but then taking a different job? A candidate accepted a job offer from our company. He signed and accepted a conditional offer letter and was due to start work next week. It has transpired that the candidate has been offered another job which he has accepted.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/06/2014 Once any conditions to which the offer was made subject have been satisfied and the employee has accepted the offer, a contract of employment will be in existence. Once confirmed that a contract of employment has been formed, any subsequent attempt to withdraw from it would require the employee to ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Recruitment and Selection

Is there ever a safe way to force through a change in a contract?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/05/2014 An employee’s terms of employment are bound to change during the course of their employment, for example, annual pay increases and promotion of employees. These changes often happen by mutual consent and are unlikely to cause any legal or practical problems for employers. However, other changes suc...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

An employee was hired on a fixed term contract, however, soon after they were absent on grounds of sickness and the medical certificates submitted indicate a serious mental health issue with sick leave likely to extend for the foreseeable future. A three month probationary period applies to all new employees and no sick pay is given during the probationary period. Can the company dismiss on grounds of capability whilst the employee is absent on sick leave?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/05/2014 In issuing fixed term contracts, employer should be aware of the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002. These essentially give fixed-term employees the right not to be treated less favourably than their full-time comparators unless the tr...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Absence and Sickness Contracts of Employment Probation

Contractual notice is 3 months. An employee gives 2 weeks' notice. What actions can the employer take?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/05/2014 The requirement to give notice is generally set out as an express term in the contract of employment, as appears to be the case here. A failure to give the required notice by either party is likely to constitute a breach of contract. There are numerous options available to an employer when the empl...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

What can I do if employees, who have been with the company for many years, who had not previously signed a contract, refuse to sign one now?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/03/2014 In this situation the employee should be advised, that whilst no contract has been evidenced in writing, a contract of employment is already in existence by virtue of the party’s relationship over the preceding number of years. Ideally the contract of employment would be a comprehensive document, a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

What are the legal requirements when providing references, what are we obliged to do?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/03/2014 There is strictly speaking no legal obligation on an employer to provide a reference for an employee or ex-employee and employers are therefore generally entitled to refuse to provide a reference. There are however some limited exceptions to this general rule, such as: 1. Discrimination: Failure to...

When an employee resigns, what does an employer have to pay in respect of holiday pay and benefits? How are these payments affected in circumstances where the employee does not work their notice period?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/02/2014 When an employee resigns what they are entitled to receive will largely depend on what is contained in their contract of employment, and further, to what extent both parties have been willing to adhere to the agreed terms. With holiday payments, in the event of any termination the employee will be ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time Pay