First Tuesday Q&A

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

Does an employer have to offer time off in lieu (“TOIL”)?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/04/2019 As a starting point, there is no statutory obligation to pay an employee for working above their contracted hours (i.e. overtime), provided that an employee’s average pay meets the national minimum wage or the national living wage in accordance with the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. Please note t...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time Pay

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

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

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 ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discipline Discrimination Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

Please provide guidance for employers in relation to staffing issues during periods of adverse weather

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/11/2018 Inclement weather can pose problems for employers and employees alike, particularly as it is often unforeseen. Firstly, it is necessary to consider if adverse weather scenarios are dealt with in employment contracts and/or a policy document. This is relevant because some employment contracts may co...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures Pay

Can an employer prevent annual leave accruing during sickness absence?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/10/2018 Employees are entitled to four weeks’ paid annual leave per leave year under Article 7 Working Time Directive (“basic annual leave”) and an additional 1.6 weeks under Article 16 of the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 (“additional annual leave”). For full time workers this equates t...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Absence and Sickness Contracts of Employment Working Time

Can an employee take pre-booked holidays whilst suspended?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/10/2018 A period of suspension should not change the normal position with regard to holiday and this should be clearly stated in the employee’s contract of employment or in the staff handbook. Therefore, provided that the annual leave was booked and approved in line with the employer’s holiday procedure, a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discipline Contracts of Employment Working Time Policies and Procedures

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 ...

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:
Discipline Contracts of Employment

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 GDPR