First Tuesday Q&A

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

Can I dismiss an employee who refuses to drive a vehicle which has not got a valid MOT certificate?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/02/2020 The standard position is that driving a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate is prohibited under article 61 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1995. However, with the current debacle surrounding cancelled MOT tests in Northern Ireland, the Department for Infrastructure has introduced a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Can employers treat an employee’s unauthorised absence as their resignation?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/01/2020 In normal circumstances, notice is usually required to terminate a contract of employment. Notice should be given in a clear manner and once validly given it is effective and does not need to be accepted by the other party. If an employee has taken unauthorised absence i.e. gone AWOL, it would be ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

What can an employer do about an employee who covertly recorded a grievance meeting without permission?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/01/2020 Employees do not have a right to record grievance hearings and even if they ask permission an employer may refuse to permit a meeting to be recorded. However, it is within the interests of both parties to have a record of matters discussed during a grievance hearing for future reference. The prefer...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Should an internal disciplinary procedure be applied to an employee who is on probation?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/11/2019 The probationary period provides a suitable amount of time to an employer to be able to assess an employee before confirming continued employment. Probationary periods generally last between three to six months. An employee’s contract will usually provide that, during the probationary period, emplo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Can an employer continue disciplinary proceedings and dismiss an employee even after they have resigned?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/09/2019 An employee’s notice of resignation is effective immediately after it is given to their employer. From that point on, it cannot be refused by the employer or withdrawn by the employee without the other party’s agreement. Whether or not an employer should continue a disciplinary procedure will depen...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

An employee failed to attend a disciplinary hearing with no reason provided - What should I do?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/05/2019 When dealing with an employee who has failed to attend a disciplinary hearing, employers should adhere to the LRA Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. As a preliminary point, the employee should have been provided with appropriate advance notice of the hearing, along with copi...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

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’ ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act

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

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 ...

What should an employer do if an employee fails to attend a grievance hearing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/12/2018 As a starting point, an employer should consider the reasons for the failure to attend, for example, if the employee is suffering from stress as a result of the grievance procedure. If it is the first time that the employee has failed to attend, it will be appropriate to re-schedule the grievance h...