First Tuesday Q&A

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

Can we investigate allegations of bullying where the employee concerned does not wish to raise a grievance?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/09/2021 If an employer has legitimate concerns about bullying in the workplace, it should investigate the matter even if the employee who has made the allegation does not wish to co-operate with the investigation. Consequences for an employer who fails to carry out investigations into bullying can be signi...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discipline Employee Engagement

If an employee is found to have committed misconduct (not gross misconduct), can an impose a sanction other than a warning or demotion?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/06/2021 If an employee is found to have committed misconduct (not gross misconduct), can an impose a sanction other than a warning or demotion? In general terms, the types of disciplinary sanction and the provisions governing how and in what circumstances they will be applied are decided by the employer an...
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Discipline

Can we still dismiss an employee for an act of gross misconduct which took place several months ago?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/05/2021 If you were aware of the alleged act of misconduct at the time and did not initiate an investigation process, this could have potential implications in relation to the fairness of any subsequent dismissal. In order for a dismissal to be fair, it should not only be for one of the potentially fair re...
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Dismissal Discipline

In terms of “taking account of all the circumstances” before a dismissal for gross misconduct, what issues should we be considering?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/05/2021 The relevant factors to consider when deciding whether to dismiss will often depend on the specific facts of the case but, in general terms, employers should usually consider the relevant background to the offence, including previous warnings given to the employee or similar incidents. Length of se...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Dismissal Discipline

Do we still need to consider alternatives to dismissal in disciplinary proceedings involving allegations of gross misconduct?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/05/2021 Employers should be mindful of their obligation to consider all the circumstances and other options to dismissal (such as final warning or demotion, where the contract allows for this), as a tribunal can still find that dismissal was outside the band of reasonable responses, even where there has be...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Dismissal Discipline

What factors should we be considering when determining whether an employee’s behaviour amounts to gross misconduct?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/05/2021 What constitutes gross misconduct is a mixed question of fact and law. In general terms, “gross misconduct” connotes the most serious types of misconduct. It must be a fundamental breach i.e. a breach going to the heart of the contract. The misconduct must be gross (i.e. extreme, or abnormal) and c...
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Dismissal Discipline

An employee has recently resigned in advance of a disciplinary hearing - can we continue with disciplinary proceedings?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 13/04/2021 Fundamentally, if the employment relationship has ended, you cannot compel a former employee to attend any disciplinary hearing. You could of course choose to continue with disciplinary proceedings, but there may be little practical benefit of doing so. A potential situation where the employer may ...
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Discipline

Does the right to be accompanied apply at a meeting to discuss an occupational health report?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 13/04/2021 An employee has a statutory right to be accompanied (by a trade union representative or a fellow worker) at a "disciplinary meeting" which is defined as a meeting that could result in a formal warning being issued to a worker by the employer; the taking of some other action in respect of a worker b...
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Absence and Sickness Discipline

How much detail of allegations are we required to give an employee in advance of an investigative meeting?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 13/04/2021 It should be noted at the outset that investigatory meetings are not disciplinary hearings and employers generally have more discretion in terms of the detail that is provided to employees in advance of an investigatory meeting. In general terms, an investigatory meeting is essentially a fact-findi...
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Discipline

Can An Employer Commence Disciplinary Proceedings Against Employees Who Refuse To Have A COVID-19 Vaccine?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/03/2021 Employer could try and argue that requesting employees to have the COVID-19 vaccine amounts to a reasonable management instruction on the basis that it is intended to protect health and safety, and that a failure to comply is misconduct. However, given the nature of the request along with the fact ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discipline Discrimination Coronavirus/Covid-19