First Tuesday Q&A

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

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 and Grievance

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...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Dismissal Discipline and Grievance

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:
Dismissal Discipline and Grievance

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:
Dismissal Discipline and Grievance

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:
Dismissal Discipline and Grievance

We have a former employee who has claimed unfair dismissal. Our solicitor is arguing that they have failed to mitigate their loss – what does this mean?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/11/2019 Article 76(4) of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 places a duty upon a claimant to mitigate their losses following dismissal, for example, by making effort to obtain new employment or by claiming state benefits. An employee cannot recover compensation for any part of their loss(e...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Dismissal

Can HR challenge the individual’s assertion that it is a whistleblowing complaint at the point the complaint is made or can the complaint be dismissed where we think the complainant is acting in bad faith or may even be lying?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2018 A whistle-blowing complaint is essentially a disclosure about an employer’s malpractice or any type of wrong-doing that the employee believes is genuinely in the public interest. The following types of malpractice are covered: criminal offences; failure to comply with a legal obligation; miscarria...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Dismissal Whistleblowing (Protected Disclosures)

If terminating during probation is it necessary to follow the statutory dismissal / disciplinary procedures?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/12/2017 It is common for employers to use probationary periods in order to assess an employee’s performance and general suitability for employment. Many employers will choose not to follow the statutory disciplinary / dismissal procedures during a period of probation on the basis that (assuming it is for l...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Dismissal Discrimination and Equality Probation

If, having given notice of terminating an employee’s contract of employment an employer changes its mind, can it withdraw this notice?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/10/2017 Once notice of termination has been given it cannot be withdrawn unilaterally, whether by the employer or the employee. If an employer changes its mind during the notice period, the notice of dismissal still stands unless the employee agrees that it can be withdrawn. In a situation where there is m...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Dismissal

How long can an employee be absent from work due to sickness before being dismissed?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2017 There is no specific 'safe' date or formula which applies, it will all depend on the circumstances of each individual case. It is not how the long the absence was or is, rather what steps the employer has taken to deal with the situation that will determine when it is fair for an employer to dismis...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Dismissal Absence and Sickness