First Tuesday Q&A

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

What factors do employers need to consider in relation to testing employees for Covid-19?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/06/2020 The below answer is for guidance purposes only and specific legal advice should be sought if your organisation is considering implementing Covid-19 testing. There are various factors for employers to consider in relation to making employees take a Covid-19 test, for example: Data protection implic...

Do we need to pay employees for time spent on rest breaks?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/09/2019 Regulation 14 of the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 (“WTR”) provides that if a worker works for more than 6 hours a day then they are entitled to leave their workstation for the purposes of a rest break. This break lasts for a maximum of 20 minutes and workers are only entitled to...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave Policies and Procedures

Is an employer under any obligation to provide a reference for a former employee upon their request?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/09/2019 Generally, an employer is under no duty to provide a reference to a former employee. However, an employee’s contract may state that the employer will provide them with a reference upon request. In such circumstances, the employer would have an express obligation to provide the former employee with ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Policies and Procedures Recruitment and Selection

Should our company produce a Modern Slavery Statement?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/09/2019 The purpose of a Modern Slavery Statement is to set out what steps a company has taken to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains. This area of law is governed by section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “MSA"). Section 54 of the MSA requires a commercia...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Policies and Procedures

Can an employee lawfully waive their right to notice?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/07/2019 Article 118(3) of the ERO 1996 provides the statutory basis for waiving the right to receive notice (by either party). However, it is prudent for any such waiver to be carefully documented to safeguard the employer against any future disputes as to whether consent was freely given. It is also prude...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures Pay and Conditions of Employment

What are lawful deductions from wages that will not breach the NMW?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/07/2019 The general rule is that it is unlawful for an employer to make a deduction from an employee’s wages. However, this rule is subject to two main exceptions which are set out in Article 45 of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (“ERO 1996”), namely: 1. Deduction(s) will be considered ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures Pay and Conditions of Employment

Contacting bereaved employees – how do I handle it?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/06/2019 Firstly, an employer is not obligated to grant compassionate leave in the event of a bereavement, except in the limited circumstances outlined in the statutory right to time off for dependents under Article 85A of the Employment Rights (NI) Order 1996. Nevertheless, many employers will provide...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

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

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...