First Tuesday Q&A

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

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...

Can an employee on paid suspension be asked to carry out some of their duties?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/12/2018 Given that the purpose of suspension is to remove an employee from the workplace, usually to enable an instance of misconduct to be investigated, it would be unlikely for an employer to require a suspended employee to carry out work. However, this will be fact specific and there may be certain occa...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discipline and Grievance 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

When it comes to determining the appropriate sanction for an incident of misconduct, can an employer take into account a previous first written warning?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/11/2018 When determining an appropriate sanction for an act of misconduct, employers should ensure that they are familiar with the LRA Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures, which sets out the different sanctions available, from warnings right up to dismissal. From a practical perspecti...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discipline and Grievance Policies and Procedures

Can an employer treat maternity-related absences in the same way as standard sickness absences?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/11/2018 Under the Sex Discrimination (NI) Order 1976, pregnant employees have specific legal rights which regulate their relationship with their employers. It is unlawful pregnancy discrimination to treat an employee less favourably: On the grounds that she is pregnant; For a reason relating to her pregna...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Absence and Sickness Discrimination and Equality Policies and Procedures

If an employee on maternity leave is made redundant, does her former employer have a continuing obligation to pay her statutory maternity pay?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/11/2018 First and foremost, employers must exercise caution when making an employee who is pregnant or on maternity leave redundant, and ensure that fair and proper procedure is followed. Statutory maternity pay (‘SMP’) is available to a woman who is or has been an employee under section 160 of the Social ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy Discrimination and Equality Policies and Procedures Pay

Can an employer contact an employee off on long-term sick leave?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/10/2018 It is important for employers to maintain appropriate levels of contact with an employee who is off on sick leave. However, the amount of contact will depend, amongst other things, on the employee’s role and the size of the employer’s business. An employer needs to try and strike the correct balanc...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Absence and Sickness Policies and Procedures

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 and Grievance Contracts of Employment Working Time Policies and Procedures

Can an employer refuse a request for flexible working?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2018 Yes, an employer can refuse a flexible working request if the employee making the request is not entitled to do so. In order to be entitled, an individual must: (a) Be an employee not simply a worker or agency worker; (b) Have a minimum of 26 weeks continuous service; (c) Not have made a fl...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality A-Typical Working Policies and Procedures