First Tuesday Q&A

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

How should we deal with a disabled employee who has frequent short-term absences?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/05/2018 Where absences are due to an employee’s disability, an employer will have to tread very carefully to avoid a claim of disability discrimination under The Disability Discrimination Act 1995. However, we appreciate that frequent absences can be very disruptive to an employer. As a practical step, an ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Absence and Sickness Discrimination Policies and Procedures

Please provide guidance for employers regarding career breaks

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/05/2018 A career break is a term used to define a long period of unpaid leave during which the employment contract remains intact. However, sometimes employers will request that employees going on a career break resign and then re-apply for their job, if available, when they are ready to return to work. Th...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time Policies and Procedures

Is compensation awarded for injury to feelings on the increase? Is there any practical advice that can be given in taking steps to reduce injury to feelings costs?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/02/2018 A recent Court of Appeal decision (Pereira v de Souza v Vinci Construction Ltd [2017]) held that a 10% uplift should apply to awards for injury to feelings. Although this was an English decision, it is persuasive authority for Northern Ireland. The new award bands are now: Lower band: £1,000 - £8...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discipline Discrimination Policies and Procedures

When disciplinary allegations are put to an employee, should the employer reference the specific incident or the breach of policy when drafting the notification letter?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 The Labour Relations Agency has set out some helpful guidance for employers in relation to codes of practice concerning disciplinary and grievance procedures. According to this guidance, an employer should draw up a statement of grounds for action and invitation to a meeting. This statement should ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discipline Policies and Procedures

Do employees have the right to refuse to participate in a drugs test if not provided for in their contract of employment or a company policy?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 An employer has a legal responsibility to look after their employees’ health and safety at work as far as is reasonably possible. As well as causing ill-health, drug misuse increases the chances of accidents at work and interferes with how much work is done. An employee can't be made to take a drug...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

Should employers introduce a ‘vaping’ policy in their workplace?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/10/2017 The use of E-cigarettes in the workplace does not fall within the prohibition of smoking under the Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, and therefore can currently be legally used. An employer cannot prohibit their use on its premises or limit their use in working time unless it expressly covers ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Policies and Procedures

Are employers obliged to provide smoking shelters for employees?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/10/2017 Providing a smoke-free workplace has been obligatory for employers under the Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006. There is currently no requirement for outdoor smoking areas to be provided for employees or members of the public, this is at the discretion of the employer. However, should an employ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Policies and Procedures

Am I required to reimburse an employee where the employee has submitted his expense claim outside of the deadline in the expenses policy?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/09/2017 Article 59(2)(b) of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (“1996 Order”), excludes “any payment in respect of expenses incurred by the worker in carrying out his employment” from the definition of wages. As such, the prohibition on an employer making a deduction from an employee’s wag...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures Pay

As an employer do I have to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation? If yes, how can this be accomplished?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/08/2017 The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which comes into force on 25 May 2018, imposes strict accountability obligations on data controllers and data processors to: ensure that data, and data consents, collected prior to 25 May 2018 is brought into line with the new requirements; mainta...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Data Protection and GDPR Policies and Procedures

We have been asked by a former employee to provide a reference, are we required to do so?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/08/2017 Generally, there is no legal obligation on an employer to provide a reference for an existing or former employee and employers are therefore generally entitled to refuse to provide a reference. However, you should first consider your policy on this issue as the decision to give references or not, a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures