First Tuesday Q&A

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

If an employee has been advised to self-isolate but a test shows they are negative for COVID-19, can they return to work before the self-isolation period is up?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/07/2020 Yes, once an employee has received a negative COVID-19 test they are able to return to work provided that they feel well enough to do so.
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety Coronavirus/Covid-19

If an employee has been advised to self-isolate (e.g. through the test and trace system) are we entitled to ask for evidence to verify this?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/07/2020 Northern Ireland has its own test and trace system in place via the Public Health Agency (“PHA”). The PHA contact tracing system identifies individuals who have been in close contact (for example, being less than 2 metres apart for more than 15 minutes) with someone who has tested positive for COVI...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Coronavirus/Covid-19

Are employees who are self-quarantining following a foreign holiday entitled to SSP?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/07/2020 The rules on self-quarantine following over-seas travel do not apply universally to the UK and are a devolved matter, which means employers need to tread carefully to ensure that they are following Norther Ireland specific guidance. Therefore, the more relaxed approach taken by England is not curre...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety Coronavirus/Covid-19

How can we ensure that employees inform us if they are told to isolate as part of the test and trace system?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/07/2020 This is a concern for many employers, particularly as employees who are advised to self-isolate will likely only be entitled to receive SSP (unless their contract permits them to receive enhanced sick pay). As the current SSP entitlement is £95.85 per week, employees may not want to inform their em...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety Coronavirus/Covid-19

When Are Employees Entitled To SSP?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/04/2020 The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Waiting Days and General Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 which came into force on 28 March 2020 provide that an employee is only entitled to SSP if: they have a symptom of Covid-19; or someone in their household has a symptom of Co...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Coronavirus/Covid-19

Should we be providing employees with a copy of a referral letter to occupational health (“OH”)?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/11/2019 A referral to OH may be suggested by an employer who has concerns about an employee’s health and ability to perform their job as a result of their health. An employee may be referred for assessment where there: (a) is concern that they have work-related health problems; (b) may be underlying ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

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

What happens to employee benefits during long-term sickness?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/04/2019 An employee's contract of employment may contain express provisions entitling them to be paid, and to receive contractual benefits, during any periods of sickness absence. If there are express contractual terms, these terms should comprise: the duration of any entitlement to sick pay; the rate at...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Pay and Conditions of Employment

An employee is on long-term sickness absence and has exhausted their entitlement to statutory sick pay, what payment should they receive in respect of their notice period if they are dismissed?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/03/2019 There is a statutory minimum period of notice that must be given to bring a contract of employment to an end, except where one of the parties is entitled to terminate without notice due to gross-misconduct, for example. The contract of employment can specify a longer period of notice but, where the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

Provide guidance for employers on how to deal with an employee who is requesting time off for cosmetic or elective surgery.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/02/2019 This can be a tricky situation for employers, as it may be unclear whether the employee’s time off should be treated as sickness absence or a period of annual leave. Employers may find that an employee will prefer to take annual leave if the employer does not offer company sick pay. On the other ha...