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How do I handle it?

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Employing a Foreign National

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 20/03/2013 We have recently employed an individual who is a foreign national from outside the EEA. We believed that she could lawfully work in the UK because she is married to a Northern Irish Citizen. However, we have recently heard rumours which give us concern about her ability to work lawfully in the UK. ...
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Unfair Dismissal
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My Staff are Refusing to Work with a Transsexual Colleague

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 12/02/2013 My staff are refusing to work with a transsexual colleague. How do I handle it? Gareth McCay writes: It is firstly important to establish all of the facts in terms of how this has come to light, has there been a formal complaint from the transsexual employee (“the Employee”), what the staff’s issue...
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Controlling Annual Leave Between Christmas and New Year

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 11/12/2012 I’ve been overwhelmed with requests from staff for time off between Christmas and the New Year. I hate saying no, but if I grant all the requests I will be left short staffed. How do I handle it?Amanda Magee writes: During the festive period it is not unusual for employers to face an increased dema...
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Poppies in the Workplace

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 16/10/2012 Can an employee claim discrimination over a workplace poppy ban? We have some employees who want to wear poppies at work and others who are opposed. How do I handle it? We allow employees in our Scottish plant to wear poppies but thought that this might not be appropriate in Northern Ireland. Shar...
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Reducing Salaries

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 21/08/2012 Our Company’s profits have decreased in the present economic situation. Rather than redundancies, we are thinking of reducing salaries. Can we do this?Patricia Rooney writes:The starting point in dealing with a query such as this is to examine the employee’s contract of employment and the employer’...
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Requiring All Staff to Speak English

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 24/07/2012 We would like to introduce a policy requiring all staff to speak English during work, but are worried that we could be accused of discrimination. How do I handle it? Amanda Magee of Tughans writes: When introducing a policy requiring employees to speak only English in the workplace, there is always...
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Holiday Carry Over

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 19/06/2012 We have an employee who has been on long term sick leave since June 2010. We have followed a capability procedure and now propose to terminate employment. The employee has not taken or requested to take any holidays or to carry over any holiday during his absence. I therefore understand that we do ...
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Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 15/05/2012 How do I handle when alleged criminal offences arise in the workplace?Niall McSorley writes:All employers are aware of the requirements when disciplining employees, since they obtained statutory recognition in the Employment (NI) Order (Dispute Resolution) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004. The r...
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Refusing to Work on Sundays

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 13/03/2012 I run a restaurant and one of the waiters who normally works at weekends has gone off work on sick leave. As I am reluctant to hire a new employee, the rest of the staff have been advised that they will have to cover his shifts while he is off. Although most of the staff do not have a problem with ...
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Poor Performances and Stress

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 21/02/2012 We have an employee who is not performing and has been spoken to informally about performance on a number of occasions. We were at the point of commencing a formal performance improvement plan, however the employee has now submitted a fit note citing that he is suffering from work related stress. T...