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How do I handle it?

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Bullying and Harassment via Facebook

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 14/05/2013 A staff member has complained that a fellow employee has been spreading rumours about their sexuality on Facebook. The employee at the centre of the rumours is understandably distressed by the comments and has submitted a grievance complaining of bullying and harassment. However, I am worried that ...

Appointing an Administrator

Posted in: How do I handle it NI on 16/04/2013 It has been suggested that the Company might appoint an administrator, with a view to selling the business. How will this affect our employees?Patricia Rooney writes:When appointed, an administrator acts as agent for the Company and for the benefit of all creditors. The administrator’s primary obje...

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

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...

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...

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...

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’...

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...

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 ...

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...