First Tuesday Q and A

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Features

Our policy does not permit a solicitor to attend a disciplinary meeting - only a colleague or trade union representative may attend. Is this lawful?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/10/2017 Employees have a right to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing by a trade union representative or a fellow worker. There is no general right under UK law for an employee to have a qualified legal representative at a disciplinary hearing, however, some employees (for example, NHS hospital doctor...
Features

If, having given notice of terminating an employee’s contract of employment an employer changes its mind, can it withdraw this notice?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/10/2017 Once notice of termination has been given it cannot be withdrawn unilaterally, whether by the employer or the employee. If an employer changes its mind during the notice period, the notice of dismissal still stands unless the employee agrees that it can be withdrawn. In a situation where there is m...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal
Features

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
Features

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
Features

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 and Conditions of Employment
Features

An employee with a disabled child has submitted a request for flexible working. Can the employer refuse this application? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/09/2017 The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (“1996 Order”) establishes a statutory right for all employees who have been employed for a continuous period of 26 weeks to request flexible working hours. An employee may only make a single request in every 12 month period. Importantly, this is ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality A-Typical Working
Features

An employee has recently taken some time off work citing mental health issues. The employee has never raised such health concerns with us before. Do we have any duty in relation to the employee given that the employee has never disclosed his medical history of mental illness?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/09/2017 There is no duty on the employee to disclose their mental health issues. Some mental illnesses may fall within the definition of ‘disability’ under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (“1995 Act”). Under the 1995 Act, a person has a disability “if he has a physical or mental impairment which has...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality
Features

Due to an unexpected and unfortunate downturn in business, I am forced to make some staff redundant. One of the employee’s most suitable for redundancy is currently on maternity leave. Is there anything I need to consider before I make the final redundancy decision?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/09/2017 It is important that any final decision is not reached until a formal, thorough redundancy procedure has been followed. In a situation such as the one you have described you should consider that the employee may have a claim for unfair dismissal either on the grounds of unfair selection for redunda...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Discrimination and Equality
Features

I run a company in which there are a number of employees and self-employed individuals. How do I ensure that the self-employed individuals do not claim that they are employees?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/08/2017 An employee is defined under Article 3(1) of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (“1996 Order”) as “an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, worked under) a contract of employment.” Under Article 3(2) of the 1996 Order, a contract of em...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment
Features

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...