First Tuesday Q and A

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Features

Can HR challenge the individual’s assertion that it is a whistleblowing complaint at the point the complaint is made or can the complaint be dismissed where we think the complainant is acting in bad faith or may even be lying?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2018 A whistle-blowing complaint is essentially a disclosure about an employer’s malpractice or any type of wrong-doing that the employee believes is genuinely in the public interest. The following types of malpractice are covered: criminal offences; failure to comply with a legal obligation; miscarria...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Whistleblowing (Protected Disclosures)
Features

Please set out key requirements and things that might catch an employer out in relation to maternity leave and maternity rights before and after leave has been taken. 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2018 Maternity rights - before leave is taken Right to time off for ante-natal care All pregnant employees, regardless of length of service, are entitled to a reasonable time off work for antenatal care. This time off must be paid at the normal remuneration rate. Employers should be aware that ante-nata...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Pay and Conditions of Employment
Features

Can employment be terminated during the probationary period? If so, what are the risks to employers?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2018 The purpose of a probationary period is to assess whether the employee is suitable for the job. Probationary periods can be for varying periods of time, but standard practice is generally six months. We recommend that provision is also included in the contract of employment for the extension of the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Probation
Features

Please explain the changes to subject access requests when GDPR is implemented in May

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2018 The main changes to the SAR regime are procedural, as outlined below. Further, given the proximity of the GDPR’s implementation, it would be prudent to develop a standard response letter to SARs. Electronic access: requests are permitted to be made electronically (most commonly by email, but social...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act
Features

Q&A: Appointing a Data Protection Officer under the GDPR

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/03/2018 This month’s First Tuesday Q&A article considers questions that were submitted by audience members as part of Legal Island’s Annual Review of Employment Law conferences 2017, with a specific focus on the GDPR. The need to understand and appreciate the strict obligations on employers with regard...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act
Features

An employee has said that they are stressed and has asked for a reasonable adjustment to be made, for example, time off. Do we have to facilitate this?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/02/2018 The first step that an employer must take is to ascertain if the employee is suffering from a disability for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. It would be prudent to seek advice from occupational health on this issue. If occupational health confirm that the employee does suffe...
Features

Although Gender Pay Gap (“GPG”) reporting will seemingly not be required until Stormont is up and running, are there any steps that businesses can take in the meantime? What are the key differences between GPG reporting in NI and GB?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/02/2018 Gender Pay Gap (“GPG”) reporting is provided for under the Employment Act (NI) 2016, but cannot be enacted until local government recommences. Last month, the Equality Commission called for GPG reporting to be extended to NI as a matter of urgency. Although the NI GPG reporting regulations are stil...
Features

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...
Features

Can zero hour staff be paid in lieu of untaken holidays? How can we ensure that zero hour staff take their holiday entitlement?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/02/2018 It is not sufficient to pay staff on zero hour contracts in lieu of their holidays. Payment in lieu of accrued but unused holidays can only be made upon termination of employment. The fundamental basis of zero hour contracts is the absence of mutuality of obligation. Therefore, the employer is und...
Features

Where an employee is subjected to several warnings for minor/major misconduct, when is it appropriate to move to final warning?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/12/2017 It is not clear whether the previous warnings remain live on the employee’s personnel file or detail the acts of misconduct or poor performance committed. Your course of action will largely depend on the contents of your Disciplinary Policy and Procedure. When deciding the appropriate penalty, you ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues