First Tuesday Q&A

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

Can an employer contact an employee whilst they are signed-off sick by a doctor?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 Employers are able to maintain a reasonable amount of contact with an employee who is off on sick leave. This is generally considered best practice for an employer. This contact can be used to obtain regular updates on the employee's recovery and prognosis, and to keep the employee up to date with ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

Can an employer dismiss an employee while on long-term sickness?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 Before considering dismissing an employee while on long-term sickness, an employer must have addressed other options. Employers should generally have obtained medical evidence in relation to the employee’s particular condition, for example, via occupational health. A key consideration for the emplo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

When disciplinary allegations are put to an employee, should the employer reference the specific incident or the breach of policy when drafting the notification letter?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 The Labour Relations Agency has set out some helpful guidance for employers in relation to codes of practice concerning disciplinary and grievance procedures. According to this guidance, an employer should draw up a statement of grounds for action and invitation to a meeting. This statement should ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Do employees have the right to refuse to participate in a drugs test if not provided for in their contract of employment or a company policy?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 An employer has a legal responsibility to look after their employees’ health and safety at work as far as is reasonably possible. As well as causing ill-health, drug misuse increases the chances of accidents at work and interferes with how much work is done. An employee can't be made to take a drug...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

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...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment Human Rights

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

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

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

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

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