First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

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

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

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

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...

We have been asked by a former employee to provide a reference, are we required to do so?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/08/2017 Generally, there is no legal obligation on an employer to provide a reference for an existing or former employee and employers are therefore generally entitled to refuse to provide a reference. However, you should first consider your policy on this issue as the decision to give references or not, a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures

Can we extend the probationary period beyond 12 months?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/07/2017 A probationary period will be found in most contracts of employment. Broadly, they are an initial trial period during which an employer will assess the suitability of an employee for their positon. They will generally be set for an initial period defined in the contract and the terms of each probat...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Probation

Does an employee have the right to carry forward unused annual leave into the following leave year?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/07/2017 A leave year is normally specified in an employment contract or an agreement relating to the employment, however, if no such agreement or contract exists the leave year will begin on the date the employee started their employment. The Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 (the “Regulatio...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Working Time and Leave

An employee’s partner has fallen pregnant, is the partner entitled to shared parental leave?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/07/2017 The Work and Families (Northern Ireland) Act 2015 provides for shared parental leave (SPL) in Northern Ireland. An employee who is an expectant father or partner may voluntarily share the leave entitlement between himself or herself, and the mother of the child. Under the Shared Parental Leave Regu...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave