First Tuesday Q&A

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

Please could you advise if there is a statutory provision relating to a change of payroll date in the context of a change in terms and conditions for TUPE (and other) staff. I am sure there is some form of exception for change in payroll date, but cannot find any relevant information on this.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/01/2016 The date on which staff are paid is usually a term of their contract. For example: "Your [basic] salary is £[AMOUNT] per year which shall accrue from day to day and be payable [monthly] in arrears on or about the [DATE] of each month directly into your bank or building society account."Technically,...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Transfer of Undertaking (TUPE) Pay and Conditions of Employment

Can we consider increasing a penalty sanction from final written warning (FWW) to dismissal on appeal?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/01/2016 The opportunity to appeal against a disciplinary decision is essential to natural justice and appeals may be raised by employees on various grounds, including new evidence having come to light, or the undue severity or inconsistency of the penalty imposed.The LRA Code of Practice does not deal with...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

When, if ever, it is appropriate for an employer to argue frustration of contract?

For example, if an employee is given a prison sentence of 3 or more years for an offence that is no way connected with their employment, can an employer claim frustration rather than have to go through the statutory dismissal procedure using "some other substantial reason" as the potential reason for dismissal?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/12/2015 Case law confirms that a custodial sentence imposed on an employee is capable of frustrating the contract of employment but whether it does or not depends on the circumstances of the case with the length of the term to be served by the employee being a significant factor to be considered. Tribunals...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment

How can we change the wording in our handbooks?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/12/2015 The key issues when updating (or for that matter creating) a staff handbook are: how contractual terms are distinguished from non-contractual terms; and which parts of the handbook apply only to employees and which will also apply to other workers, for example, agency workers. It is generally rec...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

In setting down a retirement age in a contract of employment, should you include the objective grounds for the retirement age in order to try to manage expectations or are you just tying your hands for the future? What would you advise?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/12/2015 Although compulsory retirement clauses were once common features in contracts of employment, their current use is rare following the abolition of the default retirement age. Compulsory retirement is now potentially unlawful age discrimination, and should only be used where the employer can objectiv...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality

An employee engages in an investigation seeking anonymity. They give key evidence but after being advised that we might not be able to maintain anonymity they want to withdraw their statement. Where does the employer stand?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/12/2015 If the witness asks to remain anonymous, you should explore the reason for this request and any underlying motive. There are a number of reasons why someone may request anonymity: they may genuinely be fearful of violence or other repercussions or simply may not want to be seen as a 'snitch'. You s...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

We do not have a handbook, just a USB stick we issue to all managers with policies and procedures. Is this ok?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/11/2015 For the most part, policies set out in a staff handbook are there as a matter of good practice, to set out standard expected of employees, to assist the running of the business, and to reduce legal risk by making sure employees and managers understand the legal rights and responsibilities inherent ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures

Can redundancy notice be served during maternity leave? For example, can an employer serve a notice of dismissal/redundancy during maternity leave with a date of dismissal after the end of leave period – or is this automatically void and employer must wait until leave is over before issuing a notice?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/11/2015 An employee can be dismissed by reason of redundancy during her maternity leave provided a fair process is followed. However, if an employee is dismissed where the only (or principal) reason for her dismissal or selection is related to pregnancy, birth or maternity leave, the dismissal will be aut...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation

If you hire an employee on a 2+ year fixed term contact, are they entitled to redundancy if/when they are dismissed at the end of the contract? Is there any way to avoid this if an entitlement exists?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/11/2015 The non-renewal of a fixed-term contract will be potentially fair by reason of redundancy. The usual "band of reasonable responses" test will apply to whether it was fair to dismiss for that reason, and the usual rules regarding adherence to a fair redundancy procedure must be followed. Employers s...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Contracts of Employment

Are there any restrictions on how long someone can be on a fixed-term contract? How often can you extend?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/11/2015 Under Regulation 8 of the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002, employees who have been continuously employed for four years or more on a series of successive fixed-term contracts are automatically deemed to be permanent employees (that ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment