First Tuesday Q&A

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

We have a long-standing manager who, when subjected to a disciplinary due to performance issues, put in a four week sick line for work-related stress. He also lodged a grievance against his relatively new manager. How would you go about resolving this? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/10/2015 It is important for employers in this kind of situation to treat the employee concerned as they would any other employee who is absent from work due to sickness. Any scheduled disciplinary meetings should also be cancelled in the interim and the employee should be advised of this. As a starting poi...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

If an employee is employed by an ROI company but based in N.I. under whose employment law jurisdiction do they fall for paternity leave for example? Alternatively, if the employee is employed in NI but works in ROI, which level of national minimum wage (NMW) would apply, for example?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/10/2015 The question of the governing law applicable to a particular employment relationship depends on a number of factors.Usually, a contract of employment will contain an express governing law clause which states the applicable law. However, even where a contract of employment includes an express govern...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave Pay and Conditions of Employment

Do we have to obtain a medical report to confirm whether an employee suffering from stress is fit to attend a disciplinary hearing related to his alleged misconduct?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 This is a common issue for employers. If you are concerned that the disciplinary hearing may add to the employee’s stress or anxiety, medical advice may be obtained as to whether the employee is fit to attend a disciplinary hearing, and if not, when they might be. The employee’s consent to medical ...

Can an Employee on Long Term Sick Leave Still be Considered for Redundancy? What Precautions Should Employer Take?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 Yes, they can still be considered, subject to a number of qualifications. In addition to establishing a legitimate reason for redundancy and adhering to the usual requirements of a fair redundancy procedure, you should ensure that, at every stage of the process, reasonable adjustments are made to t...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Sickness and Absence

When an employer gives a verbal warning for misconduct to an employee after a disciplinary does this also need to be communicated to the employee in writing or only recorded for the organisation’s own purposes? Is it procedurally correct, if an employee continues to be disciplined, to give a verbal warning, then first written warning, followed by second written warning and then dismissal?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 The LRA Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures recommends that, where following a disciplinary meeting, an employee is found guilty of misconduct, a first step would be to give him/her a formal oral warning or a written warning depending on the seriousness of the misconduct. It s...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Can an employer change any policies and procedures within the organisation, without consulting with staff, as long as it is communicated to them afterwards?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 This will depend on whether the policies / procedures in question, or the relevant provisions contained therein, are contractual. Contractual terms can normally only be amended with the employee’s consent. In other words, an employer cannot make a “unilateral” change to such terms. Policies will of...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

Must an employee on suspension while a disciplinary investigation is carried out remain available for work, or can they take a holiday during this period?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 During a period of suspension, the employee, while not required to attend work, should remain available to assist in the disciplinary investigation, attend investigation or disciplinary meetings, or deal with any work-related questions. Further, if the suspension is lifted earlier than anticipated,...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Working Time and Leave

It has come to the attention of the company that an employee has put on Facebook derogatory comments about their manager. The Facebook page is set to private; however, a colleague who is a friend on Facebook viewed the comment and informed management and would like to be kept anonymous. How can HR approach this situation?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 Recent case law has demonstrated that employers can find it difficult to deal with alleged misconduct involving an employee's use of social media sites such as Facebook. The first difficulty for employers is how this specific type of misconduct is characterised, for example, whether the misconduct ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

We have a query regarding workplace investigations and fairness of procedure. If an investigation is carried out by two investigation officers and they report to an investigation manager can that manager hear the case if he agrees there is a case to answer or must we refer it to a new manager to chair a disciplinary panel?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 If possible, you should refer it to someone independent at the disciplinary stage. The Labour Relations Agency’s Code of Practice on Disciplinary Procedures states that where possible, it is important to ensure that the individual holding the disciplinary hearing is not the person who conducted the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures