First Tuesday Q&A

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

Who is responsible for ‘redundancy payment’ in a situation whereby an agency has a candidate placed with a client for 2+ years continuously and the individual is paid by the agency and bills the client for the associated costs?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/08/2015 There are a number of issues to be addressed here. The main issue is whether the agency worker is an ‘employee’ and so entitled to a redundancy payment. If an employee, who is his /her employer? An ‘employee’ is defined at Article 3 of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 as an indiv...
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Redundancy and Reorganisation

An employee was suspended on full pay pending the outcome of an investigation process. They immediately send in a sick line. Investigation recommended disciplinary action. Employee is still claiming not fit to attend, GP has said not fit to attend, company doctor says he is. What do we need to be aware of if holding a hearing in absentia?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/07/2015 Where an employee (or their GP) has indicated they are not fit to attend a disciplinary hearing which conflicts with the advice of your company doctor, you might consider obtaining medical advice from an independent doctor such as an occupational health physician. Whilst disciplinary hearings can b...
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Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

An employee has been suspended on full pay due to concerns regarding treatment of patients in a care home. The only proof is three statements from fellow employees that witnessed ill treatment. If the employee is determined she did not do this or act in such manner and it is really the other employees’ word against hers. We are investigating further but what length of time is it appropriate to keep her suspended for and is there an appropriate time scale to make a decision whether to dismiss or not?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/07/2015 There is no set timeframe in terms of how long a suspension should last. Employers should, as a starting point, refer to the principles set out in the Labour Relations Agency Code of Practice on Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures on this matter. In sum, this guidance provides that if a suspens...
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Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

I have a query in relation to an employee of the Muslim faith who uses the staff canteen to pray during working hours. The canteen space is limited and this activity is now causing difficulty for other staff who may have a scheduled break at the same time. What is the responsibility of the employer to accommodate staff who wish to practice their faith during work hours?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/07/2015 It is as unlawful to discriminate against a person for holding a particular (or any) religious or philosophical belief, as it is to discriminate against someone for not holding a religious or philosophical belief. Employers should adopt good practice measures to ensure that such persons are not put...
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Discrimination and Equality Working Time and Leave

Does the full disciplinary procedure need to be exhausted within a probation period i.e. verbal, written etc?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/07/2015 Employers usually want flexibility to dismiss an employee without giving prior warnings during his/her probationary period. The employee is likely not to have qualified for ordinary unfair dismissal rights in any case as probationary periods are usually 3-6 months, whereas the unfair dismissal qual...
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Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Probation

We bought a business earlier this year and TUPE applied to the deal. One of the employees we inherited has just issued a grievance that he is owed thousands of pounds of commission that the old owner did not pay him. The old owner never told us about this. Do we have any comeback?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/06/2015 Firstly, barring certain insolvency situations, the position under TUPE is that all liabilities transfer from old owner to new owner. So, harsh as it seems, you are likely to be on the hook even though this is not your fault. I would then check the terms of any sale and purchase agreement. Very oft...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Transfer of Undertaking (TUPE)

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

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/06/2015 You do not say 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 c...
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Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

One of our employees has gone off work as his wife died suddenly a few weeks ago. What should we do in this instance and is it appropriate to ask him when he will be returning? We have no policies in place for bereavement?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/06/2015 There is no obligation on employers to grant compassionate leave in the event of a bereavement, except in the limited circumstances outlined in the statutory right to time off for dependents. However, many employers will provide for a period of paid leave in the event that a close relative of the e...
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Sickness and Absence Policies and Procedures

How much paid parental leave is an employee entitled to annually?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/05/2015 From 5 April 2015, an employee is entitled to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave for each child and adopted child, up to their 18th birthday. The limit on how much parental leave each parent can take in a year is 4 weeks for each child (unless the employer agrees otherwise). Furthermore, an employee m...
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Working Time and Leave

If an employee refuses to sign minutes of meeting - then what should employer do as precaution?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/05/2015 The Labour Relations Agency’s (the “LRA”) Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures (the “Code”) emphasises the need to keep written records, including formal minutes of meetings. However, the Code is silent on anything else as regards minutes, including what should be included or e...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues