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First Tuesday Q&A

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

Can an employee take pre-booked holidays whilst suspended?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/10/2018 A period of suspension should not change the normal position with regard to holiday and this should be clearly stated in the employee’s contract of employment or in the staff handbook. Therefore, provided that the annual leave was booked and approved in line with the employer’s holiday procedure, a...

Does an employer have to pay an employee who is suspended?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/10/2018 Suspension usually takes place either: To enable an employer to investigate allegations of misconduct; or For medical or health and safety reasons. Therefore, suspension should be invoked as a protective measure and should not be utilised as a disciplinary sanction nor in a manner likely to resul...

Can an employer refuse a request for flexible working?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2018 Yes, an employer can refuse a flexible working request if the employee making the request is not entitled to do so. In order to be entitled, an individual must: (a) Be an employee not simply a worker or agency worker; (b) Have a minimum of 26 weeks continuous service; (c) Not have made a fl...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality A-Typical Working Policies and Procedures

Does the employer have to provide an employee with a copy of a statement made about him in another employee's grievance meeting?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2018 There is no specific legal requirement to provide an employee with a statement made about him/her in a grievance raised by another employee. The LRA Code of Practice on Grievances sets out clear guidance for employers on how to deal with grievances, and employers should be familiar with this. Howev...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act

How can employers support a growing band of aging workers and avoid age discrimination through their practices and policies?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2018 There are many practices that employers can implement to show support to ageing workers and thus prevent age discrimination. Although age discrimination is well established in statute under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, there remains an increasing number of age ...

Can a disciplinary sanction be increased as a result of an appeal hearing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2018 This question was addressed by the Court of Appeal in England in McMillan v Airedale NHS Foundation Trust [2014] IRLR 803 CA. In this case, it was held that an employer does not have the right to increase a disciplinary sanction on appeal unless it has express provision to do so in its disciplinary...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment

During a redundancy consultation process is an employer entitled to interview external candidates for a vacant position in addition to interviewing employees at risk of redundancy? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 It would not normally be appropriate to consider external candidates for a vacancy during a redundancy exercise. There is nothing wrong with implementing a competitive interview process to choose between candidates (i.e. to match vacant roles with the potentially redundant employees) but to conside...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Policies and Procedures

Is there a maximum workplace temperature beyond which employees cannot be expected to work?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 The recent spell of good weather has generated increased questions regarding temperatures in the workplace. Regulation 7 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993 provides that during work hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be re...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety

Is an employer obliged to provide a reference for an employee and does an employer have to obtain employee consent before doing so under the GDPR or Data Protection Act 2018?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 Firstly, there is no legal obligation for an employer to provide a reference. However, there may be a contractual obligation if provision of a reference is stated in terms of employment or a contractual staff handbook. The GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA 2018”) require a lawful basis for pr...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act

What should an employer do if an employee who has submitted a grievance then submits a claim to the tribunal before the grievance has been dealt with?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 Firstly, employers should note that there is no legislative prohibition on an employee commencing a tribunal claim before their grievance has been concluded. In fact, it is relatively common for employees or ex-employees to bring a claim prior to a grievance outcome being reached. This is due to th...