First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

An employee has been involved in an incident which may be considered to be gross misconduct that we think warrants immediate dismissal under the terms and conditions contained in the employment handbook. Is it possible to dismiss this employee without a disciplinary hearing given their alleged gross misconduct?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/07/2017 Often employers’ disciplinary procedures or employment contracts will provide circumstances that result in immediate dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice. Typically, these circumstances will include acts of gross misconduct. Despite the fact that such a provision seems to imply that a ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

Is an employee legally entitled to paid time off for doctors/dentist appointments?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2017 No, there is no statutory right to time off for medical or dental appointments, except in relation to antenatal appointments. How an employer deals with such requests is at their discretion and governed by the express or implied terms of the contract of employment. The employee is not at work and, ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Pay and Conditions of Employment

An employer appoints someone with a disability and puts in place the necessary changes to the working environment to enable the employee to carry out their role. After the first year of probation, it is becoming clear that the employee is having difficulty in meeting the requirements of the position. What action should the employer take to deal with the situation without finding themselves in a breach of the disability legislation?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2017 We will assume that the employee in this case suffers from a disability as defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, but this is something you should seek specific legal advice on. Without knowing exactly why or how the employee is having difficulty meeting the requirements of the position...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Policies and Procedures

How long can an employee be absent from work due to sickness before being dismissed?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2017 There is no specific 'safe' date or formula which applies, it will all depend on the circumstances of each individual case. It is not how the long the absence was or is, rather what steps the employer has taken to deal with the situation that will determine when it is fair for an employer to dismis...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Sickness and Absence

If a medical report recommends some kind of flexible working and the employer claims they cannot provide it - what are the consequences?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2017 The main considerations here are whether the employee suffers from a disability and whether the employer is under a duty to make a reasonable adjustment for the employee, such as offering some kind of flexible working. The employee will have a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impair...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Policies and Procedures

What is the current position in relation to disability absences being taken into account by an employer for disciplinary action?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/05/2017 Disciplinary action against an employee for absences that are a consequence of a disability could constitute discrimination arising from disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. If persistent or long-term absence affects the employee’s ability to carry out the job, you should addres...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Discrimination and Equality

What is the liability in relation to the termination of an employment contract during a probationary period?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/05/2017 In terms of liabilities for statutory employment claims, unfair dismissal generally isn’t likely to be a risk because the employee won’t have accrued the one year’s service necessary to bring such a claim (assuming the probationary period is for less than this period). However, employers should be ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment Probation

An employee has asked for their spouse to be their companion at a disciplinary hearing. Do I have to allow the spouse to attend?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/05/2017 You should first check your disciplinary policy to see what it says about who may accompany an employee to a disciplinary hearing. If an employee is required or invited to attend a disciplinary (or grievance hearing), and makes a reasonable request to be accompanied, that employee has the right to ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues