First Tuesday Q&A

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

One of my employees has alleged that their line manager is sexually harassing them. How should employers approach this issue?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/05/2017 Whilst it would be important to seek specific legal advice in respect of this matter, there are a number of general principles which should be considered. The first priority is to establish the facts, regardless of whether you have a harassment policy. You should appoint a suitable person, who is n...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Discrimination and Equality

What amount of time do we need to allow to pass following a TUPE transfer to change the terms and conditions of transferred employees?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2017 Whether or not an employer can change terms and conditions following a TUPE transfer depends on the reason for the change. Any attempt to vary the transferring employees' terms and conditions of employment, whenever it takes place, will be void where the sole or principal reason for the variation i...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Transfer of Undertaking (TUPE)

Can I pay an employee her statutory maternity pay in one lump sum? Do I need her consent?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2017 Employers may, on occasion, be faced with the issue of whether to pay an employee her statutory maternity pay (SMP) in a lump sum. This might be where, for instance, the employee is leaving employment or where she is being made redundant but has already qualified for statutory maternity pay. Employ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave Pay and Conditions of Employment

We have an employee that suffers from age-related macular degeneration. Their performance at work has suffered since their diagnosis and it has now reached the point where they are not doing their job properly. Can we dismiss them?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2017 This is a highly litigious issue and so specific legal advice should be obtained before taking any further steps in respect of the employee in question. By way of general guidance, however, it should be noted that, as well as showing that capability was the reason for dismissal, employers will also...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Sickness and Absence Discrimination and Equality

If a part-time employee works on an hourly basis (not fixed hours, but approximately the same number of hours per week) and they request to be paid in lieu of their annual leave, can we lawfully do so?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2017 Under the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016, workers are entitled to four weeks’ annual leave in each leave year and, while leave may be taken in instalments, it may not be replaced by a payment in lieu except where the worker’s employment is terminated. The European Court of Justice...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave A-Typical Working Pay and Conditions of Employment

For new employees joining a company, can we wait until their probationary period of 6-months has been completed before auto-enrolling them in the pension scheme?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/03/2017 Employers can postpone auto-enrolment for a period of up to 3 months to delay the enrolment of a new probationary employee. The maximum deferment is 3 months, and so it will not cover the whole of any extended probationary period. A new employee must therefore be auto-enrolled after the deferred pe...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Pensions Probation Pay and Conditions of Employment

Can we enforce a policy that annual leave must be taken within the leave year and not allow any carry forward of holidays?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/03/2017 Statutory leave under the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 may only be taken in the leave year in respect of which it is due. There is therefore no right under the WTR for an employee to carry forward untaken holiday from one leave year to the next and no right for an employer to de...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

Can an individual who gives evidence during a workplace investigation request anonymity? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/03/2017 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

Where an employer is carrying out a disciplinary investigation into an employee’s misconduct at work, what are the implications if the police become involved?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/03/2017 The initiation of criminal proceedings and police involvement can have certain implications in terms of how a workplace investigation is carried out. It is important to note that an employer must generally make its own enquires despite the commencement of a police investigation. The employer cannot...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Can audio recordings be used as evidence in a tribunal hearing or should notes be taken when carrying out a workplace investigation?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/02/2017 The use of an audio recording device should generally only be employed if your policy specifically allows for this, or with the agreement of the interviewee. However, we would generally advise that recording a meeting may be intimidating to the interviewee and can, as result, make them less willing...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues