First Tuesday Q&A

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

We are proposing to engage a consultant but are unsure as to whether we can include post-termination restrictions as part of the contract. Please confirm whether it is possible to do so?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/12/2017 A consultant can generally be asked to enter into post-termination restrictions. In terms of enforceability, where a consultant and client will be on a more even footing than an employer and employee, the courts are less likely to consider such clauses as an unlawful restraint of trade. The way tha...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

If terminating during probation is it necessary to follow the statutory dismissal / disciplinary procedures?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/12/2017 It is common for employers to use probationary periods in order to assess an employee’s performance and general suitability for employment. Many employers will choose not to follow the statutory disciplinary / dismissal procedures during a period of probation on the basis that (assuming it is for l...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Discrimination and Equality Probation

Should the investigating manager generally be different to the manager who sits on the disciplinary panel?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/12/2017 Yes, it is important to ensure that, where practical, the individual holding the disciplinary hearing is not the same person who also conducted the investigation. Otherwise, the decision-maker may not be seen to be impartial. Where an employee has been suspended it is also preferable in a larger or...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Can an employer contact an employee whilst they are signed-off sick by a doctor?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 Employers are able to maintain a reasonable amount of contact with an employee who is off on sick leave. This is generally considered best practice for an employer. This contact can be used to obtain regular updates on the employee's recovery and prognosis, and to keep the employee up to date with ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

Can an employer dismiss an employee while on long-term sickness?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 Before considering dismissing an employee while on long-term sickness, an employer must have addressed other options. Employers should generally have obtained medical evidence in relation to the employee’s particular condition, for example, via occupational health. A key consideration for the emplo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

When disciplinary allegations are put to an employee, should the employer reference the specific incident or the breach of policy when drafting the notification letter?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 The Labour Relations Agency has set out some helpful guidance for employers in relation to codes of practice concerning disciplinary and grievance procedures. According to this guidance, an employer should draw up a statement of grounds for action and invitation to a meeting. This statement should ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Do employees have the right to refuse to participate in a drugs test if not provided for in their contract of employment or a company policy?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 An employer has a legal responsibility to look after their employees’ health and safety at work as far as is reasonably possible. As well as causing ill-health, drug misuse increases the chances of accidents at work and interferes with how much work is done. An employee can't be made to take a drug...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

Our policy does not permit a solicitor to attend a disciplinary meeting - only a colleague or trade union representative may attend. Is this lawful?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/10/2017 Employees have a right to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing by a trade union representative or a fellow worker. There is no general right under UK law for an employee to have a qualified legal representative at a disciplinary hearing, however, some employees (for example, NHS hospital doctor...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment Human Rights

If, having given notice of terminating an employee’s contract of employment an employer changes its mind, can it withdraw this notice?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/10/2017 Once notice of termination has been given it cannot be withdrawn unilaterally, whether by the employer or the employee. If an employer changes its mind during the notice period, the notice of dismissal still stands unless the employee agrees that it can be withdrawn. In a situation where there is m...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal

Should employers introduce a ‘vaping’ policy in their workplace?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/10/2017 The use of E-cigarettes in the workplace does not fall within the prohibition of smoking under the Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, and therefore can currently be legally used. An employer cannot prohibit their use on its premises or limit their use in working time unless it expressly covers ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Policies and Procedures