First Tuesday Q&A

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

As an employer do I have to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation? If yes, how can this be accomplished?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/08/2017 The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which comes into force on 25 May 2018, imposes strict accountability obligations on data controllers and data processors to: ensure that data, and data consents, collected prior to 25 May 2018 is brought into line with the new requirements; mainta...

We have been asked by a former employee to provide a reference, are we required to do so?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/08/2017 Generally, there is no legal obligation on an employer to provide a reference for an existing or former employee and employers are therefore generally entitled to refuse to provide a reference. However, you should first consider your policy on this issue as the decision to give references or not, a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures

Can we extend the probationary period beyond 12 months?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/07/2017 A probationary period will be found in most contracts of employment. Broadly, they are an initial trial period during which an employer will assess the suitability of an employee for their positon. They will generally be set for an initial period defined in the contract and the terms of each probat...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Probation

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