First Tuesday Q&A

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

A number of staff members have requested parental leave during exam-time; is parental leave applicable to the parents of sixth formers? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2016 Although the pupils in question would fall within this age bracket, it is important to consider the purpose of the leave being sought. Parental leave should be used only for the purpose of caring for a child. The issue, therefore, is whether leave during exam-time could be considered "caring for a ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave Policies and Procedures

How does a business deal with public holidays if they don't open for business on Monday? Are employees entitled to be compensated for Public Holidays that fall on Mondays or any other days on which an employer doesn’t open, or is an employee to be compensated if s/he is not contracted to work, even if the employer is open?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/05/2016 There is no statutory right to time off (paid or otherwise) on any bank or public holiday. Under the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016, workers are entitled to 28 days’ annual leave entitlement per year (inclusive of the usual public holidays in Northern Ireland). As long as your emp...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave Pay and Conditions of Employment

What is the National Living Wage and how does it apply? Are there any penalties for failing to comply?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/05/2016 From 1 April 2016, the new National Living Wage (“NLW”) has come into force for workers aged 25 and over. It will affect employees, most workers and agency workers, casual labourers, agricultural workers and apprentices who are aged 25 and over and who have completed their first year of apprentices...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Pay and Conditions of Employment

Does the full disciplinary procedure need to be exhausted within a probation period i.e. verbal, written etc.?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/05/2016 Employers usually want flexibility to dismiss an employee without giving prior warnings during his/her probationary period. The employee is likely not to have qualified for ordinary unfair dismissal rights in any case as probationary periods are usually 3-6 months, whereas the unfair dismissal qual...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Probation

 If an employee has been called to a disciplinary meeting, can he/she bring a tribunal representative or solicitor with them to this meeting?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/05/2016 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

Can probation extend beyond 12 months?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/04/2016 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

Can we enforce a contractual retirement age?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/04/2016 Compulsory retirement of employees may potentially amount to unlawful age discrimination. Whether the contractual retirement age in question here can be enforced will depend on whether you are able to objectively justify it as a "proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim". This will require...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

How should we manage an employee who has been absent from work three times on a medium to long term basis?  The employee has not communicated a reason for absence but we suspect it is due to poor mental health and a possible risk to himself.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/04/2016 As a starting point, you should always refer to any sickness absence procedure you have in place. This should be contained in the employment contract or the Company Handbook. It is important that the employee’s absence is dealt with in accordance with the applicable procedure. We strongly recommend...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

Can you insist that an employee takes holiday during their notice period if your company policies do not provide for this?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/04/2016 Employers will often seek to require an employee who is serving out their notice period to take any unused statutory holiday. Under the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 (the “Regulations”), employers can require a worker to take leave on specified dates (which includes a period of n...

By law is an employee entitled to paid time off for doctors/ dentist appointments?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/03/2016 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:
Working Time and Leave Pay and Conditions of Employment