First Tuesday Q&A

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

We have recently employed someone who is subject to a 6 month probationary period. Can we wait until their probationary period of 6 months has elapsed before auto-enrolling them in our pension scheme?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/09/2016 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 ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Pensions Probation

Is it ever appropriate for an employer to argue frustration of contract, for example, if an employee is given a prison sentence of 3 or more years for an offence that is no way connected with their employment?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/09/2016 Case law confirms that a custodial sentence imposed on an employee is capable of frustrating the contract of employment but whether it does or not depends on the circumstances of the case with the length of the term to be served by the employee being a significant factor to be considered. Tribunals...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

An employee who works with us handed in her resignation two weeks ago and proceeded to work her required notice period and is currently still in employment. This employee has now reneged and has requested to withdraw her resignation. Does the employer have an obligation to fulfil the employee’s request?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/09/2016 The starting position here is that, once notice has been given (whether orally or in writing), it cannot be unilaterally withdrawn. In order for the resignation to be withdrawn, both parties need to consent to the withdrawal. However, employers should exercise particular caution where an employee h...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment

I work in an organisation which requires all male employees to wear a tie when attending business meetings and conferences on behalf of the company. One of our managers refuses to wear a tie. How should we deal with this?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/09/2016 Dress codes can be a difficult issue for employers, as evidenced by the recent media coverage surrounding the case of a woman who was reportedly sent home from her job as a receptionist for refusing to comply with a dress code requiring her to wear two to four inch heels. It is not clear whether yo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

What are the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland’s employers?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/08/2016 What does Brexit mean for the status of our employment laws? The extent to which our employment laws will be affected will be largely dependent upon the economic relationship /trade arrangement to be agreed between the UK and the remaining 27 member states of the EU. It is likely, however, that th...

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 05/07/2016 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 A-Typical Working Pay and Conditions of Employment

Are employers obliged to pay holiday pay even when it has not been accrued, for example in the case of a new employee who takes a week off before they have accrued sufficient holiday entitlement to cover the full week?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/07/2016 Holiday entitlement for new employees is a common cause of confusion for many employers. The law on this issue is governed primarily by the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016. Employers are permitted, under these Regulations, to adopt an accrual system in order to calculate how much h...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

Please provide some guidelines on current retirement legislation as regards employment contracts

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/07/2016 The law on retirement has changed considerably in recent years. Although compulsory retirement clauses were once common features in contracts of employment, their current use is rare following the abolition of the default retirement age. Compulsory retirement is now also potentially unlawful age di...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

What are the legal implications for workers who normally work only during the day but may be required to do an infrequent night shift?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/07/2016 It is important at the outset to consider the relevant wording regarding working hours contained in your contracts of employment. Where a worker does not have to work at night under their contract, you will usually need the worker’s agreement to change his or her hours as this will normally be a va...

Do variation clauses in a contract of employment give an employer a unilateral right to make reasonable changes that go to the root of the employment terms, e.g. relocation and redundancy terms?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2016 If there is an express provision for the employer to change certain terms within the employment contract, it is likely that the employer would be permitted to change a particular term provided that the employer does not act in an arbitrary or unreasonable manner. Even where an express provision exi...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment