First Tuesday Q&A

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

Is it acceptable to allow a Union Rep to speak on an employee’s behalf in a disciplinary hearing, when I would prefer to hear directly from the employee?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/10/2013 The role of the union representative or companion at a disciplinary hearing is often misunderstood. The LRA Code does say that it is good practice to allow the companion to participate as fully as possible in the hearing. However, despite common belief, companions do not have the right to answer qu...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Collective and Trade Union Issues

We are intending to amend our employees’ terms and conditions of employment by amending the employees' bonus scheme. We intend to do this through consultation with employees and by seeking their agreement. I read somewhere that changing terms and conditions of employment for a large number of employees can trigger collective consultation and a requirement to inform DEL. I would be grateful for any clarity on this point.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/09/2013 The main issue here is whether the company envisages dismissing and re-engaging the employees if they do not consent to the changes in the bonus arrangements. Where an employer changes employees' terms through termination and re-engagement, the dismissals would count as redundancies (for the purpos...

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

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/09/2013 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 Collective and Trade Union Issues

What can the Trade Union Representative say/not say during an investigation/hearing and can the chair say "no" to them?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/04/2013 The role of the companion (which includes a TU Representative) is limited. The companion is permitted to address the disciplinary hearing (including putting the employee's case, summing up, and responding on the employee's behalf to any view expressed at the hearing) and to confer with the employee...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Collective and Trade Union Issues

Does an employer have to honour the terms of a collective agreement inherited in a TUPE situation?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/01/2012 In a TUPE situation, collective agreements can transfer from the old employer to the new employer. It’s important that the new (transferee) employer is aware of a collective agreement as it can affect a variety of contractual employment terms of transferring employees such as pay scales, pay rises,...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Collective and Trade Union Issues Transfer of Undertaking (TUPE)

My question is how should an employer calculate a buy-out of existing terms & conditions of employment: Is it usually calculated on difference of annual salary between existing T&Cs and new T&Cs x number of years' service or is this calculation at the discretion of the company?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/08/2011 Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all formula in such circumstances as much depends on the terms being changed, the reason for the proposed change(s) (for example if the proposals are to avoid redundancies, the changes may be seen by staff as the lesser of two evils), the bargaining position...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Collective and Trade Union Issues

Regarding the right to accompaniment at meetings: Do we have to let mothers attend meetings? For discipline, performance, stress consultations etc we take on quite a few apprentices and their mothers always like to be involved and more often than not they become very challenging in these meetings. Can we limit to trade union or fellow employee even for apprentices under 18 years of age?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/10/2010 The right to be accompanied at a disciplinary or grievance meeting is laid out in Article 12(3) of the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999. The statutory right is for workers to be accompanied by a colleague, a trade union representative or an official employed by a trade union. In p...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Collective and Trade Union Issues

Can a Non-IT1 Agreement through the LRA be negotiated and agreed on a collective basis with the trade unions or does it have to be signed by individuals?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/01/2010 For those of you who may not be familiar with the term, a “Non-IT1 Agreement” (nowadays these are more properly referred to as non-ET1 agreements in reference to the tribunal claim forms) is a form used to record the terms of settlement of an industrial and/or fair employment tribunal claim (or pot...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Collective and Trade Union Issues

Do you always have to have individual consultation in a redundancy dismissal even if there is a collective redundancy situation and elected/trade union representatives?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/01/2010 The duty to collectively consult is imposed under Article 216 of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 and arises where an employer proposes to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less. The duty is to consult appropriate represe...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Redundancy and Reorganisation Collective and Trade Union Issues