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

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

I run a company in which there are a number of employees and self-employed individuals. How do I ensure that the self-employed individuals do not claim that they are employees?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/08/2017 An employee is defined under Article 3(1) of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (“1996 Order”) as “an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, worked under) a contract of employment.” Under Article 3(2) of the 1996 Order, a contract of em...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

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...

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

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

What is the liability in relation to the termination of an employment contract during a probationary period?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/05/2017 In terms of liabilities for statutory employment claims, unfair dismissal generally isn’t likely to be a risk because the employee won’t have accrued the one year’s service necessary to bring such a claim (assuming the probationary period is for less than this period). However, employers should be ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment Probation

How do I calculate annual leave entitlement for an employee working 9am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday with a 30-minute lunch break and 9am to 1pm on Saturday with no break? I realise the Working Time Regulations recognise a maximum 5 day week, but in this instance, the working days are not all the same length, therefore the leave must be calculated in hours, so do I include Saturday hours?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/10/2016 In the first instance, you should check the employee’s contract of employment. The contract of employment should stipulate either the amount of leave an employee is to receive or whether or not leave is to be calculated by hours or days worked per week. If an employee works, for example, 41.5 hours...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

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