First Tuesday Q&A

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

How can employers support a growing band of aging workers and avoid age discrimination through their practices and policies?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2018 There are many practices that employers can implement to show support to ageing workers and thus prevent age discrimination. Although age discrimination is well established in statute under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, there remains an increasing number of age ...

Can a disciplinary sanction be increased as a result of an appeal hearing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2018 This question was addressed by the Court of Appeal in England in McMillan v Airedale NHS Foundation Trust [2014] IRLR 803 CA. In this case, it was held that an employer does not have the right to increase a disciplinary sanction on appeal unless it has express provision to do so in its disciplinary...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment

Is an employer obliged to provide a reference for an employee and does an employer have to obtain employee consent before doing so under the GDPR or Data Protection Act 2018?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 Firstly, there is no legal obligation for an employer to provide a reference. However, there may be a contractual obligation if provision of a reference is stated in terms of employment or a contractual staff handbook. The GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA 2018”) require a lawful basis for pr...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act

What should an employer do if an employee who has submitted a grievance then submits a claim to the tribunal before the grievance has been dealt with?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 Firstly, employers should note that there is no legislative prohibition on an employee commencing a tribunal claim before their grievance has been concluded. In fact, it is relatively common for employees or ex-employees to bring a claim prior to a grievance outcome being reached. This is due to th...

What are the consequences for an employer who does not let an employee bring a companion to a disciplinary or grievance hearing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/07/2018 All individuals engaged under a contract of employment, agency workers and home workers have a statutory right under Article 12 of the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999, to be accompanied to a disciplinary or grievance meeting. The accompanying individual may be a colleague, trade ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

Does an employee accrue leave if they resign whilst on maternity leave?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/06/2018 An employee should resign in the normal way, in line with the notice period stated in their employment contract. If you resign during your maternity leave, you do not have to go to work during your notice period, you can remain on maternity leave. Maternity pay lasts for 39 weeks but maternity leav...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave Pay and Conditions of Employment

What are the risks of national minimum wage (NMW) claims from sleepover staff?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/06/2018 The NMW is the specified minimum hourly rate of pay to which most workers are entitled. All employers are obliged to pay the NMW, irrespective of their size. First and foremost, timing is the first factor that should be taken into account as NMW claims can be brought as unlawful deductions from wag...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave Pay and Conditions of Employment

Please provide guidance for employers regarding career breaks

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/05/2018 A career break is a term used to define a long period of unpaid leave during which the employment contract remains intact. However, sometimes employers will request that employees going on a career break resign and then re-apply for their job, if available, when they are ready to return to work. Th...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave Policies and Procedures

Although Gender Pay Gap (“GPG”) reporting will seemingly not be required until Stormont is up and running, are there any steps that businesses can take in the meantime? What are the key differences between GPG reporting in NI and GB?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/02/2018 Gender Pay Gap (“GPG”) reporting is provided for under the Employment Act (NI) 2016, but cannot be enacted until local government recommences. Last month, the Equality Commission called for GPG reporting to be extended to NI as a matter of urgency. Although the NI GPG reporting regulations are stil...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment

Can zero hour staff be paid in lieu of untaken holidays? How can we ensure that zero hour staff take their holiday entitlement?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/02/2018 It is not sufficient to pay staff on zero hour contracts in lieu of their holidays. Payment in lieu of accrued but unused holidays can only be made upon termination of employment. The fundamental basis of zero hour contracts is the absence of mutuality of obligation. Therefore, the employer is und...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave Pay and Conditions of Employment