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First Tuesday Q&A

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

Can an employee claim constructive dismissal if a work colleague makes a discriminatory comment to them and the employer fails to discipline the colleague?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/12/2018 Ultimately this will depend on the specific facts of the case but it is important to remember from the outset that it is difficult to successfully make a claim for constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer breaches an employee’s contract of employment in such a serious ...

Please provide guidance for employers in relation to staffing issues during periods of adverse weather

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/11/2018 Inclement weather can pose problems for employers and employees alike, particularly as it is often unforeseen. Firstly, it is necessary to consider if adverse weather scenarios are dealt with in employment contracts and/or a policy document. This is relevant because some employment contracts may co...

Can an employer prevent annual leave accruing during sickness absence?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/10/2018 Employees are entitled to four weeks’ paid annual leave per leave year under Article 7 Working Time Directive (“basic annual leave”) and an additional 1.6 weeks under Article 16 of the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 (“additional annual leave”). For full time workers this equates t...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

Can an employee take pre-booked holidays whilst suspended?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/10/2018 A period of suspension should not change the normal position with regard to holiday and this should be clearly stated in the employee’s contract of employment or in the staff handbook. Therefore, provided that the annual leave was booked and approved in line with the employer’s holiday procedure, a...

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