First Tuesday Q&A

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

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starting position here is that, once notice has been given (whether orally or in writing), it cannot be unilaterally withdrawn. In order for the resignation to be withdrawn, both parties need to consent to the withdrawal.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

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

Can probation extend beyond 12 months?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/04/2016 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

Can we enforce a contractual retirement age?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/04/2016 Compulsory retirement of employees may potentially amount to unlawful age discrimination. Whether the contractual retirement age in question here can be enforced will depend on whether you are able to objectively justify it as a "proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim". This will require...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

If you have a member of staff leave the company but then re-joins a few months later on a new contract of employment, does the company need to go through a full induction process with them again e.g. Health & Safety, Office Regulations, Data Protection and other company Procedures and Policies as if they never had worked for the company previously?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/02/2016 As a general rule, it is important that all companies, large or small, should have a well-considered induction programme to provide employees with all the information they need before starting the job. The induction programme should reflect the complexity of the job in question and help employees ...

In setting down a retirement age in a contract of employment, should you include the objective grounds for the retirement age in order to try to manage expectations or are you just tying your hands for the future? What would you advise?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/01/2016 Retirement clauses should only be used where the employer can objectively justify compulsory retirement of employees, and in fact are not even necessary in those situations, since termination on notice may be preferable to automatic termination.Although clauses such as this were fairly common in th...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment

When, if ever, it is 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, can an employer claim frustration rather than have to go through the statutory dismissal procedure using "some other substantial reason" as the potential reason for dismissal?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/12/2015 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:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment

How can we change the wording in our handbooks?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/12/2015 The key issues when updating (or for that matter creating) a staff handbook are: how contractual terms are distinguished from non-contractual terms; and which parts of the handbook apply only to employees and which will also apply to other workers, for example, agency workers. It is generally rec...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment