First Tuesday Q&A

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

Can an employer recoup maternity pay if an employee does not return for 6 month’s work after the maternity leave ends?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/10/2014 The answer depends on whether the employee is paid contractual maternity pay over and above the statutory minimum entitlement. You cannot recoup any statutory maternity pay if the employee has not returned. If you offer a contractual rate of maternity pay over the statutory minimum rate, then, in p...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave Policies and Procedures

Is there anything that can be done to make the employer change from a zero hour contract to a minimum hours' contract?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2014 The use of zero hours contracts has been well publicised recently in the media with commentators and politicians warning about the exploitation of staff on such contracts which give no guarantees of shifts or work patterns. A zero hours contract is one under which the employer is not obliged to pro...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

What is the correct statutory definition of the words “Employer” and “Employee” and why are they important in employment law?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/08/2014 The words ‘Employee’ and ‘Employer’ are not regularly defined in Northern Irish employment legislation. However a few pieces of legislation do provide the statutory definition of both terms. As per the Industrial Tribunals (NI) Order 1996, the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 and the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment A-Typical Working

What is the date of termination of an employment if an employee is (a) put on garden leave and (b) paid in lieu of their notice period?

Is an employee entitled to receive all benefits he/she would have been entitled to if they continued working if that employee is paid in lieu of notice or is it acceptable to limit the pay in lieu of notice to basic pay only i.e. excluding bonus, commission or pension contributions or benefits in kind?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/08/2014 When an employer decides it wishes an employee to leave it often wants them to stop working immediately. In this case it has two options: the employer can either summarily terminate the employment and make a payment in lieu of notice (PILON), or it can place the employee on garden leave. The right ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

At what point can an employer justify “frustration of contract”?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/07/2014 A contract of employment may come to an end when an unforeseen event makes performance of the contract impossible or radically different from what the parties originally intended. The contract is then said to have been “frustrated”. When a contract is frustrated it ends automatically by operation o...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Contracts of Employment

Are fixed term employees entitled to statutory redundancy pay if the fixed term contract is over 2 years in duration? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/06/2014 Yes, a fixed-term employee will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment if they have at least two years' service and the reason for the non-renewal or termination of their contract is redundancy. The non-renewal of a fixed term contract will, in the majority of cases, be for redundancy reason...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Contracts of Employment

What are the consequences of an individual accepting an offer of employment but then taking a different job?

A candidate accepted a job offer from our company. He signed and accepted a conditional offer letter and was due to start work next week. It has transpired that the candidate has been offered another job which he has accepted.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/06/2014 Once any conditions to which the offer was made subject have been satisfied and the employee has accepted the offer, a contract of employment will be in existence. Once confirmed that a contract of employment has been formed, any subsequent attempt to withdraw from it would require the employee to ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Recruitment and Selection

Is there ever a safe way to force through a change in a contract?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/05/2014 An employee’s terms of employment are bound to change during the course of their employment, for example, annual pay increases and promotion of employees. These changes often happen by mutual consent and are unlikely to cause any legal or practical problems for employers. However, other changes suc...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

An employee was hired on a fixed term contract, however, soon after they were absent on grounds of sickness and the medical certificates submitted indicate a serious mental health issue with sick leave likely to extend for the foreseeable future. A three month probationary period applies to all new employees and no sick pay is given during the probationary period. Can the company dismiss on grounds of capability whilst the employee is absent on sick leave?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/05/2014 In issuing fixed term contracts, employer should be aware of the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002. These essentially give fixed-term employees the right not to be treated less favourably than their full-time comparators unless the tr...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Contracts of Employment Probation

Contractual notice is 3 months. An employee gives 2 weeks' notice. What actions can the employer take?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/05/2014 The requirement to give notice is generally set out as an express term in the contract of employment, as appears to be the case here. A failure to give the required notice by either party is likely to constitute a breach of contract. There are numerous options available to an employer when the empl...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment