First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

What can I do if employees, who have been with the company for many years, who had not previously signed a contract, refuse to sign one now?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/03/2014 In this situation the employee should be advised, that whilst no contract has been evidenced in writing, a contract of employment is already in existence by virtue of the party’s relationship over the preceding number of years. Ideally the contract of employment would be a comprehensive document, a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

What are the legal requirements when providing references, what are we obliged to do?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/03/2014 There is strictly speaking no legal obligation on an employer to provide a reference for an employee or ex-employee and employers are therefore generally entitled to refuse to provide a reference. There are however some limited exceptions to this general rule, such as: 1. Discrimination: Failure to...

When an employee resigns, what does an employer have to pay in respect of holiday pay and benefits? How are these payments affected in circumstances where the employee does not work their notice period?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/02/2014 When an employee resigns what they are entitled to receive will largely depend on what is contained in their contract of employment, and further, to what extent both parties have been willing to adhere to the agreed terms. With holiday payments, in the event of any termination the employee will be ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave Pay and Conditions of Employment

Can we renew a fixed term contract beyond 4 years, if funding is renewed for a specific project and additional term?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/02/2014 By way of re-cap, the fixed term employee regulations confirm that employees who have been continuously employed for four years or more on a series of successive fixed-term contracts are automatically deemed to be permanent employees (i.e. employed on an indefinite contract) unless the continued us...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

How enforceable are non-compete clauses in an employment contract?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/01/2014 A non-compete clause in an employment contract is one of the most common types of restrictive covenant. The difficulty with non-compete clauses, from an employer's point of view, is that as with any part of a contract of employment, employees have a number of statutory rights, regardless of what th...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

When an employee resigns, does an employer have to pay holiday pay/termination payments based on salary plus extras such as car allowance and mortgage allowance?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/12/2013 This depends on the wording in the employee’s contract of employment. Generally it is the case that when an employee resigns the employee will be paid his/her normal salary and contractual benefits up to the date of termination of employment. If the employee has accrued any untaken holiday leave at...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

As we have to pay redundancy for employees whose term exceeds 2 years are we able to avoid this cost – can we issue contracts for just under 2 years? If contracts are issued purely to avoid the redundancy legislation, would they automatically become unlawful?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/12/2013 Employees with a least two years' continuous employment are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment if they are dismissed by reason of redundancy. The amount of statutory redundancy pay to which an employee is entitled depends on his or her age, length of service and pay (subject up to a maximum...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Contracts of Employment

In the past we topped up maternity benefit (to the level of normal pay) for staff on maternity leave. However, due to financial constraints we have informed staff that we will not be doing this in the future. A staff member’s representative has written to us stating that this is in contravention of the Equality Act in England and Wales on the grounds that this cost saving measure disproportionately impacts on staff members due to family status. Is this true?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/11/2013 Making any changes to maternity pay has the potential to give rise to claims for discrimination on grounds of sex or pregnancy. Assuming matters relate to the jurisdiction of England and Wales (as opposed to Northern Ireland), however, the employer should seek to address the following questions:-Is...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave