First Tuesday Q&A

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

We employ seasonal ‘summer’ workers. If we employ them for successive summers are they covered by unfair dismissal legislation/expectation of summer work under custom and practice?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2012 In order to have unfair dismissal rights, the seasonal 'summer' worker must qualify as an employee AND also be able to prove one year of continuous employment. As regards the expectation of summer work under custom and practice, employers should be aware of the GB Employment Appeal Tribunal case of...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Contracts of Employment A-Typical Working Recruitment and Selection

Is a staff member on a fixed term contract for a duration of more than two years entitled to a redundancy payment or does the contract end by reaching the agreed specified date? If there is a redundancy entitlement, must fair selection criteria be met before ending the fixed term contract?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/07/2012 This member of staff would have unfair dismissal rights by reason of being in employment for more than one year. The question to ask, therefore, to help mitigate against the risk of an unfair dismissal claim, is what is the reason for the dismissal? The reason must be one of the fair reasons of dis...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Contracts of Employment

Can changes to contracts of employment only occur by changes introduced by law and changes by agreement? Are there any other forms?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2012 There are generally 4 options available to employers to enable them to change the terms and conditions of an employee’s contract of employment: Changes authorised by the contract Express agreement between the employer and employee Impose the change unilaterally Terminating employment and offering ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

Could you please set out any special conditions or issues in relation to seasonal workers’ terms and conditions of employment?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/05/2012 A seasonal or fixed-term employee will have the same legal entitlements as permanent employees, but their continuity of service will usually be broken at the end of each season/contract period. This means that the seasonal employee may not have a long enough continuous service for certain employmen...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave A-Typical Working

We work in a very dangerous environment with knives and machinery and want to implement a drug & alcohol policy that would allow for random, with cause and pre-employment testing. Can we do this with Union agreement and without the consent of each employee?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/05/2012 Health and safety considerations are very important in circumstances such as this as employers have, under common law and statute, a duty to ensure, so far as practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. Therefore, while drug and alcohol testing is often a controversial a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

We have over the last two years begun to use Twitter and Facebook as a big communication tool with our customers, with live chat going on around specific events. We have issued a policy for staff but are unsure how best to regulate staff participation in these communications from their private accounts, as we were concerned that to prevent communication from their own private accounts might be an infringement of staff individual rights outside work.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2012 As social media (which includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, other forms of blogs and YouTube) becomes increasingly popular, employers are beginning to explore how this new form of communication affects the workplace and to what extent restrictions contained in a Social Media Policy may affect the ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Human Rights Policies and Procedures

Our staff travel (in their own cars) on company business and are given an allowance for fuel. We want to issue a policy regarding their responsibilities whilst driving on company business. What types of things should we include within the policy?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2012 Whilst you are contributing to the cost of business fuel, there are perhaps fewer requirements that can be imposed upon the employee than in the case of a company car, where you may need to ensure compliance with fleet insurance provisions etc. However, some suggested provisions include: That the c...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

Instead of paying for overtime, some employers offer 'time off in lieu' (TOIL). Presumably, this arrangement must be contained in the employees’ terms and conditions of employment or their Employee Handbook, and typically the time an employee takes off in lieu will be at a time that suits the employer and must be signed off by the employee’s line manager?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/03/2012 There are no legal provisions as to how much time in lieu an employer may offer its employees but it would normally be the time equal to the amount worked, but some do offer more or a mixture of overtime pay and time off in lieu. If, as suggested in the question, the employer wanted to offer more t...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave