First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

An employee has been receiving an additional payment from 2003 to date for additional duties/responsibilities. We have withdrawn this from 31st December 2011 as it does not meet Policy/Procedures. The question is: may an allowance be withdrawn without any negotiations/discussions?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/02/2012 The first question the employer should ask is whether this additional payment forms part of the employee’s terms and conditions of employment. If it does, and subject to what is said in the relevant Policy/Procedures and/or contractual documentation relating to this additional payment (and why it i...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures Pay and Conditions of Employment

What are the obligations on employers to provide employees with contracts of employment?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/01/2012 Employers are required by law to provide all employees, within two months of commencing employment, a written statement of employment particulars, more commonly known as a contract of employment. The contract of employment should set out a wide range of particulars concerning the employment, for ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

Our pension age is 65. Can a business still maintain 65 as retirement age or not? If yes, are there any provisos?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/01/2012 The legislation which allowed the lawful retirement of employees who reached the default retirement age of 65 was repealed in April 2011. This doesn’t mean that employees can’t retire at 65 anymore - it just means that this has become an issue of choice for them, rather than compulsion. While conse...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment Pensions

An employee is off on long-term ‘sick’ and you hear on the grapevine that the employee has posted on Facebook that they are working in a different job. How do you handle this - what action can you take?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/12/2011 You should investigate this situation as a potential disciplinary matter with the potential allegation(s) being an intention to defraud and/or deception. This will involve investigating the source of the information to establish its accuracy, considering potential data protection issues, reviewing ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment