First Tuesday Q&A

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

Employee searches – what does signed consent mean? And what if the employee subsequently refuses to be searched?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/12/2011 To conduct a search of an employee without their express consent could constitute assault, battery, false imprisonment and/or sexual assault. There may also be civil remedies available to the employee for the civil offence of trespass to the person. In addition, searching your employees without the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

If an employee has been allowed for many years to breach their contract by, for example, coming in late, disappearing during work time, not doing much work, would it be impossible to get rid of them? Would the employer be regarded as having acquiesced to the breaches of contract?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/11/2011 In a nutshell, it’s not impossible to get rid of this employee but the employer should tread carefully at this stage to help mitigate against the risk of claims. If dismissed now, this employee could potentially bring a claim for unfair dismissal and/or breach of contract against the employer. In d...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment

We have a member of staff employed part-time and the role is getting much busier. Do we have to offer this member full-time work or can we employ another part-time employee?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/11/2011 I assume that this query relates to an extension of the employee’s hours rather than the creation of a new role. This being the case, the best way to approach this would be to consult with the employee to establish whether the employee can or wishes to extend his/her hours. The employee should be a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

An individual has been employed on a number of fixed term employment contracts (consecutively, without any break in service) over a four year period in an organisation which has made a voluntary redundancy option available to its employees. Is this employee entitled to apply and to be considered?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/11/2011 If a fixed term employee has their contract renewed or if they are engaged on a new fixed-term contract when they already have a period of four or more years of continuous employment, the renewal or new contract takes effect as a permanent contract (unless employment on a fixed term contract was ob...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Contracts of Employment

What are the employers options when, following a disagreement, an employee provides a written resignation, however changes their mind soon after and asks for their job back?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/10/2011 Once an employee has validly presented their resignation and the employer has accepted it, the employee does not have the right to unilaterally withdraw his or her resignation. However, employers should tread carefully when immediately accepting the resignation where it was either ambiguous, given ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

An employee told me that she does not wish to return to work following her maternity leave. What should I do in those circumstances?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/10/2011 Employees who decide not to return to work at all after maternity leave are obliged to give their employer notice in the normal way. The relevant period of notice will be either the statutory minimum, or the contractual period of notice, if longer. Where the contract fails to specify a notice perio...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

What are the key enabling clauses in a Zero Hours Contract?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/10/2011 A Zero Hours Contract is a contract under which there is no guarantee that the employer will offer any work, nor that the individual will accept any work that is offered. The key enabling clause that must be included in any Zero Hours Contract is one setting out the contract’s status as a zero hour...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

Can a part-time employee paid NMW be required to undertake a necessary qualification and be required to pay for it, even though his wages would then fall below the NMW?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/08/2011 Firstly, any such deductions from pay must either be agreed in advance with the employee or must be set out in his/her contract of employment. In respect of NMW, certain sums must be deducted from total gross pay in order to reach NMW pay. These sums should be included when calculating a worker’s h...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment

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 02/08/2011 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 weekly pay (up to a maximum ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Contracts of Employment

My question is how should an employer calculate a buy-out of existing terms & conditions of employment: Is it usually calculated on difference of annual salary between existing T&Cs and new T&Cs x number of years' service or is this calculation at the discretion of the company?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/08/2011 Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all formula in such circumstances as much depends on the terms being changed, the reason for the proposed change(s) (for example if the proposals are to avoid redundancies, the changes may be seen by staff as the lesser of two evils), the bargaining position...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Collective and Trade Union Issues