First Tuesday Q&A

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

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 We have withdrawn this from 31st December 2011 as it does not meet Policy/Procedures. The question is: may an allowance be withdrawn without any negotiations/discussions?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The legislation which allowed the lawful retirement of employees who reached the default retirement age of 65 was repealed in April 2011.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

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