First Tuesday Q&A

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

Can employment be terminated during the probationary period? If so, what are the risks to employers?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2018 The purpose of a probationary period is to assess whether the employee is suitable for the job. Probationary periods can be for varying periods of time, but standard practice is generally six months. We recommend that provision is also included in the contract of employment for the extension of the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Probation

Is compensation awarded for injury to feelings on the increase? Is there any practical advice that can be given in taking steps to reduce injury to feelings costs?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/02/2018 A recent Court of Appeal decision (Pereira v de Souza v Vinci Construction Ltd [2017]) held that a 10% uplift should apply to awards for injury to feelings. Although this was an English decision, it is persuasive authority for Northern Ireland. The new award bands are now: Lower band: £1,000 - £8...

Where an employee is subjected to several warnings for minor/major misconduct, when is it appropriate to move to final warning?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/12/2017 It is not clear whether the previous warnings remain live on the employee’s personnel file or detail the acts of misconduct or poor performance committed. Your course of action will largely depend on the contents of your Disciplinary Policy and Procedure. When deciding the appropriate penalty, you ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Should the investigating manager generally be different to the manager who sits on the disciplinary panel?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/12/2017 Yes, it is important to ensure that, where practical, the individual holding the disciplinary hearing is not the same person who also conducted the investigation. Otherwise, the decision-maker may not be seen to be impartial. Where an employee has been suspended it is also preferable in a larger or...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

When disciplinary allegations are put to an employee, should the employer reference the specific incident or the breach of policy when drafting the notification letter?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 The Labour Relations Agency has set out some helpful guidance for employers in relation to codes of practice concerning disciplinary and grievance procedures. According to this guidance, an employer should draw up a statement of grounds for action and invitation to a meeting. This statement should ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Our policy does not permit a solicitor to attend a disciplinary meeting - only a colleague or trade union representative may attend. Is this lawful?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/10/2017 Employees have a right to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing by a trade union representative or a fellow worker. There is no general right under UK law for an employee to have a qualified legal representative at a disciplinary hearing, however, some employees (for example, NHS hospital doctor...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment Human Rights

An employee has been involved in an incident which may be considered to be gross misconduct that we think warrants immediate dismissal under the terms and conditions contained in the employment handbook. Is it possible to dismiss this employee without a disciplinary hearing given their alleged gross misconduct?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/07/2017 Often employers’ disciplinary procedures or employment contracts will provide circumstances that result in immediate dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice. Typically, these circumstances will include acts of gross misconduct. Despite the fact that such a provision seems to imply that a ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

What is the current position in relation to disability absences being taken into account by an employer for disciplinary action?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/05/2017 Disciplinary action against an employee for absences that are a consequence of a disability could constitute discrimination arising from disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. If persistent or long-term absence affects the employee’s ability to carry out the job, you should addres...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Discrimination and Equality

What is the liability in relation to the termination of an employment contract during a probationary period?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/05/2017 In terms of liabilities for statutory employment claims, unfair dismissal generally isn’t likely to be a risk because the employee won’t have accrued the one year’s service necessary to bring such a claim (assuming the probationary period is for less than this period). However, employers should be ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment Probation

An employee has asked for their spouse to be their companion at a disciplinary hearing. Do I have to allow the spouse to attend?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/05/2017 You should first check your disciplinary policy to see what it says about who may accompany an employee to a disciplinary hearing. If an employee is required or invited to attend a disciplinary (or grievance hearing), and makes a reasonable request to be accompanied, that employee has the right to ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues