First Tuesday Q&A

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

Does the employer have to provide an employee with a copy of a statement made about him in another employee's grievance meeting?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2018 There is no specific legal requirement to provide an employee with a statement made about him/her in a grievance raised by another employee. The LRA Code of Practice on Grievances sets out clear guidance for employers on how to deal with grievances, and employers should be familiar with this. Howev...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act

Can a disciplinary sanction be increased as a result of an appeal hearing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2018 This question was addressed by the Court of Appeal in England in McMillan v Airedale NHS Foundation Trust [2014] IRLR 803 CA. In this case, it was held that an employer does not have the right to increase a disciplinary sanction on appeal unless it has express provision to do so in its disciplinary...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment

What should an employer do if an employee who has submitted a grievance then submits a claim to the tribunal before the grievance has been dealt with?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 Firstly, employers should note that there is no legislative prohibition on an employee commencing a tribunal claim before their grievance has been concluded. In fact, it is relatively common for employees or ex-employees to bring a claim prior to a grievance outcome being reached. This is due to th...

What are the consequences for an employer who does not let an employee bring a companion to a disciplinary or grievance hearing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/07/2018 All individuals engaged under a contract of employment, agency workers and home workers have a statutory right under Article 12 of the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999, to be accompanied to a disciplinary or grievance meeting. The accompanying individual may be a colleague, trade ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

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