First Tuesday Q&A

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

If an employee asks to audio record a disciplinary hearing should we let them do so?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/10/2016 For disciplinary hearings, an important reference for employers generally should be the Labour Relations Agency’s Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. This provides a general guide for both employers and employees on how to conduct disciplinary hearings fairly. The LRA code ma...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

I work in an organisation which requires all male employees to wear a tie when attending business meetings and conferences on behalf of the company. One of our managers refuses to wear a tie. How should we deal with this?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/09/2016 Dress codes can be a difficult issue for employers, as evidenced by the recent media coverage surrounding the case of a woman who was reportedly sent home from her job as a receptionist for refusing to comply with a dress code requiring her to wear two to four inch heels. It is not clear whether yo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Could you explain when ‘modified disciplinary procedures’ can be applied?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2016 However, it is recognised that there may be some limited instances where, although an employer has dismissed an employee immediately without a meeting, a tribunal will, very exceptionally, find the dismissal to be fair. To allow for these cases, there is a statutory modified procedure that must be ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Does the full disciplinary procedure need to be exhausted within a probation period i.e. verbal, written etc.?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/05/2016 Employers usually want flexibility to dismiss an employee without giving prior warnings during his/her probationary period. The employee is likely not to have qualified for ordinary unfair dismissal rights in any case as probationary periods are usually 3-6 months, whereas the unfair dismissal qual...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Probation

 If an employee has been called to a disciplinary meeting, can he/she bring a tribunal representative or solicitor with them to this meeting?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/05/2016 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

Can we consider increasing a penalty sanction from final written warning (FWW) to dismissal on appeal?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/01/2016 The opportunity to appeal against a disciplinary decision is essential to natural justice and appeals may be raised by employees on various grounds, including new evidence having come to light, or the undue severity or inconsistency of the penalty imposed.The LRA Code of Practice does not deal with...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

When, if ever, it is appropriate for an employer to argue frustration of contract?

For example, if an employee is given a prison sentence of 3 or more years for an offence that is no way connected with their employment, can an employer claim frustration rather than have to go through the statutory dismissal procedure using "some other substantial reason" as the potential reason for dismissal?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/12/2015 Case law confirms that a custodial sentence imposed on an employee is capable of frustrating the contract of employment but whether it does or not depends on the circumstances of the case with the length of the term to be served by the employee being a significant factor to be considered. Tribunals...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment

An employee engages in an investigation seeking anonymity. They give key evidence but after being advised that we might not be able to maintain anonymity they want to withdraw their statement. Where does the employer stand?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/12/2015 If the witness asks to remain anonymous, you should explore the reason for this request and any underlying motive. There are a number of reasons why someone may request anonymity: they may genuinely be fearful of violence or other repercussions or simply may not want to be seen as a 'snitch'. You s...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

We have a long-standing manager who, when subjected to a disciplinary due to performance issues, put in a four week sick line for work-related stress. He also lodged a grievance against his relatively new manager. How would you go about resolving this? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/10/2015 It is important for employers in this kind of situation to treat the employee concerned as they would any other employee who is absent from work due to sickness. Any scheduled disciplinary meetings should also be cancelled in the interim and the employee should be advised of this. As a starting poi...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues