First Tuesday Q&A

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

 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

When an employer gives a verbal warning for misconduct to an employee after a disciplinary does this also need to be communicated to the employee in writing or only recorded for the organisation’s own purposes? Is it procedurally correct, if an employee continues to be disciplined, to give a verbal warning, then first written warning, followed by second written warning and then dismissal?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 The LRA Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures recommends that, where following a disciplinary meeting, an employee is found guilty of misconduct, a first step would be to give him/her a formal oral warning or a written warning depending on the seriousness of the misconduct. It s...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Must an employee on suspension while a disciplinary investigation is carried out remain available for work, or can they take a holiday during this period?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 During a period of suspension, the employee, while not required to attend work, should remain available to assist in the disciplinary investigation, attend investigation or disciplinary meetings, or deal with any work-related questions. Further, if the suspension is lifted earlier than anticipated,...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Working Time and Leave

It has come to the attention of the company that an employee has put on Facebook derogatory comments about their manager. The Facebook page is set to private; however, a colleague who is a friend on Facebook viewed the comment and informed management and would like to be kept anonymous. How can HR approach this situation?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 Recent case law has demonstrated that employers can find it difficult to deal with alleged misconduct involving an employee's use of social media sites such as Facebook. The first difficulty for employers is how this specific type of misconduct is characterised, for example, whether the misconduct ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

We have a query regarding workplace investigations and fairness of procedure. If an investigation is carried out by two investigation officers and they report to an investigation manager can that manager hear the case if he agrees there is a case to answer or must we refer it to a new manager to chair a disciplinary panel?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 If possible, you should refer it to someone independent at the disciplinary stage. The Labour Relations Agency’s Code of Practice on Disciplinary Procedures states that where possible, it is important to ensure that the individual holding the disciplinary hearing is not the person who conducted the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures