First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

Is there anything to stop employees bringing two reps into a hearing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 In relation to the right for an employee to be accompanied at a disciplinary/grievance meeting, the legislation states “the employer must permit the worker to be accompanied at the hearing by one companion”. Therefore, there is no statutory requirement for the employer to accept more than one emplo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

An employee was suspended on full pay pending the outcome of an investigation process. They immediately send in a sick line. Investigation recommended disciplinary action. Employee is still claiming not fit to attend, GP has said not fit to attend, company doctor says he is. What do we need to be aware of if holding a hearing in absentia?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/07/2015 Where an employee (or their GP) has indicated they are not fit to attend a disciplinary hearing which conflicts with the advice of your company doctor, you might consider obtaining medical advice from an independent doctor such as an occupational health physician. Whilst disciplinary hearings can b...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

An employee has been suspended on full pay due to concerns regarding treatment of patients in a care home. The only proof is three statements from fellow employees that witnessed ill treatment. If the employee is determined she did not do this or act in such manner and it is really the other employees’ word against hers. We are investigating further but what length of time is it appropriate to keep her suspended for and is there an appropriate time scale to make a decision whether to dismiss or not?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/07/2015 There is no set timeframe in terms of how long a suspension should last. Employers should, as a starting point, refer to the principles set out in the Labour Relations Agency Code of Practice on Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures on this matter. In sum, this guidance provides that if a suspens...
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 07/07/2015 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