First Tuesday Q&A

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

Where underperformance involves a disability, how far do you have to go to try to get the person up to 'normal' performance?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/11/2014 Where underperformance is caused or exacerbated by a disability, employers need to be mindful of the possibility of both an unfair dismissal and/or disability discrimination claim. To help reduce the risk of a disability discrimination claim, the employer should consider what reasonable adjustments...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Discrimination and Equality

How many chances do you have to give a persistent "offender" where disciplinary matters are concerned?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/11/2014 It seems this employee has committed misconduct on quite a number of occasions. Rather than allowing this to continue, giving him/her chances to improve, it is preferable to deal with the misconduct under a disciplinary procedure. Formal disciplinary action taken under the procedure usually involve...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Discrimination and Equality

How long must we wait for an employee to participate in an Investigation where the he is providing medical certificates confirming too stressed to participate?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/10/2014 Unfortunately, there is no rule of thumb on how long you must wait. This will depend on the facts of each individual case and there is very little that you can do to speed the process along. Given that medical advice agrees that he is too stressed to participate in the investigation, you may strugg...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

We recently had an employee whom we caught abusing our internet policy. We allowed him to resign rather than go through the disciplinary process, which we thought would inevitably lead to dismissal, given the seriousness of the wrong-doing and the strength of evidence. However, a HR colleague from another location said we have left our employer open to an unfair dismissal challenge. Could you please advise?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/08/2014 It is not uncommon for employees to resign in the face of potential dismissal and employers often prefer this option in order to avoid the time and expense of a dismissal leading to a dispute or litigation, which can of course happen regardless of whether the dismissal was fair. However, employers ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

One of our employees has recently taken up a second job to help with his finances. This is having a detrimental effect on his performance level at work with us. What can we do about this?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/07/2014 During the recession, many employees took on second jobs to fill in the gaps caused by salary freezes and loss of overtime. You haven’t indicated how long this additional job has been affecting the employee’s performance but I would suggest in the first instance an informal approach to address the ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

What is the latest advice when it comes to disciplinary investigations? Is it best to separate the role of investigator from decision-maker at the disciplinary hearing? Our procedures are silent on this – are we likely to come unstuck at a tribunal of the person who carried out an investigation also convenes a formal meeting that might lead to dismissal etc?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/07/2014 Once the decision is taken that an investigation is required, the employer needs to consider who should conduct the investigation. In most cases, the employee's immediate line manager will be the appropriate person.Sometimes the employer's own procedure (which may be contractual) stipulates who is ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Can previous history be taken into account when dismissing someone for gross misconduct?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/04/2014 An employer may dismiss fairly for a first instance of gross misconduct. It is also possible to dismiss fairly where a less serious form of misconduct takes place, following previous warnings. In some cases it may be difficult to pinpoint whether behaviour amounts to gross misconduct and it will de...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Can an employer ask a medical adviser is an employee fit to attend a disciplinary hearing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/03/2014 A common problem for employers is that of the employee who, on being told to attend a disciplinary hearing, absents themselves by reason of ill health, frequently citing stress as the cause. If the employee is still absent after a period of time the employer may, subject to the employee's consent, ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Is it necessary to disclose witness statements taken during misconduct/ bullying investigations (as opposed to post investigation if disciplinary arises)?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/02/2014 The purpose of conducting an investigation is purely to inform a decision making process and it should be a fact-finding process. The investigation should help demonstrate how fair and reasonable the employer has been with regard to any decision that is subsequently taken to proceed to disciplinary...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

In a small organisation with few managers, what is the expectation about where appeals against a dismissal would go?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/01/2014 Paragraph 48 of the Labour Relations Agency Code of Practice advises the following:- ‘A more senior manager not previously involved with the case should hear the appeal. Where a person at the most senior management level has already been involved with the case and there is a manager of the same st...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues