First Tuesday Q&A

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

If an employee requests to record a disciplinary / grievance meeting – can you refuse this?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/01/2015 Employers are entitled to refuse permission for employees to record disciplinary / grievance meetings. It is, however, good practice for a “record keeper” to be present at such meetings in order to take a contemporaneous hand-written note of the proceedings. And whilst the employee may wish to have...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

What would be the initial step to approach an employee who is showing underperformance but seems to have personal issues going on in the background?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/11/2014 It may be appropriate in this situation to have an informal discussion with the employee about his/her performance. Disciplinary procedures usually have provision for an informal procedure, as well as a formal procedure, to allow for this. The informal discussion may provide the employee with an op...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Do formal disciplinary procedures have to go through a 3-step approach from a good practice or legal perspective?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/11/2014 While employers can be flexible about how formal or extensive their disciplinary procedures need to be, there is a legal requirement to follow the “statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedure”, which in summary, involves the following three steps: * A statement in writing of what the employee is...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

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