First Tuesday Q&A

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

An employee fails to meet targets/deadlines – how can I proceed?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/04/2013 It is best practice where an employee is underperforming for the employer to work with the employee to encourage improvement. Concerns over performance should be dealt with fairly so that steps are taken to establish facts and give employees the opportunity to respond at a hearing before any formal...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

What can the Trade Union Representative say/not say during an investigation/hearing and can the chair say "no" to them?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/04/2013 The role of the companion (which includes a TU Representative) is limited. The companion is permitted to address the disciplinary hearing (including putting the employee's case, summing up, and responding on the employee's behalf to any view expressed at the hearing) and to confer with the employee...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Collective and Trade Union Issues

A Manager wishes to issue the following memo to all staff;

It has been decided that, in all disciplinary meetings all communications must be in English. It will not be permitted for anyone to communicate in any other language. This will ensure that everyone present knows what is being discussed.

Is there any way in which this can be justified without breaching race discrimination law?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/02/2013 While we are unaware of the background leading you to consider issuing this memo, you are likely to struggle justifying its position, particularly as, we assume, you have employees who are not fluent in English. A core principle of carrying out a fair disciplinary procedure is for employees to unde...

In what circumstances will an employment tribunal accept covert monitoring as evidence?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/10/2012 This question raises a number of issues and we are not told if the monitoring footage is within the workplace or outside. The Industrial Tribunal does not have formal rules of evidence about the admissibility of evidence but, if a party to the proceedings wishes to rely on recordings in support of ...

Please advise on the use of social media e.g. Facebook in relation to recruitment and in relation to dismissal where a staff member is making inappropriate comments about the organisation/ specific personnel.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/10/2012 In relation to recruitment, there is no formal legal provision preventing an employer from looking at any publicly available material before offering an individual a job, including social media. However, employers should weigh the benefit of obtaining any information from these sites against its ai...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Recruitment and Selection

Why is a thorough investigation important in disciplinary cases? Is it a legal requirement?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2012 There is no statutory obligation to carry out an investigation before a disciplinary matter. However, it is the investigation process which will identify whether there are grounds to instigate disciplinary procedures. The Labour Relations Agency’s Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance proc...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

If an employer receives an anonymous written bullying complaint naming an individual and alleging bullying, what are their obligations regarding follow up?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2012 Employers have a legal duty to act reasonably and investigate bullying complaints appropriately. In situations where the complaint is serious in nature and/or contains sufficient detail to deal with the matters complained of, the employer should investigate further. Failure to do so may result in l...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Do employees have the right to be accompanied or represented at disciplinary and grievance meetings / hearings? What is the difference between ‘accompanied’ and ‘represented’ and what / who determines whether an employee has a right to be accompanied or represented?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/09/2012 Employees have a statutory right to be accompanied where they are required or invited by their employer to attend disciplinary hearings which could result in: a formal warning being issued; the taking of some disciplinary action (i.e. suspension without pay, demotion or dismissal); and/or the conf...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

May I dismiss an employee who has under one year’s service without going through the disciplinary procedure?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/06/2012 As a starting point, an employee normally requires 1 year’s service to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. However, there are occasions in which an employee can bring a claim for automatic unfair dismissal despite not having one year’s service. Some examples are, if the reason for the dismissal is ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Disciplinary and Grievance Issues