First Tuesday Q&A

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

Is annual leave accrued on a period of paid suspension? If an employee is suspended from work pending a disciplinary investigation, is there an entitlement to accrue annual leave? Ideally we would like to adjust our annual leave policy to state that whilst on paid suspension you do not accrue annual leave.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/03/2012 Yes. During any period of paid disciplinary suspension, the contract of employment continues and it is normally the case that employees who are suspended under disciplinary policies are required to be available to their employer. As such, annual leave entitlement continues to accrue in the usual wa...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Working Time and Leave

If an incident occurs at an event attended by a number of staff but that event was in no way arranged by the company, is the employer liable for any incidents that may occur? For example, if one employee assaults another, should the employer investigate and carry out a disciplinary procedure?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/02/2012 It is well established that an employer can be vicariously liable for certain actions of its employees where these occur “in the course of employment”, i.e. certain actions done by the employee can be treated as done by the employer as well as by the employee, whether or not it was done with the em...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

If we have been using the ‘old’ grievance procedures for period of time rather than new LRA code, how will that be viewed by Tribunal, or is the most important thing that we followed a procedure, rather than nothing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/12/2011 Both the “old” LRA Code grievance procedure and the “new” LRA Code grievance procedure cover the minimum process that should be followed when implementing a grievance procedure. Therefore, the old grievance procedure you have followed is likely to be compliant with the new LRA Code grievance proced...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

An employee is off on long-term ‘sick’ and you hear on the grapevine that the employee has posted on Facebook that they are working in a different job. How do you handle this - what action can you take?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/12/2011 You should investigate this situation as a potential disciplinary matter with the potential allegation(s) being an intention to defraud and/or deception. This will involve investigating the source of the information to establish its accuracy, considering potential data protection issues, reviewing ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment

If an employee has been allowed for many years to breach their contract by, for example, coming in late, disappearing during work time, not doing much work, would it be impossible to get rid of them? Would the employer be regarded as having acquiesced to the breaches of contract?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/11/2011 In a nutshell, it’s not impossible to get rid of this employee but the employer should tread carefully at this stage to help mitigate against the risk of claims. If dismissed now, this employee could potentially bring a claim for unfair dismissal and/or breach of contract against the employer. In d...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment

Can CCTV images be brought to the attention of parties in an investigation as evidence if he/she was not made aware that CCTV cameras were in place?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/07/2011 The CCTV Code of Practice 2008 provides guidelines for employers on the use of CCTV in monitoring their workforce. The Code states that workers should normally be aware that they are being monitored and sets out the decision making process that employers must consider before installing CCTV specifi...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Human Rights

Is there a statutory right to allow representation at investigation stage in Northern Ireland?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/06/2011 In short, no. Employees have the statutory right to be accompanied at disciplinary hearings (and grievance hearings) under the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999. Meetings held simply for the purpose of investigating matters as part of the disciplinary process are not “disciplinary ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Can an employer discipline staff for using social networking sites during working hours?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/05/2011 Yes, especially if the employee’s usage is in breach of your IT/ Internet/Social Media Policy. Employers should ensure they have a policy on personal use of IT for this purpose, making it clear to employees what they can and cannot do. Discipline and dismissal will not necessarily be unreasonable i...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

What steps can we take to protect the business from employees publishing damaging material about it on a blog or networking site?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/05/2011 If the comments otherwise damage the employer’s reputation or are intended or likely to destroy the relationship of trust and confidence between employer and employee, discipline and dismissal may be a legitimate course of action. In the absence of any express contractual clause, an employee has im...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Disciplinary and Grievance Issues