First Tuesday Q&A

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

If terminating during probation is it necessary to follow the statutory dismissal / disciplinary procedures?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/12/2017 It is common for employers to use probationary periods in order to assess an employee’s performance and general suitability for employment. Many employers will choose not to follow the statutory disciplinary / dismissal procedures during a period of probation on the basis that (assuming it is for l...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Discrimination and Equality Probation

An employee with a disabled child has submitted a request for flexible working. Can the employer refuse this application? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/09/2017 The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (“1996 Order”) establishes a statutory right for all employees who have been employed for a continuous period of 26 weeks to request flexible working hours. An employee may only make a single request in every 12 month period. Importantly, this is ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality A-Typical Working

An employee has recently taken some time off work citing mental health issues. The employee has never raised such health concerns with us before. Do we have any duty in relation to the employee given that the employee has never disclosed his medical history of mental illness?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/09/2017 There is no duty on the employee to disclose their mental health issues. Some mental illnesses may fall within the definition of ‘disability’ under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (“1995 Act”). Under the 1995 Act, a person has a disability “if he has a physical or mental impairment which has...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality

Due to an unexpected and unfortunate downturn in business, I am forced to make some staff redundant. One of the employee’s most suitable for redundancy is currently on maternity leave. Is there anything I need to consider before I make the final redundancy decision?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/09/2017 It is important that any final decision is not reached until a formal, thorough redundancy procedure has been followed. In a situation such as the one you have described you should consider that the employee may have a claim for unfair dismissal either on the grounds of unfair selection for redunda...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Discrimination and Equality

An employer appoints someone with a disability and puts in place the necessary changes to the working environment to enable the employee to carry out their role. After the first year of probation, it is becoming clear that the employee is having difficulty in meeting the requirements of the position. What action should the employer take to deal with the situation without finding themselves in a breach of the disability legislation?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2017 We will assume that the employee in this case suffers from a disability as defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, but this is something you should seek specific legal advice on. Without knowing exactly why or how the employee is having difficulty meeting the requirements of the position...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Policies and Procedures

What is the current position in relation to disability absences being taken into account by an employer for disciplinary action?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/05/2017 Disciplinary action against an employee for absences that are a consequence of a disability could constitute discrimination arising from disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. If persistent or long-term absence affects the employee’s ability to carry out the job, you should addres...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Discrimination and Equality

One of my employees has alleged that their line manager is sexually harassing them. How should employers approach this issue?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/05/2017 Whilst it would be important to seek specific legal advice in respect of this matter, there are a number of general principles which should be considered. The first priority is to establish the facts, regardless of whether you have a harassment policy. You should appoint a suitable person, who is n...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Discrimination and Equality

We have an employee that suffers from age-related macular degeneration. Their performance at work has suffered since their diagnosis and it has now reached the point where they are not doing their job properly. Can we dismiss them?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2017 This is a highly litigious issue and so specific legal advice should be obtained before taking any further steps in respect of the employee in question. By way of general guidance, however, it should be noted that, as well as showing that capability was the reason for dismissal, employers will also...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Sickness and Absence Discrimination and Equality

Are employers required to credit an employee for Bank/Public Holidays on top of their annual leave allowance while on maternity leave?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/01/2017 Calculating annual leave entitlement in cases of maternity leave can cause considerable difficulties for employers. As a starting point, employers should always check their contracts of employment, together with any policies dealing with annual leave and/ or maternity. Do they state that employees ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Working Time and Leave

What are the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland’s employers?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/08/2016 What does Brexit mean for the status of our employment laws? The extent to which our employment laws will be affected will be largely dependent upon the economic relationship /trade arrangement to be agreed between the UK and the remaining 27 member states of the EU. It is likely, however, that th...