First Tuesday Q&A

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

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...

Please provide some guidelines on current retirement legislation as regards employment contracts

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/07/2016 The law on retirement has changed considerably in recent years. Although compulsory retirement clauses were once common features in contracts of employment, their current use is rare following the abolition of the default retirement age. Compulsory retirement is now also potentially unlawful age di...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

Can we enforce a contractual retirement age?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/04/2016 Compulsory retirement of employees may potentially amount to unlawful age discrimination. Whether the contractual retirement age in question here can be enforced will depend on whether you are able to objectively justify it as a "proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim". This will require...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

We have an employee out on maternity leave and her contract states she is entitled to a performance related bonus. Should this be awarded on a pro rata basis given that she has been on maternity leave for a significant period of the year or is her leave deemed to be 'protected' because she is on maternity leave and therefore entitled to the full bonus payment?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/02/2016 In general, a contractual bonus cannot be withheld by an employer unless the criteria set out from the outset in relation to being awarded a bonus have not been met. Once the employee has satisfied the criteria, the employee is entitled to payment of the bonus and it subsequently forms part of his/...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Working Time and Leave Pay and Conditions of Employment

My query relates to whether an employer is 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 02/02/2016 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 Pay and Conditions of Employment

In setting down a retirement age in a contract of employment, should you include the objective grounds for the retirement age in order to try to manage expectations or are you just tying your hands for the future? What would you advise?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/01/2016 Retirement clauses should only be used where the employer can objectively justify compulsory retirement of employees, and in fact are not even necessary in those situations, since termination on notice may be preferable to automatic termination.Although clauses such as this were fairly common in th...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment

In setting down a retirement age in a contract of employment, should you include the objective grounds for the retirement age in order to try to manage expectations or are you just tying your hands for the future? What would you advise?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/12/2015 Although compulsory retirement clauses were once common features in contracts of employment, their current use is rare following the abolition of the default retirement age. Compulsory retirement is now potentially unlawful age discrimination, and should only be used where the employer can objectiv...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality

I have a query in relation to an employee of the Muslim faith who uses the staff canteen to pray during working hours. The canteen space is limited and this activity is now causing difficulty for other staff who may have a scheduled break at the same time. What is the responsibility of the employer to accommodate staff who wish to practice their faith during work hours?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/07/2015 It is as unlawful to discriminate against a person for holding a particular (or any) religious or philosophical belief, as it is to discriminate against someone for not holding a religious or philosophical belief. Employers should adopt good practice measures to ensure that such persons are not put...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Working Time and Leave