First Tuesday Q&A

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

If a disabled agency worker requires an adjustment (e.g. a specific type of chair), who is responsible for providing it, agency or hirer?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 08/01/2013 The Disability Discrimination Act extends to those working under “a contract of service or of apprenticeship or a contract personally to do any work”. It also renders it unlawful for a “principal”, in relation to “contract work” to discriminate against a person who is a “disabled contract worker”. ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality A-Typical Working

Where you have a female operations / production manager who has requested part-time working (compressed hours) of 4 days a week instead of 5 due to family-related reasons (new baby). Are we at risk if the sole basis for refusing the request is that there is a daily (Monday - Friday) management requirement?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/12/2012 The risk of refusing such a request is that a Tribunal may decide you are indirectly discriminating against that female employee by applying a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) to her role which would put female employees at a particular disadvantage compared with male employees, unless the PC...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Working Time and Leave

Does an employee have the right to place themselves on 'disability related leave' if they believe the appropriate 'reasonable adjustments' have not been made?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/12/2012 There is no statutory term or right to “disability related leave”. However, situations can arise where an employee may argue that they are on sick leave because their employer has not made an appropriate reasonable adjustment. In the case of Olenloa v North West London Hospitals NHS Trust (June 201...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Working Time and Leave

We dismissed a male employee a year ago for sending intimidating messages to a female employee. He has now posted a further offensive message on the same employee’s facebook page. At the time the employee left he signed a compromise agreement. What should we do following this female member of staff drawing this to our attention?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/11/2012 An employer has a duty of care towards its employees, but can this be extended to protection from beyond the employment? The Sex Discrimination Order 1976 (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2008 amended the definition of harassment. The new provision makes an employer liable for third party harassment. I...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Discrimination and Equality Policies and Procedures

We have a permanent full time employee out on sick leave. The organisation's Occupational Health Doctor's opinion is that this employee will be fit to return to work on a permanent part time 3 day week. Do we have to implement this recommendation even though the job is permanent full time (5 days a week)?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2012 An employer is not legally obliged, but is usually well advised, to act in accordance with medical recommendations from an occupational health expert unless there is good reason (based on evidence) not to do so. You would therefore be expected to have good reasons to demonstrate why this recommenda...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Discrimination and Equality

Our pension age is 65. Can a business still maintain 65 as retirement age or not? If yes, are there any provisos?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/01/2012 The legislation which allowed the lawful retirement of employees who reached the default retirement age of 65 was repealed in April 2011. This doesn’t mean that employees can’t retire at 65 anymore - it just means that this has become an issue of choice for them, rather than compulsion. While conse...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment Pensions

What is the correct process employers should follow when providing ex-employees with a reference before/after they leave the Company? A statement of service is seen to be unfair for those who have been with the Company a number of years, however, a longer character reference could potentially lead to litigation where a number of employees leave the Company at the same time and some may be given a statement of service while others are given a long character reference.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/08/2011 The questioner rightly points out that the provision of references can be litigious. Providing long references to some and not to others can lead to allegations of disparity in treatment between employees, which, depending on the circumstances, may also be discriminatory. Employers can also open th...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Policies and Procedures Recruitment and Selection

Is there any benefit to having a pre-employment medical assessment in Northern Ireland?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/07/2011 Yes - they can present an employer with important information about a prospective employee’s ability to undertake their proposed new role, either prior to or at the time an offer of employment is made. For example, there may be fitness requirements for a strenuous role, or a need to test vision for...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Human Rights Recruitment and Selection

If an employee requests to continue working beyond the normal retirement age of 65, can the employer refuse this request? If so, how can it be done without exposing the Company to a discrimination claim?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/04/2011 From your question, it sounds as though you have already kick started the retirement procedure and issued your employee with notice of his/her intended retirement date and his /her right to request working beyond 65. If so, and if this notice has been issued before tomorrow, 6 April 2011 and in acc...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment