× Hello, this site is currently undergoing improvements. We apologise for any inconvenience.

First Tuesday Q&A

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

Please provide guidance for employers in relation to staffing issues during periods of adverse weather

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/11/2018 Inclement weather can pose problems for employers and employees alike, particularly as it is often unforeseen. Firstly, it is necessary to consider if adverse weather scenarios are dealt with in employment contracts and/or a policy document. This is relevant because some employment contracts may co...

Does an employer have to pay an employee who is suspended?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/10/2018 Suspension usually takes place either: To enable an employer to investigate allegations of misconduct; or For medical or health and safety reasons. Therefore, suspension should be invoked as a protective measure and should not be utilised as a disciplinary sanction nor in a manner likely to resul...

Is there a maximum workplace temperature beyond which employees cannot be expected to work?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2018 The recent spell of good weather has generated increased questions regarding temperatures in the workplace. Regulation 7 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993 provides that during work hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be re...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety

Do employees have the right to refuse to participate in a drugs test if not provided for in their contract of employment or a company policy?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 An employer has a legal responsibility to look after their employees’ health and safety at work as far as is reasonably possible. As well as causing ill-health, drug misuse increases the chances of accidents at work and interferes with how much work is done. An employee can't be made to take a drug...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

Should employers introduce a ‘vaping’ policy in their workplace?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/10/2017 The use of E-cigarettes in the workplace does not fall within the prohibition of smoking under the Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, and therefore can currently be legally used. An employer cannot prohibit their use on its premises or limit their use in working time unless it expressly covers ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Policies and Procedures

Are employers obliged to provide smoking shelters for employees?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/10/2017 Providing a smoke-free workplace has been obligatory for employers under the Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006. There is currently no requirement for outdoor smoking areas to be provided for employees or members of the public, this is at the discretion of the employer. However, should an employ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Policies and Procedures

If employees go to a bar after an official workplace social event and have an argument, should the altercation be considered a workplace issue and are the company liable for any injuries caused?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/01/2017 The conduct of employees at out of office events and parties can be a difficult issue for employers to address. Employers can be vicariously liable for the conduct of their employees out of office, especially if employees are attending events in the course of their employment. The key issue for emp...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Health and Safety

If you have a member of staff leave the company but then re-joins a few months later on a new contract of employment, does the company need to go through a full induction process with them again e.g. Health & Safety, Office Regulations, Data Protection and other company Procedures and Policies as if they never had worked for the company previously?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/02/2016 As a general rule, it is important that all companies, large or small, should have a well-considered induction programme to provide employees with all the information they need before starting the job. The induction programme should reflect the complexity of the job in question and help employees ...

One of our employees took part on our grounds in the Ice Bucket Challenge. It seemed like a good idea and was to raise money for charity. However, one of the employees tipping a bucket slipped and damaged vertebrae in her back. She’s now off sick and threatening to sue us because we allowed the thing to take place without adequate warnings. We didn’t encourage it – we just let the employees get on with it. Where do we stand legally and is this another case of health and safety gone mad? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2014 Legal liability in cases such as these will be determined on the facts of the matter. An action under common law in a situation like this is likely to be based on negligence. To succeed in an action for negligence the injured party would have to prove on the balance of probabilities that the employ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety

We work in a very dangerous environment with knives and machinery and want to implement a drug & alcohol policy that would allow for random, with cause and pre-employment testing. Can we do this with Union agreement and without the consent of each employee?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/05/2012 Health and safety considerations are very important in circumstances such as this as employers have, under common law and statute, a duty to ensure, so far as practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. Therefore, while drug and alcohol testing is often a controversial a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures