First Tuesday Q&A

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

Can a part-time employee paid NMW be required to undertake a necessary qualification and be required to pay for it, even though his wages would then fall below the NMW?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/08/2011 Firstly, any such deductions from pay must either be agreed in advance with the employee or must be set out in his/her contract of employment. In respect of NMW, certain sums must be deducted from total gross pay in order to reach NMW pay. These sums should be included when calculating a worker’s h...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment

Is it unlawful to not pay at least the National Minimum Wage to interns? I cannot see them in the list of excluded categories but they are taken on to learn (OK, by doing work experience) and get their foot in the door of their chosen career rather than to do anything absolutely essential. But am I in breach of the NMW regulations if I do not pay anything but expenses?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/06/2011 Generally speaking an intern is not entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW), however, the intern may attract the NMW if he/she is be classified as a worker. This is a fine line that employer’s should be cautious of. In the GB Tribunal case of Vetta v London Dreams Motion Pictures Ltd, it transp...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment

What are we exposed to if we impose pay cuts without seeking an express agreement?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/05/2011 Any such change will amount to a variation of your employee’s terms and conditions of employment. Unless the contract of employment allows you to vary the terms then you must obtain the employee's consent to do this. Imposing the change without consent (express or implied) will be a breach of contr...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment

We have recently discovered that we’ve been overpaying a number of our employees. What's the legal position? Can the Company get the money back from them?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/03/2011 If the employees are still working for you, the first and most obvious avenue to consider is recovering the overpayments from their earnings. Making deductions from employees’ wages is unlawful under the Employment Rights (NI) Order 1996 unless authorised by statute or the employee’s contract or wh...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment

We had two employees who could not get to and ‘from’ work because of the bad weather.

One said she was snowed in and could not get out of her house (which is in the country up an untreated road). The other was travelling back from Dublin after work and the work van was slipping all over the road. After three hours of not going very far the employee booked into a hotel for the night.

What are my responsibilities as an employer in these situations?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/12/2010 As a rule of thumb an employer's obligation to pay arises where the employee is willing and able to perform work. If an employee cannot get to work or they cannot carry out their work, strictly speaking you do not have an obligation to pay these employees. Having said that, many of our clients tend...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures Pay and Conditions of Employment

A manager drunkenly told an employee that she could have a Christmas bonus - can he retract this statement without risk of liability?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/12/2010 A case like this went to tribunal - the employee claimed that he had been promised a substantial pay rise by his manager towards the end of a party. It was concluded that, considering the environment in question, the manager would not have intended to enter into a legally-binding contractual commit...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Pay and Conditions of Employment

When does it become acceptable [timeframe] to align salaries, working hours etc after a TUPE Transfer so that all workers are treated to the same? We have recently had a transfer and there are members of staff working all different times on different rates. Other staff working longer hours are getting very aggrieved about this to the point where I can see it becoming a formal complaint in the near future.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/10/2010 The short answer is never! Post-transfer harmonisation of terms and conditions of employment will almost always be because of the transfer itself and will, therefore, not amount to a permitted change under TUPE, being an economic, technical or organisational (ETO) reason connected with the transfer...

We are proposing a move from hardcopy payslips to e-payslips and I wonder if there are any legal implications which we need to consider before implementing this? An issue which may be important is that not all staff have personal computers in the workplace – e.g. Catering, security, portering, cleaning and other staff would have one central computer per group on which they could access their payslip and print it off.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/06/2010 As an employer you are legally obliged to give your employees a “written itemised pay statement” and must issue it at, or before, the time you pay your employees. Article 40 of the Employment Rights (NI) Order also sets out the information that must be included on a payslip. This is not usually an ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Pay and Conditions of Employment

Our managing director implemented a 10% pay reduction for all staff and managers with effect from 1 April. He announced this on 2 April. I am the HR manager and have explained to him that he needs employee consent as it is fundamental change to our employees' terms and conditions. He argues that he took legal advice and was told that he could unilaterally implement the reduction without consent as the change affects everyone and is thus indiscriminate. Can you please advise?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/05/2010 It is almost certain that cutting pay in this unilateral fashion will indeed amount to a breach of contract, but I would need to see the contracts of employment to be sure. Very occasionally contracts of employment are drafted with a "flexibility clause" that gives the employer the ability to reduc...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment

My question involves making changes to the pay frequency of certain employees. We currently have a mixture of weekly, fortnightly and monthly paid staff and due to staff shortages in our Finance Dept are currently proposing to move the fortnightly paid staff to the monthly payroll. Do we need to get agreement of all the staff or is it enough simply to inform them of our intention to make the change? Can staff resist the change being made?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/04/2010 The answer to this depends on whether the proposed pay frequency change is a contractual or a non-contractual change. Although I would need to see the contract to be sure, my view is that changing the date on which payment is made will be a contractual change (either because there will be an expres...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment