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First Tuesday Q&A

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

Is it usual for an employee on a phased return after a critical illness to be paid only for the hours worked? In addition, should the employee be asked to use their untaken holidays to bridge over the gap in salary? Would this not contravene Working Time Regulations?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/12/2012 An employer must always firstly consider the contractual provisions which apply to the employee in these circumstances, as the employment contract or handbook may contain provisions about phased return. The recent case of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v Mrs Bagley (2012) consid...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Working Time and Leave Pay and Conditions of Employment

Is it correct that an employee can return to work on a phased return and still claim SSP? For example, they return to work Monday to Wednesday and claim SSP for Thursday to Sunday?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/07/2012 Phased return to work is a common way for employees who have been on long term sick leave to return to the workplace. However, in reality this can present some remuneration issues. The HM Revenue & Customs rules are as follows: Where an employee is on a phased return to work, they should be pa...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Pay and Conditions of Employment

An employee has been receiving an additional payment from 2003 to date for additional duties/responsibilities. We have withdrawn this from 31st December 2011 as it does not meet Policy/Procedures. The question is: may an allowance be withdrawn without any negotiations/discussions?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/02/2012 The first question the employer should ask is whether this additional payment forms part of the employee’s terms and conditions of employment. If it does, and subject to what is said in the relevant Policy/Procedures and/or contractual documentation relating to this additional payment (and why it i...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures Pay and Conditions of Employment

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...