First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

We are currently considering proposals to implement pay cuts throughout our organisation. What is the position of employees on long-term sick if their colleagues at work have their pay cut?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/02/2010 For those on long-term sick leave who are receiving statutory sick pay, they must continue to receive the minimum statutory level for as long as they are entitled under the statutory scheme. If contractual sick pay over and above the statutory minimum is being paid, then the employer can seek to ma...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment

Are you legally entitled to reduce an employee’s salary retrospectively? The position in question was advertised with a salary scale, interviews held and a written offer made to the person setting out what the salary scale was. This was accepted in writing and the person has been working in that post, at the advertised salary, for 18 months. However, due to the current economic downturn the salary is no longer sustainable and has been reduced by 8%.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/02/2010 It is not clear in this question what is meant by “retrospectively” – if the current economic downturn has brought about a planned 8% reduction in the employee’s salary, any proposed changes will have future effect only. Any such change will amount to a variation of the employee’s terms and conditi...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment