First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

Am I required to reimburse an employee where the employee has submitted his expense claim outside of the deadline in the expenses policy?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/09/2017 Article 59(2)(b) of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (“1996 Order”), excludes “any payment in respect of expenses incurred by the worker in carrying out his employment” from the definition of wages. As such, the prohibition on an employer making a deduction from an employee’s wag...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures Pay and Conditions of Employment

As an employer do I have to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation? If yes, how can this be accomplished?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/08/2017 The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which comes into force on 25 May 2018, imposes strict accountability obligations on data controllers and data processors to: ensure that data, and data consents, collected prior to 25 May 2018 is brought into line with the new requirements; mainta...

We have been asked by a former employee to provide a reference, are we required to do so?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/08/2017 Generally, there is no legal obligation on an employer to provide a reference for an existing or former employee and employers are therefore generally entitled to refuse to provide a reference. However, you should first consider your policy on this issue as the decision to give references or not, a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures

An employee has been involved in an incident which may be considered to be gross misconduct that we think warrants immediate dismissal under the terms and conditions contained in the employment handbook. Is it possible to dismiss this employee without a disciplinary hearing given their alleged gross misconduct?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/07/2017 Often employers’ disciplinary procedures or employment contracts will provide circumstances that result in immediate dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice. Typically, these circumstances will include acts of gross misconduct. Despite the fact that such a provision seems to imply that a ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

An employer appoints someone with a disability and puts in place the necessary changes to the working environment to enable the employee to carry out their role. After the first year of probation, it is becoming clear that the employee is having difficulty in meeting the requirements of the position. What action should the employer take to deal with the situation without finding themselves in a breach of the disability legislation?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2017 We will assume that the employee in this case suffers from a disability as defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, but this is something you should seek specific legal advice on. Without knowing exactly why or how the employee is having difficulty meeting the requirements of the position...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Policies and Procedures

If a medical report recommends some kind of flexible working and the employer claims they cannot provide it - what are the consequences?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2017 The main considerations here are whether the employee suffers from a disability and whether the employer is under a duty to make a reasonable adjustment for the employee, such as offering some kind of flexible working. The employee will have a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impair...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Policies and Procedures

Can you confirm how long training records should be kept for?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/12/2016 Keeping accurate training records will ensure that employers manage staff effectively and can be useful when carrying out appraisals, recruitment processes and further training and in monitoring equal opportunities. Employers are required to retain certain types of records for their employees and t...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures