First Tuesday Q&A

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

Can we enforce a contractual retirement age?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/04/2016 Compulsory retirement of employees may potentially amount to unlawful age discrimination. Whether the contractual retirement age in question here can be enforced will depend on whether you are able to objectively justify it as a "proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim". This will require...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

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 ...

Can we consider increasing a penalty sanction from final written warning (FWW) to dismissal on appeal?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/01/2016 The opportunity to appeal against a disciplinary decision is essential to natural justice and appeals may be raised by employees on various grounds, including new evidence having come to light, or the undue severity or inconsistency of the penalty imposed.The LRA Code of Practice does not deal with...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

We do not have a handbook, just a USB stick we issue to all managers with policies and procedures. Is this ok?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/11/2015 For the most part, policies set out in a staff handbook are there as a matter of good practice, to set out standard expected of employees, to assist the running of the business, and to reduce legal risk by making sure employees and managers understand the legal rights and responsibilities inherent ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures

For how long should we retain interview records?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/11/2015 The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) does not specify any documentation retention periods; Schedule 1, paragraph 5 simply provides that personal data should not be kept for longer than is necessary for the purpose for which it is processed. However, Part 2 of the Information Commissioner's Employment...

When an employer gives a verbal warning for misconduct to an employee after a disciplinary does this also need to be communicated to the employee in writing or only recorded for the organisation’s own purposes? Is it procedurally correct, if an employee continues to be disciplined, to give a verbal warning, then first written warning, followed by second written warning and then dismissal?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 The LRA Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures recommends that, where following a disciplinary meeting, an employee is found guilty of misconduct, a first step would be to give him/her a formal oral warning or a written warning depending on the seriousness of the misconduct. It s...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Can an employer change any policies and procedures within the organisation, without consulting with staff, as long as it is communicated to them afterwards?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 This will depend on whether the policies / procedures in question, or the relevant provisions contained therein, are contractual. Contractual terms can normally only be amended with the employee’s consent. In other words, an employer cannot make a “unilateral” change to such terms. Policies will of...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

It has come to the attention of the company that an employee has put on Facebook derogatory comments about their manager. The Facebook page is set to private; however, a colleague who is a friend on Facebook viewed the comment and informed management and would like to be kept anonymous. How can HR approach this situation?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 Recent case law has demonstrated that employers can find it difficult to deal with alleged misconduct involving an employee's use of social media sites such as Facebook. The first difficulty for employers is how this specific type of misconduct is characterised, for example, whether the misconduct ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

We have a query regarding workplace investigations and fairness of procedure. If an investigation is carried out by two investigation officers and they report to an investigation manager can that manager hear the case if he agrees there is a case to answer or must we refer it to a new manager to chair a disciplinary panel?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 If possible, you should refer it to someone independent at the disciplinary stage. The Labour Relations Agency’s Code of Practice on Disciplinary Procedures states that where possible, it is important to ensure that the individual holding the disciplinary hearing is not the person who conducted the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Can an employee refuse to log on to Facebook via shoulder surfing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 Looking generally at this very topical area, being the use of social media in the workplace, a string of recent cases have provided a potent reminder of the perils of posting about your workplace or colleagues, especially where this is in clear breach of your employer’s social media policy. What ha...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act Policies and Procedures