First Tuesday Q&A

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

We work in a very dangerous environment with knives and machinery and want to implement a drug & alcohol policy that would allow for random, with cause and pre-employment testing. Can we do this with Union agreement and without the consent of each employee?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/05/2012 Health and safety considerations are very important in circumstances such as this as employers have, under common law and statute, a duty to ensure, so far as practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. Therefore, while drug and alcohol testing is often a controversial a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

Are organisations required to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates? Can we have a policy which states feedback will only be provided to candidates who reach the final round interview?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/05/2012 There is no strict obligation in Northern Ireland to offer unsuccessful candidates feedback and there doesn’t appear to be much by way of guidance in the Codes of Practice applicable in NI. The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Code of Practice (which was drafted to sit alongside the Equality ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures Recruitment and Selection

Must a staff handbook be provided in hard copy or is it sufficient to refer employees to policies on your company’s intranet?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/05/2012 The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 sections 33 – 35 deal with written particulars that employees are entitled to receive. Some specific matters are to be contained in a written statement of particulars (i.e. the employee’s contract of employment). Other matters can be included in o...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures Recruitment and Selection

We have over the last two years begun to use Twitter and Facebook as a big communication tool with our customers, with live chat going on around specific events. We have issued a policy for staff but are unsure how best to regulate staff participation in these communications from their private accounts, as we were concerned that to prevent communication from their own private accounts might be an infringement of staff individual rights outside work.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2012 As social media (which includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, other forms of blogs and YouTube) becomes increasingly popular, employers are beginning to explore how this new form of communication affects the workplace and to what extent restrictions contained in a Social Media Policy may affect the ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Human Rights Policies and Procedures

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

If we have been using the ‘old’ grievance procedures for period of time rather than new LRA code, how will that be viewed by Tribunal, or is the most important thing that we followed a procedure, rather than nothing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/12/2011 Both the “old” LRA Code grievance procedure and the “new” LRA Code grievance procedure cover the minimum process that should be followed when implementing a grievance procedure. Therefore, the old grievance procedure you have followed is likely to be compliant with the new LRA Code grievance proced...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Employee searches – what does signed consent mean? And what if the employee subsequently refuses to be searched?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/12/2011 To conduct a search of an employee without their express consent could constitute assault, battery, false imprisonment and/or sexual assault. There may also be civil remedies available to the employee for the civil offence of trespass to the person. In addition, searching your employees without the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures