First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

What are the employers options when, following a disagreement, an employee provides a written resignation, however changes their mind soon after and asks for their job back?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/10/2011 Once an employee has validly presented their resignation and the employer has accepted it, the employee does not have the right to unilaterally withdraw his or her resignation. However, employers should tread carefully when immediately accepting the resignation where it was either ambiguous, given ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

What is the correct process employers should follow when providing ex-employees with a reference before/after they leave the Company? A statement of service is seen to be unfair for those who have been with the Company a number of years, however, a longer character reference could potentially lead to litigation where a number of employees leave the Company at the same time and some may be given a statement of service while others are given a long character reference.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/08/2011 The questioner rightly points out that the provision of references can be litigious. Providing long references to some and not to others can lead to allegations of disparity in treatment between employees, which, depending on the circumstances, may also be discriminatory. Employers can also open th...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Policies and Procedures Recruitment and Selection

At what point can an employer dismiss on the grounds of capability an employee who is on long term absence due to illness?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/08/2011 To help minimise the risk of claims, an employer should generally only dismiss an employee in these circumstances once a capability procedure, including the minimum statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedures, has been fully followed. It's usually preferable to commence the capability procedure...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Sickness and Absence Policies and Procedures

Are employers obliged to issue contracts, employee handbooks or company policies to non-Nationals in languages understandable to them?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/07/2011 There is no legislation specifically setting out an employer’s statutory duty to issue contracts, handbooks and policies to an employee in their native language. However, not doing so may put you at risk of potential discrimination claims. An employer should find out when recruiting an employee wha...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures Recruitment and Selection

Can an employer discipline staff for using social networking sites during working hours?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/05/2011 Yes, especially if the employee’s usage is in breach of your IT/ Internet/Social Media Policy. Employers should ensure they have a policy on personal use of IT for this purpose, making it clear to employees what they can and cannot do. Discipline and dismissal will not necessarily be unreasonable i...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Under TUPE, can you:

  1. introduce a smart dress code to transferring staff?
  2. generally introduce your policies/procedures to transferring staff?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/04/2011 This question involves the permissibility of variations to the employment terms of transferring staff. In this case, this will depend upon whether the new employer (transferee) intends to amend the contractual provisions of incoming employees' employment contracts, or to simply set out a non-contra...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Transfer of Undertaking (TUPE) Policies and Procedures

Our employer would like to introduce some new policies and procedures for our employees. Are there any issues with just implementing these without consultation?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/02/2011 If you do not intend the policies to be in the employee contracts (and thereby contractually binding) then, from a strict legal perspective, you can just put the procedures into force. However, it may be appropriate to make some policies contractual, for example those relating to pay, expenses, hou...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Policies and Procedures

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