First Tuesday Q&A

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

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 We have withdrawn this from 31st December 2011 as it does not meet Policy/Procedures. The question is: may an allowance be withdrawn without any negotiations/discussions?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

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