First Tuesday Q&A

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

Can we ask about applicants’ health before making a job offer?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/11/2012 There is no statutory provision in NI which prevents employers from asking pre-employment health checks or questions. Therefore, these can be legitimately conducted in NI provided they are compatible with the Equality Commission’s best practice guidance and general disability discrimination and dat...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Recruitment and Selection

Please advise on the use of social media e.g. Facebook in relation to recruitment and in relation to dismissal where a staff member is making inappropriate comments about the organisation/ specific personnel.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/10/2012 In relation to recruitment, there is no formal legal provision preventing an employer from looking at any publicly available material before offering an individual a job, including social media. However, employers should weigh the benefit of obtaining any information from these sites against its ai...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Recruitment and Selection

We employ seasonal ‘summer’ workers. If we employ them for successive summers are they covered by unfair dismissal legislation/expectation of summer work under custom and practice?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/08/2012 In order to have unfair dismissal rights, the seasonal 'summer' worker must qualify as an employee AND also be able to prove one year of continuous employment. As regards the expectation of summer work under custom and practice, employers should be aware of the GB Employment Appeal Tribunal case of...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Contracts of Employment A-Typical Working Recruitment and Selection

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 recently undergone a recruitment exercise and appointed a very good candidate. However we also have 2 other candidates who are placed on reserve as they also demonstrated the level required to do the job. My question is that we may have a similar type role (job titles not the same but nuts and bolts of the job are comparable) coming up in the future for which we believe the reserve candidates would be suitable. Would we be able to offer the candidates these posts without going through the full recruitment process?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/10/2011 Employers regularly use reserve lists for positions where more than one candidate is deemed suitable for a vacancy. It is important that this list is operated and carried out in line with any recruitment and selection policies within the employer’s organisation. Candidates should be informed at any...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Recruitment and Selection

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

Is there any benefit to having a pre-employment medical assessment in Northern Ireland?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/07/2011 Yes - they can present an employer with important information about a prospective employee’s ability to undertake their proposed new role, either prior to or at the time an offer of employment is made. For example, there may be fitness requirements for a strenuous role, or a need to test vision for...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Human Rights Recruitment and Selection

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

In relation to employees on maternity leave and the need to notify them of vacancies, is it enough to advise them that there are vacancies available via the internet (assuming the employee has internet and email access) or do we have to inform them in writing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/01/2011 The answer to this question really depends on the precise reason for notifying an employee on maternity leave of other vacancies: is it is because the employee's own job has become redundant or is it simply to make sure that the absent employee is kept informed about other opportunities in the same...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave Recruitment and Selection