First Tuesday Q&A

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

Can an employer contact an employee whilst they are signed-off sick by a doctor?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 Employers are able to maintain a reasonable amount of contact with an employee who is off on sick leave. This is generally considered best practice for an employer. This contact can be used to obtain regular updates on the employee's recovery and prognosis, and to keep the employee up to date with ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

Can an employer dismiss an employee while on long-term sickness?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/11/2017 Before considering dismissing an employee while on long-term sickness, an employer must have addressed other options. Employers should generally have obtained medical evidence in relation to the employee’s particular condition, for example, via occupational health. A key consideration for the emplo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

Does an employee have the right to carry forward unused annual leave into the following leave year?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/07/2017 A leave year is normally specified in an employment contract or an agreement relating to the employment, however, if no such agreement or contract exists the leave year will begin on the date the employee started their employment. The Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 (the “Regulatio...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Working Time and Leave

Is an employee legally entitled to paid time off for doctors/dentist appointments?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2017 No, there is no statutory right to time off for medical or dental appointments, except in relation to antenatal appointments. How an employer deals with such requests is at their discretion and governed by the express or implied terms of the contract of employment. The employee is not at work and, ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Pay and Conditions of Employment

How long can an employee be absent from work due to sickness before being dismissed?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2017 There is no specific 'safe' date or formula which applies, it will all depend on the circumstances of each individual case. It is not how the long the absence was or is, rather what steps the employer has taken to deal with the situation that will determine when it is fair for an employer to dismis...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Sickness and Absence

If a medical report recommends some kind of flexible working and the employer claims they cannot provide it - what are the consequences?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2017 The main considerations here are whether the employee suffers from a disability and whether the employer is under a duty to make a reasonable adjustment for the employee, such as offering some kind of flexible working. The employee will have a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impair...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Policies and Procedures

What is the current position in relation to disability absences being taken into account by an employer for disciplinary action?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/05/2017 Disciplinary action against an employee for absences that are a consequence of a disability could constitute discrimination arising from disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. If persistent or long-term absence affects the employee’s ability to carry out the job, you should addres...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Discrimination and Equality

We have an employee that suffers from age-related macular degeneration. Their performance at work has suffered since their diagnosis and it has now reached the point where they are not doing their job properly. Can we dismiss them?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2017 This is a highly litigious issue and so specific legal advice should be obtained before taking any further steps in respect of the employee in question. By way of general guidance, however, it should be noted that, as well as showing that capability was the reason for dismissal, employers will also...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Sickness and Absence Discrimination and Equality

UK employees are entitled to 28 days annual leave (5.6 weeks leave). If an employee is off sick for all or part of the year, should they carry over the 28 day equivalent or the 28 days under the Working Time Directive?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/06/2016 In Northern Ireland, the Directive is implemented domestically by the Working Time Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”), which provide workers with the right to take 5.6 weeks' paid holiday in each leave year. One important aspect to note about the Regulations in this context is that they provide t...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Working Time and Leave

How should we manage an employee who has been absent from work three times on a medium to long term basis?  The employee has not communicated a reason for absence but we suspect it is due to poor mental health and a possible risk to himself.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/04/2016 As a starting point, you should always refer to any sickness absence procedure you have in place. This should be contained in the employment contract or the Company Handbook. It is important that the employee’s absence is dealt with in accordance with the applicable procedure. We strongly recommend...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence