First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

We have a long-standing manager who, when subjected to a disciplinary due to performance issues, put in a four week sick line for work-related stress. He also lodged a grievance against his relatively new manager. How would you go about resolving this? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/10/2015 It is important for employers in this kind of situation to treat the employee concerned as they would any other employee who is absent from work due to sickness. Any scheduled disciplinary meetings should also be cancelled in the interim and the employee should be advised of this. As a starting poi...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Can an Employee on Long Term Sick Leave Still be Considered for Redundancy? What Precautions Should Employer Take?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 Yes, they can still be considered, subject to a number of qualifications. In addition to establishing a legitimate reason for redundancy and adhering to the usual requirements of a fair redundancy procedure, you should ensure that, at every stage of the process, reasonable adjustments are made to t...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Sickness and Absence

An employee was suspended on full pay pending the outcome of an investigation process. They immediately send in a sick line. Investigation recommended disciplinary action. Employee is still claiming not fit to attend, GP has said not fit to attend, company doctor says he is. What do we need to be aware of if holding a hearing in absentia?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/07/2015 Where an employee (or their GP) has indicated they are not fit to attend a disciplinary hearing which conflicts with the advice of your company doctor, you might consider obtaining medical advice from an independent doctor such as an occupational health physician. Whilst disciplinary hearings can b...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

One of our employees has gone off work as his wife died suddenly a few weeks ago. What should we do in this instance and is it appropriate to ask him when he will be returning? We have no policies in place for bereavement?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/06/2015 There is no obligation on employers to grant compassionate leave in the event of a bereavement, except in the limited circumstances outlined in the statutory right to time off for dependents. However, many employers will provide for a period of paid leave in the event that a close relative of the e...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Policies and Procedures

We have an employee currently on sick leave with back problems. She has recently posted photos on Facebook showing her socialising and dancing on a night out. These photos have been shared with some of her work colleagues on Facebook and we have been notified. Can we dismiss her for gross misconduct?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/02/2015 Ideally, if you have a sickness absence policy or contractual right requiring the employee to submit to medical examinations when requested, you should take steps to verify the employee's sickness in this way in the first instance. If there is no such policy or requirement, then you may nonetheless...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

What happens if there is conflicting advice from a GP & Occupational health professional? OH advise fit to work and GP advises against the fitness; what should a company do?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/01/2015 Where an employer obtains more than one medical opinion and the two opinions conflict, a reasonable employer would usually take steps to resolve this conflict by obtaining a third report or by seeking further clarification. However, there may be cases where an employer is entitled to prefer the opi...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence