First Tuesday Q&A

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

What happens if there is conflicting advice from a GP & occupational health professional? i.e. OH advises us the employee is fit to work and the GP advises against the fitness; what should a company do?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/07/2013 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

An employee has been absent sick for over two years. He is not covered by sick pay and insurers deem him fit to work. His own doctor deems him unfit for work. Is company obliged to keep job open, and if so for how long?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/03/2013 An employer is not required to keep an employee’s position open indefinitely if he or she is no longer fully capable, competent or available to undertake the duties attached to the role. However, where an employee is dismissed for reasons connected with his/her ability to perform the duties require...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

Payment of performance based bonuses - How do we stand for those employees off on maternity leave during the year ? Also can we pro-rata an employee off on sick leave?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/02/2013 A performance related bonus can measure “performance” in many different ways, for example, on the employer’s performance as a whole, the individual’s/team’s performance against certain criteria or on the employee’s attendance record.(a) Maternity Where a contractual bonus is paid in recognition of ...

An employee does not wish to disclose her illness. 9 weeks of certificates stating, “unfit for work” have been received. Can a company doctor disclose the illness to the employer or can we insist on knowing the nature of the illness or move to dismissal or some other action?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 08/01/2013 Under the Access to Personal Files and Medical Reports (NI) Order 1991 (the Order) an employer cannot request a report from an employee’s own doctor without the employee’s consent, which should be recorded in writing. While referring an employee to a company doctor (which we assume to be the case h...

Is it usual for an employee on a phased return after a critical illness to be paid only for the hours worked? In addition, should the employee be asked to use their untaken holidays to bridge over the gap in salary? Would this not contravene Working Time Regulations?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/12/2012 An employer must always firstly consider the contractual provisions which apply to the employee in these circumstances, as the employment contract or handbook may contain provisions about phased return. The recent case of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v Mrs Bagley (2012) consid...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Working Time and Leave Pay and Conditions of Employment

Is it correct that an employee can return to work on a phased return and still claim SSP? For example, they return to work Monday to Wednesday and claim SSP for Thursday to Sunday?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/07/2012 Phased return to work is a common way for employees who have been on long term sick leave to return to the workplace. However, in reality this can present some remuneration issues. The HM Revenue & Customs rules are as follows: Where an employee is on a phased return to work, they should be pa...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Pay and Conditions of Employment

We have a permanent full time employee out on sick leave. The organisation's Occupational Health Doctor's opinion is that this employee will be fit to return to work on a permanent part time 3 day week. Do we have to implement this recommendation even though the job is permanent full time (5 days a week)?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/04/2012 An employer is not legally obliged, but is usually well advised, to act in accordance with medical recommendations from an occupational health expert unless there is good reason (based on evidence) not to do so. You would therefore be expected to have good reasons to demonstrate why this recommenda...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Discrimination and Equality

An employee is off on long-term ‘sick’ and you hear on the grapevine that the employee has posted on Facebook that they are working in a different job. How do you handle this - what action can you take?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/12/2011 You should investigate this situation as a potential disciplinary matter with the potential allegation(s) being an intention to defraud and/or deception. This will involve investigating the source of the information to establish its accuracy, considering potential data protection issues, reviewing ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment