First Tuesday Q&A

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

Must an employee on suspension while a disciplinary investigation is carried out remain available for work, or can they take a holiday during this period?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/09/2015 During a period of suspension, the employee, while not required to attend work, should remain available to assist in the disciplinary investigation, attend investigation or disciplinary meetings, or deal with any work-related questions. Further, if the suspension is lifted earlier than anticipated,...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Working Time and Leave

Is it possible to include a clause in employment contracts that allows the employer the possibility to ask the employee to use their accrued annual leave during his/her notice period?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/08/2015 Yes, such a provision can be advantageous for employers in that it avoids the need to make a payment for unused leave on termination and it can also be a useful mechanism for putting some distance between the employer and employee at what can be a sensitive time. However, it is important that emplo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

I have a query in relation to an employee of the Muslim faith who uses the staff canteen to pray during working hours. The canteen space is limited and this activity is now causing difficulty for other staff who may have a scheduled break at the same time. What is the responsibility of the employer to accommodate staff who wish to practice their faith during work hours?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/07/2015 It is as unlawful to discriminate against a person for holding a particular (or any) religious or philosophical belief, as it is to discriminate against someone for not holding a religious or philosophical belief. Employers should adopt good practice measures to ensure that such persons are not put...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Working Time and Leave

How much paid parental leave is an employee entitled to annually?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/05/2015 From 5 April 2015, an employee is entitled to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave for each child and adopted child, up to their 18th birthday. The limit on how much parental leave each parent can take in a year is 4 weeks for each child (unless the employer agrees otherwise). Furthermore, an employee m...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

By law is an employee entitled to paid time off for doctor/dentist appointments?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 08/04/2015 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:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave Policies and Procedures

Can an employee give notice of resignation when on maternity leave?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 08/04/2015 Yes. The employee will be bound by the notice of termination provisions in her contract. As such, an employee who does not wish to return to work after her leave period must notify her employer in accordance with the notice provision specified in her contract of employment in the usual way. The emp...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

Under the new Shared Parental Leave Regulations if a woman is single but has a male friend who is gay or a grandfather who has said they will act as a father figure for the child but doesn’t live with the woman... is the friend or grandfather entitled to shared parental leave if the woman would like this? Is there a definition of ‘parental’ within the regulations?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 08/04/2015 The Shared Parental Leave Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 (the “Regulations”) do not define “parental”. Rather, the Regulations focus on the nature of the relationship with the expectant mother. The persons included are: * The father of the child; or * The person who, at the date of the child...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

How does a business deal with public holidays if they don't open for business on Monday? Are employees entitled to be compensated for public holidays that fall on Mondays or any other days on which an employer doesn’t open, or is an employee to be compensated if s/he is not contracted to work, even if the employer is open?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/03/2015 There is no statutory right to time off (paid or otherwise) on any bank or public holiday. Under the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998, workers are entitled to 28 days’ annual leave entitlement per year (inclusive of the usual public holidays in Northern Ireland). As long as your emp...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

Is there any guidance about circumstances/exemptions for employers to not facilitate Shared Parental Leave e.g. efficiency savings/budget cuts?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/02/2015 I presume this question relates to the Work and Families Act (NI) 2015, due to come into operation in April. In short, no. As long as your employee is eligible and has given the correct notice and documentation, you cannot refuse or defer a request for a continuous period of shared parental leave. ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

Do apprentices accrue annual leave and are apprentices entitled to receive payment for public holidays while on block release?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/02/2015 Apprentices are entitled to the same rights as workers under the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998, and so will accrue annual leave in the same way as other workers. The Regulations provide for a minimum of 5.6 weeks annual leave entitlement but do not provide for statutory right to ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave