First Tuesday Q&A

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

In the past we topped up maternity benefit (to the level of normal pay) for staff on maternity leave. However, due to financial constraints we have informed staff that we will not be doing this in the future. A staff member’s representative has written to us stating that this is in contravention of the Equality Act in England and Wales on the grounds that this cost saving measure disproportionately impacts on staff members due to family status. Is this true?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/11/2013 Making any changes to maternity pay has the potential to give rise to claims for discrimination on grounds of sex or pregnancy. Assuming matters relate to the jurisdiction of England and Wales (as opposed to Northern Ireland), however, the employer should seek to address the following questions:-Is...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

Are agency workers entitled to Paternity Leave/Pay?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/10/2013 In short, no. To qualify for statutory paternity leave and pay, the individual must be an employee as set out in the Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002. An employee is defined in the Regulations as “an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the emplo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave A-Typical Working

I have employed a lady on a 9 month maternity contract. Shortly after she started with me she found out that she herself is now 11 weeks’ pregnant. Do I need to pay her statutory maternity pay (“SMP”)? Her 9 month contract started on 10 June 2013 and she is now 12 weeks pregnant. Her baby is due on 26 February 2014.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/09/2013 SMP is available to “a woman who is or has been an employee”. Therefore, provided the employee qualifies for SMP and has ceased work (whether, for example, by dismissal, resignation or taking maternity leave), she will be entitled to the full SMP entitlement from her employer / former employer. An ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

Our employees work a 40 hour week but also receive a set performance bonus each week if they meet set targets. Should their holiday pay be based on pay for 40 hours per week or should it also include the bonus?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/08/2013 Where employees have normal working hours (40 hours as in this case) but their pay varies according to the amount of work done, they are entitled to holiday pay based on their average pay during those normal working hours over the previous 12 working weeks. Where pay is related to output (to meetin...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

Where an employee is on maternity leave and receives maternity pay, do employers have to pay full pay for 10 KIT days in advance? Is this paid alongside maternity pay?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/05/2013 By way of recap, a woman can work for up to 10 days for her employer, commonly referred to as keeping-in-touch days ("KIT days") without bringing her ordinary or additional maternity leave to an end. KIT days are different to the reasonable contact that employers may make with employees during mate...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

We are about to commence redundancy consultation with affected staff. What should we do about employees on maternity and sickness leave?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/03/2013 You should include employees who are absent (on sick or maternity leave) in the redundancy consultation as much as possible. They should be kept informed of the position, receiving the same information in writing as other employees, as well as being actively involved in the consultation process. Id...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Working Time and Leave

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 ...

Where you have a female operations / production manager who has requested part-time working (compressed hours) of 4 days a week instead of 5 due to family-related reasons (new baby). Are we at risk if the sole basis for refusing the request is that there is a daily (Monday - Friday) management requirement?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/12/2012 The risk of refusing such a request is that a Tribunal may decide you are indirectly discriminating against that female employee by applying a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) to her role which would put female employees at a particular disadvantage compared with male employees, unless the PC...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Working Time and Leave

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