First Tuesday Q&A

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

Instead of paying for overtime, some employers offer 'time off in lieu' (TOIL). Presumably, this arrangement must be contained in the employees’ terms and conditions of employment or their Employee Handbook, and typically the time an employee takes off in lieu will be at a time that suits the employer and must be signed off by the employee’s line manager?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/03/2012 There are no legal provisions as to how much time in lieu an employer may offer its employees but it would normally be the time equal to the amount worked, but some do offer more or a mixture of overtime pay and time off in lieu. If, as suggested in the question, the employer wanted to offer more t...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

Is annual leave accrued on a period of paid suspension? If an employee is suspended from work pending a disciplinary investigation, is there an entitlement to accrue annual leave? Ideally we would like to adjust our annual leave policy to state that whilst on paid suspension you do not accrue annual leave.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/03/2012 Yes. During any period of paid disciplinary suspension, the contract of employment continues and it is normally the case that employees who are suspended under disciplinary policies are required to be available to their employer. As such, annual leave entitlement continues to accrue in the usual wa...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Working Time and Leave

If employer allows full-time staff to reduce their working week to, for example, 30 hours per week, how is holiday entitlement calculated, especially if the employee works Monday to Thursday? And what about public holiday entitlement?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/01/2012 Part-time employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ statutory leave in the same way as any other worker and although the Working Time Regulations do not define what is meant by a week’s leave, the established view is that this involves the worker being away from work for a week. For example, if a worker...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave A-Typical Working

We have a member of staff employed part-time and the role is getting much busier. Do we have to offer this member full-time work or can we employ another part-time employee?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/11/2011 I assume that this query relates to an extension of the employee’s hours rather than the creation of a new role. This being the case, the best way to approach this would be to consult with the employee to establish whether the employee can or wishes to extend his/her hours. The employee should be a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

An employee told me that she does not wish to return to work following her maternity leave. What should I do in those circumstances?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/10/2011 Employees who decide not to return to work at all after maternity leave are obliged to give their employer notice in the normal way. The relevant period of notice will be either the statutory minimum, or the contractual period of notice, if longer. Where the contract fails to specify a notice perio...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

With regard to annual leave, are sabbatical (holiday bank) programmes considered a breach of the Working Time Regulations? For example, we let employees ‘bank’ a couple of days a year so they can take an extra two weeks’ holiday in year 6. Some people like it but is it lawful? Can we be sued?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 05/07/2011 Whether you are in breach of the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998 or not will depend on the total amount of leave you give your staff and whether this is over the statutory 28 day minimum entitlement (inclusive of usual public holidays). The 1998 Regulations state that the first 20 ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

An employee works from 9am to 4pm. The job is not very demanding in terms of physical effort or complexity etc. The employee is paid for 7 hours and does not take a long break. They may take a short break of say 10 minutes at mid day. The employee and the employer is very happy to continue to work these arrangements. Must the employer insist the employee take at least a 20 minute break as set out in the Working Time Regulations or is it acceptable under law because both parties are happy to continue the current position?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/03/2011 As you’ve highlighted, the NI Working Time Regulations stipulate that employers must allow workers a rest break of 20 minutes when working more than six hours per day. Employers must ensure that workers can take their rest periods or breaks but are not required to force workers to take them. Worker...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

Our employees have a provision in their contracts of employment stating that they must be present at work the day before and the day after a bank/public holiday in order to receive pay for the holiday. Is this still legal?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/02/2011 As above, employees have a statutory right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks paid annual leave under the WTR BUT do not have an automatic entitlement to public/bank holidays. Whether a worker can be required to work on a public holiday is a matter for the contract. Therefore, the condition outlined above i...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave