First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

Are we obliged to give the bank holiday for the Royal Wedding? Friday is our busiest production day and granting this day will cause us operational difficulty.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/02/2011 The right of employees to take holiday is governed partly by statute and partly by contract. Subject to certain exceptions, workers have a statutory right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks' paid annual leave (equivalent to 28 days for a full-time employee) under the Working Time Regulations in NI. Further,...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

In relation to employees on maternity leave and the need to notify them of vacancies, is it enough to advise them that there are vacancies available via the internet (assuming the employee has internet and email access) or do we have to inform them in writing?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/01/2011 The answer to this question really depends on the precise reason for notifying an employee on maternity leave of other vacancies: is it is because the employee's own job has become redundant or is it simply to make sure that the absent employee is kept informed about other opportunities in the same...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave Recruitment and Selection

I have received a number of complaints that a member of staff has been coming to work with a bad dose of flu and passing it around the office. Should I have a policy in place for this scenario, and can I force this employee to go home and stay at home until fully recovered?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/01/2011 You are very unlikely to be acting unlawfully if you ask the member of staff to go home and stay at home until fully recovered, provided that you pay them for all of the time they are at home. Salaried employees are entitled to be paid their salary if they make themselves available for work, irresp...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety Working Time and Leave

A client’s employee is off on indefinite unpaid leave due to caring responsibilities. The employee has asked the employer to make them redundant so they can make a claim on an income protection policy. What are the implications of this for the employer – with the employee and with the insurance provider?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/11/2010 Our view is that this employer should be wary of granting this request. First and foremost, this may not be a genuine redundancy situation. In order for a genuine redundancy to have taken place, the proposed termination must meet the statutory definition of a redundancy from Art 174(1) of the Emplo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Working Time and Leave