First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

If employees are not taking rest breaks and lunch breaks what can an employer do? Do they insist the employee take lunch and rest breaks as employees often skip lunch to finish early?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/08/2010 Employers must ensure that workers can take their breaks but are not required to force workers to take them; workers can elect to work through a break, provided they do not risk their own or others' health or safety. However, from a health and safety perspective it is prudent to ensure that employe...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Working Time and Leave

What redress, if any, is available to a part-time worker who doesn’t work on Good Friday (which isn’t a public holiday) to paid time off in lieu given their full-time colleagues get a paid day off?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/06/2010 The statutory entitlement to 4.8 weeks’ annual holiday in the Working Time Regulations is inclusive of any public/bank holiday entitlement. There is therefore no statutory right to paid public holidays (or time off in lieu), but many employers grant this in addition to, say, four or five weeks' hol...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave

On Call Working Hours – If based in a place of work, is on call considered as working hours? For example, carer is in a client's home and stays overnight sleeping but may have to get up if client requires assistance. 11 hours rest is normal but the employee gets up once or twice to help client.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/06/2010 In all likelihood, yes. Time spent on call has been the subject of much debate in recent years. A series of European Court of Justice cases have decided that all "on-call" time constitutes working time if the employee is required to be in the workplace rather than at home, even if the worker is asl...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

If an employee is on maternity leave and a company has to make redundancies, are there any restrictions in legislation that would prohibit doing this?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/04/2010 It is a common misconception held by employers that they cannot make employees on maternity leave or pregnant employees redundant. There is nothing to prevent an employer making such an employee redundant, provided it takes care to avoid discrimination and ensures the decision is based on objective...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Working Time and Leave

In relation to the Pereda case, is it correct that it only applies in the public sector and can employees redesignate contractual leave as sick leave or is it limited to 28 days?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/03/2010 We covered the Pereda case in last September’s First Tuesday questions. By way of recap, Pereda v Movilidad was a European Court of Justice (ECJ) case where the court held that workers who fall ill during a fixed shut-down period are able to insist on having their leave reclassified as sick leave a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave