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First Tuesday Q and A

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Features

In a situation when an employee makes a protected disclosure and subsequently, while the protected disclosure is being investigated goes on sick leave due to stress, could a lowering of the employee's income because they will be paid illness benefit (which is lower than their normal salary) constitute penalisation of the person making the protected disclosure?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 03/01/2017 Under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, penalisation is defined as follows: (a) suspension, lay-off or dismissal,(b) demotion or loss of opportunity for promotion,(c) transfer of duties, change of location of place of work, reduction in wages or change in working hours,(d) the imposition or admin...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Whistleblowing (Protected Disclosures)
Features

If employees go to a bar after an official workplace social event and have an argument, should the altercation be considered a workplace issue?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 03/01/2017 Generally, events that are not organised and/or paid for by an employer would not be considered “work events”. If employees choose to leave an employer-organised event, and go elsewhere, the "event" at the new location could not be said to be employer-event - unless, for example, a manager/senior ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues
Features

Where a claim of bullying is made, can an employee refer back to incidents that took place several years ago?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 03/01/2017 According to the Labour Relations Commission’s Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace, workplace bullying is defined as: “repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the pla...
Features

Has there been an update with regard to parental leave and raising the age of eligibility to 12 years?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 06/12/2016 From a legislative perspective, there have been no recent changes to the parental leave entitlement under the Parental Leave Act 1998 (as amended). In general, parental leave remains available to employees to enable them care for a child up until the child turns eight. There are however certain exc...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave
Features

At what stage in the recruitment process can an employer check a potential employee’s social media profiles?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 06/12/2016 There is no legislation in Ireland specifically regulating background checks on prospective employees (save for in respect of certain employments, e.g. Garda Vetting for employments concerning children). It is becoming more common for employers to screen the social media sites and internet profiles...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Recruitment and Selection
Features

If a complaint of bullying forms part of a protected disclosure must we conduct two separate investigations?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 06/12/2016 It will be necessary to determine whether all elements of the complaint/disclosure are disclosures of information relating to relevant wrongdoing which has taken place. A complaint of bullying could be deemed to be a disclosure of relevant wrongdoing, as defined by the Protected Disclosures Act 201...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Whistleblowing (Protected Disclosures)
Features

If a person reaches their contractual retirement age and the employer requires them to stay on for a particular reason, is it correct that only one fixed term contract can be issued?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 06/12/2016 Firstly, it should be noted that under the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015, the imposition of a compulsory retirement age will be discriminatory on grounds of age unless it is objectively justified. An employer can allow an employee to continue working past their compulsory retirement ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment
Features

We have caught two employees slacking at work. Can we run the disciplinary hearings together as one and must we give them the same penalty, assuming both are found guilty? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 01/11/2016 If the employees agree to have the disciplinary processes run together, it is permissible to run the investigation and disciplinary hearing together for convenience. However, the employees should be informed that they are entitled to have the proceedings heard separately if they choose, as a matter...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues
Features

One of our employees committed an offence at work two days after a previous warning expired for a similar misdemeanour. Is it lawful to take the old warning into account? It’s only two days after the expiry of the warning but the hearing might not be able to be held for a couple of weeks, so it will really be 14-16 days after expiry before we can make any decision.

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 01/11/2016 An employer is not permitted to take expired warnings into account in the context of a new disciplinary process. While it is frustrating that the warning in this case expired so recently, the term of a warning is definite and cannot be extended unless, during the lifetime of that warning, a similar...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues
Features

We have an employee who failed to attend a disciplinary hearing. May we proceed to consider the matter in his absence? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 01/11/2016 It is generally deemed to be unfair to continue with a disciplinary process in the absence of the employee in question. Employees in a disciplinary process should be afforded the opportunity to put forward submissions in their defence and a sanction imposed on an employee in the absence of such an ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues