First Tuesday Q&A

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

Based on the Lyons v Longford & Westmeath decision, will employer investigations now become like mini legal proceedings?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 01/08/2017 The recent High Court decision in Lyons v Longford & Westmeath [2017] IEHC 272 was notable in that Mr Justice Eager, in his judgment, seemed to suggest that employees who are the subject of internal bullying investigations have a right to legal representation at internal employer investigation ...

In the case of a serial complainant, is the company obliged to hear multiple grievances which are believed to be false when there are concerns about the mental stability of the complainant?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 01/08/2017 There are no strict legal rules which apply when an employee raises multiple grievances. If the grievances are related, an employer might be in a position to refuse to hear a new grievance on the grounds that the matter has already been the subject of a grievance procedure. If the grievances are un...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

We have two colleagues who have verbal agreements to work from home. They have been doing so for more than 5 years. What protection do they have as this is not included in their contract of employment? Can the employer change this work practice with one month’s notice?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 01/08/2017 Notwithstanding the fact that only a verbal agreement was reached with these employees, as the employees have enjoyed this arrangement for a significant period of time, the employees’ could reasonably argue that they have an implied right to work at home. A term can be implied into a written emplo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment A-Typical Working

When carrying out an investigation, how should HR proceed if An Garda Síochána are involved?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 03/07/2017 The involvement of An Garda Siochana before or at the time of an employer’s disciplinary investigation can cause particular difficulties for employers for a number of reasons. Firstly, if the employee is charged with a criminal offence, he or she may refuse to answer questions during the disciplina...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Policies and Procedures

Can suspension result in a constructive dismissal case?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 03/07/2017 Put simply, suspension can in certain cases result in an employee claiming and succeeding in a claim for constructive dismissal. An employee will succeed in a claim for constructive dismissal if he or she can demonstrate that the employer either acted unreasonably (the “reasonableness test”) or bre...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues Contracts of Employment

With respect to indirect age discrimination and given the higher proportion of younger graduates in the working population, can we specify that a degree is an essential criterion when advertising a job vacancy?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 03/07/2017 A number of larger employers in the UK, and further afield, such as Nestle, are making the brave move of removing the degree classification from their job specifications. Instead, these employers are leaning towards a more skills-based assessment. The trend of removing degree classification from jo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Recruitment and Selection

Is there a legal obligation to provide a reference or statement of employment?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 06/06/2017 Julie Austin of McDowell Purcell takes a detailed look at employee references and answers the following questions: Is there a legal obligation to provide a reference? Is it acceptable to provide an ex-employee with a “statement of employment” as opposed to a reference? And do we need to include the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Policies and Procedures Recruitment and Selection

We are currently reviewing our Employee Handbook. Do we need to ask our employees to consent to any changes?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 02/05/2017 As a matter of contract law, unless specifically provided for, a contract cannot be amended unilaterally and the consent of both parties is required. Therefore, if the Handbook is expressed to form a part of the employees’ terms and conditions of employment, the consent of the employees is technica...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment

We have an employee who recently began wearing a headscarf to the office. We would prefer for the workplace to remain free of any religious or political attire. Can we ban the employee from wearing her headscarf to work?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 02/05/2017 As the Irish workforce becomes more diverse, these concerns are becoming increasingly common. It is important that, as an employer, one can find a balance between being sensitive to the country’s increased diversity and the desire to maintain the workplace as a political, philosophical, and religio...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality

Can a company enforce a policy that annual leave must be taken within the leave year and not allow any carry forward of holidays?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 02/05/2017 With some exceptions, it is possible to enforce a policy that provides that annual leave must be taken within the leave year and not allow any carry forward of holidays i.e. a “use it or lose it” policy. Section 20 of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 provides that the employer can generall...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Working Time and Leave