First Tuesday Q&A

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

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

We have read a number of stories in the press recently regarding the “gig economy”. Is this a new term in employment law that we need to be concerned with?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 03/04/2017 The “gig economy” is a relatively new term which describes individuals who are described as self-employed and carry out work on a “free-lance” basis. Examples include arrangements used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and Hassle. It usually involves a service provided by one person to another,...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment A-Typical Working

A number of our former employees are continuing to contact customers through LinkedIn following the termination of their employment. Can we do anything to prevent this?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 03/04/2017 Social media contact ownership is an issue of increasing concern for many employers due to the risks regarding breach of confidentiality and restrictive covenants. Ownership of social media contacts is not regulated by law and can be factually complicated especially where many employees come to the...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Contracts of Employment Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act

Our sales team wants to dismiss a new hire at the expiry of his probationary period. Are there any issues that we need to be aware of?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 03/04/2017 Generally speaking, employees can be dismissed with relatively little risk during the probationary period as an employee can, save in certain limited circumstances, only bring a claim for unfair dismissal if he or she has one years’ continuous service. However, notwithstanding this, there are a num...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Contracts of Employment Probation

We believe that an employee was under the influence of alcohol during working hours however we were unable to prove this.  What is the current position on breathalysing employees at work?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 07/03/2017 This is a common issue for employers particularly those in the transport and manufacturing industry where health and safety issues are critical to the proper running of the organisation. Employers Obligations Employers are obliged to provide a safe working environment in accordance with the provisi...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Health and Safety Policies and Procedures

We have an employee on long term sick leave - what level of contact can/should we have with that employee?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 07/03/2017 Sick leave is considered a protected period and, generally, an employer should not contact an employee during this time. However, there may be circumstances where an employer may justifiably contact an employee during long-term sick leave. This includes where the employee’s sick certificates have e...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

We have a multi-lingual workforce. Can we insist that all staff only speak English while at work?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 07/03/2017 Many workplaces are made up of several nationalities some of whom do not speak English as their native tongue. We are often asked by multi-cultural employers if they can introduce a company policy whereby employees are only permitted to speak English while at work. This issue was dealt with in a Wo...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Discrimination and Equality Policies and Procedures