First Tuesday Q&A

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

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)

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

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

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

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

We have staff due to exit on voluntary redundancy. Some have written warnings in place for absence and other matters. If approached by future prospective employers, should we discuss or disclose these warnings or absence records or should we protect this information, given we would never disclose personal issues regarding existing employees? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 01/11/2016 There is no general preclusion from providing information relating to disciplinary records to prospective employers as part of an employee reference – provided that the information is accurate. However, if it is the Company’s policy not to disclose such matters in references for employees, the Comp...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

We sent a letter to an employee inviting her to a disciplinary hearing. We received a sick note by return, citing ‘stress’. What can we lawfully do to get the hearing underway? We suspect she is trying to avoid the situation – there’s no history of stress on her record. 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 04/10/2016 Whilst an employer cannot be expected to postpone the meeting indefinitely, an employee’s right to attend a disciplinary hearing should not be dispensed with too hastily. It is generally very difficult to proceed in the employee’s absence as this could later be deemed to be a breach of fair proced...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

An employee has issued an appeal outside our time limits in the disciplinary procedure. May we reject his appeal on the ground that it is late or might this be held against us if he pursues a legal claim?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 04/10/2016 It is technically open to an employer to reject the appeal; however this right should be exercised with caution. Employers are held to a higher standard than employees and the employer will be required to show that rejection is reasonable in the circumstances. At a minimum, an employer should be sa...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

If an employee raises a grievance during a disciplinary process, which takes precedence, or might we run the matters concurrently? 

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 04/10/2016 The Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure should be consulted to confirm that there is no provision which allows for the disciplinary process to be suspended in the event of a grievance being raised. Where the Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure is silent on this point, the processes can run separa...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

If an employee asks to audio record a disciplinary hearing should we let them do so?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 04/10/2016 The Company’s Disciplinary Procedure should be consulted to establish whether it contains any express provisions around the recording of disciplinary hearings. Where the Disciplinary Procedure is silent in this regard, the employer can refuse to consent to the recording of the hearing. Ultimately...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Disciplinary and Grievance Issues