M.B. McGrady & Co Chartered Accountants in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Frequently asked questions from employers

As Employment legislation is daunting for many managers and continuously changing we have asked Kieran McMahon, Principal Consultant from McMahon People Solutions to answer questions frequently asked by many employers.

Do I have to keep paying for employees to attend doctor and dental appointments?

There is no general statutory right to time off, either paid or unpaid, to attend doctor, hospital or dental appointments.

However, you should review their current contract to see what is specified regarding time off and whether it is paid or unpaid.

It is not unreasonable to request employees to make doctor and dentist appointments outside of normal working hours insofar as this is possible, or at least to make sure that appointments are made at either the beginning or the end of the working day so as to minimise disruption.

I have a member of staff who has regular hospital appointments? Do I have to keep paying for these?

Pregnant employees have a statutory right to reasonable time off work with pay to attend antenatal appointments.

Further advice should be sought if you have an employee with a condition that could be classed as a disability.

I have received an official complaint from an employee who alleges he is being bullied by a colleague. What should I do?

  • Act promptly by conducting a thorough investigation.
  • Act promptly on the findings from the investigation
  • You should ensure that you treat the alleged perpetrator fair and
  • Decide if staff members need to be relocated to different departments until complaint has been resolved.

Do I have to use formal disciplinary procedures for every misconduct case?

It is good practice to take an informal approach to deal with a conduct case that is of concern. This gives you the opportunity to communicate with the employee and let them know what is expected and it gives them an opportunity to improve without commencing formal proceedings. It helps maintain positive employee relations.

However, this may not be appropriate for more serious issues which could be categorised as Gross Misconduct.

The performance of an employee is unsatisfactory, can I ask them to resign and I will give them a good reference?

No. Unsatisfactory performance should be addressed by other means, e.g, performance improvement programme; training. If it is a more serious case then you could commence disciplinary proceedings.

If you like further information please contact one of our offices or e-mail us at info@mbmcgrady.co.uk.

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