FAQ’s on Employment legislation

We understand that Employment legislation is daunting for many managers and continuously changing, therefore we have asked Kieran McMahon, Principal Consultant from McMahon People Solutions to answer questions frequently asked  by many of our clients. These include:

1) Do I have to provide Employees with Terms & Conditions of Employment?

Employers are legally required to give their employees a written statement of particulars of employment regardless of the number of hours worked within 2 months of the commencement of employment

Information in this statement includes rates of pay, holiday entitlement and notice rights.

2) Can I change my Employee’s hours of work?

To amend Terms & Conditions of employment an employer should consult with the employee to get their agreement on the proposed changes. By changing terms & conditions without getting agreement may lead to unnecessary grievance cases but more serious would be the potential breakdown of employer – employee relationships!

3) An Employee, whilst on maternity leave, has set up in competition with us- can we automatically dismiss her?

No. An employee should only be dismissed after an employer has carried out a thorough investigation where all facts have been ascertained followed by implementing the statutory dismissal procedures –

i.e. putting the issue in writing to employee, hold a meeting with employee, give a decision and provide an appeal.

4) As an Employer do I have to establish that an allegation is proven beyond reasonable doubt prior to taking disciplinary action?

No. To take disciplinary action you must have a reasonable belief that misconduct has occurred. By following the disciplinary procedures will determine what internal action you can take.

5) I have an Employee who has been on sick leave for 8 months. Can I dismiss him?

Dealing with long term absence can be a complex matter and prior to initiating formal dismissal procedures you should consider:

• Through Occupational Health or Independent medical advice the nature of the illness and whether it prevents the employee from fulfilling their duties.

• Whether the absence is a disability and therefore what adjustments to the workplace can be made to accommodate this employee to fulfil their role.

6) An Employee has been off sick on 6 separate occasions in the past 4 months and each day happens to be a Monday. Can I dismiss this Employee?

Frequent occurrences of short term absences could be a conduct issue but before taking disciplinary action you should counsel the employee and give them an opportunity to improve.

If there is no improvement and you are considering dismissal then ensure you follow the statutory disciplinary and dismissal procedures.

Please remember if you are a member of our client insurance scheme (CCH), you are entitled to avail of the complimentary employment advice helpline on 0844 561 8155.

For more information please contact us here at M.B. McGrady& Co.