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So, you’ve done our Howells Solicitors Christmas Employment Quiz 2019, and now it is time to find out if you guessed correctly. Read the answers here.

Question 1

C is the correct answer

Why?

An employer can make you take holiday days when they want. If your employer needs you to take your holiday on certain dates, they must tell you at least twice as many days before as the number of days they need you to take.

 

Question 2

B is the correct answer

Why?

The complaint should be recorded and the matter should be investigated.

During the investigation process, Elsa should be asked her version of events and what happened before coming to any conclusions. When investigating the complaint, you would want to think about approaching any witnesses at the event who may be able to give a statement before coming to any conclusions.

 

Question 3

B is the correct answer

Why?

When an employee has a long period of absence, it is important to understand why the employee is off sick from work and to see what measures can be put in place to help the employee.

Therefore, it is important to follow a sickness absence procedure and hold a meeting with the employee to discuss the absence and when they anticipate returning to work.

At this point, it is useful to request consent from the employee to contact their GP so that an employer can assess what reasonable adjustments can be made and the likelihood of the employee’s return to work.     

 

Question 4

D is the correct answer

Why?

Even where an employee’s behaviour could amount to gross misconduct and justify summarily dismissing them, the employer still has to conduct some form of investigation and disciplinary process (ACAS Code) to establish facts and allow the employee to explain before making a decision to dismiss.

Where two individuals are involved in an incident, both should be investigated and disciplined. One should not be treated differently to another. Failure to follow such a procedure, especially where an employee has 2 years’ continuous service or more, could mean the employee’s dismissal may be found to be unfair.

 

 

Question 5

A is the correct answer

Why?

Scrooge should pay Tiny Tim the pay rise which was agreed at the Christmas party. A promise is still a promise.

It is important to note that, in the case of Judge v Crown Leisure Ltd, an employee claimed his boss had promised him a higher salary ‘in due course’. The employer won the case, but only because the nature of the promise was vague.

 

Question 6

C is the correct answer

Why?

Once an announcement has been made in regard to employee’s being ‘at risk of redundancy’, it is important to inform and consult all employees who are at risk. You must consult with each employee individually explaining the situation.

However, where an employer plans on making 20 or more redundancies within 90 days, the employer must also consult trade unions or employee representatives. This is known as a ‘collective redundancy’ and, if you fail to follow this consultation then employee’s may be able to claim a protective award entitling them to compensation of up to 13 weeks’ pay.  

The consultation process is important as employees may come up with ideas of how to prevent redundancies which an employer may not have thought of.

 

Question 7

B is the correct answer

Why?

Where an employee is pregnant and there are performance issues, employers should only place an employee on an improvement plan if there is proof and the issues do not link to the employee’s pregnancy.

Employer’s need to be understanding and make allowances; if performance dips at times because of pregnancy or pregnancy related illness, employers may want to look at reducing travel, implementing flexible working or allowing the employee to work from home. Performance should not be marked down because of pregnancy. If this is the case, an employee may have a claim for pregnancy discrimination.

In addition, the handling of the appraisal alone is likely to amount to unfavourable treatment.

 

Question 8

C is the correct answer

Why?

Although Arthur is on sick leave, they can still investigate Arthur for this incident as it could be viewed as a breach of policy. Mrs Clause and St Nicholas should not jump to conclusions and should provide Arthur with the opportunity to explain what happened.

 

How Many Did You Get Correct?

For more help on festive-related employment woes, or any other area of the law, please get in touch with our team.

Have a happy Howells Christmas!

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