With the Christmas party season well underway, employers would be advised to take note of the potential cost of claims, when things can go wrong, particularly after too much drink has been taken.

Two WRC Decisions published this month make useful reading on the necessity for employees to have exhausted internal grievance procedures before resigning, in order to succeed with a constructive dismissal claim. There is also a useful summary of relevant case law in the first decision reviewed.

Gross misconduct dismissals have a much higher standard to meet than a standard dismissal to demonstrate that the employment relationship cannot continue with immediate effect and that notice does not need to be paid.

Statutory Sick Pay will now be available from 1st January 2023 and not in 2022 as originally anticipated, following the signing of the Sick Leave Act in July 2022.

A tailored Employee Handbook to support the contract of employment is vital in every workplace, and can greatly assist the smooth operation of a wide range of people management matters at work.

With the enactment of the Sick Leave Act 2022 due shortly, after it was approved on July 22nd 2022, all employers will now have to pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they currently do not or do not have a comparable Scheme.

The standard for successful constructive dismissal claims remains high with it being essential that employees use internal grievance procedures prior to resigning.

Lots of useful lessons in this WRC decision for employers in proper and fair disciplinary handling as well as making a reasonable and proportionate decision before deciding to dismiss. In this case poor procedures were very costly with €329,000 awarded.

The Code of Practice has been prepared by IHREC with the approval of the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and after consultation with relevant organisations representing equality interests. The code seeks to promote the development and implementation of policies and procedures that establish working environments free of harassment.

The importance of always adhering to fair investigation procedures was highlighted in a recent Labour Court case that upheld the Complainant’s appeal of the quantum awarded of €2,544 made by an Adjudication Office, increasing the compensation payable to €5,000 (Ref UDD2167).

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