The gig economy - slaves to convenience or old fashioned exploitation

  Belfast today is thriving. It has hard to drive through the city centre on any day of the week without seeing a cyclist on their way to deliver food and courier vans are never far away, delivering packages from all over the world to the doorsteps every day.

Times up for Sexual Harassment in the Work Place

Last week’s Golden Globe Awards were dominated by the sexual harassment scandal that has engulfed Hollywood, with many actresses and actors choosing to wear black as a sign of solidarity with victims of sexual abuse and harassment. “Time’s Up” has become the slogan, and hashtag on social media, encapsulating the reaction to recent revelations about extensive sexual abuse and harassment in the entertainment industry.

Employee excluded from redundancy package wins age discrimination case

Where an employer directly or indirectly discriminates against an employee on the grounds of age, this will be unlawful unless the employer can objectively justify the discrimination.

Tribunal orders compensation to Ulster University staff after failure to consult over redundancies

  The University and College Union has won a case against the University of Ulster over its failure to consult on redundancies, securing the maximum award for the 143 ex-staff members involved.

National Living Wage

From 1st April 2016, all workers aged 25 and over are now legally entitled to at least £7.20 per hour as the new “National Living Wage” came into effect with the implementation of The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2016.

Maternity & Paternity Leave

  Most new mothers are entitled to take 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave (which includes the 2 weeks compulsory maternity leave) and 26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave.  Therefore, in total, a mother can take up to a maximum of 52 weeks maternity leave which is known as Statutory Maternity Leave.

Private messages sent during working time are not private

The European Court of Human Rights has held in the case of Barbulescu v Romania that there is no violation of an employee's right to respect for private life and correspondence for sending private messages during working hours.

The office christmas party jingle bells or alarm bells

As the festive season fast approaches, many employers and employees look forward to enjoying a Christmas dinner with colleagues…at the expense of the boss! Most parties pass off without incident, (perhaps the odd blush) but others can have dramatic consequences which not only sour the party mood but can jeopardise an employee’s livelihood.

Live to work or work to live

The right to request flexible working has changed. Since April 2015, all employees, (with the exception of agency workers) with 26 weeks continuous service can make a flexible working request. Previously, this right was confined to employees who had children or those who had caring responsibilities. The right has now been extended!

Belfast Chamber Puts Employment Law In The Spotlight

Belfast Chamber of Trade & Commerce is to host an Employment Law Workshop in partnership with Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors.

Social media and the workplace recipe for disaster

Is it unfair to dismiss an employee for comments made on Facebook which he claimed were untrue? In the case of British Waterways Board v Smith it was held that it was not unfair to dismiss an employee for making derogatory comments about managers and work on Facebook, despite the employee’s claim that the comments were untrue.  

automatic unfair dismissal for making a protected disclosure

In the case of Munn v Chemtest Ireland Ltd, the claimant was dismissed on the 28th July 2014, some 7 months after he started working for the respondent.

Zero Hours Contracts


"gay cake" row now resolved

Court was busier than usual this morning as crowds awaited the decision of Gareth Lee v Ashers Baking Company, a case that had attracted significant attention and most certainly divided opinion.

whistleblowing in the workplace

Whistleblowing is formally known as 'making a disclosure in the public interest'.

professional negligence claim

Our Jennifer Young was recently successful in establishing significant damages for her client in a professional negligence matter in which the defendant solicitor had failed to properly register title in a conveyance which resulted in her client’s charge over the property not being properly secured. 

criminal record requests by employers

Last month, it became unlawful for employers to insist that job applicants make a Data Protection Subject Access Record to get hold of their full criminal record, including spent convictions.

Holiday Pay Claims

In Lock and ors v British Gas Trading Ltd, an Employment Tribunal in England dealt with the issue of holiday pay and whether commission should be taken into account when calculating it.

Failure to consult during redundancy

Mary Gavin recently represented a number of clients in relation to a claim against KPL Limited who failed to consult with employees when it was making over 100 employees redundant.

your annual leave entitlement

Workers have a statutory right to at least 5.6 weeks paid annual leave, which is 28 days paid holiday for a five day working week. This right comes from the Working Time Regulations (NI) 1998 as amended.