Tag Archives: Contracts of Employment

E-cigarettes in the work-place

An employee working in a secondary school has recently lost a constructive dismissal case. She had resigned in response to pending disciplinary proceedings after she was seen vaping an e-cigarette in front of pupils.

There isn’t much to learn from this case apart from the fact that employers should make clear their rules about the use of e-cigarettes or other nicotine containing devices at work.

Do you want to prohibit them in the same way you do cigarettes or will there be a more relaxed approach?

Employers working in the retail sector or with children are unlikely to want to allow employees to vape freely but other sectors may decide differently.

Whatever you decide the important part is to communicate this to your employees. If you don’t do this you may find it difficult to take action against those who go against the rules.

Posted by: Clare Nicolaou Employment lawyer,  Novalex Solicitors 


Being clear about reasons for dismissal – less may be more

Posted by: Clare Nicolaou Employment lawyer,  Novalex Solicitors 

A recent case in the Employment Appeal Tribunal serves as a usual reminder that employers need to think carefully when dismissing an employee for a number of incidents.

Each matter will need to be investigated properly and a flaw in one investigation can make the dismissal unfair.

If one of the matters under investigation is sufficiently serious on its own to warrant dismissal it is sometimes better to rely on that one alone, rather than potentially muddying the waters.

However, if dismissal is based on a number of matters, it is usually worth making it clear in the dismissal letter that the employer is satisfied that each incident on its own justifies dismissal, as well as the matters cumulatively.

For advice and guidance please contact – clare.nicolaou@novalex.co.uk

Rise in drug testing in the workplace

Many employers have substance misuse policies or contractual clauses in employee contracts that give them the right to test their staff for drug misuse, particularly where staff are operating machinery or driving vehicles.

Whilst staff cannot be made to take a drugs test it is common that disciplinary action may follow if they refuse.

Four of the major drug screening providers have recently confirmed significant rises in the number of tests they conduct every year, and reports indicate that smaller businesses, including retail, are choosing the test their staff too, including testing for legal highs as well as the more traditional drugs.