Questions we have been asked this month

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21 March, 2017

Q. If a member of our support staff team who is working over the normal retirement age requests to reduce their hours, are we able to discuss retirement?

A. Following the abolition of the compulsory retirement age in 2011, it would be discriminatory to make attempts to make them reconsider their decision and retire. If you have concerns about the employee's ability to carry out their role, it is always necessary to follow a clear capability policy and manage performance that way, so as to minimise liability for a claim under the Equality Act, which could be costly.

Q. Can we ask teaching staff to direct traffic on and off site?

A. It would be unlikely that the direction of traffic would fall within the remit of the contractual duties associated with the role of a teacher. Asking a teacher to do those therefore could constitute a breach of contract.

Although, support staff may be asked to do such a duty as part of their substantive role, provided it is specified within their contractual duties.

If asked to carry out this role then staff would need specialist training and policies put in place.

Care should be taken when carrying out the duty, as accidents could spell liability for negligence if procedures are not followed correctly.

Staff should never be asked to direct traffic on a public road however.

For more information contact Ruth Rule-Mullen in our Education department via email or phone on 01772 220195. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Education department here

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