Skip navigation

A to Z of Employment - Entries for F

Skip A to Z Menu Choose a letter to view entries for that letter...

Fair reasons for Dismissal

See Dismissal

back to top

Fall back scheme – Parental leave

The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 introduced a right to Parental Leave for parents of children under the age of 5 or under the age of 18 if the child is disabled.  The regulations permit employers and employees (or their representatives) to agree arrangements for taking leave, but in the absence of agreement a Fall Back Scheme sets out timescales for the notification and taking of Parental Leave.

See Family-Friendly Policies

back to top

Family-Friendly Policies

The Government is committed to ensuring that every child has the best possible start in life and to creating more choice for all parents: by helping fathers and mothers better control the balance between working and the time spent with their children, whilst ensuring that the needs of business are met. new window)

back to top

Fidelity – implied duty off

It is an implied (and may also be stated as an express term) term in a contract of employment, that an employee must act in an honest and faithful manner and not do anything  that would be perceived as harmful to the employer’s legitimate business interests, for example, disclosing confidential commercial information to a competitor. An employee who acts in a manner contrary to the duty of fidelity could be viewed as acting in Breach of Contract.

See Breach of Contract

back to top

Fit Notes (Statement of Fitness for Work)

From 6 April 2010 the sick note is changing to become a fit note.

Sick notes (or Medical Statements) are the forms issued by doctors to people when they are ill or injured. They provide advice about whether or not an individual with a health condition is fit for work. They are commonly used by employers as evidence that an employee cannot work for sick pay purposes.

Under the sick note system, doctors could only advise their patient on whether their health condition meant that they should or should not work. As a result many people who could benefit from support whilst in work, would be advised that they could not work. Their employers would not have had the opportunity to consider how they could help them achieve an earlier return to work.

To help more people get the support they need to get back to work the new fit note system will mean that doctors can advise that an employee is either:

  • unfit for work; or
  • may be fit for work.

A doctor will give a ‘may be fit for work’ Statement if they think that their patient’s health condition may allow them to work if they get suitable support from their employer.

If an employee is too ill to work the doctor will advise this just like with the sick note.

Further information is available from- new window)

back to top

Fixed-Term Contracts

A Fixed Term Contract is a contract that is for a fixed period of time and ends when a specific date is reached, or is for the purposes of fulfilling a specific task and ends when the task has been completed, or where the contract is for a specific event, ends when that event does or does not happen.  Fixed Term employees have the right not to be treated any less favourably than comparable employees on permanent contracts.  Employees who have been employed on successive fixed-term contracts (that is, they have had the contract renewed previously or have been employed on more than one contract) for a period of four continuous years, can ask their employer for a statement confirming that they are permanent and/or no longer on a fixed-term contract.  Employers have to issue this statement or a statement giving objective reasons why the contract remains fixed-term within 21 days of the employee's request. The employer can only keep them on the fixed-term contract if they can objectively justify it at the point it was last renewed.

nibusinessinfo Understanding fixed term contracts(opens new window)

back to top

Flexible Working

Certain employees have the statutory right to make a flexible working request. To be eligible a person must:

  • be an employee
  • have worked for the employer continuously for at least 26 weeks on the date they make their request
  • not have made another statutory request during the past 12 months

Employees can make one application every 12 months. A year runs from the date the first application was made.

back to top

Foreign workers

See Migrant workers

back to top

Frustration of Contract

Frustration of a contract occurs when, without the fault of either party, some unforeseeable event occurs which makes future performance of the contract either impossible, or something radically different from what was contemplated originally. There is no dismissal if such an event occurs.

back to top