Employees, workers and contractors have different rights and responsibilities.
Disciplinary procedures are used for dealing with problems with employees' conduct or their performance, which could lead to warnings or dismissal.
Employers have a legal duty to ensure that they do not treat an individual less favourably on any grounds related to their age, gender, marital status, disability, race/nationality, sexual orientation, religious belief or political opinion.
All pregnant employees are entitled to time off to keep appointments for antenatal care made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered health visitor.
A person in a qualifying relationship with the pregnant employee is entitled to unpaid time off work to accompany the expectant mother to two antenatal appointments.
Parents of children under the age of seventeen (or disabled children under the age of eighteen) and carers of adults have the right to apply to their employer to work more flexibly.
An employer may decide to suspend an employee temporarily from work if they are involved in a disciplinary situation, or for maternity or medical reasons. Usually an employee who is suspended is entitled to their normal pay during their suspension.
When replies to the job advertisement have been received, it is appropriate to:
• match applications against the job description and person specification;
• eliminate applicants who do not have the basic requirements for the job; and
• draw up a shortlist of candidates for interview.
In addition to contracts of employment, a number of other types of contracts exist.
The Public Interest Disclosure (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 protects those who report serious wrongdoing in the workplace from dismissal or detrimental treatment as a result of their whistleblowing.