Expert Employment Advice for Employees & Individuals
As an employee you spend so much of your time at work and you want to be treated fairly and reasonably. When you are having problems at work it can be a daunting experience and you may need to make decisions that may affect your career and personal life. You may want to talk through your options and we are able to provide you with advice and practical solutions to help achieve an outcome to your employment problem as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.
We would be delighted to meet you in person, but we understand that this can be difficult. So, providing we have access to all the relevant documentation, we can set up a telephone conference at a convenient time to discuss your case. Following the initial discussion, we will normally be able to let you know your rights, the merits of your claim and likely costs. We can then provide ongoing advice and support, act on your behalf in discussions with your employer.
So whether you need help with unfair dismissal, discrimination, harassment, employment contracts, bullying or other employment issues, you will want effective advice tailored to meet your particular needs.
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The experience of being dismissed by your employer, or of leaving them after a workplace dispute, is always unpleasant. But if this is what has happened to you, you may be able to take legal action against your employer and seek compensation.
Certain types of dismissal are automatically considered unfair, such as if you are a woman who has been dismissed for a reason related to a pregnancy. In other cases an employer may dismiss an employee if there is a potentially fair reason such as:
Capability, including long-term or excessive sickness
However, where employers have not dismissed an employee for an acceptable reason, or where they have not followed the correct procedure, then the employee may be able to bring an unfair dismissal case. For example, if dismissal has been related to poor performance then the employee concerned should have received warnings in advance and been given a chance to improve - only in cases of extremely serious misconduct will a dismissal without warning be justified legally.
To claim unfair dismissal an employee must be employed for two years. However, for those employed on or before 6 April 2012 the qualifying service is one year.
Even where redundancy rights are justifiable, your employer has an obligation to follow the correct procedures. For example, in cases where more than one employee is affected in the same or similar positions, then an employer needs to apply a selection criteria based on fair principles. Employees should also be given as much notice as is reasonably possible that their position is at risk of redundancy, consulted about the situation and considered for any suitable alternative position before a final decision is taken. Although it is not a specific requirement that The ACAS Code of Practice is followed, the employee should be allowed to make representations in the consultation process. An opportunity to appeal is normally considered to be part of a fair process.
Statutory Redundancy Pay
As well as a requirement to follow the correct procedure, employers must also pay the statutory redundancy payment calculated with reference to age, length of service and weekly earnings up to a capped amount. If your employer does not follow the correct redundancy procedure and meet the statutory requirements then you may be able to challenge them legally and seek compensation.
Bullying and Harassment
All employees have a right not to be subjected to words or conduct which they consider unwelcome and regard as offensive on the grounds of their sex or marital status, disability, race or ethnic origin, hours worked, trade union membership, sexual orientation, religion and belief, or age. Even where inappropriate conduct takes place outside the employer's premises, it may still be regarded as harassment if it is connected to work, for example at an office party or a work function after working hours.
Types of Discrimination
Discrimination can occur because of sex or marital status, gender reassignment, race or ethnic origin, hours worked, trade union membership, sexual orientation, religion and belief, age or disability. Unlawful discrimination arises if a person is treated less favourably than someone else because of their sex or race. A comparison has to be made but the comparison does not have to be with a real person but can be a hypothetical one. Discrimination may also arise from a dismissal or another issue such as harassment or victimisation.
Legal protection from discrimination exists at the recruitment stage, during the course of employment and, in some circumstances, following the end of employment. In certain exceptional circumstances, however, an employer may have a defence of "occupational requirement" in relation to some types of work.
Discrimination on the Grounds of Disability
Employees are also protected from discrimination because of disability. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on a person's ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Unlawful discrimination occurs if someone is treated unfavourably for a reason arising from their disability or if an employer fails to make reasonable adjustments where a provision, criterion or practice, or a physical feature of the premises or failure to provide an auxiliary aid, places a disabled employee at a substantial disadvantage. Back to Top
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