If you have an employment query or need help and advice in pursuing a claim, you can either telephone or email us on 01325 28 11 11 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Employment Lawyers are:
1. Mr Peter Furness
2. Miss Sarah Leighton
3. Mr Carl Swift
Our lawyers will provide you with legal advice and practical assistance on any employment related matter you may have. We deal with all aspects of Employment Law including :
* Unfair dismissal
* Constructive dismissal
* Discrimination (including age, race, sex, sexual orientation and disability)
* Equal Pay
* Compromise agreements
* TUPE (the transfer of an employer’s undertakings)
* Protection of wages/unlawful deduction
Paying our fees
Many clients are concerned about the cost implications of instructing a solicitor. We can often agree to deal with a claim on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. We will discuss the funding options with you, to enable you to choose the type of funding most suitable and beneficial to you and your circumstances. The funding options available, include
* No Win No Fee
* Legal Expenses
* Fixed fee
* Hourly rate
You (the Claimant) are required to submit a claim form to the Employment Tribunal and there are strict time limits that must be followed. In most claims, the time limit is 3 months from the date of your dismissal or in cases of constructive dismissal, from the date that you resigned. The time limit for redundancy is 6 months from the date of dismissal.
If a claim is submitted outside of the time limits then the Tribunal will refuse to accept the claim (there are few exceptions). You will therefore have lost your right to bring a claim against your former employer. In some cases (e.g. discrimination and constructive dismissal), a Claimant is required to file a statement of grievance with their employer before submitting their claim to the Employment Tribunal. It is therefore very important that a claim is pursued without delay.
The tribunal can order your former employer to pay you compensation. An award for unfair/constructive dismissal is divided into two parts:
1. Basic award
This is calculated by multiplying the number of full years in your employment by your gross weekly pay (subject to a maximum weekly sum) and then finally multiplying by 0.5, 1, or 1.5 depending on which age category you fall into.
2. Compensatory award
A compensatory award is to compensate you for the financial loss suffered as a result of being dismissed, including expenses incurred and loss of fringe benefits. The compensatory award can include the following:
* Past and future loss of earnings
* Loss of fringe benefits
* Loss of pension
* Expenses for job-hunting
* Loss of statutory rights
In cases of discrimination, the Tribunal can order your employer to pay you compensation, the amount of which is dependant upon the loss suffered as result of the discrimination, including damages for injury to feelings, loss of opportunity, past and future loss of earnings.
The Employment Tribunal can order your former employer to reinstate you in your old job, on the same terms and conditions, and with continuous service, i.e. as if you had never been dismissed.
The Employment Tribunal can order re-engagement, which means that your former employer is ordered to give you a job in the company/business, although they would not have to give you back your previous job. In practice however, both reinstatement and re-engagement are rarely ordered as the working relationship will usually have broken down following your dismissal and the tribunal proceedings.
How long will your claim take to reach conclusion?
Both parties are able to negotiate and make offers to settle throughout the claim, up to the hearing date. The time frame for making a claim to the Employment Tribunal is usually 5 or 6 months, i.e. from submitting your claim to the Employment Tribunal until your hearing date.
The law provides protection to employees from being dismissed without a justifiable reason. The law also requires employers to follow a fair dismissal procedure, i.e. they should follow the Statutory Dismissal procedure, in addition to any Company policy and ACAS guidelines. An employee must have been continuously employed for one year at the date of dismissal, to qualify for this protection. There are however, some circumstances which are automatically unfair and do not require the employee to meet the minimum service period of one year. These include dismissals relating to; * pregnancy or maternity * health and safety matters * enforcement of the Working Time Regulations * trade union activities and membership * Public Interest Disclosure, i.e. ‘whistleblower protection’
If an action by an employer has caused an employee to resign, they may be able to claim constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer’s conduct breaches the contract of employment. This is usually referred to as a ‘fundamental’ or repudiatory breach. In these circumstances the resignation will amount to a dismissal.
The types of actions include:
Unwarranted demotion or disciplinary sanctions
Falsely accusing an employee of misconduct or incapability
Changing the terms of an employee’s contract of employment without their agreement
Redundancy occurs where there is closure of a business in its entirety; closure of the employee’s place of work; and reduction in the size of the workforce.
If an employee is made redundant and has been in continuous employment for at least 2 years, the employee is entitled to redundancy pay. The amount of the redundancy is dependent upon the number of continuous years’ service, the employee’s gross weekly pay and their age. To calculate your redundancy payment, please click on the link to the redundancy calculator.
A redundancy may be unfair if an employer has failed to follow a fair procedure. For example an employer must use a fair selection process when seeking to reduce the size of the workforce. If an employee has been unfairly selected for redundancy, failed to carry out a consultation process, failed to offer alternative employment or where there is no genuine redundancy situation, they may have been unfairly dismissed.
If a person is being bullied/harassed because of their sex, race, age or disability then this may be classed as discrimination (see Discrimination).
Bullying/harassment is a recognised problem within the workplace and complaints to employers should be dealt with adequately. Where this is not the case, an employee may be able to claim constructive unfair dismissal.
Where a worker discloses certain (‘qualified’) information to his/her employer, the law provides protection to the worker against victimisation as a result of that disclosure or passing of information.
Discrimination due to sex, race, age, or disability is prohibited by law. There are various forms of discrimination. Some typical examples of discrimination are where a person is treated differently (less favourably) from another because of their;
sex, race, age or disability.
complaining about being harassed/bullied.
The Equal Pay Act 1970 prohibits discrimination between men and women in relation to pay and other employment contract terms.
It is a written agreement between the employer and employee, in which the employee agrees to waive his/her rights to bring a claim against the employer, in consideration of the employer giving the employee a lump sum settlement. It is a condition of the agreement that the employee seeks independent legal advice before signing the agreement. There is a section in the agreement which must be completed by the legal advisor. The agreement will usually provide for the costs or partial costs of obtaining legal advice to be paid.
TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Regulations 2006)
The Regulations protect employees’ rights on the transfer of the business and provides that the new employer effectively takes over from the old employer, requiring continuous employment for the employee and the transfer of all contractual terms and conditions.
Protection of Wages/Unlawful deduction
Payment of wages is a fundamental term of a contract of employment and deliberate failure to pay wages to an employee may enable an employee to claim constructive unfair dismissal.
Where there are wages owing to the employee or there has been an unlawful deduction made from the employees’ wages, they can seek to recover these wages by making a claim to the Employment Tribunal or by claiming breach of contract in the civil courts.
If you have an employment query or need help and advice in pursuing a claim, telephone our Employment Team on 01325 74 56 92 or contact us by email at email@example.com