Employment Law

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Employment Law Support 

Employees are protected in many areas of employment such as (not limited to but including), redundancy, unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, contracts of employment, working hours and holidays, time off when sick (and sick pay), health and safety, data protection, suspension, victimisation and anti-discrimination (including age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and disability).

We appreciate how upsetting problems at work can be.

Most people spend more time in work than they do with their own families. Problems in the workplace can impact negatively upon your state, your family and health.

We appreciate employees who have concerns require specialist legal advice in a confidential and sensitive manner.

If you are worried about a work issue you can rest assured our specialist panel solicitors are on hand to help and give you the answers you require.

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Below you will find some of our most commonly asked Employment Law questions. Simply click or tap the question to view the answer. For anything else you can contact one of the team by emailing info@mylegalclub.co.uk.

Compromise Agreements

What is a Compromise Agreement?

A Compromise Agreement is a document agreed and signed between an employee and employer either before termination of the employment contract or after termination of an employment contract. 

The reason an Employer may want to use a Compromise Agreement is to ensure that they can terminate the employment contract/dismiss the employee and ensure there will be no claim made against them by the Employee. 

The Employee may want to sign the Compromise Agreement to set out the terms they require as a result of their contract being terminated and no longer working for the Employer. 

What would a Compromise Agreement include?

A Compromise Agreement would include:

• All payments due to the Employee 

• Confirmation as to Tax – usually payments up to £30,000.00 can be paid without deduction

• Confirmation that an employee can not bring a claim against the Employer 

• Sometimes restrictive covenants e.g. an employee cant set up the same business down the road, approach staff, make any disparaging comments about the Employer

• Sometimes a reference will be agreed for the Employee’s benefit in finding a new job

Why do I need a Solicitor?

It is a legal requirement that you use a solicitor for independent legal advice regarding a Compromise Agreement.

How much does a Compromise Agreement cost?

The Employer will usually be required to pay for the Compromise Agreement and the legal advice offered by the Solicitor. 

This is agreed with the Employer so that the Employee does not have to pay a penny. 

What are the benefits of a Compromise Agreement

It ensures certainty. 

The Employer is secure in knowing they will not be subjected to a claim and can draw a line under the situation. 

The Employee can receive their payment/compensation sooner than had they issued a claim and can ensure they receive a reference without the delay that accompanies bringing a claim. 

Discrimination

What types of discrimination are common in the workplace?

1. Direct Discrimination;

2. Indirect Discrimination;

3. Harassment;

4. Victimisation.

What examples are there of each type of discrimination?

Direct Discrimination – This could be rejecting people for a job or discriminating against current employees on the basis of religion, skin colour, or sexual orientation. 

An example would be that all women must work overtime unpaid or that only men could apply for a promotion. 

Indirect Discrimination – This could be giving some staff certain tasks to perform and not others, placing demands on some staff and not others or grouping people together on the basis of race, sex or age. 

Verbal / Physical Abuse – This could be  jokes about particular people or false rumours about certain staff, inappropriate touching, physical violence or sexual harassment. 

Victimisation –  This could be treating someone less favourably because they are part of a Union, or because they complained about someone or because of their race, age, sexual orientation. 

If I feel that discrimination in the workplace is an issue what should I do?
  1. Retain a diary and/or written record of what happened, when and what happened afterwards;
  2. Obtain a copy of the employment policy/handbook and ensure a complaint is raised in respect of that policy/handbook to the appropriate member of the Management team
  3. Report the issue to a Trade Union if relevant or the Equality and Human Rights Commission
  4. Seek legal advice from a solicitor. 

Equal Pay

Equal Pay Regulations

In accordance with the Equality Act 2010 employees must receive equal pay if they are performing the same or a similar role to that of a colleague. The Employer must ensure that all staff earn comparable amounts for the various roles within the business and ensure that men and women earn the same for each job and role.

How Long Do I Have To Raise A Concern?

If you are an employee concerned about discrimination in respect of equal pay you can complain internally whilst in employment ensuring compliance with any employment handbook/policy.
You can also complain to the Employment Tribunal and have up to 6 months from the date that your contract terminated as a direct result of this complaint.

Do I Need To Speak With A Solicitor?

It would be advisable yes. A Solicitor can advise you on your current rights and explain whether mediation or a claim for discrimination would be most appropriate.

Holiday Pay

What amount of paid holidays am I entitled to take?

Only people who are self-employed or in the Armed Forces, Police or Civil Protection Services are not entitled to Statutory Holiday.

Statutory Holiday allows every employee hired before April 2009 to 4.8 weeks paid holiday leave also on a pro-rata basis if part-time or casual hours are worked.Statutory Holiday allows every employee hired after April 2009 to 5.6 weeks paid holiday leave also on a pro-rata basis if part-time or casual hours are worked.

Your leave per year is normally confirmed in your contract as would be the start and end date of each holiday year.

If you were not specified with a start and end date for holiday leave in your Contract, e.g. the calendar or financial year for holiday leave, then it will be calculated as follows:

  • Employed pre 1st October 1998 – start date for holiday entitlement each year is 1st October
  • If employed after 1st October 1998 it will be the first anniversary of your first day of employment with that Company.
Can My Employer Refuse Me My Request For Paid Holiday Leave

Yes as long as your Employer provides you with the correct notice and follow the terms of your contract and/or any Employment policy in place to confirm how requests for paid holiday leave will be dealt with.
Employers can in certain circumstances demand when you will take your paid holiday leave.

Can I Force My Employer To Provide Me With A Specific Holiday Request I Have Made?

Potentially yes via an Employment Tribunal if you pursue the action within 3 months of the request being made.

It would be highly recommended to raise this internally in accordance with the Employment policy/handbook in order to try and reach an amicable conclusion.

Unpaid Holiday When I Leave My Job

When you leave your job you should be paid any holiday leave entitled to you.

If your Employer fails to pay you this you can ensure you receive this via a claim through the Employment Tribunal.

You would need to ensure that you start a claim within 3 months of the date of termination of your employment.

Mediation

How Could Mediation Help Me And What Is It?

If you have a dispute with an employee or your employer mediation may be a great solution to your situation.
Mediation looks to heal any issues and continue the contract of employment – as opposed to a Compromise Agreement or Dismissal which looks to end the contract of employment.

Mediation is conducted by a Third Party who can be a solicitor instructed by you.

The Mediator looks to extract both sides of the story and try to find some common ground between the parties and prepare a pathway forwards.

Who Pays For Mediation?

Usually, it is the Employer. It can, however, be the Employee or a share between the two.

Who Attends Mediation?

The Employer and Employee attend usually at the Employer’s premises. The Employee can with sufficient notice and consent bring a representative with them for support or advice. The Mediator would also be present.

Do I Have To Take Part In Mediation If Asked?

No – but it is advisable. The parties have nothing to lose and many people benefit from mediation.

What If An Agreement Is Not Reached In Mediation?

The parties will provide confidentiality and it will be for the parties to review the situation and take further legal advice to assess what the next steps should be.

Do I Have To Be In The Same Room As My Employer?

No, the Mediator can take this into consideration and look to mediate with each individual directly.

Redundancy

Are there any key dates I need to be aware of?

Yes. 

You only have three months LESS ONE DAY from the date of termination by your Employer to make a claim. 

If you think you may have a claim or require legal advice DON’T DELAY!

What am I entitled to in a Redundancy situation?

Redundancy is a very common reason for a Dismissal. It happens because Employers need to reduce their staffing levels. 

If you are being considered for Redundancy or have been made Redundant you are entitled to the following:

1. A meeting with your Employer (with a representative of your choice to be present with you if you wish);

2. A period of Consultation with your Employer;

3. A trial and/or job in an alternative role in the Company;

4. A notice Period;

5. Redundancy Pay;

6. Time off work to look for a new job. 

If you did not receive one of the above entitlements then you may have been dismissed unfairly and entitled to compensation. 

How do I know if there was a dismissal?

A Dismissal is when your employment has come to an end. This may be due to:

1. Your contract coming to an end and not being renewed;

2. Your Employer dismisses you by way of terminating your contract;

3. You resign/end your employment because of something your Employer has/hasn’t done. 

How do I know if I have a claim for the way my Employer made me Redundant?

It may be that your Employer:

1. Did not follow the correct procedure in selecting you for Redundancy; and/or

2. Selected you for an unfair reason. 

What is an Unfair Reason?

If your Employer selects you for Redundancy for an unfair reason then you may be entitled to claim for Unfair Dismissal. 

An unfair reason could be for any of the following reasons (and additional reasons not listed):

1. Whether you are male or female

2. Race

3. Religion

4. Age

5. Whether you are married, single, divorced

6. Sexual orientation

7. If you are part time

8. If you are a fixed term employee

9. Disability

10. Involved in lawful industrial action lasting 12 weeks or less

11. A member of a Trade Union

12. Pregnant

13. Absent from Work on maternity leave

What is Redundancy pay?

If you have worked for your Employer continuously for 2 years or more you will usually receive Redundancy pay. This is calculated as follows:

1. half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22

2. 1 week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41

3. 1 and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older

Certain payments are not taxable if they are below the threshold. 

TUPE

What is a Tupe?

TUPE is short for Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations.

If part of the business you work in transfers in to another business or a service that is provided moves to another Business then you may be affected by the Regulations. 

If you as an employee are protected under the TUPE Regulations then your employment rights will be protected e.g 

1. jobs transfer over to the new company (unless redundancy or the liquidity of the business is an issue)

2. your employment terms will transfer across 

3. your length of service will transfer across. This means that if you have worked for your employer for 3 years, as an example, then the new business will have to afford you the same rights as if you had worked for them for 3 years. 

When would TUPE Regulations affect me or my Employer?

TUPE Regulations would affect me or my Employer if:

1. The business transfers

2. The service provision changes

In the event that either of the above situations apply it is wise for the Employer to take legal advice and in the event that any staff are to be dismissed or made redundant for them to take advice from an employment specialist as soon as possible. 

Unfair Dismissal

Are there any key dates I need to be aware of?

Yes. 

You only have three months LESS ONE DAY from the date of termination by your Employer to make a claim. 

If you think you may have a claim or require legal advice DON’T DELAY!

If I feel I have been dismissed unfairly how can you help?

We will provide you with access to the right legal advice via our consultation we offer with one of our Employment Solicitor’s. 

There is no obligation and you receive access to an Employment Law Specialist who will listen to you and assess your options. 

We will provide you with the help and support you require. 

It may be that:

1. the solicitors provide you with friendly advice;

2. the solicitors attempt mediation with your Employer if you wish;

3. the solicitors make a claim against your Employer for Unfair Dismissal. 

How do I know if I may have been dismissed unfairly?

An Employer is entitled to make a dismissal for one or more of five possible options:

1. Redundancy;

2. Conduct;

3. Capability;

4. Statutory Duty or some form of Restriction stopping the Employment continuing;

5. Some other Reason (Must be Substantial) 

 

To assess whether you have been dismissed unfairly the following factors are crucial to consider:

– How long have you worked for the Employer?

– Was there a dismissal?

– If so, was the reason for the Dismissal one of the five possible fair reasons for dismissal as listed above?

– Did your Employer act reasonably and follow the correct procedure?

How long do I need to have worked for my employer to be able to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal?

If you were employed after 6th April 2012 then you must have been employed for two years or more to claim for unfair dismissal. 

How do I know if there was a dismissal?

A Dismissal is when your employment has come to an end. This may be due to:

1. Your contract coming to an end and not being renewed;

2. Your Employer dismisses you by way of terminating your contract;

3. You resign/end your employment because of something your Employer has/hasn’t done. 

Did my Employer follow the correct procedure in deciding to terminate my contract / fail to renew my contract?

Employers must follow the ACAS Code of Practice. 

This a Guide for Employer’s to follow and comply with ensuring that the correct procedure has been followed in contemplating and making a dismissal.

Our Employment Specialists will be able to advise you as to whether your Employer followed the ACAS Code of Practice. 

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