Employment Law

We give simple and easy to understand advice to
our clients and fight to get the best outcomes.

Employment Law

 

We provide advice and representation in the:

  • Employment Tribunal; 
  • Employment Appeals Tribunal; and
  • Court of Appeal

If you feel you have a claim in any of these areas, please contact us immediately.

Unfair Dismissal

Fair reason for dismissal

Misconduct dismissal You can be dismissed for ‘gross misconduct’ without your employer going through the normal disciplinary procedures. This can happen if, for example, you are violent towards a colleague, customer or property.

Your employer should always investigate the circumstances before making a dismissal, even in possible gross misconduct cases.

 

Capability Dismissal You may not be able to do your job properly if, for example, you:

  • haven’t been able to keep up with important changes to your job  e.g. failure to understand a new computer system
  • can’t get along with your colleagues

Before taking any action, your employer should, depending on the circumstances, follow disciplinary procedures or give you a chance to improve 

 

Qualification Dismissal You can be dismissed if continuing to employ you would break the law – eg if you are a lorry driver and you lose your driving licence

 

Some Other Substantial Reason for Dismissal You may be dismissed fairly if for example:

  • you unreasonably refuse to accept a company reorganisation that changes your employment terms;
  • you are sent to prison

Unfair Procedure Followed Before Dismissal

Please note generally you only have the right to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal if you have been employed for 2 years or longer.

Your employer must be able to prove that there is a genuine reason for your dismissal after 2 years of continuous service and that they have acted fairly and followed a fair procedure.

If they have not, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.

Redundancy

Redundancy may occur where:

  • The need for the worker has diminished or ceased;
  • New systems are introduced in the workplace;
  • The position no longer exists;
  • The workplace has closed, or will close down;
  • The business you work for is moving location.

Your employer must be able to prove that there is a genuine redundancy and that they have acted fairly and followed a fair procedure.

If they have not, you may have a claim for redundancy.

Discrimination

It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of a protected characteristic such as :

  • age
  • gender reassignment
  • being married or in a civil partnership
  • being pregnantor on maternity leave
  • disability
  • race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

Discrimination can come in one of the following forms:

  • Direct Discrimination – treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than others.
  • Indirect Discrimination – putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage.
  • Harassment – unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them.
  • Victimisation – treating someone unfairly because they have complained about discrimination or harassment

The law protects you against discrimination at work that results in

  • dismissal
  • unfair employment terms and conditions
  • lower pay and benefits
  • withheld promotion and transfer opportunities
  • failure to train
  • forced redundancy

Disability

If you are disabled you have the same rights as other workers. Employers should make reasonable adjustments’ to help disabled employees and job applicants with:

  • application formsfor example, providing forms in Braille or audio formats
  • aptitude testsfor example giving extra time to complete the tests
  • interview arrangements, such as providing wheelchair access, communicator support
  • making sure the workplace has the right facilities and equipment for disabled workers
  • promotion, transfer and training opportunities
  • terms of employment, including pay
  • work-related benefits like access to recreation or refreshment facilities
Holiday Pay Entitlement

Most workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday a year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave).

This includes:

  • agency workers
  • workers with irregular hours
  • workers on zero-hours contracts

An employer can include bank holidays as part of statutory annual leave.

Most workers who work a 5-day week must receive at least 28 days’ paid annual leave a year. This is the equivalent of 5.6 weeks of holiday.

Statutory paid holiday entitlement is limited to 28 days. For example, staff working 6 days a week are only entitled to 28 days’ paid holiday.

 
Working part-time

Part-time workers are entitled to at 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday pro-rated, amounting to lessthan 28 days.

 

Irregular hours

People working irregular hours (like shift workers or term-time workers) are entitled to paid time off for every hour they work.

 

Bank holidays

Bank or public holidays do not have to be given as paid leave.

An employer can choose to include bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory annual leave.

If you feel you have not been given your holiday leave entitlement please contact us to discuss your options.

Notice Periods and Notice Pay

You must be given a notice period before your employment ends.

The statutory redundancy notice periods are:

  • at least one week’s notice if employed between one month and 2 years;
  • one week’s notice for each year if employed between 2 and 12 years;
  • 12 weeks’ notice if employed for 12 years or more.

Your employer may give you more than the statutory minimum, but they cannot give you less.

 

Notice Pay

Your employer should either:

  • pay you through your notice period
  • pay you in lieu of notice depending on your circumstances

 

Payment in Lieu of Notice

Your employment can be ended without notice if ‘Payment in Lieu of Notice’ is included in your contract. Your employer will pay you instead of giving you a notice period.

You get all of the basic pay you would have received during the notice period. You may get extras such as pension contributions or private health care insurance if they are in your contract.

Entitlement to Minimum Wage

Workers must be at least school leaving age to receive the National Minimum Wage. They must be 25 or over to receive the National Living Wage.

Contracts for payments below the minimum wage are not legally binding.

Workers are also entitled to the correct minimum wage if they are:

  • part-time
  • casual labourers, for example someone hired for one day
  • agency workers
  • workers and homeworkers paid by the number of items they make
  • apprentices
  • trainees, workers on probation
  • disabled workers
  • agricultural workers
  • foreign workers
  • seafarers
  • offshore workers

Apprentices

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they are either:

  • under 19
  • 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Apprentices over 19 who have completed the first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to the  national minimum wage

Not Entitlement to the minimum wage

The following types of workers are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage:

  • self-employed peoplerunning their own business
  • company directors
  • volunteersor voluntary workers
  • workers on a government employment programme, such as the Work Programme
  • members of the armed forces
  • family members of the employer living in the employer’s home
  • non-family members living in the employer’s home who share in the work and leisure activities, are treated as one of the family and are not charged for meals or accommodation, for example au pairs
  • workers younger than school leaving age (usually 16)
  • higher and further education students on work experience or a work placement up to one year
  • people shadowing others at work
  • workers on government pre-apprenticeships schemes
  • people on the following European Union (EU) programmes: Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus+, Comenius
  • people working on a Jobcentre Plus Work trial for up to 6 weeks
  • share fishermen
  • prisoners
  • people living and working in a religious community

Employers who offer internships (sometimes called ‘work placements’ or ‘work experience’) should check if the person is entitled to the minimum wage.

 

Voluntary work

You are classed as doing voluntary work if you can only get certain limited benefits (for example reasonable travel or lunch expenses) and you are working for a:

  • charity
  • voluntary organisation or associated fundraising body
  • statutory body

CORRESPONDENCE AND MEETING ADDRESS

Deen and Co Solicitors

18th Floor, 40 Bank Street,

Canary Wharf, London,

E14 5AB

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