Employers and employees alike can find employment law complex and worrying. Because individuals and employers are often unaware of their rights and obligations, our priority is to give fast and accurate advice as to your own position and the consequences of any planned action.
Services for Employers
We cover all aspects of employment law including the following:
- Drafting contracts of employment
- Changing terms of employment
- Employee entitlements in relation to sick pay, holiday and leave
- Drafting policies (for example, equal opportunities)
- Settlement agreements
- Transfer of Undertakings (TUPE)
We can arrange representation for you in defence of employee claims, and also organise conciliation with your employee to agree a settlement.
Having a clear procedure in place will help you in the event of any dispute arising. We can assist you in drafting procedures and by giving advice on terms and conditions.
This is a list – by no means exhaustive – of the kind of issues we can help you with:
- Settlement agreements
- Unfair and constructive dismissal
- Wrongful dismissal
- Claims made on the basis of unequal treatment by reason of age, sex, race or any other protected characteristic.
- Breach of contract, unpaid wages, and working time
- Contracts of employment
- Restrictive Covenants
Services for Employees
We can advise you, as an individual employee, on the same issues listed above and others such as:
- Terms and conditions of contracts of employment
- Changes to terms
- Maternity and Paternity Leave
- Employers’ duties
- Employee’s duties
- Working Time Regulations
If you wish to bring a claim against your employer in an Employment Tribunal, we can arrange representation for you or organise conciliation with your employee to agree a settlement.
If your relationship with your employer has broken down, we can advise you on the merits of a claim made by or against you. We conduct claims in the Employment Tribunal and the Civil Courts.
Do contact us to arrange an initial assessment of your case. A small initial consultation fee will be charged.
A legally binding settlement agreement details the terms of settlement, as part of which the employee agrees to waive any right to bring a claim against the employer in an Employment Tribunal or other court of law.
Because a settlement agreement is the only enforceable way in which an employee can give up their statutory rights to bring a claim, the employee must seek independent advice on the terms of the agreement before he or she signs it.
Deduction of Wages
A salary deduction is unlawful unless a statutory provision allows the employer to do so, or if the worker has previously confirmed in writing their consent to the deduction.
Discrimination on Grounds of Disability
It is against the law for an employer:
- to discriminate directly against an employee if he or she is disabled
- to treat an employee less favourably because of a disability, whether in recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, or dismissal and redundancy (but see below)
- not to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the workplace to enable a disabled employee to work or to continue to work (see below)
- to harass a disabled employee – for example, by making jokes about a disability
- to victimise an employee in the event of the employee taking legal action because of discrimination, or if the employer helps someone else to take legal action because of discrimination.
Examples of the types of adjustments that an employer might make include:
- making physical adjustments to the premises
- supplying special equipment to help a disabled employee do his/her job
- transferring a disabled employee to a different post or workplace
- altering hours of work or giving a disabled employee extra time off.
While taking into account the costs involved and the size of their business, employers must decide whether making an adjustment is reasonable. The employer can also take into account skills and experience and the length of time the employee has worked there.
Gender and Race Discrimination
It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the grounds of sex or race.
Every employee in the UK is protected from discrimination at work on religious grounds, whether he or she is already working for your employer, or whether he or she is applying for a job.
Discrimination at work on the grounds of religion or belief could include:
- dismissal of an employee because of their religion
- advertising for job applicants of one religion only
- requiring employees to dress in a certain way, for example, requiring all women to wear a short skirt. This would not be acceptable for women of several different religions
- requiring employees not to wear sacred items – for example, insisting that a Sikh man remove his kara (symbolic bracelet)
- making employees work at times that are against their religion
- bullying at work because of religion. This is also known as harassment
- failing to provide training opportunities.
Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation
It is against the law for anyone providing goods or services to discriminate against anyone because they are lesbian, gay or bisexual, or because they are heterosexual.
Discrimination on Grounds of Age
It is against the law to treat employees unfairly at work because of age. This legislation (active from October 2006) only covers employment, adult education and training. There is no law which covers age discrimination in other areas.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced employment lawyers.