The Most Frequently Asked Employment Law Questions
Whether you’re an employee or employer, the chances are you have some questions regarding Employment Law. Luckily for you, we have the answers to all your questions and more.
Sourced through our expert Employment Law team here at Tinsdills Solicitors, we can answer all of your Employment Law questions, be they on redundancy, unfair dismissal, or something else entirely.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for below, feel free to contact us using the form here, and we will be happy to help.
Frequently Asked Questions On Employment Law
Employment Law is the area of law that governs the relationship between an ‘employer’ and an ‘employee’.
Employment Law covers a very broad range of areas spanning all aspects of the employer/employee relationship and dealing with the practical aspects that face both the employee and the employer across all sectors on a day-to-day basis.
These include providing a contract of employment to an employee, producing and maintaining policies and procedures for the workplace, managing redundancy situations, disciplinary procedures and processes, or making or defending a claim at the employment tribunal for unfair dismissal or discrimination.
Employment Law outlines the rights and duties of an employer and an employee and provides each with a course of redress should there be a failure by either to comply with those duties and an impingement on those rights.
If you are made redundant you are dismissed by your employer.
To dismiss an employee for reason of redundancy, the employer must be in a situation where they decide to reduce their number of employees due to one of a limited number of circumstances, which are:
1) The business that employed you has closed altogether.
2) The site that you worked at for the business has closed.
3) A reduction in the requirements of the business for employees to do work of a particular kind.
Redundancies can either be made on an individual basis, or collectively and the process that must be followed by the employer may be different depending on the circumstances.
You can be made redundant while you are off sick, but there must be a genuine redundancy situation and your employer must follow a fair and proper procedure.
You should not be made redundant because you are off sick.
If you are selected for redundancy you must be given notice by your employer.
This notice period could be statutory or defined in your contract of employment, and can differ depending on how long you have worked for your employer.
The statutory notice periods for redundancy are:
1) One week notice if employed for between one month and two years.
2) One week notice for each year employed if between two and twelve years.
3) Twelve weeks notice if employed for twelve years or more.
Your contract of employment should be checked as it may entitle you to a greater notice period than the statutory minimum.
A Settlement Agreement is a legally binding contract entered into between you and your employer, usually where that relationship has come to an end. Settlement Agreements typically waive an individual’s right to make any claim which they potentially may have against their employer, in return for a compensatory amount. It is therefore vitally important that you seek independent legal advice before entering into a Settlement Agreement.
There are various conditions that must be met in order for a Settlement Agreement to be valid; one of these is that the employee must receive advice from an independent adviser. Here at Tinsdills Solicitors we are able to provide advice on the terms of a Settlement Agreement and the implications of entering into the agreement.
You don’t have to pay any fees to the employment tribunal for bringing a claim. However, if you lose an employment tribunal claim there is an extremely small possibility that you may have to pay costs. Generally, a tribunal will only make a costs order where one party has acted totally unreasonably in either bringing proceedings or in the way that proceedings have been conducted. If you instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf then you will have to pay the solicitor’s fees.
We do not act under a Conditional Fee Agreement (no-win, no fee) in Employment Law matters as a matter of course, but may be willing to do so in certain circumstances. If you wish to instruct us with a view to bringing a claim we would be happy to provide an estimate of costs.
The time period from lodging a claim to finalisation can vary, however, claims in the employment tribunal currently take on average between 8-12 months to be heard.
A claim must be brought within three months of the “effective date of termination.” You also need to have been employed with the same employer for a minimum period of two years. It is a necessary step that the claim is registered with ACAS and that their mandatory early conciliation scheme is considered before filing a claim in the tribunal. When ACAS are contacted, this ‘stops the clock’ temporarily in respect of the time limits in bringing a claim.
The time limit for a statutory redundancy payment is six months starting with the relevant date – this is, in most cases, the date when the employment is effectively terminated.
Constructive dismissal is where your employer has seriously breached a term in your contract of employment. You must have resigned as a direct consequence of this breach and must not be seen to have accepted the breach in any way.
It is unlawful to discriminate against anyone because of age, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. These are known as the protected characteristics. Discrimination can exist in many different forms and we are able to advise you if you have a valid claim for unlawful discrimination in the workplace.
Wrongful dismissal is dismissal in breach of contract. If you have been wrongfully dismissed you may claim compensation for all financial and other benefits that you would have received had you been dismissed in compliance with your contract of employment. There is no length of service required for a breach of contract claim.