Employment Law AdviceEmployment Law is a wide ranging area and covers everything from unfair dismissal claims and discrimination to unlawful deduction from wages claims. Below is a list of the most common tribunal claims and the key factors to consider when thinking about making a claim in Employment law

Unfair Dismissal

Employers should not take the decision to dismiss their employees lightly.  They should not dismiss them for trifling matters or when less serious sanctions, such as written warnings, would be more appropriate.  They should conduct fair investigations, follow transparent procedures and then make reasonable decisions based on the evidence that they have.  They should also not dismiss employees for reasons that employees for breaching procedures that they genuinely didn’t know about or for doing things which are normally openly accepted by management.

If your employer has made a decision to dismiss you which is unfair either because they have acted harshly in choosing to dismiss you or failed to follow a fair procedure then you may have been unfairly dismissed. You will need to have been employed for two years if you want to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal about unfair dismissal.

Constructive Dismissal

In employment law, if you feel you have no choice but to resign following ill treatment by your employer, then you may have a claim for constructive dismissal. Your employer must have acted in such a way that there is a fundamental breach of your contract.  The action that you are complaining about has to be so serious that it would be impossible for you to continue in your job.

For example they may have tried to impose contractual changes which are very different (such as significantly reducing your pay) or you are being discriminated against.

If you decide to resign and intend to make a claim for constructive dismissal, it is really important that you clearly set out the reason for your resignation.  Your letter can be useful evidence at a tribunal hearing.  Don’t forget to mention any attempts to resolve the situation that you have made which have failed.

Discrimination

Employment Law protects an individual from being discriminated (being directly or indirectly, victimised or harassed-in other words being treated less favourably) under one of the protected characteristics laid out in the Equality Act 2010. These protected characteristics are:

If you feel you have been discriminated against due to one of these protected characteristics please call us on 0800 756 6605.

Victimisation

If you take steps to prevent discrimination, such as making a complaint, raising a grievance, issuing a claim to an employment tribunal or acting as a witness for a colleague at tribunal then you are well protected by the law.  Victimisation is the legal term used when a person is treated less favourably because of the steps that they have taken in connection with discrimination.

Bullying and Harassment

Unfortunately, in Employment law, there is no direct claim for bullying and as such you have to link it to another claim such as discrimination or constructive dismissal.

However there is a possibility that the claim may fall under the aegis of harassment if the treatment that you find degrading/offensive etc is based on one of the protected characteristics listed above. If so then there are provisions in the Equality Act 2010 which will allow you to make a claim at the tribunal.

Redundancy

In these tricky financial times, it is unfortunately, fairly common for people to be made redundant and it can be stressful all round, if that is happening to you. However, if your employer has not followed procedures correctly there is a possibility that there may be a claim available to you at the tribunal under UK Employment Law.

For example if your employer has made you redundant without putting someone else who has the same or a similar job in the pool for redundancy or they have failed to adopt a fair selection criteria or if even they have failed to consider any alternatives to redundancy then there may be scope to make a claim for unfair redundancy.

On top of that you also have the right to redundancy pay if you have been there over 2 years and your notice pay if you are not working out your notice.

Unlawful Deductions from Wages

If your employer owes you money for any reasons;

  • failure to be paid notice;
  • not being paid your salary;
  • not being paid some other monies owed to you in your salary;
  • making deductions you have not agreed to in writing.

You can claim it back from your employer as an unlawful deduction from your wages. You need to remember however, that the last date to submit to tribunal is 3 months less one day from the last date of  the last deduction from your wages.

Whistleblowing

This is when you make a disclosure to your employer or another body about issues at work. These can be about health and safety, damage to the environment, criminal offences or general illegality.

If you do make such a disclosure then the law protects you from being treated less well or from being dismissed. If you need our help please do not hesitate to contact us and our employment law solicitors will be able to advise you on whether you have a case that can be taken forward with regard to whistleblowing.

TUPE based dismissal

Under TUPE rules if your employment is transferred from one employer to another then any terms and conditions should be transferred as well.  You should be paid the same, work the same hours, receive the same benefits and holidays and access to facilities.  You should also be informed and consulted about the decision to transfer your employment.

If you transfer over and the terms and conditions are not the same, you are not informed properly or you transfer over and immediately lose your job then there is the potential for an unfair dismissal claim.

Asserting a Statutory Right

In unfair dismissal claims you must have been employed for 2 years before you can make a claim.  There are some exceptions and asserting a statutory right is one of them.  If you have tried to assert a statutory right such as complaining about pay being withheld, taking rest periods to which you are entitled or taking time off for dependants and you have been dismissed or treated less well as a result you can make a claim without having to have completed the 2 years service.

What next?

If after reading through this list of potential employment law claims you feel that you may have a potential claim then please call us on 0800 756 6605  or 07808 864607. where one of our team will be able to assist in advising you on your next steps and whether we will be able to represent you on a no win no fee basis.

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