Employment Law

For Employees

Has your employer treated you unfairly?  Are you being discriminated? Do you risk losing your job? Is your reputation at stake?

Our solicitors will take the time to listen to the circumstances surrounding your individual case, explain to you where you stand legally and whether your employment rights are being infringed and advise you on the next step to take.  Where appropriate we will ensure you receive adequate financial compensation.
If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiations with your employer, we will explain the pros and cons of litigation, and when the time arises, represent you before the tribunal.

Our services for employees cover the following areas:

1.     Compromise agreements – negotiating termination packages to ensure you get the best deal.

2.     Unfair dismissal

3.     Discrimination (race, sex, disability, age)redundancy

4.     Harassment & Bullying at the work place

5.     Matters of discipline

6.     Restrictive covenants

7.     Representation at tribunals

8.     TUPE – transfer of undertakings

Compromise Agreements

If you have been involved with a dispute with your employer or being made redundant, your employer may present you with a “compromise agreement” or “redundancy agreement”, in exchange for additional payment or other benefits.

A compromise agreement is a legally binding agreement.  Therefore, in situations like this it may be in your interest to seek legal advice to ensure that the settlement with your employer is a fair one that doesn’t impose unnecessary restrictions upon you.

If you are owed any wages, bonuses, accrued but untaken holiday pay it all needs to be dealt with in the agreement.

If you are concerned about the tax element of the compromise agreement, we would be able to explain to you which payments are taxable and which one are tax free.

You will also have the opportunity to discuss any specific questions with a solicitor.

One of our expert solicitors will consider the terms and conditions of your compromise agreement and provide you with written advice on your agreement. If there are amendments needed, we would be able to negotiate terms with your employer, re-advise you on specific terms and the consequences of signing the agreement.

Employers usually offer a contribution to cover your legal fees.  In such cases we may be able to cap our fees and invoice your employer for the entirely of your costs.

Unfair Dismissal

If your employer has decided to dismiss you, they must have an acceptable reason for doing so. The employer has to show that the reason for the dismissal was fair and the decision to dismiss was reasonable. The employer also has to show that they followed the statutory procedures leading up to your dismissal.

Some examples of a fair dismissal would be if the dismissal was based on the misconduct or the capability of the employee.

If you feel that your employer may not have followed a correct procedure or has unfairly chosen you for dismissal you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.

Redundancy

With the credit crunch and the financial downturn, redundancies are far too common nowadays.

If your employment is being terminated by reason of redundancy, your employer must be able to justify that they are no longer carrying on business, or that your position is no longer available or that they are changing their location of business. Whatever, the reason your employer has an obligation to follow the correct procedures.

You are also entitled minimum statutory redundancy pay. However, on termination many employers choose to give their employees a compensation pay over and above the basic redundancy pay.

We would be able to assess whether your employment termination is a genuine redundancy situation and negotiate an appropriate redundancy package for you.

Discrimination

Discrimination can occur on the grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion and belief or age etc.  Unlawful discrimination arises if a person is treated less favourably than someone else because of their sex or race etc. Discrimination may also arise from a dismissal or another issue such as harassment or victimisation.

The law protects you from discrimination right from the start of the recruitment process up until your last day at work.

If you have been the victim of discrimination at any of these times, we would be able to assess if your employment rights are being infringed and give you practical advice on how to deal with the issue.

Bullying and Harassment

You have a right not to be subjected to words or conduct which you consider unwelcome and regard as offensive on the grounds of your sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion and belief, age etc.  Such conduct could be seen as bullying and/or harassment and could affect your physical and mental well being, and performance at work.

The protection that the law offers you also extends outside the work place e.g. at a office party.

If you feel that you have been the victim of bullying and/or harassment we would be able to give you the expert advise you need.

Transfer of a business

Before any transfer/ sale of a business takes place, employees have a right to be given information about the fact that a relevant transfer is to about to take place; when it is likely to happen; the reason; the implications on you as an employee; and whether any changes will occur to your employment.

If any changes are likely, the employee or their representatives must be consulted. The law protects employees in such situations (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”))

Any fundamental change such as pay, hours of work, location etc by the new employer may be a breach of contract and allow an employee to claim constructive unfair dismissal.

Any dismissal which takes place because of the transfer either by the new employer or old employer may be automatically unfair.  The employer must justify the dismissal or a contract change and confirm that the consultation process is handled correctly

If you feel that your rights have been affected by a transfer, we would be able to advise and assist you on your employment rights and how to take the matter further.

For Employers

Our services include the followings:

  • Providing you with general advice on any area of employment law
  • Advising you on new legislation and its impact of employment practices
  • Representing you at the employment tribunal, including defending actions from employees.Drafting/ negotiating employment contracts
  • Reviewing/updating employment policies, terms and conditions, employee handbooks
  • Advising you on employment and/or immigration aspects of corporate transactions, business transfers and re-organisations
  • Advising on restructuring and redundancy plans
  • Drafting/ negotiating compromise agreements

Compliance with immigration law

We take pride in the fact that our Employment and Immigration team of solicitors work closely together. We are therefore also able to provide you and enhances service covering advise on a wide range of ancillary issues relating to immigration law.

In 2008, the UK Border Agency introduced Civil Penalties for businesses failing to carry out the relevant pre-employment document checks and annual follow-up checks (where necessary) necessary for immigration law purposes.  This has resulted in numerous businesses being penalized with hefty fines.

We can advise and assist you in the following areas:

  • Illegal working and recruitment procedures, including initial stage documents checks
  • Objections to and appeals against UKBA Civil Penalties;
  • European Residence Permits and in-country registration requirements;
  • Rights of free movement within the EEA;

Employers wishing to sponsor a foreign workers

Employers and education providers in the UK should ensure that they can legally employ migrant workers and teach migrant students.

The register of sponsors lists all organisations that the UK Border Agency has licensed to employ migrant workers or sponsor migrant students.

Under the points-based system, if you are an employer or education provider who wants to act as a sponsor, you will need a licence. When you get a licence, you are added to the register of sponsors.

The register of sponsors lists the name, location and sponsor rating (see below) of every registered organisation.

If you are not registered as a licenced sponsor you cannot employ migrant workers under the Tier 2 category.  Licence as a sponsor means that you have numerous resposnibilkites to keep up with.  You must be aware of these responsibilities, as non compliance can lead to hefty fines and/or a downgrade or even a removal from the sponsorship register.