Employment

  1. Employment

Employment law provides safeguards to workers and/or employees from unscrupulous employers in defined circumstances.

If you believe you have been treated unfairly or are being treated unfairly, talk to one of our experienced employment law specialists for competent and in-depth advice.

There are strict time limits in place and a delay could cost you a successful claim if you have been wronged. The action would normally need to be taken within 3 months of the act complained of (3 months minus 1 day).

We can offer assistance on a fixed fee basis and damages based agreement (DBA). Please contact us to discuss the most appropriate option for you.

If you are a worker, you are protected from being treated less favourably on the basis of specific protected characteristics.

You can potentially bring a claim against the person subjecting you to the discrimination who may be an agent or employee of the employer, as well as the employer.

You law prohibits you being unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of your:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage & Civil Partnership
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

 

If you believe you have been discriminated against, harassed and treated less favourably on the grounds of one of the protected characteristics you may have a claim.

Discrimination can be direct, indirect or associative.

Direct discrimination is where you are treated less favourably because of the protected characteristic. You would need to show you were treated less favourably in comparison to an actual or hypothetical comparator.

Indirect discrimination is where a provision, criterion or practice does not target a protected characteristic directly but results in less favourable treatment to a person with one or more of the protected characteristics.

Disability

Persons with a disability have a number of protections available to them to ensure they are not disadvantaged in the workplace in addition to the protection under Direct or Indirect Discrimination.

If you have a disability you have the right to ask for reasonable adjustments to enable you to access your workplace and overcome any barriers which stop you from working or make this more difficult for you.

You are also protected from discrimination arising from disability. This would possibly apply where the less favourable treatment would not directly be because of your disability but as a result of less favourable treatment as a consequence of your disability.

For example, if you had a disability which resulted in you not being able to work as quickly as expected, and this resulted in you being subjected to a capability procedure, this could potentially be discrimination arising from disability and indirect discrimination also. Any failure to amend your performance target could be considered as a failure to make reasonable adjustments.

Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination

Pregnancy & Maternity is an aspect of Sex discrimination but has specific protection under the law during the protected period for which no comparator is required.

If you are pregnant (or your employer believes you to be) or you have had a baby, you are entitled to specific protection during your protected period.

You have rights which not only cover direct or indirect discrimination but extend to protect during any redundancy consultations, dismissal and rights to time off.
 

Harassment 

Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct based on a protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating your dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

The protected characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

If the unwanted conduct is of a sexual nature, or you are treated less favourably for rejecting or submitting to such conduct, you would potentially have a claim.
 

Victimisation

If you complain of an allegation of discrimination or harassment this is a protected act.
The law protects you from a detriment on the grounds that you have complained, or another believes you have or may complain.

If you make an allegation that your rights have been contravened under the Equality Act 2010, complain to the Court/Tribunal of this, give evidence, or do anything else connected to or for the purpose of the Equality Act 2010, you are protected from any detriments.

Time Limits run from the act and are enforced strictly. If you believe you have been discriminated in any of the above grounds, please contact us to discuss and take action urgently as any delay could mean you are out of time to claim.

Unfair Dismissal

Losing your job can be an extremely stressful and worrying time. An employer can dismiss you, but this must be done fairly.

Whether a dismissal is fair or not depends on whether you qualify for protection under the law as an employee, your length of service, and the reasons given for the dismissal by the employer.

There are strict time limits to challenge an employer’s decision, time begins to run from the effective date of dismissal (which may not necessarily be the date you were told of your dismissal). You will need to take steps to challenge your dismissal within 3 months (minus 1 day) of the effective date of dismissal.

Flexible Working and Employment Rights 

Workers have a number of statutory protections covering:

  • Part Time Workers
  • Agency Workers
  • TUPE
  • Flexible Working
  • Maternity/Paternity rights
  • Whistleblowing
  • Health and Safety concerns 

If you are a worker, you have certain rights to request flexible working or time off for dependants or children.

 This includes Maternity/Paternity leave, time off for medical appointments/emergencies with dependants. You are also protected against being subjected to a detriment for exercising these rights.

Protected Interest Disclosures (Whistleblowing)

If you raise concerns and pass information about concerns at your place of employment the law protects you from retaliation by the employer where you may be subjected top detriments for raising the concerns.

You are protected if you are a worker or an employee and have disclosed a wrongdoing on specified grounds which is in the public interest.

 You’re protected by law if you report any of the following:

  • a criminal offence, for example fraud
  • someone’s health and safety is in danger
  • risk or actual damage to the environment
  • a miscarriage of justice
  • the company is breaking the law, for example does not have the right insurance
  • you believe someone is covering up wrongdoing

 The time limit runs from the date you were subjected to a detriment. If you believe you have been treated unfairly and subjected to a detriment or dismissed because of this please contact our team of employment law advisors.

TUPE rights

When a business changes hands and new owners take over, this can be a troubling time for existing employees and their security of work.

The law protects employees in certain situations where a transfer of undertakings take place in the UK- whether this the buying and selling of a part or all of a business, or the contracting of certain services.

Employers have an obligation to consult and inform employees and if applicable, to allow them to elect a representative.

 To see if you are covered and if your rights have been breached, contact us for assistance.