Employment law – advice for employees

It can often be difficult to know just where to go and who to speak to if you have an issue concerning employment law.

With many frequent updates and developments, it’s hard to keep up. This handy guide is here to equip you with key information to get ahead of the curve for employment law matters in 2019 and beyond.

employment lawSettlement agreements

Settlement agreements can be used to resolve an ongoing workplace dispute and are designed to stop any new claims from being issued and halt any claims issued by either party. There are several elements that must be included for a settlement agreement to be valid in employment law. These are:

  • The agreement must be in writing.
  • Relating to a particular or potential complaint.
  • The employee has received advice from an independent adviser.
  • The adviser has signed the agreement confirming that advice has been given.
  • The agreement states that it meets the requirements of the relevant regulations.

To begin a settlement agreement, consult a specialist solicitors firm, such as Tinsdills Solicitors, who can provide expert advice on the terms and the implications of entering into a settlement agreement. 

Disciplinary and grievance procedures

Whilst a difficult and stressful time for both employee and employer, a large proportion of disciplinary and grievance issues at work can be resolved informally. As each case is different, it is your employer’s responsibility to ensure your issue is dealt with fairly, within a reasonable timeframe and treated consistently. There are useful guides to further assist with the relevant procedures, specifically from Acas, that provide specialist guidance for a host of scenarios.

Unfair dismissal and discrimination

If you believe you are a victim of unfair dismissal or discrimination at work, it’s important to know you have three months from the termination date of employment to lodge your claim with the appropriate Employment Tribunal, so act fast. To make an eligible claim, it is usually required for you to have served for over two years with the company. However, if you’re claiming for ‘automatically unfair’ dismissal or discriminatory dismissal, no minimum service length is required.

There are four types of dismissal:

  • Termination by the employer.
  • Expiry of a fixed-term contract.
  • Forced resignation.
  • Resignation by the employee which amounts to constructive dismissal.

Your solicitor can prepare your claim forms (ET1), prepare your case, share relevant documents and witness statements. They’ll also be there to act on your behalf when presenting to the Employment Judge at any point, or for final hearing in the Employment Tribunal. Your solicitor can alternatively act on your behalf to negotiate a suitable settlement of your claim.

Redundancy and notice periods

Being made redundant can be a highly emotional time for employees. Employers should use a fair and objective way to decide the employee selected for redundancy. Your employer must provide notice of a pending redundancy, which is dependent on the length of service you have provided.

  • One month to two years – one week
  • Two to 12 years – one week per year
  • Over 12 years – 12 weeks

Your salary entitlements remain the same throughout a redundancy notice period, regardless of remaining annual, sick or parental leave, whether the employee has been temporarily laid off or if the employee is available for work but there is no work to do.

Alternatively, your employer can provide payment in lieu of notice. Instead of working your redundancy period you can be eligible for full pay, including any extras such as pension contributions.

You may decide it is best for you to leave the company during your notice period, if, for example, you have secured a new role following news of a pending redundancy. To avoid losing your eligibility for redundancy pay, you must get your employer’s agreement in writing. If your employer approves the agreement, they do not have to pay you for the remainder of the notice period but your redundancy pay remains the same.