Employment law for employees

Most of us spend a considerable proportion of our lives at work.  When things at work go wrong, it can be worrying and upsetting.  We understand how stressful it can be to face difficulties or changes in the workplace.  If you have been dismissed or are going through a disciplinary or grievance process, we are here to listen and to provide support and guidance throughout.  You can also turn to us for advice if you are being bullied, harassed or discriminated against at work, or if there are changes on the horizon, such as redundancy, changes to your terms and conditions, or a transfer of your work to another employer.

If you are facing issues at work, we recommend that you seek assistance at an early stage.  If addressed swiftly, matters can often be resolved before they escalate to a point where it becomes difficult to remain in work.

If you would like to discuss your current circumstances, we would be delighted to arrange an initial meeting.  We will assess your situation and give you clear and straightforward advice on your legal position.  We will suggest strategies to help you deal with your situation and resolve matters if possible.  We will explain the likely next steps and the potential outcomes.  We have in-depth experience of advising employees on day-to-day employment problems and find that our clients feel reassured simply by having us on board, by discussing matters with us and by understanding more about their rights and options.

Senior Executives

If you are a senior executive, we will advise you on your contract of employment/service agreement and we can help you to negotiate contractual terms which protect your position whilst striking a balance to safeguard the relationship with your new employer. We can provide detailed advice on restrictive covenants and competition and confidentiality clauses so that you can plan your future career with a full understanding of your obligations.  Such a review may be necessary at the end of employment in order to clarify the nature and extent of any applicable post-termination restrictions, but it is also worth considering taking advice on these clauses before employment starts.   We are experienced in negotiating executive exits and settlement arrangements, acting swiftly and surely to let you concentrate on your future ventures.  Please contact us for more information on the specialist advice and assistance which we can provide to senior executives.

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Disciplinary / dismissal

Facing a disciplinary procedure can be daunting. We can help you to prepare for hearings and appeals and support you through the process. We offer practical advice and assistance such as helping you to clarify and explain your side of the story, or helping you with a written statement to present at a hearing. We can offer an objective viewpoint on the likely outcome of any disciplinary process and, if the outcome does not ultimately go your way, we can advise you of your rights and possible next steps. Contact us for more information and to arrange a discussion.

If you have been dismissed and believe that your dismissal was unfair, either because your employer did not go through a proper process or because there was no fair reason for your dismissal, you may be able to raise an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal.

Alternatively, if you have resigned because of your employer’s conduct (which could be a one-off event or a sustained course of intolerable conduct which has destroyed the employment relationship) you may be able to bring a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

If you believe that you have been unfairly dismissed or are at risk of dismissal, or if you have resigned and wish to claim constructive unfair dismissal, you should take legal advice at an early stage as Employment Tribunal time limits are short and strictly enforced, and if you fail to raise your claim in time you may be unable to do so later.

Contact us to arrange an initial chat with no obligation. If you decide that you would like us to support and advise you, we’ll discuss your situation with you, give you clear advice on your rights, and support you through your claim, step by step.


Grievances

If you have a difficulty at work which you have been unable to resolve, we can assist you. We can either offer guidance on how to deal with the issue informally with your employer, or we can help you draft a formal grievance letter explaining your grievance and your point of view in a clear and detailed way to make sure that your employer fully understands your position and properly considers your complaint. We will then advise you on how to deal with a subsequent grievance meeting, including drafting a basic script to guide you through the meeting if necessary. If matters are more serious and your only option is to leave your employment, we will advise you on the prospects of any constructive unfair dismissal or other employment tribunal claim and guide you through that process. Depending on the nature of your grievance and the strength of any claim, it may be possible to negotiate an agreement with your employer to end the employment in return for compensation. Let us know if you would like to explore your options in more detail.


Discrimination

Whilst workplaces have changed over the years to become more diverse and more tolerant, discrimination does still occur at work as in other areas of life. The law provides all employees with protection from discrimination. This protection applies where discrimination in the workplace occurs because of your sex, race, age, sexual orientation, because of any religion or belief that you hold or any disability that you suffer from. The law also provides protection for pregnant women, those who are on maternity leave and those who have recently returned to work after having a baby.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against or are being harassed for any of characteristics mentioned above, then you should take advice as soon as possible. Employment Tribunal time limits are short and are strictly enforced and, if you miss the time limit, you may be unable to raise your claim later. If you contact us for advice you’ll find us compassionate, knowledgeable and clear about your options.


Redundancy

Being made redundant or being told that you are at risk of redundancy can be extremely stressful. If you are in this situation, or think that there is a risk that your employer may be considering redundancies, taking advice at an early stage will put you in the best position to challenge your selection for redundancy or perhaps to improve your redundancy package. We are able to step in, to negotiate with your employer directly or to provide you with the tools you need to do this yourself.

Sometimes, redundancy is unavoidable and there may be no funds within the business to pay enhanced redundancy payments. This can happen where a business is closing down. Even then, you need to be sure that your employer has followed a fair and proper redundancy process. We will assess your redundancy situation and let you know if this is the case so that you are fully informed and can be sure that you receive the sums to which you are entitled. Contact us if you would like to arrange an appointment to discuss your entitlements on redundancy.

At a time when there can be uncertainty and financial concerns, we will help you to represent yourself to the best of your ability so that you can be sure that you have done all that you can to exercise your rights with confidence at a time when you may feel vulnerable. Get in touch if you would like more information about how we can assist.


Contracts of employment

Most employment contracts are signed without the benefit of legal advice and often without being read very thoroughly. Your employment contract should set out the basic terms and conditions of your employment and will probably also detail any benefits which you receive from your employer. It should contain terms about your holiday entitlement, sick pay and a description of your role. It may also contain clauses about confidential information. Some contracts of employment will go further than this and may contain restrictions on what you can and cannot do after you leave that employment, such as working for a competitor or working in the same industry for a certain period of time. Because your contract of employment governs your relationship with your employer and can extend beyond the termination of your employment, it is a good idea to take legal advice before signing it especially if you are a senior employee or if your contract contains unusual or complicated clauses. We will advise you on all aspects of your contract so that you are fully informed before signing and will ensure that you understand your options should the contract contain restrictions on future activity.

Similarly, if your employer is proposing changes to your terms and conditions, our advice will help you to understand your rights as well as your options before agreeing to your employer’s new terms.


Employment Tribunal claims

If you need to raise an Employment Tribunal claim, or if you already have a claim up and running, we will advise you on the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. We will give you an indication of what you might expect to be awarded if successful in the Employment Tribunal, along with information about the costs of pursuing a claim. Many Employment Tribunal claims are resolved without going to a full Tribunal hearing and they often settle with the employer making a payment of compensation. We are experienced in settling Tribunal claims and will guide you through this process step by step and negotiate on your behalf. If settlement is not possible, then we can help you navigate the Employment Tribunal proceedings and ultimately help you to put your case across as effectively as possible.

If you believe that you have grounds for an Employment Tribunal claim, but have not yet raised proceedings, please take advice at an early stage as Employment Tribunal time limits are short and strictly enforced and, if you miss the time limits, you may be unable to raise your claim at a later stage.


Settlement Agreements

For advice on Settlement Agreements, visit our dedicated page.

For any queries on these topics, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.