Employment Tribunal Claims and Employment Disputes
For expert advice on matters in relation to Employment Tribunal Claims and Disputes, please contact our Employment team today on 01202 525333.
An employment relationship is formed with written and implied terms. Even if your employer has not provided you with an employment contract, a contract is still in existence that is capable of being breached. Examples of breaches include: paying your wages late, not paying you notice pay or paying insufficient notice (wrongful dismissal), changing any term without your consent or conducting themselves in a way that breaches the implied term of mutual trust and confidence.
If your employer breaches a term of your contract, you could bring a claim a breach of contract claim in the Employment Tribunal or Civil Court (depending on the value). A breach of contract claim in the Employment Tribunal claim can leave an employer open to bringing a counterclaim against you. If you have not received your wages, an unlawful deduction from wages claim could be pursued instead and this can be done if you are still employed. Our experienced breach of contract solicitors can assess your claim, guide you through this process and help you decide the best approach to your breach of contract claim.
Once you have been employed for two years, you are protected from being unfairly dismissed, including unfair constructive dismissal (where you feel forced resign in response to your employer’s conduct). In unfair dismissal, an employer can only dismiss for one of five potentially fair reasons: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason. The dismissal must be fair in all of the circumstances, including follow a fair process.
From the start of your employment you are protected from automatic unfair dismissal. A dismissal will automatically be unfair if the main reason for the dismissal is, for example, because you raised a health and safety concern, asking to be paid National Minimum Wage or told your employer that you are pregnant.
If you feel that your dismissal was unfair or you may have a potential unfair dismissal claim, our expert employment lawyers are here to assist you, including assessing the value and prospects, and providing you with your options.
If your employer has underpaid you, not paid you at all or deducted money from you wages without your consent, you may be able to bring a claim. This also includes repeated deductions if you remain employed – in this case, raising a grievance is recommended. It is unlawful for an employer to make deductions from your wages unless you have agreed to the deduction in writing. A deduction will be permitted for payment of tax and National Insurance, of if you were overpaid. Often there will be a clause in an employment contract permitting the employer to make deductions from wages, so this needs to be reviewed when considering unlawful deductions claims.
It is unlawful to be discriminated against due to having a protected characteristic. There are nine protected characteristics, including age, disability, race, and religion or belief. There are several types of discrimination: direct, indirect, harassment and victimisation. For example, harassment is when a person’s conduct has the effect of violating your dignity or creates an offensive environment on the grounds of one of the protected characteristics, including sexual harassment.
Here are some of circumstances where discrimination is unlawful: dismissal, terms of employment, pay, promotion, training, recruitment and redundancy.
Discrimination claims are very complex and if they succeed they can attract unlimited compensation at the Employment Tribunal. If you feel that you have been discriminated against at work, our team of expert employment discrimination lawyers are on hand to advise you on all types of discrimination claims.
By law, men and women should receive equal pay for equal work. This includes work that is the same/similar, rated as equivalent or equal value.
If you are paid less, or have less favourable terms (i.e. benefits, holiday entitlement or pay, working hours, contractual bonus), than a colleague who is the opposite sex and does equal work, you could potentially bring an equal pay claim in the Employment Tribunal. If you claim succeeds, the Tribunal can make a declaration of your rights and/or compensation. A sex discrimination claim may also be available if, for example, you feel your pay is not equal because of your sex.
You are likely to be affected by a TUPE transfer if you are transferring to a new employer during a business purchase or a service is transferred to a new provider. Subject to the TUPE Regulations applying, you will transfer automatically with your terms and conditions, and length of service, protected. If the new employer changes your terms and the sole or principal reason for the change is the transfer itself, such change may be void. If you are dismissed for the sole or principal reason being the transfer, it will be automatically unfair and could give rise to an Employment Tribunal claim. There are various obligations for both the old employer and new employer, including the requirement to inform and consult with you about the transfer – failure to do so could lead to a Tribunal claim.
Our TUPE experts can help to protect you during business transfers, advise you whether TUPE is likely to apply, if you can bring a Tribunal claim, your rights during the process and options.
Whistleblowing is when you report a certain type of wrongdoing at work to your employer i.e. criminal offence or a health and safety concern. This is known as a protected disclosure, which must be made in the public interest i.e. affect others. If you are treated unfairly or dismissed because you have made a protected disclosure, you are protected by law and may be able to bring an Employment Tribunal claim.
Our lawyers have experience with whistleblower protection cases and can give you the advice and support that you need. For more information please contact us.
If your employer has not paid your notice pay, or failed to pay you the correct amount of notice, when your employment terminates this is likely to amount to a breach of contract. For this breach, a wrongful dismissal claim can be brought in the Employment Tribunal and compensation can include the notice pay owed. When considering whether a dismissal was wrongful, it is important to carefully review the notice provisions in the employment contract (if there is one). If you do not have an employment contract, you are entitled to at least the minimum notice set out by law.
Our team of experts can advise you about your entitlement to notice pay, whether you have received the correct amount of notice and, if not, advise you on bringing a Tribunal claim for wrongful dismissal.
Breach of Contract
By law, all employees must be given written terms and conditions of employment within two months of commencing employment. A tribunal may award up to 4 weeks’ wages if there are no such written terms in place. Our experienced breach of contract solicitors can guide you through this process.
Equal Pay Claims
Equal Pay legislation provides that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work. An employee can bring an equal pay claim in the employment tribunal, and the tribunal can make a declaration of the employee’s rights and an order for payment of any arrears of pay or damages.
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