Q: How important is my contract of employment?
A: It is very important, and you should always read your contract of employment carefully before you sign to make sure that you are content with the terms on which you are being employed. Take legal advice if you need to.
Q: What is the difference between wrongful dismissal, unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal?
A: Wrongful dismissal is when you have been dismissed in breach of your contract, for example where your employer has failed to give you notice of dismissal.
Unfair dismissal happens when your employer fails to show a “fair” reason for dismissing you. Redundancy, lack of capability or serious misconduct on your part are all fair reasons for dismissal, although the employer must also show that it followed the correct procedures for dismissal.
Constructive dismissal is an unfair dismissal claim that you might have if you are forced to resign because of your employer’s unlawful behaviour. Examples of serious breaches of contract by an employer include: failing to pay you or cutting your pay without telling you, changing your job description or threatening to dismiss you if you do not agree to accept changes to your employment terms, among several others.
Q: Do employers have to offer flexible working?
A: All employees have the legal right to request flexible working, not just parents and carers. You must have worked for the same employer for at least six months. Your employer is obliged to respond to your request (technically called a “statutory application”) in a reasonable manner, ie assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application, offering to hold a meeting with you and offering an appeal process
Q: Should I be paid the same as someone else doing exactly the same job?
A: Sex discrimination is unlawful, even if the gender gap continues to exist in many areas of employment. Employees can claim equal pay with colleagues of the opposite sex when they are in the same employment and doing work that is the same or broadly similar or work that is different but of equal value in terms of demands.
Q: If I have been made redundant, do I have any comeback?
A: Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal. In order to satisfy the definition for redundancy, your employer will need to show that it is ceasing to carry on its business or it is ceasing to carry it on in your place of work or the requirements of the business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind have reduced or have ceased.
Q: How do I know if I have been discriminated against?
A: You may a claim against your employer if you are dismissed on the grounds of your sex (including marital status and pregnancy), race (including nationality), religion or philosophical belief, sexual orientation or age. It can also be discrimination if you are denied paternity leave, for example.
Q: What employment rights do I have if the business for which I work has been sold to someone else?
A: There are regulations covering the position for employees when a business is sold to another company, called the TUPE Regulations. These are very complex, involving issues such as “harmonisation” of terms and conditions. We recommend you seek the advice of an expert lawyer when this situation arises.
Q: I think I may have been unfairly dismissed. How do I make a claim?
A: You can bring a claim in an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal and/or for breach of contract as a result of a wrongful dismissal.
The employment tribunal may award you compensation, or require your employer to take you back, that is if your claim is successful.
The guidance is not legal advice; no lawyer-client or similar relationship is created by the Q&A. If you need legal advice from a barrister on an employment matter, select one or more barrister(s) from the list below and click on "contact barrister(s) now" button. We will bring you in touch with the barristers you chose.
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I am an experienced advocate appearing in Employment tribunals across the country and at the Employment Appeal Tribunal. If you are an employer or employee and have a dispute relating to TUPE, unfair dismissal or discrimination, I can provide you with quality, straightforward and swift advice at a competitive rate.
On this site, experience and ability come as standard. I offer something extra: I know how it feels to stand where you are now. I was once the target of undeserved and potentially utterly destructive civil litigation, in a field of law I knew nothing about. My legal team saved me. More recently, I have had to engage in civil litigation to protect my...
Employment disputes are stressful. Usually, the employee will think that the employer is in the position of strength, and that any possible challenge to the employer’s actions would be complex.
Billal’s employment law work focusses on helping employees to obtain justice for breaches of their legal rights. He is able to help clients with the...
I act regularly in the more general areas of Employment law, such as unfair dismissal, breach of contract, discrimination, TUPE as well as contractual claims and injunctive relief in the High Court.
I acted for Unite’s Convenor in the Grangemouth dispute between Unite and Petroineos, in which interim relief was obtained, reinstating the Claimant....
Penny Maudsley practises in clinical practitioner fitness to practise law and general professional regulation, mental health law, court of protection law, personal injury law, clinical negligence law, inquest law, and in medically related criminal law. Penny Maudsley has represented clients at all tribunal levels including the High Court, and advises on...
Are you managing a difficult employee or feeling aggrieved by an unfair employer? Are you downsizing your workforce or even under threat of redundancy yourself? Is dismissal or discrimination an issue? I can help. I have won cases on both sides of the fence. I help businesses and HR tread carefully in sticky situations. I also represent employees...
Paul is now ten years Call and he is a specialist civil litigation and employment lawyer. Paul represented Team GB at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and, perhaps not surprisingly, is known for his strong work ethic and commitment to delivering a high standard of service to his clients.
I have been a specialist in employment law since I was called to the Bar 2002 and am a highly experienced practitioner. I completed my training at what remains one of the leading chambers in the UK for Employment Law, Littleton Chambers, and have since worked as both a self-employed barrister in chambers and as an in house barrister.