Employment Law Advice for Employees
Employment law can be an extensive legal minefield, but it is nonetheless a vital area. It covers your rights as an employee, both in terms of statutory rights and contractual rights. It provides what your employer can or cannot do.
Knowing when a breach of employment law has occurred is not always the same as proving it in court. For this, you need the help of experienced lawyers with the professional knowledge of this legal area. This is something Davies and Partners Solicitors have plenty of experience in and we have helped in numerous cases.
When an employment contract is terminated, you may be entitled to certain rights depending on how and why the dismissal itself occurred. If you are not aware of this, you may find yourself missing the opportunity to present an employment claim.
For example, constructive dismissal occurs when, as an employee, you feel obligated to resign for reasons caused by the employer. The exact reasons can be quite varied, ranging from sudden changes to your contract without your agreement to threatening or intimidating behaviour. Long term staff (usually of over 2 years’ service) can be rewarded compensation if successful.
Similarly, most people are familiar with redundancies. This is where a job is no longer required due to internal difficulties or changes. However, employers are required to follow regulated procedures. This involves strict guidelines on how they choose which members of staff to let go. They cannot select people based on age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation, as these would all qualify as examples of discrimination.
In any of these cases, where discrimination is a high reason for selection, employees usually have a right to compensation. Also there may be a right to claim unfair dismissal if appropriate processes aren’t followed or the selection for redundancy can’t be justified.
As mentioned, discrimination occurs when people are treated differently due to age, gender, religion, disability, ethnicity or sexual orientation rather than due to their skills or capabilities at work. When employees are let go from their job, or even treated unfairly in the work place, due to any such factor or other discriminatory grounds, a claim arises regardless of length of service.
A key area of this is whistleblowing. There are numerous cases when an employee is encouraged to conduct illegal practices, or observes these actions, such as when their company does not follow health and safety regulations. No contract can force an employee to break the law. There are however protocols in place and complex laws surrounding whistleblowing. Therefore an employee thinking of whistleblowing or seeking to claim having done so is well advised to seek specialist employment advice.
Why Is Legal Help Important?
While employers may be able to identify possible cases of discrimination, unfair dismissal or breaches of contract, the employee still needs to prove this from a legal standpoint. Experienced lawyers can help gather evidence and make a case that shows what has occurred. Employees should also remember that employers, especially when dealing with larger companies, often have their own legal resources, so hiring the likes of Davies and Partners Solicitors will help even the playing field.