Employment Law

This area of law is extensive and can be complex in nature concerning the obligations, regulations and
requirements for predominantly employers and employees. This area can also concern workers, the self-
employed and freelancers. Employment law is a highly procedural area and seeks to govern the legal
framework of employer and employee relationships ensuring fairness and accountability.

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Employment Contract Advice

An employment contract will generally be provided in express written terms between the employer and an employee; however, they can also be oral agreements or implied agreements by conduct, for instance. There are, however, minimum requirements to form a binding legal contract under English law and these agreements must be binding to be valid and enforceable. 

Unfair/Constructive Dismissal

Unfair dismissal is a term used should an individual believe that they have been wrongfully fired or subsequently removed from employment by their employer. Constructive dismissal is when an employee has to leave their job based on the employer's conduct making continued employment untenable. The conduct should amount to a breach of contract which could be a serious incident or a series of incidents that are serious when taken together. 

Employment Tribunal

There are a number of public bodies in England and Wales and Scotland which have jurisdiction to hear many different kinds of disputes between employers and employees. Formal proceedings concerning employment matters are usually heard in the Employment Tribunal in England and Wales. This is separate from the jurisdiction of the civil courts to hear a range of other civil issues and disputes. 

Discrimination & Harassment

This is a form of discrimination based on a range of personal characteristics that are protected by law. This means that you cannot be treated, directly or indirectly, unfairly on the basis of any of your personal protected characteristics. These include age, disability, sex or gender, sexual orientation, religion, or belief. 

Sex discrimination is a form of unwanted and unlawful conduct or behaviour that seeks to treat someone differently based on their gender or sexuality during your employment. Gender and sexuality are both personal characteristics and protected under the Equality Act 2010. If you have been treated unfairly either directly or indirectly by conduct or behaviour on the basis of your gender or sexuality in employment, by other employees or your employer, you may be able to take action against the individual and/or the employer. 

If you have been subject to unwanted physical contact at work of a sexual nature, this could be a criminal offence and you should contact your nearest Police Station without delay. 

Grievance

A grievance is a formal complaint that is raised by an employee against an employer in the workplace. 

Employment Status

Employment status is the status of an individual in a company or organisation depending on the contract, nature and duration of work carried out. An employee may be a part-time employee (PTE), a full-time employee (FTE), or a temporary employee (fixed-term). There are also statuses as self-employed and workers that are determined and treated differently depending on the circumstances. 

Workplace Pension

A workplace pension is a way of saving for your retirement and it is arranged by your employer. Contributions to a company pension scheme are paid by both the employee and employer automatically. These contributions are taken directly from your wages to be paid into the pension. 

Redundancy

Redundancy is when an employee is dismissed from their job as the position they fill is no longer required. An employee who is dismissed in such circumstances is entitled to statutory redundancy pay if they have been employed by their employer for two years prior to the date of termination. 

TUPE

TUPE is the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulation. It is designed to protect employees if the business in which they work is sold or transferred to a new owner. TUPE automatically comes into operation to move employees within the business, from one employer to the other. 

Parental Leave 

Parental leave is time off work given to parents. In order to have the right to parental leave the employee must have been in employment for a minimum of one year, must have or be expected to have parental responsibility for the child, and must take any leave for the purposes of caring for the child. Other forms of parental leave may include maternity, paternity, adoption, and dependents leave. 

Holiday Entitlement 

Holiday entitlement is how much paid holiday you are able to take each year. There is a minimum right to paid holiday, but your employer may offer more than this. The statutory minimum is 5.6 weeks, which can include public and bank holidays. 

Minimum Wage 

This is the lowest rate of pay that an employer may legally pay. This rate of minimum pay can change depending on the status of your employment and age; for instance, if you are under 25 you may be entitled to less pay that if you are over 25. 

Working Hours

This is a requirement for all companies to limit the working week of employees to 48 hours unless agreed otherwise. An employees' working hours are usually included within their contract of employment which will highlight the minimum number of hours expected of work, this will also usually include provision for lunchtime and other breaks as provided by your employer. 

Human Resources Procedure

There are core functions human resources of an employer will usually deal with to manage the businesses employees. These include employee recruitment, payroll, benefits administration, internal relations, employee training, compliance and safety, and scheduling work hours/shifts. 

Accountancy 

These are accounting aspects of a business in respect of their employees and taxes. This will usually include payments issued via Pay As You Earn (PAYE), SSP, employee benefits, insurance, paid leave, and employee tax liabilities. 

Whistleblowing

This is the term used when an employee witnesses or becomes aware of something at work or in the course of their employment and passes on information to relevant authorities concerning wrongdoing. The employee would have to be acting for the public interest and the disclosure tends to show wrongdoing covered by a range of categories such as illegality, miscarriages of justice, and environmental damage. 

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