Life as an employee has become much more complex these days, with redundancies and termination etc. Whatever your circumstances, you may need professional assistance that takes your situation into account and protects your interests. Our Employment Team handle matters such as employment contracts, claims for wrongful and constructive dismissal, redundancy, discrimination in the workplace and compromise agreements.
At Curling Moore Solicitors and Advocates, our Employment Team also assist employers in employment related matters. We prepare Contracts of Employment and Staff Handbooks. A well-managed workforce will have these and will review them each year. They set the scene and allow for prompt action to be taken where employees fall short of what is required and are helpful when defending unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. Contracts are essential to protect your organisation. Without appropriate restrictions and standards, employees are largely free to compete against you so long as they do not steal confidential information. Well-drafted contracts will prevent employees enticing clients and employees away for a reasonable period – normally 6-12 months.
We provide and advise employees and employers on all forms of employment law matter including:
- Contracts for everyone including directors and consultants
- Compromise (Settlement) agreement
- Policies for recruitment
- Equal opportunities
- Disciplinary procedures
- Grievance procedures
- Appraisal policies
- Unfair dismissal
Employees who have worked for 2 years have the right not to be unfairly dismissed. If the dismissal is connected with discrimination or whistleblowing, then the 2-year rule may not apply. The basics are:
- An employer must establish a potentially fair reason for the dismissal: conduct, capability, redundancy, breach of the law or that the dismissal is for ‘some other substantial reason’- any reason so long as it’s substantial.
- The employer must act reasonably in treating the reason as sufficient reason to dismiss taking into account all the circumstances including whether a fair procedure has been followed
- There must normally be a fair investigation and the right to an internal hearing (with a workplace colleague etc.) and a right of appeal
- Dismissal must be within the range of reasonable responses
There is no qualifying period for discrimination claims (2 year rule does not apply). Workers are protected from Direct Discrimination (less favourable treatment, Harassment (subjecting a worker to a hostile environment connected with e.g.: race or sex), and Victimisation (picking on a worker for raising rights). Discrimination laws apply to race, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender reassignment, religious/philosophical belief, disability and pregnancy (‘Protected Characteristics’).
We advise and prepare claims for employees and for employers, prepare and handle the defence. There are so many factors in claims now, it is best to have specialist advice even if only for one hour. We can tailor our involvement to your needs whether they be for just an initial interview or handling the whole case.
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