Employment Law

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You're rights and how you're protected

What to do if you feel like you have been treated unfairly at work, your rights have been breached or you have been discriminated against

Introduction

Having a dispute in the workplace can be really stressful and you're probably reading this guide because your employer has, or is treating you in an unfair way - making you feel upset, hurt and angry.

Maybe you have been discriminated against, constructively dismissed or perhaps you simply need representation to ensure your rights are protected.

Employment law is complicated and there are lots of different reasons why you could need support from a lawyer, but one thing that is certain is that workplace disputes are very common.

Around 200,000 employment tribunal claims occur each year. They include grievances about religion, unfair dismissals, pregnancies and race.

Despite the high number of employment tribunals, unfortunately, only a small number of people pursue legal action.

Possibly because people are worried about losing their jobs and creating a negative working atmosphere with their employers and colleagues.

Another reason people is instructing a lawyer and potentially suing their employer can be daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with HR processes and employment law.

We wanted to offer basic information about employment law, your rights and how the grievance process works.

By reading this guide, you'll discover:

  • An overview of employment law and your rights
  • The grievance process
  • The different areas of employment law a lawyer can help you with
  • What to consider when instructing a lawyer
  • How lawyers charge

We hope that after reading this guide, you might feel more comfortable about contacting a lawyer, as you understand the process a little more.

If you feel like you are being treated unfairly at work, please stop worrying and contact us - we'll listen to your case and offer sound advice.

We offer a free initial consultation, without any obligation to pay or instruct us in the future. During your free consultation, we'll listen to your case and explain what your next steps should be.

To book this, simply call us or send us an email.


Time Deadlines

Early conciliation deadlines means you should speak to a lawyer fast.

If you believe your employer has treated you unfairly, you need to get legal advice at your earliest opportunity.

Employment law is complicated and there are certain steps you must follow before you can go to an employment tribunal - there are also short and very strict time limits in which you can do this.

For instance, if you have been dismissed (and you believe this to be unfair) you have just 3 months less 1 day from the date of dismissal to take your complaint to a tribunal.

Although there are lots of different claims you can make, most have strict timeframes put in place by the 'ACAS early conciliation scheme'.

ACAS stands for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. It's a publicly funded, non-departmental body of the Government. Their mission is to make working life better for everyone in Britain.

If you feel like your employer has treated you unfairly, act now and book a free initial consultation with our team of employment lawyers.


Overview

Employment Law, your rights and how you're protected

When at work, you have various basic rights, which are protected by employment laws.

Employment law is a very broad term, as it covers all matters and grievances relating to the workplace such as hiring, contracts, remuneration and being safeguarded against discrimination and unfair dismissal to name just a few.

There are lots of different 'Acts of Parliament' that make up employment law and they are constantly being updated, which is why employment law is often complicated.

The main purpose of employment law, especially under the 'Employment Rights Act 1996' is to ensure that every worker has a minimum charter of rights in their place of work.

It is also to legally protect you, your employer and to regulate your relationship. By following employment law, we are able to create a fairer, more equal workplace free from any type of unlawful treatment or discrimination.

What are these rights?

Your rights depend on your employment status.

If you work as a freelancer, self-employed or work for an agency, you are not classed as an employee - that means that you would not be entitled to the same rights. Although, some rights are obligatory regardless of your statue, such as Health and Safety.

However, your employment statue itself can be a cause for a claim. A company may state that you are self-employed to avoid the cost and responsibility of having an employee, but by law the nature of how they work means that you are classed as an employee and therefore, entitled to more rights.

An employment lawyer will be able to tell you what your employment status should legally be.

If you are 'employed' the basic rights you are entitled to are called statutory rights. You will also have more specific employee rights that may vary depending on the type of job you have and the arrangement you have with your employer.

The exact rights you have will be a combination of your statutory rights and the particulars within your employment contract.

Your statutory rights include:

  • You must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage
Ages Minimum Wage
Under 18 (Apprentices) £3.90 ph
Under 18 £6.15 ph
18 to 20 £4.35 ph
21 to 24 £7.70 ph
25 and over £8.21 ph

* Information correct July 2019