Redundancy

Loss of your job can be stressful and unsettling. Our sympathetic and practical team of Employment Lawyers can provide you with expert advice on your entitlements as well as advising whether or the not the redundancy is genuine. 

Redundancy is a form of dismissal. Therefore, in order to claim redundancy, you must normally have been dismissed from your job. You must have been dismissed because you are genuinely redundant otherwise you may have been unfairly dismissed.

If you resigned, you will not be redundant. You may, however, be able to argue that although you have resigned, you have actually been dismissed, a circumstance known as constructive dismissal.

There are special rules (TUPE) which apply if you have been dismissed because the business has transferred to a new owner. There are also special rules which apply if you think you may have been dismissed or chosen for redundancy because of discrimination.

 

Constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal occurs when the employee tenders their resignation for reasons to do with the employer’s perceived or actual breach of contract. If the employer is in breach of any significant term, whether express or implied, of an employee's contract then that employee may be able to resign and claim that he or she has been constructively dismissed.

Where the employer breaches the employment contract, wrongful dismissal may occur. This is connected with the actual dismissal of the employee by the employer or the constructive dismissal of an employee.

The terms breach of contract and wrongful dismissal are sometimes seen as interchangeable.

Unfair dismissal

Unfair dismissal may be as a result of the employer’s failure to follow a fair process in your dismissal or where the remedy of dismissal for misconduct was unjustified in the circumstances.

Unfair dismissal can, and frequently does, occur without there being any breach of contract or wrongful dismissal. There is usually a qualifying period of length of employment service, however this is waived in certain circumstances, such as discrimination.

It is important that you seek professional legal advice as soon as you can either in the dismissal process, or, if you are going through the disciplinary process with a possible outcome of dismissal.  

If you consider your dismissal to have been unfair, you may wish to apply to an employment tribunal for remedy. Under law, there is a time limited period to apply to a tribunal for unfair dismissal. There are also certain procedures that you should follow to increase your chances of a positive outcome.  

Bullying and Harassment

Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect at work. Bullying and harassment should not be tolerated in the workplace, but if you feel you are being mistreated in this way, it can be difficult to know who to turn to for advice and support.

Harassment, in general terms is unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of men and women in the workplace. It may be related to age, sex, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or any personal characteristic of the individual, and may be persistent or an isolated incident. The key is that the actions or comments are viewed as demeaning and unacceptable to the recipient.

Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient. Bullying or harassment may be by an individual against an individual (perhaps by someone in a position of authority such as a manager or supervisor) or involve groups of people. It may be obvious or it may be insidious. Whatever form it takes, it is unwarranted and unwelcome to the individual.

Almost always job performance is affected and relations in the workplace suffer.

Discrimination

In an employment relationship, discrimination is unlawful on the grounds of age, disability, race, religion or belief, and sex and sexuality. 

Discrimination can be ‘direct’ or ‘indirect’ or can take the form of harassment or victimisation. You should not have to put up with unfair treatment.

Our experienced and friendly Employment Law team can advise you on how to recognise discrimination, explain how you are protected from discrimination by UK legislation and the European Human Rights Act and help you take action to deal with it. 

 

Settlement agreements

A settlement agreement is a legally binding agreement following the termination of your employment. It usually provides for a severance payment from the employer in return for a warranty by the employee not to pursue any claim they may feel entitled to at an employment tribunal.   

A settlement agreement may also be used in redundancy situations to prevent employees complaining to a tribunal after they have been made redundant.

Such agreements must be carefully negotiated, given you will waive your rights to any further claim.  It is important you understand the effect of the agreement. If you do not take independent legal advice concerning your statutory rights, a settlement agreement will not be legally enforceable. 

Our experienced and friendly Employment Law team can advise you on suitable amounts of compensation for your situation and ensure that the agreement provides you with the correct levels of protection.

For more information call our team on 01432 278 179 or email your enquiry to us.