Our specialist employment solicitors deal with applications to the Employment Tribunal for compensation for unfair dismissal including sham redundancy, constructive dismissal and discrimination on the basis of age, disability, race or sex which includes harassment and victimisation. Our employment solicitors operate the no win no fee* scheme which means that you only pay legal charges if you win your case and you are awarded compensation. In the event that the claim is lost you pay nothing - we carry all of the financial risk. If you would like advice from a specialist lawyer on risk free compensation claims just call the helpline or email our offices. The lawyer who speaks to you on the telephone will advise on the liability of your employer and whether or not you have a viable case. You will be given an estimate of the amount of compensation that you are likely to be awarded in the event of a successful outcome and a timescale for the application. This advice is at no cost and without obligation and if you decide to proceed no further that is your right and we will not pursue the matter. The main grounds for applications to the Employment Tribunal are outlined below however this list is not exhaustive and your particular circumstances may also warrant a claim :-
Unfair Dismissal occurs when the termination of employment is unlawful. This may occur if the employer did not have a fair reason for dismissal or where the employer did not follow the correct process or in the case of an automatic dismissal for an unfair reason including exercising a statutory right to :-
Our employment solicitors are able to advise on numerous situations relating to termination of employment which may be unlawful including dismissal for the following reasons; before, during or after business transfers, unfair selection for redundancy, on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity rights, in connection with disciplinary or grievance hearings, relating to your working time, relating to part-time or fixed-term work, relating to trade union reasons, during an industrial dispute, relating to the national minimum wage, relating to activities as an occupational pension scheme trustee, for taking action on health and safety grounds, relating to activities as an employee representative or relating to tax credits.
Constructive Dismissal occurs when an employer makes the situation at work so difficult that an employee cannot stand it any longer and feels that they have been forced to resign. Constructive dismissal is a form of unfair dismissal with exactly the same remedies following an application to an industrial tribunal. In order to prove constructive dismissal it must be shown that an employer effectively committed a serious breach of the contract of employment and that you were forced to leave against your will. Constructive dismissal may be precipitated by an abusive employer, failure to control co-workers unreasonable behaviour, reduction in pay, an unfair demotion, changes in the conditions of employment including a new location, an unexpected transfer to night shift or making employees work in dangerous conditions. A successful constructive dismissal claim before an Employment Tribunal may consist of just one serious incident or may be as a result of a sequence of lesser incidents. If you are thinking of handing in your notice and claiming compensation for constructive dismissal before an Employment Tribunal it is essential that you speak to an employment solicitor before doing so as you may be required to go through certain procedures prior to resignation, in order to strengthen your constructive dismissal case. You may be required to speak to a line manager, HR, an employee representative or ACAS about the problem or it may be necessary to instigate grievance procedures and mediation prior to resignation, to ensure success before the Employment Tribunal.
Age Discrimination laws are in place to ensure that there is no denial of employment or application of unequal opportunity for training or promotion because of age. The law protects all age groups including both young and old from age discrimination, harassment and victimisation. All aspects of work are covered including both employment and an application for prospective employment. Areas covered by the legislation include recruitment, employment terms and conditions, promotion and transfer, training and dismissal. There are however certain circumstances where positive discrimination is lawful based on objective justification particularly on health and safety grounds. Employers must make sure that their policies do not discriminate either directly or indirectly on the basis of age:-
If you believe that you have been discriminated at work on the basis of your age, a solicitor can make an application to the Employment Tribunal for compensation or where appropriate re-instatement. Compensation awards are unlimited and our solicitors use the no win no fee scheme.
Disability Discrimination occurs if an employer treats an employee less favourably because of a disability. In addition employers are required by law to make reasonable adjustments to the working environment to ensure that those with a disability are treated fairly and have an equal opportunity compared to those who do not have a disability. The normal process is to make a complaint to line management and thereafter to HR if appropriate, before invoking the grievance procedure. If matters are still not resolved an employment law solicitor can make an application to an Employment Tribunal for compensation even if the disabled person has voluntarily terminated employment on the basis of constructive dismissal which is a type of unfair dismissal. Not all disabilities are covered under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, especially those which are self-inflicted and if you are contemplating a complaint or a grievance or an application to an Employment Tribunal you would be well advised to obtain legal advice from an employment solicitor before resignation or other precipitous action. It is worth noting that under the Equality Act 2010 employers are required by law to answer questions posed by the aggrieved employee submitted on a 'discrimination and other prohibited conduct' form, the response to which may strengthen a claim for compensation.
Sex Discrimination is determined by the Equality Act 2010 that makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex which applies to recruitment, employment terms and conditions, pay and benefits, training, promotion and transfer opportunities, redundancy and dismissal. In addition men and women are entitled to equal pay if they carry out the same or similar duties, work rated as equivalent in a job evaluation study by the employer or work of equal value. Positive sex discrimination is allowed in certain circumstances that have been objectively evaluated.
Sexual Harassment is subjective and relates to unwelcome behaviour based on gender or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. There are numerous situations that may be described as sexual harassment including demeaning remarks, indecent comments, enquiries about sexual habits and requests for sexual favours. In all cases there is a requirement that the unlawful behaviour was with the intent or had the effect of violating dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. An employer may be held to be liable for behaviour of co-workers even though the employer was not aware of the conduct.
Race Discrimination is dealt with by the The Race Relations Act 1976 which protects individuals from discrimination based on race, colour, nationality, ethnicity and national origin. It matters not that the perpetrator intended to offend, merely that the person at whom the behaviour was aimed was offended. In most cases racial discrimination is a course of action with numerous small incidents however either a series of insults or a single major incident is sufficient to base a claim of race discrimination before the Employment Tribunal.
Racial Harassment is any type of unwanted behaviour linked to race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins that may range from mildly offensive comments to serious physical assault. Mere prejudice alone is not sufficient to allege racial harassment. Unfortunately there is no specific legislation that relates to racial harassment which is determined following consideration of the following legislation :-
Redundancy which may be lawful, may incur a compensatory award dependent on length of service, salary and age, occurs when an employee who is surplus to requirements is dismissed. Some employers dismiss on the grounds of redundancy which is a sham in order to avoid paying compensation in an unfair dismissal compensation claim before the Employment Tribunal. If you have been made the subject of a sham redundancy and you know that the position remains and will be filled in due course by another person, our employment solicitors can take action for unfair dismissal before the Employment Tribunal.
Bullying is closely associated with harassment and victimisation. It is extremely difficult to categorise however harassment is usually more overt and is often considerably more physical than bullying which may take the form of constant verbal insults, excessive demands, unfair manipulation, unfair criticism from a manager or co-worker, often in front of others with the intent of affecting promotion, causing resignation or instigating disciplinary procedures often adversely affecting the victims health and mental wellbeing. If you have resigned because of bullying our employment law solicitors will advise you about an application for compensation to the Employment Tribunal.
Religious Discrimination is dealt with by the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 which protects employees from discrimination on the grounds of religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief. Whilst the definitions in the act will cover most major religions and many of the lesser religions it will be up to an Employment Tribunal following application by an employment law solicitor on behalf of a client to clarify which allegedly religious orders are protected under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003. The statute covers all aspects of employment including recruitment, training, promotion and transfers.
Victimisation occurs in regards to age, disability, race, religious and sex discrimination and refers to the situation where a victim of discrimination has made application to the Employment Tribunal and is thereafter subject to further discriminatory behaviour either from the perpetrator or the employer or others acting on their behalf with the intend being either retribution or intimidation to persuade the applicant to withdraw the claim. An employment law solicitor can ensure that this further discrimination is made the subject of a secondary claim resulting in a further award of compensation.
Tribunal procedure was initially designed to be conducted by lay people and in many simple matters before the tribunal, there are no professional representatives. As a general rule, the costs of legal representation in a tribunal is not recoverable from the losing side, as it is in a court of law, however, tribunals now consider much higher value claims than when they were first instituted and there are many claims where professional representation is advisable even though the costs cannot be claimed back. For employees, specialist employment law solicitors offer to act for you on a contingency fee basis which means using the no win no fee scheme. This means asking for no fee if you lose your claim and agreeing a fee based on a percentage of your award if you win. A lawyer must be of the view that your claim has good prospects both of success and of ultimately being paid by the employer. If you would like advice from a specialist on risk free employment compensation claims just call the helpline or email our offices. You will receive free advice without any further obligation whatsoever.