Employment Law

Employees have more rights than you might think.

As an employer you take on a responsibility for ensuring that your employees are working in a safe environment where their rights are protected. Not knowing or understanding your employees’ entitlements could see you spend a large amount of time and money defending claims for unfair dismissal or discrimination.

We have prepared a guide for both employees and employers on the Equality Act 2010, what rights it gives and what it means for your place of work. We strongly recommend that you take the time to read this and familiarise yourself with the law. For example, did you know that:

  • Employers can be held liable for an employee who is traumatised by witnessing harassment of another employee?
  • Your job adverts can be discriminatory if they contain a reason which discourages a certain group of people from applying?
  • There are nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act and you can be held liable for issues arising from any of them?

At Neale Turk Rochfort we understand that the law regarding employment can be complex as it is constantly changing and adapting to meet the needs of the modern world. We can offer professional, practical advice on a range of issues including:

  • Employment Contracts
  • The Equality Act and Discrimination
  • Redundancy Procedures
  • Dismissal
  • Settlement Agreements
  • Equal Pay and Working Hours

 

Mediation and Negotiation

We hope that if you find yourself in a dispute it can be resolved without the time, cost and stress of Tribunal proceedings. We will always take a sensitive and sympathetic approach in trying to resolve your matter amicably either through reaching an agreement for changing practices or by negotiating a settlement agreement with the employee.

Employment Tribunals

Sometimes an employment issue will not go away easily and there will always the ‘the one’ employee who wants their day in court. In these instances we can advise you the tribunal process and assist in preparing documentation, evidence and meeting timescale and court requirements. If appropriate we will recommend a barrister who we know will act in your best interests.

Important Legislation

Employment Rights Act 1996

The ERA is one of the first ports of call for most employment matters. Among other things it sets out:

  • The requirement for a written statement of terms of employment
  • Protection of employee wages from unlawful deduction
  • Whistleblowing and ‘protected disclosures’
  • The right of employees not to suffer detriment due to legal requirements such as jury service or health and safety legislation.
  • Right to time-off and to request time-off for study and training
  • Parental leave rights
  • Right to not be unfairly dismissed and the remedies available

The Equality Act 2010

The EqA applies to both the workplace and wider society. It is the UK’s main piece of anti-discrimination and incorporates older legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act and Race Relations Act.

It protects people from being less favourably treated due to a protected characteristic which includes:

  • gender reassignment;
  • marriage and civil partnership;
  • pregnancy and maternity;
  • race;
  • religion or belief;
  • sex;
  • sexual orientation

Additionally, it contains special provisions for discrimination arising as a result of age or disability as well as anti-harassment legislation designed to protect employees from experiencing harassment (whether directed at them or not) related to a protected characteristic.

We believe it is vital that employers are aware of the legislation and how it impacts on them in order to make informed decisions about their business and employees.

For advice and guidance on any employment matter please contact:

Keren Morgan- Head of Employment Law

Chris Dobbs- Trainee Solicitor