We deal with claims arising as a result of employment disputes including redundancy, sexual and racial discrimination and harassment and wrongful, unfair or constructive dismissal. There is very short limitation periods regarding applications to the Employment Tribunal and advice should be obtained as soon as possible after termination of employment.
Any termination of employment must be reasonable and be carried out in a reasonable manner. An employer must usually issue warnings about unacceptable behaviour prior to termination. An employer is required to investigate thoroughly and be able to justify his actions and if he fails to do so a claim for unfair dismissal can be made to The Employment Tribunal which must be satisfied that the job termination was fair for one of five permitted reasons which are conduct, capability to do the work, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason. The duration of your employment must normally have been for twoyears or more and the claimant must be below the normal retiring age for the job.
Constructive dismissal arises as a result of a serious breach of the work contract by the employer which is unacceptable to the employee and entitles the employee to resign and claim compensation from the employer.
Redundancy occurs if the termination of employment is due to the business closing down or if the business continues and there is reduced need for workers of the employee's type. The employee must have been continuously employed by the employer for 2 years at the date of the redundancy however some categories of employees are excluded from making a claim.
We have well trained staff to handle employment matters and are able to give detailed advice on The Race Relations Act which covers the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin and some religious groups under the Discrimination Act. Those protected against race discrimination, victimisation and harassment include job recruitment applicants, employees, self-employed and contract workers. Behaviour covered includes racist jokes and banter, innuendoes, offensive language, practical jokes, notes and emails containing insults, display of racist publications, physical assault and racist terminology.
Sexual harassment is conduct which is offensive, unwelcome and unreasonable which results in a humiliating, hostile or intimidating environment at work and may include;
- Requests for sexual favours
- Suggestive remarks or gestures
- Insensitive jokes
- Lewd comments
- Fondling or touching
- Forwarding inappropriate emails
- Pestering for attention
- Unwelcome advances
- Accessing pornographic websites
- Threats of, or actual, sexual violence
- Displays of unacceptable material including pin-up calendars or graffiti
Applications to determine the amount of compensation payable for redundancy and constructive or unfair dismissal can raise complex legal issues and it is essential to obtain advice as soon as possible. Applications are made to the Employment Tribunal which was previously called the Industrial Tribunal. The Employment Tribunal has wide powers to award compensation or to order the employer to reinstate the employee back to his former job.
Disability discrimination is one of those areas in employment law that is changing rapidly. We help individuals to fight discrimination cases, advising on best procedure, likely compensation and representing clients at tribunal or in court.
On 1st October 2006 the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations came into force. The upshot of this EU inspired law was that it is unlawful to discriminate against workers under the age of 65 on the grounds of age. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your age, then our team of well experienced advisors will be able to help.
We are also specialised in dealing with compromise or commonly known as settlement agreements. If you are made redundant and your employer has offered you compensation or terms of termination, we can assist in dealing with the agreement and ensuring that your interests are protected under the termination agreement and that you are in receipt of at least the statutory compensation.
Our solicitors who deal with employment matters and are able to pursue or negotiate claims and can provide representation anywhere in the United Kingdom. If you would like to talk confidentially to an experienced solicitor just contact us.
Our Fees:(Please note that VAT is charged at 20% on all our fees and any disbursements which may attract VAT)
Our pricing of estimates for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal are as follows:
- Simple case: up to £1500 (plus VAT)
- Medium complexity case: £1500 - £2000 (plus VAT)
- High complexity case: From £2000 (plus VAT)
Factors that could make a case more complex:
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
- Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
- Making or defending a costs application
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
- The number of witnesses and documents
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
- Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Counsel's fees (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation). We will obtain quotes upon request. Key stages
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
- Preparing claim or response
- Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
- preparing or considering a schedule of loss
- Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing
- Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
- preparing bundle of documents
- Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
- agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.
How long will my matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 4-12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 4-8 months. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.