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Employment law & discrimination FAQs

Our employment law and discrimination solicitors pride themselves on providing expert advice to resolve all types of issues. Below we have listed a wide range of frequently asked questions, for advice on any kind of dispute, please call us on 01616 966 229

We can provide advice to employees on a wide range of issues including: unfair dismissal, discrimination, redundancyTUPE, equal pay and settlement agreements.

Our discrimination solicitors can also provide expert advice on all discrimination claims raised against other organisations which include civil claims against public bodies, service providers and private associations which can be brought within the civil courts. 

 

 

What is constructive dismissal?

Constructive dismissal is when you feel that you have been forced to resign from a job because the conduct or actions of your employer have breached your contract. If this has happened to you, you may be able to make a constructive dismissal claim at an employment tribunal.

How to prove constructive dismissal

To prove constructive dismissal, you will need to have evidence that your employer has seriously breached your contract and that you have resigned as a direct result of their conduct. The proof may include grievance documentation along with other evidence of the contract breach.

What constitutes constructive dismissal?

A serious breach of your contract by your employer could constitute constructive dismissal. Examples of this include sudden demotion for no reason, making unreasonable changes to how you work or a serious breakdown in trust and confidence due to your employer’s actions.

Can I claim constructive dismissal after 1 year?

No. To bring a claim for constructive dismissal, you need to have served two years’ continuous employment with your employer. You must commence a claim for constructive dismissal within three months (less a day) of when you resigned by starting the ACAS Early Conciliation Process.

Can you claim constructive dismissal without resigning?

You cannot claim constructive dismissal if you have not yet resigned. In order to claim constructive dismissal, you must have terminated your contract by resigning but it’s recommended to speak to an employment solicitor before taking this step.

Do you have to resign to claim constructive dismissal?

You do have to resign to claim constructive dismissal. Before you resign with the plan of making a constructive dismissal claim, make sure you speak to an employment solicitor first for advice.

Can I claim constructive dismissal if I resign?

You might be able to claim constructive dismissal if you resign if you’re leaving as a direct result of your employer’s actions or conduct and them breaching your contract. If you’re thinking of resigning due to your employer’s conduct, speak to an employment solicitor before handing in your notice.

What is employment law?

Employment law is the term used to describe the legal side of employer and employee relationships. It covers what employers can expect from their employees and the rights of employees at work.

What is the purpose of employment law in the UK?

UK employment law covers all matters in the workplace and has the purpose of regulating the legal side of relationships between employers and their employees.

Why does employment law exist?

Employment law exists to regulate what happens between employers and their employees, in any size of business. It covers everything from recruitment, contracts, dismissals and workers’ rights.

How does employment law protect employees?

Employment law protects employees by setting out what their employers can and cannot ask of their workers, and describes the legal rights that employees have. If an employer doesn’t comply with the law, the employee might be able to bring a claim against them.

What does employment law cover?

Employment law covers the legal relationship between employers and their employees, including the rights, responsibilities and obligations of both parties. It governs everything from wages to redundancies, as well as recruitment and workplace disputes.

Is depression a disability in employment law?

The Equality Act of 2010 classes depression as a disability, provided that it is a long term condition and has a significant adverse impact on a person’s ability to carry out day to day activities.

What employment laws apply to small businesses?

Small businesses generally have to comply with the same employment laws as companies of any size do in the UK. This includes everything from employment contracts to workplace environments and workers’ statutory rights.

What is employment discrimination as defined by law?

Employment discrimination, as defined by law in the UK, is when an employee is treated differently to others because of any of the following: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

What is the Employment Rights Act 1996?

The Employment Rights Act 1996 was a UK act of parliament passed in 1996 that covered individual rights for workers on issues such as dismissals, compromise agreements, parental leave and much more. Some areas of this legislation have since been amended.

What are the basic employment rights for workers?

In the UK, workers have basic employment rights that include payment of at least the current minimum wage for hours worked, paid holiday, rest breaks, and protection against unlawful deductions from your wages.

Do agency workers have employment rights?

UK agency workers have employment rights from their first day at a placement, including access to any shared facilities or services as permanent workers and the same basic rights to wages, paid holiday, rest breaks. Some additional rights exist for agency staff, where employed for longer than 12 weeks.

What are my employment rights?

Some of your employment rights are based on your individual contact and some are statutory under UK law. Statutory rights include being paid at least the minimum wage, protection against unlawful deductions from your wages, paid holiday and rest breaks at work.

Are settlement agreements subject to tax?

Whether a settlement agreement is subject to tax or not will depend on the terms of the agreement. Any payment of normal salary, untaken holiday pay or payment in lieu of notice is taxable, but a compensation and non-contractual sum paid out, up to the value of £30,000, will be tax-free.

Do you pay tax on settlement agreements?

You don’t need to pay tax on the first £30,000 of any compensation payment included in a settlement agreement. If the compensation paid out exceeds this amount, tax will be due on anything over £30,000.

What is TUPE?

TUPE stands for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations. It’s designed to protect employees if a business changes ownership, merges or a contract changes from one provider to another, moving workers and their existing contract terms over to the new employer, maintaining continuity of employment for workers.

What does TUPE mean?

TUPE means the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, which is a legal way in which employees in UK businesses are protected if the business they work for changes hands or merges with another company or a contract changes from one provider to another.

When does TUPE not apply?

TUPE regulations do not apply if a business changes hands or merges and the services provided by the new owners are significantly different from those under the old provider. This can also be the case if the new services are provided in a very different way to under the old provider.

When does TUPE apply?

TUPE regulations apply when a business is transferred from one owner to another, in whole or in part. It may also apply when an area of service provision transfers.

How long does TUPE last?

TUPE regulations apply indefinitely when employees transfer to the new employer with the same terms and conditions of employment as they used to have.

What does the abbreviation TUPE stand for?

TUPE stands for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, which were last amended in 2014.

Can my job description change under TUPE?

If an employee is protected by TUPE regulations, their employer cannot make changes to their contract just because they wish to harmonise the terms and conditions between two groups of workers.

How long does TUPE apply after transfer?

TUPE regulations don’t have a time limit as such. Some contractual changes may be lawful if the new employer can prove there is an economic, technical or organisational (ETO) reason for the adjustment(s).

What are my rights under TUPE?

If you’re an employee working for a business that changes ownership or merges with another company or there is a service provision change, TUPE regulations mean that your existing job and its contracted rights and terms are protected as you transfer to the new employer.

Do you have to accept TUPE?

If you’re an employee and you don’t want to be transferred to the new employer under TUPE regulations, you can refuse to transfer. However, this may be taken as notice of your resignation. Speak to an employment law solicitor before refusing TUPE.

Are holidays protected under TUPE?

Under TUPE regulations, your holiday entitlement and any accrued holiday at the point of transfer will also be taken with you.

Can I ask for redundancy instead of TUPE?

If the business that employs you is changing hands or moving and your job is to transfer to a new employer under TUPE regulations, your old employer is under no obligation to offer redundancy to you.

What is due diligence in TUPE?

For employers who are merging or changing ownership of the business and will be transferring employees across under TUPE regulations, due diligence must be carried out before the transfer to ensure you comply with the law.

Can you claim unfair dismissal under two years?

If you have been employed for less than two full years, you cannot make a claim for unfair dismissal, unless you claim that you have been discriminated against for a protected characteristic or it is classed as an automatic unfair dismissal. Please seek advice form a solicitor about this.

How much is an unfair dismissal pay-out?

A pay-out for a successful unfair dismissal claim is made up of a basic award and a compensatory award, which together are based on how long you have worked for that employer, your age and your weekly pay, along with any money lost as a result of losing your job.

What is the payout for unfair dismissal?

If you make a successful unfair dismissal claim, the payout you receive will be based on several factors, including your length of employment, weekly pay, your age and compensation for money lost as a result of losing your job.

Can I claim unfair dismissal during probation?

You can’t claim unfair dismissal if you are dismissed before you have worked for that employer for two years; unless generally you have been discriminated against for a protected disclosure or characteristic. Speak to an employment law solicitor for advice.

How long after dismissal can I claim unfair dismissal?

There’s a time limit of three months (less a day) from your employment termination date to protect a claim by entering into the ACAS Early Conciliation process. If that doesn’t work, you then have a limited time, usually less than one month, to issue a claim at an employment tribunal.

How long does unfair dismissal case take?

The length of time taken for a successful unfair dismissal claim can vary, depending on your specific circumstances. Some can be resolved within a few weeks, but they usually take several months to settle, and some take over a year.

How much compensation for unfair dismissal?

The compensation amount you may receive for a successful unfair dismissal claim depends on factors like your length of service for that employer, age, weekly earnings and the amount of money lost because of losing your job. The Tribunal has a wide discretion when considering what is reasonable to award.

What are the unfair dismissal rules?

To make an unfair dismissal claim, you must generally meet the criteria of being an employee, having worked there for at least two years and claim within three months of the date you were dismissed by starting the ACAS EC process. Speak to an employment solicitor for more information.

What can I claim for unfair dismissal?

If you make a successful claim for unfair dismissal, your claim can include a basic award, plus compensation for money you’ve missed out on due to your dismissal, plus a sum for losing your statutory rights of two years’ service for your next job.

What is unfair dismissal in employment law?

Unfair dismissal, as viewed in employment law, is when your employment is terminated without a fair reason for your employer to do so. It could also be if your employer handled your dismissal incorrectly.

How long do I have to claim unfair dismissal?

You have up to three months (less a day) from the date on which your employment was terminated to issue a claim for unfair dismissal by starting the ACAS Early Conciliation process.

What is considered unfair dismissal?

Unfair dismissal is when your employment is terminated without your employer having a fair reason to dismiss you. Even if they have a fair reason, if your dismissal is not handled according to the correct procedure, this can also be considered unfair dismissal.

What is the maximum compensation for unfair dismissal?

The compensation for unfair dismissal depends on factors such as your age, length of service and weekly pay, so can vary widely. In addition to this, you might be awarded compensation for lost wages and pension and more, especially if you were discriminated against by your employer.

When can I claim unfair dismissal?

You can issue a claim for unfair dismissal, as long as your circumstances meet the criteria, up to three months (less a day) from the date your employment was terminated. Contact an employment solicitor to find out more about your eligibility to claim.

How to calculate loss of earnings unfair dismissal

You can calculate your loss of earnings for an unfair dismissal claim by including missed wages (for the period between your termination and when you were able to find a new job), plus pension benefit you may have missed and expected future earnings losses.

What to do if you have been unfairly dismissed

If you believe that you have been unfairly dismissed, it’s important that you speak to an employment solicitor as soon as possible to determine if you can issue an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal.

Can a self-employed person claim unfair dismissal?

If you are self-employed then you are not classed an employee under UK law, and you cannot claim unfair dismissal. If you’re not sure whether you are a considered an employee under law, speak to an employment law solicitor as soon as possible.

Can an agency worker claim unfair dismissal?

You can only claim unfair dismissal as an agency worker if your employment status (usually found in your agency contract) is an employee and is not a ‘worker’ or ‘self-employed’.

Can an apprentice claim unfair dismissal?

Apprentices can be considered employees under law and therefore do have the right to claim unfair dismissal as long as they have been employed for at least two years. Please seek advice on your rights as an apprentice from a solicitor.

How to appeal against unfair dismissal

If you think that you have been dismissed from your job unfairly, you should contact an experienced employment law solicitor as soon as possible to find out how you can appeal the decision or take your case to an employment tribunal.

Can I claim for unfair dismissal?

Whether or not you can claim for unfair dismissal will depend on your individual circumstances and can be affected by your length of employment as well as other factors. Speak to an employment law solicitor to find out more about eligibility and making a claim for unfair dismissal.

What is age discrimination?

Age discrimination at work is when an employee or a job applicant is treated less favourably than other employees or applicants because of their age. If you think you’ve been discriminated against, speak to an employment law solicitor to find out more.

How can I prove age discrimination at work?

To prove age discrimination at work, you’ll need to gather the right facts and evidence. This may include written records or emails concerning discriminatory incidents, details of who was involved, witness statements and more. Speak to a solicitor for advice.

What is age discrimination in the workplace?

Age discrimination in the workplace is defined under the Equality Act 2010 as, any employee or job applicant being treated unfairly by an employer or potential employer because of their age.

What to do about age discrimination?

If you think that you have experienced age discrimination in the workplace or when applying for a job, speak to an experienced employment law solicitor. Once they know the circumstances, they can tell you if you’re eligible for an employment tribunal claim.

How to prove age discrimination

Proving that you’re been discriminated against because of your age, either at work or when applying for a job, can be a complex process. Speak to an employment law solicitor as soon as possible for expert advice on your situation.

How to report age discrimination

If you think that you’ve been discriminated at work against because of your age, you may be able to make a discrimination claim. Get in touch with an experienced employment law solicitor for advice on the next steps to take.

What does age discrimination mean?

Age discrimination, in relation to the workplace, means that someone is treated less favourably at work, or when applying for a job, due to their age. It’s unlawful in the UK for someone to be discriminated against because of their age.

What are the rules on age discrimination in the Equality Act 2010?

Your age is one of the ‘protected characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010. This means that you can’t lawfully be treated less favourably than anyone else in your workplace, or when applying for a job, just because of your age.

What illnesses are covered by the Disability Discrimination Act?

The Disability Discrimination Act was replaced in England, Scotland and Wales by the Equality Act 2010. This states that illnesses considered to be a disability include cancer, visual impairment, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, HIV infection or a severe, long-term disfigurement, amongst others.

What is the Disability Discrimination Act?

The Disability Discrimination Act was replaced by the Equality Act 2010 in England, Wales and Scotland. This legislation helps to protect people with disabilities from discrimination and works to create a more equal society.

What is disability discrimination?

Disability discrimination is if you are treated less favourably or disadvantaged because of a disability or illness that you have which is covered by the Equality Act 2010. This could relate to work, accessing services, goods, education or when renting or buying property.

How to report disability discrimination

How best to report disability discrimination will depend on the circumstances. If you’ve been discriminated against at work, you can lodge a dispute with your employer. Speak to an expert discrimination rights solicitor for more information.

What is the law on disability discrimination?

The Equality Act 2010 states that someone can’t be discriminated against because of their disability or disabling illness. This could relate to your job, housing, getting access to services, facilities or education or when buying goods.

How are disabled people discriminated against?

There are many ways in which a disabled person could be discriminated against. If someone with a disability is treated less favourably than someone else, purely because of the disability, that is considered to be discrimination.

What constitutes disability discrimination?

Under current UK law, if you are put at a disadvantage or treated less well than other people because of a disability that you have, this is considered to be disability discrimination.

Can I sue my employer for disability discrimination?

If you think that your employer has treated you unfairly because of a disability you have, you may be able to make a disability discrimination claim against them. This needs to be done within three months of the act of discrimination happening. Contact a disability discrimination solicitor today.

What is meant by discrimination arising from disability?

Discrimination arising from disability is when a person is treated less favourably because of something arising as a result of a disability rather than the disability itself. For example, having difficulties accessing public transport.

How to prove disability discrimination at work

Proving that you have been discriminated against at work due to your disability can sometimes be difficult as you will need evidence of the act. Speak to an expert discrimination claim solicitor for advice on the evidence you will need.

What is the Equal Pay Act?

The Equal Pay Act has been incorporated into the Equality Act 2010. It means that men and women in the UK have a legal right to be paid the same amount of money and receive the same conditions of employment for doing the same, or equivalent, work.

Who does the Equal Pay Act protect?

The Equal Pay Act is now part of the Equality Act 2010. It protects both men and women from being paid different amounts of money or receiving different conditions of employment for performing equal work.

How to make an equal pay claim

If you think that you’re not receiving equal pay, you can discuss it with your employer. If this does not resolve the problem, you can complain to an employment tribunal. You can do this for up to six months after you have left the role related to the claim.

When is Equal Pay Day?

Equal Pay Day will fall on a different day every year. Equal Pay Day is the day in the year when, due to the gender pay gap in the UK, women start effectively working ‘for free’, compared to men. In 2019, the UK’s Equal Pay Day was 14th November.

How to ask for equal pay?

If you think that you’re receiving unequal pay at work, you can ask your employer for an explanation for the difference in pay. If asking for equal pay through internal processes does not work, you can take an equal pay claim to an employment tribunal.

How to fight for equal pay

If you don’t believe that you are receiving equal pay because of your gender, you can discuss this with your employer. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, you can complain to an employment tribunal. Speak to a specialist employment law solicitor for more advice on fighting for equal pay.

How to get equal pay at work

If you think that you’re not getting equal pay at work due to your gender, the first step is to ask your employer about the situation. If that doesn’t solve the issue, you can take your complaint to an employment tribunal. We recommend you take legal advice to find out more.

What does Equal Pay Day mean?

Equal Pay Day relates to the gender pay gap. It is the day each year when women effectively start working for ‘free’ due to the difference in pay between men and women.

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap refers to the percentage difference between the average earnings per hour for men and for women. Since 2017, UK companies with more than 250 employees are legally required to report their gender pay gap figures annually.

Is there a gender pay gap in the UK?

There is a gender pay gap in the UK. In April 2019, the median pay for all employees was 17.3% less for women than for men, when including both full-time and part-time employees. Gender pay gaps tend to vary considerably between industries.

Is the gender pay gap discrimination?

The gender pay gap is not necessarily discrimination, because it doesn’t take into account whether the people being paid differently are doing the same, or equal, work. Not receiving equal pay is discrimination if the reason you’re paid less is due to your gender.

Is the gender pay gap illegal?

Having a gender pay gap within a business is not illegal, but an individual being paid less than someone else of another gender for doing ‘equal’ work is classed as discrimination and is not lawful in the UK.

What is pregnancy and maternity discrimination?

Pregnancy or maternity discrimination is when you’re treated unfavourably because you are pregnant, have recently given birth, or are breastfeeding your child. It is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

Who is covered under the pregnancy discrimination act?

Pregnancy discrimination falls under the Equality Act 2010. It covers anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding or has recently given birth. This could be at work or when trying to access services, facilities or goods.

Can employers discriminate against pregnancy?

It’s unlawful for your employer to discriminate against you because you are pregnant, under the Equality Act 2010. If you think you have been discriminated against at work due to your pregnancy, seek the advice of an experienced employment law solicitor.

How to bring a racial discrimination claim at work

If you believe that you’re been treated unfairly at work because of your race, you can make a claim to an employment tribunal. It’s advised that you seek specialist advice from an employment law solicitor before taking action.

How to report a case of racial discrimination

How to report racial discrimination will depend on the circumstances. If the racial discrimination happened at work, you can complain to an employment tribunal. If you were racially discriminated against by a person, business or organisation, you may be able to take legal action. Consult a solicitor for more details.

What is racial discrimination at work?

Racial discrimination at work could take many forms. In general, any incident in which you are treated less favourably than someone else at work, because of your race, can be considered racial discrimination. Speak to an employment law solicitor if you think you have experienced racial discrimination.

What is religious discrimination in the workplace?

If someone at work treats you less favourably than other people because of your religion or belief, this is considered to be religious discrimination in the workplace. If you think that you’ve experienced religious discrimination, speak to an employment law solicitor.

What is sexual orientation discrimination?

Sexual orientation discrimination is where you are treated less favourably than someone else because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual. It could relate to an incident at work, or when trying to access services, goods or facilities.

What is sexuality discrimination?

Being discriminated against because of your sexuality is illegal in the UK under the Equality Act 2010 – it’s called discrimination because of sexual orientation. This law applies if you’re treated less favourably because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual.

Can an employer discriminate against sexuality?

Under UK law, employers cannot discriminate against someone because of their sexuality. That means a person can’t be treated less favourably than other employees because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual.

What is sexual discrimination in the workplace?

Sexual discrimination in the workplace refers to when an employee is treated less favourably than others because of their sexual orientation. This is different to sex discrimination, which relates to being discriminated against because of gender.

Can I claim sexual discrimination retrospectively?

A claim related to discrimination because of sexual orientation usually has to be made within six months (less one day) of the incident happening. If the discrimination happened at work, the time limit for claiming is three months (less one day) from when it happened.

What is transgender discrimination in the workplace?

Transgender discrimination in the workplace is when someone experiences less favourable treatment at work, or when applying for a job, because of their gender identity or expression. This is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010 in the UK.