Employment Law FAQs

Employment Law

I am being bullied at work – what can I do?

Bullying behaviour is not in itself a matter that you can take to an Employment Tribunal. To do this the bullying would need to be of discriminatory nature, such as on the grounds of race, sex, disability, religion or sexual orientation.

If you feel bullied at work, however, there are a number of practical things that you are advised to do:

  • Tell the person firmly, but not aggressively, that they should stop the behaviour because it makes you feel uncomfortable. If you cannot face the person(s) yourself, speak to someone in HR and ask them to intercede on your behalf.
  • If things do not improve you should raise a formal complaint, in writing and with specific details.

Keep a full diary of incidents – detailing dates, times, what occurred, and names of any witnesses. Keep copies of any relevant documentation.

Please see our Employment Law services.

My employer wants to change my terms and conditions of my employment contract – can they do this?

This depends on the nature of the change they want to make and the way in which the contract of employment is drafted. It is not usual for important terms such as rates of pay, working hours and job titles to be changed without the employee specifically agreeing to it.

In certain cases, you should consider what the alternative is if you do not agree. For example, if the business is in trouble and changes are required in order to avoid dismissals, any unreasonable refusal to agree to changes may give the employer scope to make dismissals that a tribunal would find to be fair.

Please see our Employment Law services.

Do I need to attend a disciplinary hearing?

It would be wise to, unless you have a genuine reason for not being able to attend, but you should notify your employer of this. You are entitled to be told the subject matter of the hearing and to be given reasonable notice of the time it is to be held. If your employer has not complied with this, you would be within your rights to ask that the meeting be postponed until such time that you can attend and that the employer has given you sufficient information about the reason for the hearing.

You are entitled to be accompanied to a disciplinary hearing by a work colleague or a trade union representative. Your employer should be reasonably accommodating about scheduling the meeting so that your chosen companion can attend.

Please see our Employment Law services.

Is it illegal to discriminate against me because of my age?

Yes. You are protected against direct and indirect age discrimination. It would be unlawful for your employer, on the grounds of age to:

  • decide not to employ you;
  • dismiss you;
  • refuse to provide you with training;
  • deny you promotion;
  • give you adverse terms and condition and/or;
  • retire you before your usual retirement age (if you have one) or retire you before the default retirement age of 65 without proper justification.

Please see our Employment Law services.

What is constructive dismissal?

Simply put, this is where an employer forces you to resign through breach of contract or unreasonable behaviour.

Please see our Employment Law services.

I have been dismissed – can I bring an unfair dismissal claim?

Possibly. This will depend entirely on your circumstances. You may well have a case if you have been unfairly dismissed, constructively dismissed or dismissed on grounds of prejudice or discrimination. Please see our Employment section.

You will need to appeal the decision to dismiss you, in writing, before you can bring an unfair dismissal claim at employment tribunal.

You should also be aware that there are certain time limits that apply to the bringing of employment tribunal claims. Employment Law is complicated and you should seek advice on your particular circumstances.

Please see our information on unfair and constructive dismissal services.

Can my employers legally dismiss me if I make a claim following an accident at work?

No. If your accident occurred at your workplace your employer is not legally justified to dismiss you if you make a claim for compensation. If they do so, you may well be able to claim for unfair dismissal even if you have not been employed by them for very long.  It is important that you remember that employers are legally bound to take out insurance specifically to cover accidents at work. Any compensation that you are awarded will be paid for from that insurance and will not have to be paid for by your employer(s). Our personal injury expert, Dominic Moss explains more in this short video:

Please see our Accident at Work Claims service.

Watch Video

I’ve been offered a settlement agreement, should I accept it?

Any settlement agreement from your employer has to be explained to you by a qualified adviser for it to be valid. They do not, however, give you any advice as to whether the agreement is a sensible one or whether it is the best financial compromise you could have obtained. If you have been offered a settlement agreement then please give us a call and we will happily discuss your options with you. There is no charge for an initial consultation and it is in complete confidence.

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Freephone 0800 434 6544 or 01606 87 22 00

Email info@stonehewermoss.co.uk

Stonehewer Moss Solicitors, Citadel House, Solvay Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 4DP

Stonehewer Moss Solicitors is a trading style of the Stonehewer Moss Limited, Registered in England No. 542 6583

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