Employment Solicitors – No Win No Fee Compensation
An employment solicitor is a United Kingdom lawyer who deals with claims for compensation on behalf of employees or former employees against an employer who has acted contrary to law. Due to the complexity of the legislation a specialist employment solicitor usually only represents clients in claims where the Employment Tribunal has jurisdiction which includes :-
- Racial harassment/discrimination/victimisation.
- Sexual harassment/discrimination/victimisation.
- Age discrimination.
- Religion discrimination.
- Disability discrimination.
- Discrimination based on sexual orientation.
- Pregnancy-related discrimination or other conditions unique to a particular gender.
- Unfair dismissal.
- Workplace bullying.
- False redundancy claimed as an excuse for unlawful dismissal.
- Compromise agreements settling financial terms for dismissals.
- Working time regulations.
- Being forced to resign because of the offensive behaviour of others.
Our no win no fee employment solicitors deal with compensation claims arising throughout the UK as a result of employment disputes including redundancy, sexual and racial discrimination and harassment and wrongful, unfair or constructive dismissal on a no win no fee* basis. There are very short limitation periods regarding applications to the Employment Tribunal and advice from an employment solicitor 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 period of employment must normally have been for one year or more.
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.
An employment solicitor is able to call upon numerous statutes and regulations that are designed to protect employees from unlawful actions by employers and by other employees including :-
- Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
- Employment Rights Act 1996
- Sex Discrimination Act 1975
- Race Relations Act 1976
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995
- Protection from Harassment Act 1996
- Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994
- The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
- Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
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If you believe that you were subjected to biased treatment in your place of work that was based on race, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation you might have a discrimination compensation claim that is actionable by our specialist no win no fee employment solicitors. In order to make a determination of discrimination, intent is not important, normally if the act or acts are determined to be damaging and produce unfavourable treatment, the intent to do harm does not need to be established.
Improper or illegal acts are distinguished as either Indirect or Direct:
In some cases, “positive discrimination” is allowed due to a certain race or sex being an under-represented minority (UNM) within an organisation or where an actor needs to be a certain ethnicity or sex to fill a particular role for a film roll or on TV.
Harassment is conduct which is offensive, unwelcome and unreasonable which results in a humiliating, hostile or intimidating environment at work.
- Assault with no obvious injury which may include minor incidents such as pushing.
- Assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
- Verbal abuse including telling abusive racist jokes.
- Displaying graffiti or literature or correspondence or emails etc.
- Sending offensive correspondence or emails or displaying offensive websites on computer screens
- Racist literature left on public view or deliberately left lying around in the workplace
- Intimidation or bullying in the workplace based on race
- Nuisance activities such as disruption of the working environment because of race.
- 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
Victimisation occurs when an employer or co-worker treats another worker offensively or abusively merely because that person has either started proceeding in an Employment Tribunal or has intimated such proceedings or has volunterred to be a witness in proceeding before an Employment Tribunal. This behaviour is considered to be an attempted perversion of justice and damages awards against employers are therefore unlimited.
Employees should be protected from bullying and harassment in the workplace. Typical accounts of bullying are:
- continuous critical remarks from a fellow employee in reference to an efficient staff member for no reason
- belittling a worker by changing normal duties or giving trivial responsibilities much below their aptitude and abilities
- setting an individual up to fail, by assigning a complex and demanding workload or setting impossible time limits
- berating of, or shouting at a co-worker, when no managerial or supervisory connection exist between the two
- never-ending nitpicking regarding petty issues or groundless complaints about a worker’s quality of product or output results
- habitually and intentionally leaving a worker out of activities
- frequently making someone the object of antics, pranks or jokes
- attacks on a person’s character or disclosing intimate information about someone, even when such information may be false or has no effect on duties or obligations at work
Bullying in the workplace can be a constant source of apprehension and pain that damages an individual’s health both physically and psychologically. Victims often suffer migraines, insomnia, high blood pressure and ulcers as well as a variety of added ailments or psychologically issues. Being constantly exposed to bullying can prove detrimental to the productivity and efficiency of the worker. Any employee who is being bullied is entitled to instruct a solicitor to take their case to the Employment Tribunal for redress.
Employers who ignore or neglect bullying in their business will face downturns in profitability and productivity due to:-
- lost motivation in workers caused by reduced morale
- a reduction in quality and quantity in work results
- an increase of departures of trained and experienced workers
- worker absences & time lost due to additional stress and poor health
- compensatory damages and or penalties demanded by the Employment Tribunal
Contained within the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 are provisions that require employers to take care of the safety, health and welfare to their workers. Those employers who do not comply with the Act, could be judged in both the Civil Court and in the Employment Tribunal as negligent and therefore in breach of contract. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 declares that certain instances of bullying in the workplace can be judged as criminal in nature, which could result in fines or imprisonment, not just for the offender but also for management if the situation was allowed to continue unimpeded.
Workers enduring bullying in the workplace should, in the presence of their supervisor, directly appeal in a non-threatening manner for the offender to put an end to the bullying If a direct request to cease fails you should file a formal complaint with management or a union representative and then promptly contact a solicitor who handles employment law.
To assist your solicitors to claim compensation, keep records or a log of the incidents of bullying, with particular details such as, dates and times of the incident and the location. If the incident took place outside of the workplace, but may have been related to work, record the names of everyone involved including witnesses and keep a detailed written record of the incident. Even seemingly trivial jokes or antics, especially those related to sexual innuendos or racial slurs, could establish an abusive pattern of systematic bullying.
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 termination however some categories of employees are excluded from making a claim.
The first step by an employment solicitor is to attempt to negotiate a settlement with the employer. If no agreement can be reached, then it’s time to make an application to an Employment Tribunal which is less formal and has more relaxed procedures than a typical court and renders decisions on employment claims. The tribunal is made up of three members. There is a legally qualified chairman as well as two lay members from an employer’s association or trade union. You have the right to appeal the decision made by the Employment Tribunal, but take note that appeals are only heard in London, Belfast and Edinburgh.
The Employment Tribunal has the authority to award damages, order that the employee be reinstated or both. Note that there is no statutory cap on the amount of compensation that can be awarded for some of the employment rights claims listed above. Legal costs are not awarded to the winner and must be paid from the compensation received as a result of the successful claim. Remember, though, with our no win no fee policy, you will not be charged if your claim is not successful.
If an employer and employee wish to terminate their relationship on agreed terms it is advisable to enter into a compromise / settlement agreement drafted by a specialist employment solicitor to provide certainty for both parties. It is important that an employee fully understands the content and any implications of such an agreement and it is a requirement by law, contained in the Employment Rights Act 1996 that advice on the terms of the proposed settlement agreement is obtained from a professional person which usually means a specialist solicitor or a qualified trade’s union adviser. In most cases the employer will pay or contribute towards the legal expenses incurred in receiving the legal advice on the agreement.
Claims for unfair dismissal and discrimination or for re-instatement must be lodged by employment claims solicitors at an Employment Tribunal within three months of the action complained of failing which they will usually become time barred and the opportunity to claim compensation may be lost forever. Lodging a grievance may extend the period by another 3 months. The maximum sum that can be awarded for redundancy and for unfair dismissal is capped at a maximum figure however there is no limit on awards for breach of contract, sexual, racial, age or disability discrimination or sexual or racial harassment.
Our employment solicitors will give free initial advice on the merits of your potential claim, how much it might be worth and the procedure to protect your legal right to compensation. Expert lawyers will clearly explain to you about the time limits applicable to these cases and will give clear unequivocal advice about how the claim will be financed. The no win no fee scheme is available which means that legal costs are only charged in the event that the case is won. If the case is lost there is no charge whatsoever.
All UK solicitors are regulated by the Law Societies in England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and can provide legal representation before Employment Tribunals throughout the United Kingdom. If you would like a free assessment from an expert employment solicitor on the merits of your potential compensation claim just use the helpline.
Claims for damages for unfair dismissal and discrimination or for re-instatement that cannot be settled by an employment claim solicitor as a result of negotiation are not dealt with by a court of law but are considered in a relatively informal manner by an Employment Tribunal which consists of three members being the Chairman who is legally qualified and will preside over the proceedings together with two other members one of whom is nominated by an employers association and the other by a trades union.
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.
Our employment solicitors deal exclusively in employment matters in London and throughout the UK 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 lawyer just send an email, use the helpline or send the contact form.
We take special care to protect your personal and private information. The information we collect is stored on a secure, password-protected hard drive. All of your information is deleted from our files once your claim is resolved. Errors in our data will be corrected at your request. We never release client information to third parties not involved with the case at hand. The Data Protection Act governs our handling of client information. This act requires that your data is:
- Processed lawfully.
- Safely retained for only the prescribed amount of time.
- Complete, relevant and not embellished.
- Acquired in accordance with the client’s rights.