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Services for Individuals

Employment Law Solicitors in Manchester & Bolton

Are you an Employee?

1. Have you been unfairly dismissed?   Did you know that the maximum compensation for unfair dismissal is now £88,519. Currently employees are entitled to make a claim after two years of employment.

Unfair Dismissal

2. Have you been made redundant?   If you have two years continuous employment you are entitled to, as a minimum, a statutory redundancy payment.  If your employer has failed to consult with you, carry out a fair selection for redundancy or offer you an alternative position if such a position exists, you may also be entitled to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.

3. Do you feel you are being discriminated against by your employer or fellow employees? Have you not been offered a promotion on the basis that you’re a woman and you may decide to start a family in the near future?  Were you unsuccessful in a recruitment exercise because you have a disability which requires regular hospital treatment?  Have you missed out on training opportunities because the training is always conducted on a day when you are off work for religious reasons (i.e. for prayers)?  Are you being victimised and harassed because you’re much older than your colleagues, e.g. not invited out to work social events or constantly being made the subject of jokes relating to your age.  All of the above could constitute discrimination. 

The Equality Act 2010 strengthened existing laws to prevent discrimination in the workplace in respect of the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

Discrimination can take place in various forms, further examples are:

  • Unreasonably refused a request for a reasonable adjustment to assist with a disability.
  • Unsuccessful at a job interview due to your age.
  • Constantly teased about your religious belief. 
  • Victimised and harassed due to your sexual orientation.
  • Dismissed or made redundant due to pregnancy.  

Our team of specialist employment lawyers can assist with complaints regarding all forms of discrimination.  If you feel you have had or are suffering any of these experiences in the workplace then do get in touch to contact our team of lawyers for a chat and advice.

Employment Tips

4. Are you being prevented from taking up new employment because you are bound by a restrictive covenant?  Many contracts of employment, specifically for those in middle to high management positions, include restrictive covenants which come into force once the employment contact is terminated.  The purpose of the covenants is to prevent an ex-employee essentially stealing business if they go to work for a competitor.  Many of these covenants are accepted by employees, however it sometimes becomes an issue where the covenant is perhaps too widely drafted and essentially becomes a restraint of trade.  Such covenants are void.  If you find yourself bound by a restrictive covenant, make sure you seek advice as to its enforceability.  Our lawyers are experienced in assessing the enforceability of such covenants and in negotiating your release from the same.

5. Have you been offered a Settlement Agreement or Compromise Agreement?   A settlement agreement also sometimes called a compromise agreement is a legally binding agreement usually between an employee and employer where the parties aim to set out the terms and conditions reached when a contract of employment is to be terminated or a dispute is to be resolved (when the employment contract is not being terminated).   We can offer expert advice to reassure you that the Settlement Agreement you sign is right for you.

Compromise Agreement/Settlement Agreement

So, if you think you need our help, then contact us before you do something you might regret!

6. Flexible working

For many people, the ability to work from home, remotely or have flexible start and finish times and working reduced hours can have immense benefits including but not limited to creating a good work-life balance. Employees with at least 26 weeks' continuous employment can make a request for flexible working under the statutory procedure. The following criteria however must be met:

  • The request can only be made by an employee.
  • The employee must have 26 weeks' continuous employment at the date the request is made.
  • Only one request may be made under the statutory scheme in any 12-month period.
  • Requests cannot be made by agency workers

Employers are not under an obligation to grant a request however the statutory procedure ensures that the request is dealt with reasonably. If  you feel that you have been unreasonably refused a request or are currently thinking about making an application and would like some advice, then do get in touch with one of our specialist employment lawyers who would be happy guide you through the process.

7. Furlough

(As at December 2020)
 
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was put in place to allow employers to claim grants from HMRC to cover the cost of staff salaries whilst the business is operating differently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers have been able to place some people who qualify on furlough leave. The scheme has changed several times since it was introduced with the later amendments requiring employers to make a financial contribution if they wish to benefit from the scheme. There has been layers of government guidance which employers have been required to understand and follow to ensure that claims are both genuine and procedurally correct. Unfortunately, some employers have fallen short of the guidance in the following ways:
 
1. An employee has continued to work for the employer whilst on furlough leave;
2. The employer has dismissed an employee when they have raised breach of the CJRS rules giving rise to a possible whistleblowing claim;
3. The selection process undertaken in deciding which staff members should be furloughed may have been discriminatory and the impact of this on any future redundancies.
  
The CJRS scheme has been extended until 31st March 2021 and the government will undertake a review of the scheme in January 2021. We are taking increasing numbers of enquiries from people finding themselves in the situations  described above and if you have been affected then call to have a chat with one of our employment lawyers.

(As at Summer 2020)

The Government announced extraordinary measures to help keep businesses afloat during the global COVID-19 pandemic. One of these measures was the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ which allowed employers to claim up to 80% of the employees’ wage for all employment costs up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. This support is being reduced monthly and it is intended that the scheme will come to an end in October 2020.

There have been cases where employees have been placed on furlough leave yet been asked to continue working for their employers. Some employees have been dismissed when they have challenged their employer about this.  Unfortunately, some employees were not even made aware that they were being placed on furlough leave. Furlough fraud sadly appears to be a growing issue in 2020.

If you have any questions or concerns about how your employer has handled your furlough leave then call to have a chat with one of our employment lawyers.