FAQs for Employment
Can I be dismissed without any warning?
A. If your employer instantly dismisses you without investigating the circumstances surrounding your dismissal, it is almost always considered unfair. An example of an unfair dismissal may be where a colleague makes an accusation about you and you are dismissed instantly without any investigation taking place. In rare cases involving gross misconduct some automatic dismissals could be considered fair. Once we have assessed your claim, we can give you advice about your individual case.
Q. How will a compromise agreement help me?
A. A compromise agreement, between an employee and their employer should help both sides, as it enables you to receive a financial lump sum, usually tax free, as long as you do not pursue any further claim against your employer. A compromise agreement will typically be offered to an employee in a redundancy situation, and you must seek legal advice before the agreement becomes legally binding.
Q. Who should I go to for legal advice about a compromise agreement?
A. Farnworth Rose Solicitors can give you the advice and guidance you need regarding a compromise agreement. If we feel your employer should change the terms of the agreement or arrange a better financial package for you, then we can contact him on your behalf and ask him to improve the agreement before it is signed. We will make sure you receive the full amount that you are entitled to.
Q. Who will pay my legal fees for a compromise agreement?
A. It is in the best interests of your employer to get the agreement signed as quickly as possible, and for this reason, he/she will normally pay any legal costs incurred by you.
Q. What is constructive dismissal?
A. Constructive dismissal occurs when a person resigns from his/her job because of being treated unfairly. This type of resignation is classed as a dismissal, and for that purpose, the employee can bring an unfair dismissal claim.
Q. I am being unfairly treated at work. Should I resign before I seek advice?
A. No, where possible, come to see us before you resign, and we will explain your rights in the work place, and give you help and guidance if you are being treated unfairly at work.
Q. What constitutes unfair dismissal?
A. An employer must show that the reason for dismissal was fair and the decision to dismiss was reasonable. Proper procedures, under employment law, must also be followed by your employer. Fair dismissal may be based on misconduct or absenteeism of the employee, while unfair dismissal may result in the terms and conditions of your contract being breached by your employer.
Q. What actually is redundancy?
A. Redundancy is a form of dismissal from your job, which is caused by your employer needing to reduce the workforce. Reasons for redundancy could include: new work systems or technology which could make your job unnecessary, the job you were hired for no longer exists, the need to cut costs by reducing staff numbers, the business is closing down or moving further away.
Q. Can I claim for unfair redundancy?
A.Yes, as redundancy is deemed to be a dismissal, you have the same right of appeal as if you had been dismissed for any other reason. The first thing to do is appeal your decision to terminate your employment, according to the process set out in the employer disciplinary procedure. You should be told how to appeal the decision. If your employer is not helpful, or refuses to allow you to appeal, contact Farnworth Rose and we will review your case, and help you find to achieve a satisfactory outcome.
Q. My contract has been terminated after 9 months. Do I have a right to redundancy pay?
A. You only have a right to a redundancy payment if you have been continuously employed by the same employer for at least 2 years. Your redundancy payment is calculated taking into account your age and number of years of continuous service.
Q. What is unfair redundancy?
A. Unfair redundancy is when certain members of staff are unfairly chosen for redundancy, which can happen when only a certain number of staff are being asked to leave. You do have the right to appeal this decision. If you have been continuously employed for at least a year you have the right to claim that you have been unfairly selected for redundancy at the Employment Tribunal.
Q. What is a breach of contract?
A. A breach of contract by an employer, is when he/she breaks the terms of the contract. If for example, you are not being paid the agreed amount stated in your contract, or if your employer changes your job description without prior consent or agreement, he/she could be in breach of contract.
Q. What is wrongful dismissal?
A. Wrongful dismissal is when your employer breaches your contract, and dismisses you or forces you to leave. If, for example, you are dismissed without notice, or your employer does not follow the disciplinary and dismissal process correctly, you could claim for wrongful dismissal.
Q. How much notice must my employer give me?
A. Whatever is stated in your contract, your employer must give you at least the statutory minimum period of notice, depending on how long you have worked for them. If you have been continually employed for between one month and two years, your employer must give one week´s notice, and if you have been continuously employed for two or more years, he/she must give you one week´s notice for each complete year, up to a maximum of 12 years.
Q. My employer finished my fixed term contract early. Can I claim unfair dismissal?
A. A fixed term contract automatically ends at its conclusion date, but if your employer terminates your contract before that date, you may be able to claim damages for any outstanding pay, and benefits which may have been due in the remaining period.
Q. What are my rights at work during my notice period?
A. During your notice period you will normally have the right to your normal pay and benefits, including a company car, fuel allowances etc, and any other benefits which are set out in your contract. The fact that you are serving a notice period, should not have any bearing on this whatsoever.
Q. Why do I need legal advice about a compromise agreement?
A. A compromise only becomes valid and legally binding when you have taken legal advice on it. This is to protect you from signing away your rights to further claims against the company you are leaving, without fully understanding the terms of the agreement. Farnworth Rose has an indepth knowledge of employment law in the UK, and we will be happy to examine the terms of the agreement, before it is signed to ensure you are getting the best financial deal possible.
Q. Do I have to agree with the terms of a compromise agreement?
A. No, if you feel the terms, set out by your employer, are unfair, we can contact him/her on your behalf and try to improve the document or ask for it to be completely re-drafted. You may have a case for unfair dismissal if your employer refuses to improve the terms of the compromise agreement.
Q. Can I claim unfair dismissal if my job is changed without my permission?
A. Yes, if your employer is in breach of contract. Once we have assessed your individual case, Farnworth Rose will be able to give you advice and guidance regarding any claim you may have.
Q. Can I be dismissed instantly for gross misconduct?
A. Yes - your employer has a right to dismiss you without notice, which is known as summary dismissal, if you are guilty of gross misconduct.
Q. How does pay in lieu of notice work?
A. Pay in lieu of notice is money paid to you as an alternative to being given your full notice, and it may be set out in your contract as an option. If this is included in your work contract, the amount you can expect should be clearly stated. Pay in lieu of notice should normally cover everything you would have earned if you had worked your notice period.
Do I have a right to statutory redundancy pay?
A. You have the right to a statutory redundancy payment as an employee if you have worked continuously for your employer for at least two years and you are being made redundant. Statutory redundancy must be paid when a fixed-term contract of two years or more expires and is not then renewed because of redundancy.
What are the implications of a compromise agreement?
A. By signing a compromise agreement you are excluding your right to bring a claim against your employer in a court or at the Employment Tribunal, relating to your employment. Extra clauses may also stop you from talking about the terms of your agreement with anyone else, and prevent you from making disparaging comments about your employer.
How long will it take to claim unfair dismissal compensation?
A. This largely depends on the nature of your claim, and the response we receive from your employer. If your employer agrees to pay compensation directly, it will take much less time to reach a satisfactory conclusion to your case than if you need to attend the employment tribunal.
Can I claim for unfair redundancy?
A. Yes, redundancy is classed as a dismissal, and you have the same right of appeal as if you had been dismissed for any other reason, providing the redundancy was deemed to be unfair. Your employer should always let you know how employees have been chosen for redundancy, and also how you can appeal the decision.
Whatever grievance you may have against your employer, it is always worth speaking to Farnworth Rose Employment Law Solicitors to see if you can make a claim for compensation against your employers, and also so you understand your rights in the work place.