If you love your job, coming to work every day is an enjoyable event. It can bring satisfaction and sense of achieving your career goals. In fact, for some unemployment or retirement seem like unbearable prospects. However, regardless of how rewarding your job is, there are certain issues which can ruin even the most promising career and rules are in place to prevent any intolerable occurrences.
Who are employment law specialists?
Lawyers specialising in employment law offer help with all aspects of employment law from the point of view of an employee as well as employer, such as issues surrounding unfair dismissal or discrimination claims. Since the many rules of employment law change regularly, the lawyers have got the necessary knowledge of the current state of the law and can advise their clients on employment-related queries.
Advice for employees
There are many situations where as an employee you might need legal advice from an employment law specialist. If you have been dismissed from work without a sufficient notice or pay in lieu of notice, you might have a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal.
If you have been wrongfully dismissed then you might have a claim against your employer for a breach of contract. Your employment contract is the best place to find out how you can be lawfully dismissed and if any of the conditions in not fulfilled by the employer (such as not following the appropriate disciplinary procedure) then an employment lawyer can help you with a claim against your employer. You can make your claim to the court or a specialist Employment Tribunal.
In order to be able to claim unfair dismissal you must be working for the employer for a ‘qualifying period of employment’ which currently (from 6 April 2012) is 2 years. You have only 3 months to bring an unfair dismissal claim and it is best to contact an employment law expert as soon as you have been unfairly dismissed.
There are different reasons for which employees could be discriminated at work (either by their employers or fellow colleagues). The grounds for discrimination which you can bring a claim for are as follows:
- Sexual orientation
- Religious believes (or lack of them)
Discrimination can occur directly as well as indirectly and you do not have to be an employee to be discriminated (it could for example have occurred during a job interview). Yet again, employment lawyers are best placed to give you advice on making a discrimination claim and can guide you through the process.
Advice for employers
The employers can find themselves in need of employment law advice if faced with any of the above mentioned situations as well as when dealing with claims for equal pay, seeking advice on how to legally dismiss and employee, how to proceed in case of a grievance procedure, what to do in a situation of gross misconduct by an employee etc. In case of any conflicts between employers and employees, informal solution should be the first avenue to resolve it and employers should have a proper procedure in place. Employers can benefit from employment law specialists’ advice as a pre-emptive method of preventing claims from employees. Lawyers can help you put an employees’ grievance procedure in place, ensure that you have appropriate health and safety measures in the workplace, draft employment contracts for all of your employees to ensure that they include all the necessary clauses and, if it comes to it, guide you through any litigation or dispute resolution procedures.