Employment Law for Employees

Employment Law for Employees

Employment law can be complex and employees may not always be aware of their rights.

Seeking legal advice can help you understand what rights and entitlements you have as a worker in the UK. This includes your working hours, holiday entitlement, maternity/paternity rights, minimum wage and protection against discrimination.

By knowing your rights, you can make informed decisions and take appropriate action if your rights are violated.

At Thornton Jones, our employment law solicitors work across a full range of sectors to provide comprehensive advice and guidance. Our employment lawyers specialise in providing legal advice and representation to individuals in matters related to their employment.

It’s important to consult an employment law solicitor who specialises in employee representation, as we possess the necessary expertise and experience to handle employment-related matters from the employee’s perspective.

We can help ensure that you understand your rights, can navigate complex legal processes and work towards achieving the best possible outcome.

Speak to our employment law solicitors in Wakefield, Ossett, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet and Mapplewell today

For advice on employment law, please contact our local offices in Wakefield, Ossett, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet or Mapplewell, West Yorkshire today.

Have a quick question or want to request a call back? Use our online enquiry form.

Our expertise with employment law for employees

We provide a full range of employment law services, including:

Settlement agreements

Settlement agreements can be a useful tool for resolving employment disputes and providing a fair and mutually agreed resolution. However, it is important for both employers and employees to seek legal advice from settlement agreement solicitors to ensure that their rights and interests are protected when entering into such agreements.

Unfair dismissal

Unfair dismissal refers to a situation where an employee is dismissed from their job in a manner that is considered unfair or in breach of their employment rights. The right not to be unfairly dismissed is a fundamental protection provided to employees under UK employment law.

If an employee is successful in an unfair dismissal claim, the remedies can include reinstatement (re-employment) or compensation, which is usually capped at a certain amount depending on the employee’s age and earnings. It’s important for both employers and employees to consult with unfair dismissal solicitors to ensure fair and lawful employment practices.

Constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal, also known as constructive unfair dismissal, is a legal concept in UK employment law. It occurs when an employee resigns from their job due to the employer’s actions or conduct, which breaches the employment contract and makes it impossible or untenable for the employee to continue working. In essence, the employee is treated as being “dismissed” by the employer, even though they technically resigned.

It is important for employees considering constructive dismissal to seek legal advice before taking any action, as the legal requirements and complexities surrounding such claims can vary depending on the specific circumstances.

Redundancy and pay

Redundancy refers to a specific circumstance where an employer dismisses an employee because their job role is no longer needed or their employer’s business is closing down. Redundancy can occur due to various reasons, such as technological advancements, changes in market conditions, organisational restructuring or the closure of a business.

It’s important for employers to follow the legal requirements and consult with employees appropriately when making redundancies. Employees who believe their redundancy was unfair or were not provided with the appropriate redundancy pay may seek advice from redundancy solicitors or make a claim to an Employment Tribunal to protect their rights.

Restrictive covenants

Restrictive covenants refer to contractual clauses that place certain limitations or restrictions on an employee’s activities after they leave their job. These clauses are designed to protect the legitimate business interests of the employer and may be included in employment contracts, specifically in roles where the employee has access to sensitive information, clients or trade secrets.

Restrictive covenants are complex legal provisions that require careful consideration and drafting. Employees should understand their rights and obligations regarding these clauses to make informed decisions about their employment.

Discrimination

Discrimination refers to treating employees or job applicants less favourably or unfairly based on certain protected characteristics defined by UK law. The Equality Act 2010 sets out the protected characteristics against which discrimination is prohibited in employment.

Employees who believe they have experienced discrimination in the workplace can raise a complaint internally or make a claim to an Employment Tribunal.

Harassment

Harassment refers to unwanted behaviour related to a protected characteristic that violates an individual’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment can occur in various forms and can be based on characteristics such as sex, race, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation or gender reassignment.

Creating a workplace free from harassment is crucial for promoting a respectful and inclusive environment. Employees should be aware of their rights and responsibilities and report any instances of harassment they experience or witness.

Whistleblowing claims

Whistleblowers are individuals who raise concerns about illegal, unethical or dangerous activities in the workplace, often in the public interest. To encourage whistleblowing, UK law provides protection to whistleblowers against certain forms of detrimental treatment or dismissal for making a protected disclosure.

Whistleblowing plays a crucial role in exposing wrongdoing and maintaining ethical standards in the workplace. It is important for employers to establish a culture that encourages and protects whistleblowers and for employees to be aware of their rights and obligations when considering making a protected disclosure. Seeking legal advice can help both employers and whistleblowers navigate the complexities of whistleblowing claims.

Our employment law fees

We aim to make our fees clear and competitive, ensuring you are aware of the likely costs from the outset.

Our employment solicitors’ hourly rates

Many clients need our help with their case from start to finish and instruct us to represent them fully. This means that we handle everything for them and they benefit from our hourly rate contract where we charge for the amount of time spent working on their case.

The current hourly rate for all of our solicitors is between £210 and £350 per hour plus VAT depending on work type.

We charge legal assistants at £110 per hour plus VAT and trainee solicitors and paralegals between £190 and £210 per hour plus VAT.

We bill in regular instalments and can, subject to your circumstances, agree a monthly payment plan in which interest is charged at 8% per annum on outstanding balances.

All fees are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate.

For more information, see our fees and funding page.

Employment law FAQs

What is employment law?

Employment law refers to the body of legal regulations, rules and principles that govern the relationship between employers and employees. It encompasses a wide range of legal rights, obligations and protections for both employers and employees. Employment law covers various aspects of the employment relationship, including hiring, working conditions, wages, benefits, termination and workplace discrimination.

What rights do employees have under employment law in the UK?

Employees in the UK have several rights and protections under employment law. Some key rights that employees are generally entitled to include:

  • Minimum wage: Employees have the right to receive at least the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, depending on their age and circumstances.
  • Working time: Employees have the right to limits on working hours, including rest breaks and a maximum average working week of 48 hours unless they opt out.
  • Protection against discrimination: Employees are protected against discrimination based on various protected characteristics, such as age, race, gender, disability, religion and sexual orientation.
  • Maternity and paternity rights: Pregnant employees have the right to maternity leave, statutory maternity pay and protection against unfair treatment. New parents, including adoptive parents, also have the right to paternity leave and pay.
  • Parental leave: Employees have the right to take unpaid time off work to care for their child’s welfare, including parental leave and time off for dependants in case of emergencies.
  • Sick pay: Eligible employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) when they are unable to work due to illness or injury.
  • Annual leave: Employees have the right to a minimum amount of paid annual leave, usually 5.6 weeks (or 28 days) per year, including public holidays.
  • Notice period and redundancy pay: Employees are generally entitled to receive a notice period before their employment ends and eligible employees may be entitled to redundancy pay if they are made redundant.
  • Protection against unfair dismissal: Employees who have completed a minimum period of continuous service have protection against unfair dismissal and the right to challenge their dismissal through an employment tribunal.
  • Health and safety protections: Employers are required to provide a safe and healthy working environment and employees have the right to raise health and safety concerns without facing retaliation.

These are some fundamental rights, but employment law in the UK is extensive and covers various other areas, such as pensions, flexible working arrangements, whistleblowing protection and more. It’s important to note that specific rights and entitlements may vary depending on factors such as employment status, length of service and individual employment contracts.

Speak to our employment law solicitors in Wakefield, Ossett, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet and Mapplewell today

For employment law advice for employees in Yorkshire, please contact our local offices in Wakefield, Ossett, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet or Mapplewell, West Yorkshire.

Have a quick question or want to request a call back? Use our online enquiry form.

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