This article is lifted from Karens presentation at our first annual insolvency conference.
Have a question about your employment law rights or facing an employment related problem in Ringwood or the wider Bournemouth and Poole area? Our employment lawyers can offer practical advice and cost-effective solutions.
We know that employment issues can be a great source of anxiety for employees and employers alike. If you are an employee, your job is your livelihood and potentially a source of happiness and fulfilment. For employers, you must carefully balance your strict legal duties towards your employees with the efficient operation of your business.
At Frettens Solicitors, we have a team of highly experienced lawyers who can help you with all types of employment law matter, from reviewing contracts, to liaising with Acas, to bringing and defending serious legal claims about issues such as discrimination and whistle blowing.
We are independently recognised for our reputable and reliable employment law service by prestigious client guide, the Legal 500.
Our expertise includes (but is not limited to):
- Grievance and disciplinary procedures
- Advice on service agreements, employment contracts and consultancy agreements
- Employment tribunal claims
- Settlement agreements (also known as compromise agreements)
- Discrimination and harassment issues
- Redundancy issues
Get in touch to set up your free initial appointment
For information about our costs for bringing an unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal claim, please visit our Employees Tribunal Pricing page.
Our employment law solicitors’ expertise
Grievance and disciplinary procedures
When disciplining employees or dealing with complaints and grievances, it is not enough to come to a fair decision, the process used to make the decision must also be fair. It is essential for employers to have policies and procedures in place to deal with these issues and for employees to understand their legal rights.
We can provide general advice on putting in place suitable procedures as well as:
- Handling formal complaints on behalf of both employers and employees
- Investigating grievances
- Appealing disciplinary or grievance decisions
- Empowering employees to enforce their legal rights
- Advising about workplace monitoring and performance reviews
- Advising on associated disability issues or other protected characteristics
- Bringing and defending employment tribunal claims about issues such as:
- Unfair dismissal
- Wrongful dismissal
- Constructive dismissal
- Pay disputes, including equal pay
Service agreements, employment contracts and consultancy agreements
We can provide advice on all types of contract used to define the rights and responsibilities of workers, including:
- Employment contracts for full and part time workers
- Fixed-term and temporary contracts
- Service agreements
- Consultancy agreements
- Contracts for freelancers
- Zero hour contracts
- Agency contacts
Our service includes drafting and reviewing contracts and bringing and defending legal claims for breach of contract.
Employment tribunal claims
An employment tribunal claim is generally the last resort for an employee who cannot resolve a dispute with their employer. We handle all types of employment tribunal claims, including:
- Dismissal claims
- Discrimination and harassment claims
- Pay disputes
For most employment tribunal claims, the employee has 3 months less 1 day to bring the claim (for redundancy or equal pay claims, the time limit is 6 months) so it is important to get in touch with us as soon as possible to get the claim started.
Before making the claim, you must contact Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) who will give you the opportunity to try Acas Early Conciliation. This involves a Conciliator working with you and your employer/employee to try to come to an out of court settlement. The 3 month time limit is paused while you undergo Early Conciliation. We can liaise with Acas on your behalf.
A settlement agreement (sometimes referred to as a compromise agreement) is a method of settling an employment law dispute without going to an employment tribunal or court. It is a legally binding contract that officially ends an employee’s contract of employment and waives any legal claims. In return, the employer will often agree to:
- Pay a sum of compensation
- Provide a good reference
They may also agree to other favourable terms that we can help negotiate.
Once the agreement has been signed, the employee can no longer take their claims to an employment tribunal. Therefore, it is essential to seek independent legal advice before attempting to negotiate an agreement.
Discrimination and harassment claims
Employees have significant legal protections against discrimination and harassment and employers must be extremely careful to protect those rights when hiring, managing and firing their employees.
We can provide advice to:
- Employees who are experiencing discrimination and/or harassment at work
- Employees who have been dismissed:
- Because of a discriminatory reason
- For reporting discrimination/harassment
- For supporting another employee who has experienced discrimination
- Employers facing complaints and legal claims for discrimination and/or harassment
An employee may be made redundant when their role is no longer needed at the business, the business is in financial difficulty or it is insolvent. Employees facing redundancy still have vital legal rights that the employer must protect. We can assist with all types of redundancy dispute, including:
- Unfair and wrongful dismissal
- Redundancy pay disputes
- Redundancy notice period disputes
- Discrimination in the redundancy procedure