For Employees: Frequently Asked Questions

For Employees: Frequently Asked Questions

Employment advice for employees.

If you are looking specifically for advice around redundancies and settlement agreements, please click here.

For more employment advice for employees, please see below or contact us.

 

Claiming unfair dismissal

If your employer invites you to a disciplinary hearing, we can advise you on your rights.

The conclusion of a disciplinary procedure can range from no action being taken through to termination of employment. If the outcome involves termination of employment, you may be able to challenge the dismissal on the basis that it was potentially unfair. It is important that you seek legal advice at an early stage, so that we can best advise you on your legal position and options, as well as time limits that apply.

For more information on your dismissal rights, please get in touch with one of our expert employment lawyers.

 

Claiming constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal occurs when you are forced to resign from your employment due to a fundamental breach of the employment contract by your employer.

The behaviour of your employer must have constituted either a serious, one-off breach of contract, or an accumulation of incidents which together amount to unreasonable behaviour.  To successfully claim for constructive dismissal, you must be able to show that your employment contract has been breached in such a way that had the effect of making your position untenable.  Resignation in such circumstances is a significant step, so you should take advice on your situation as early as possible.

We can assist with all types of dismissal claims against employers, as our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to advise you on the best way forward.

 

Are you being made redundant?

We understand that the prospect of losing your job can cause huge strains on your life.  Being made redundant can be emotionally and financially challenging.  In certain circumstances, if there is not a genuine redundancy situation or if the employer did not follow a fair procedure, you may have a potential claim.

If you are being made redundant, or are unsure if you have a valid claim, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team for expert advice on how best to proceed.

You may well be asked to sign a settlement agreement. You should always obtain legal advice before signing a settlement agreement, as you are effectively signing away your rights to claim for unfair dismissal.

 

What are my Family leave rights?

The law on family leave, maternity, paternity and adoption rights can be complex, and as such it can be easy for employers and employees to make a mistake.

Having a child is an exciting time but it can also raise a wide range of workforce issues, including:

  • Ensuring you are safe at work during pregnancy – your employer is under a duty to carry out a risk assessment once you have given them written notification of the pregnancy
  • Allowing time off to attend appointments
  • Unpaid/emergency leave
  • Pay and benefits
  • Your role and working hours when you return after a period of leave

Employees are afforded various family-friendly rights and entitlements, but we understand that this is not a time when you want or expect to enter into disputes with your employer about your maternity leave.

Unfortunately, some people do suffer from discrimination on the grounds of their maternity/paternity rights. This can include:

  • Refused requests for flexible working. You have the right to apply to change working patterns
  • Redundancy when you are selected as a result of pregnancy
  • Failure to carry out the risk assessment
  • Being sidelined due to a pregnancy
  • Restructuring whilst you are on family leave.

If you believe that your rights are being breached, or you simply want more information about your rights, we can help you. Our specialist employment team has vast experience of successfully acting for employees in enforcing their maternity and parental leave rights.

 

Bullied or harassed at work?

Suffering from bullying or harassment in the workplace can be a devastating reality for many employees, who fear that complaining about it could make the problem worse, or even lead to them losing their job.

If you feel unsupported by your employer, taking advice early can help you not only to understand your rights but how the problem can be tackled without fear of recriminations or of losing your job.

Sherrards offers expert legal advice to employees facing bullying and harassment at work, as well as advising employees facing claims they were implicated in bullying or harassment of a colleague. We can offer you guidance and support to help you decide how to proceed; whether you make a complaint under the employer’s grievance procedure, initiate a “without prejudice” discussion for a negotiated exit or bring a claim before an employment tribunal and, if so, what the potential claim should be.