Intro

This is the specialist employment law site for Darlingtons solicitors. We are a well known and growing law firm with offices in North London and Central London.

Our team covers a full range of legal services and advice for both business and individuals. Our head of employment law, Partner Ben Jones, advises both employers and employees on the full range of both contentious and non-contentious employment law issues. Ben is an experienced employment lawyer who has dealt with many Employment Tribunal cases, and his focus is on practicality and an understanding that with employment disputes, in reality both sides often end up losing if a case reaches tribunal.

This site will offer guides to the main issues and developments in employment law together with views, debates, legal updates and relevant cases. Topics included will be, without limitation :-

  • employment contracts
  • self employed or employed ?
  • Staff handbooks, policies and procedures
  • discrimination law
  • employment tribunals
  • tactics for employment law disputes
  • fixed term employees
  • employment of senior staff
  • disciplining of employees
  • sickness absence
  • maternity  paternity rights
  • restrictive covenants
  • compromise agreements

Sex discrimination

THE LEGISLATION

Sex Discrimination Act 1975 was implemented into law on 12 November 1975. The Act set a basic legal framework for protection of men and women against discrimination based on sex or marital status; ensuring equal treatment and opportunities for men and women in society, workplace, education, training, harassment, the provision of goods and services and the disposal of premises. Although, the Act was repealed by the Equality Act 2010 on 8 April 2010, the core anti-discrimination laws under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 are also applicable under the Equality Act 2010.

WHO IS PROTECTED?

Both the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Equality Act 2010 apply to men and women regardless of age. The Acts cover apprentices, employees, self-employed and in certain cases ex-employees. Continue reading

PILON clauses

PILON CLAUSES: HOW TO AVOID LIABILITY FOR STATUTORY NOTICE PERIODS IN EMPLOYMENT

Generally speaking in employment contracts, there is a statutory right to a notice period of one week minimum (having worked for that employer for a minimum of 4 continuous weeks). If your employer has included in your contract a notice period which is shorter than this, it is not valid, as your statutory right overrides the shorter time period. Please note that if your employer has included in your contract a notice period which is longer than the statutory minimum, this will override.

For every year of employment you fulfil after the 4 weeks continuous employment, you will receive an extra week’s notice period (which continues increasing for 12 years). Continue reading

Sick pay law

Sick pay law

Sick employees must be treated fairly and are normally entitled to receive pay in their absence from work caused by illness.

Types of sick pay

There are two types of sick pay. These are:

  1. Statutory sick pay (SSP)

To be entitled to the SSP you need to be an employee who is sick for at least four days in a row (including weekends and bank holidays) and you have average weekly earnings of at least £102. Continue reading

Whistleblowing law

Whistleblowing

What is whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing (also known as ‘making disclosure in the public interest’) is the act of bringing attention to someone’s misconduct. It is most common with regards to employment relationships where an employee blows the whistle on his or her employer without losing his or her employment rights. The aim of whistle blowing is to encourage people to react if they see malpractice in their workplace.

Who is protected?

To be protected as a whistle blower you need to:

  • Be a worker;
  • Believe that misconduct is happening, has happened in the past or will happen in the future;
  • Reveal the right kind of information: make a ‘qualifying disclosure’ (explained below); and
  • Reveal the information to the right person (‘protected disclosure’). Continue reading

Equal Pay

Equal Pay

We are making great strides towards a culture where everybody is equal regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation or ethnic background. As a society this makes us stronger, more modern and fairer than other parts of the world because we acknowledge that we all have a right to equal treatment and equal opportunity. However, whilst we are making progress in all these areas, sadly equal pay is an area that has been slower to progress. Continue reading

Equality Act

THE EQUALITY ACT 2010: WHAT RIGHTS DOES IT GIVE YOU?

The Equality Act 2010 is legislation which aims to tackle certain types of discrimination. There are nine protected characteristics which are incorporated into the Equality Act 2010. This Act makes it illegal to discriminate against or disadvantage an individual due to one of the nine protected characteristics. They are: pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, sex, religion/belief, and race. Continue reading

Redundancy Rights

It is important that employers and employees seek advice before undertaking a redundancy process. There are various redundancy rights and obligations imposed upon employers prior to undertaking a redundancy.

They will need to comply with provisions in the Employment Rights 1996 which state that, amongst other things, an employer needs to undertake the following:

  • Identify an appropriate pool for selection;
  • Consult with individuals in the pool;
  • Apply objective selection criteria;
  • Consider suitable alternatives to redundancy.

In addition, if there are 20 or more employees being made redundant over a period of 90 days or less, an employer has a duty to consider the obligations under the Trade Union and Labour relations (Consolidation) Acts 1992. Advice should be sought specifically in this regard.
Continue reading

Implied term in employment contracts

Implied terms of employment contract

What are the implied terms?

Implied terms are terms which may not be written in the employment contract but are either understood by both the employer and the employee to exist or which are implied by law.

Many employment contracts will cover the obvious implied terms in any event but it is still worthwhile being aware of how an Employment Tribunal or court may look at a situation. It is also important to recognise that the terms of an employment contract may be interfered with by a Tribunal or court to imply that certain terms of that contract are unfair or that the day to day reality was different from the contract. This is another way in which implied terms impacts on employment law.

The most well known and important implied term in every contract of employment is that of mutual trust and confidence between employer and employee. Without this an employment relationship cannot work and this is a matter of common sense really. If an employee steals from an employer this of course must destroy trust and confidence just as if an employer fails to pay the employee. Continue reading

ET1 form

ET 1 Form

What it is an ET 1 Form?

An ET 1 Form is used by an employee after his or her employment has been terminated to file a claim in the Employment Tribunal. It starts the tribunal proceedings in employment-related disputes.

How to present the form?

You need to complete an ET 1 Form and present it to the local office of the tribunal (which office is local depends where your former place of work was located). The forms can be downloaded from the tribunals’ website and delivered in person, by post (it is the time of its arrival at the office not the time of posting it that counts for the time limit), fax or email. Continue reading