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Employment Law Services for Individuals

Employment Law Services

At Kerseys our solicitors in Suffolk & Essex assist clients with employment law services for individuals, and also businesses, on a wide range of employment matters.

We use our expertise and experience to ensure that we provide high quality and cost-effective employment law advice and services to all of our clients.

We offer expert and practical employment advise to individuals on a broad spectrum of matters including raising a grievance, defending a disciplinary allegation and negotiating an exit package.

Employment Law for Businesses - Click Here

We can help you with:

  • All forms of Discrimination
  • Victimisation
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Grievance and Disciplinary Hearings
  • Wrongful Dismissal
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • TUPE Transfers
  • Tribunal Claims
  • Tribunal Appeals
  • Judicial Mediation
  • Settlements
  • Settlement Agreements
  • Pursuing a claim in the Employment Tribunal
  • Sickness and absence and disability cases
  • Redundancy
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Maternity and Parental rights
  • Company Directors & Senior Executives
  • Advice and assistance with all Employment law matters

We are experts at resolving disputes through dispute resolution and resolving issues for you by means of negotiation, arbitration, mediation, litigation or a combination of these methods.

We can help you with all of your employment needs.

Contact us now to speak with one of our legal experts.

Contact Us about Employment Law

Employment Law FAQs

What is employment law?

It is legislation that governs employer and employee relationships, including trade unions. Many of the laws look to outline and protects UK worker’s rights and employee’s rights.

There are 3 main types of employment status under the law:

  • Employee: those who have an employment contract)
  • Worker: those who have a contract for services;
  • Self-employed: owners of a company, freelancers or contractors; Employee rights.

What does employment law cover?

It covers a wide range of issues relating to the work environment and processes. Here are some examples of what’s covered by employment law—including:

  • Age discrimination
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Disability
  • Discrimination based on race, religion, sexuality or gender
  • Dismissal and employee grievances
  • Employment contracts
  • Equal pay
  • Holiday pay
  • Minimum wage
  • Parental leave
  • Redundancy
  • Working hours

What are the costs and services for Unfair or Wrongful Dismissal for Individuals?

You can see the pricing and services for Unfair or Wrongful Dismissal for Individuals here.

What is Wrongful Dismissal?

It is a dismissal that is done so in breach of contract. For example where an employer dismisses an employee usually for gross misconduct and refuses to pay the employee the notice pay and benefits that the employee would have received had the employer not dismissed the employee for gross misconduct.

Wrongful dismissal claims are also often brought in connection with constructive unfair dismissal claims. This is where the employee resigns with immediate effect in response to the employer’s fundamental breach of the contract of employment. Under such circumstances, the employee has no alternative other than to resign with immediate effect. As such, the employee is prevented from working their notice and receiving the benefits for that period.

What is Unfair Dismissal?

An employee may pursue a claim for unfair dismissal where they have been dismissed by their employer and who, in most cases, has the requisite two years’ qualifying period of service. The qualifying period does not apply in most cases where the dismissal is for an automatically unfair reason such as whistleblowing or the dismissal is linked to discrimination.

There are circumstances in which an employee who meets the qualifying criteria may not be able to pursue a claim, such as for example, where the employee does not have the legal right to work in the UK or they are out of time to bring a claim.

More Information

What is Early Conciliation?

Early Conciliation is a process offered by ACAS to allow potential Claimants and employers to try and settle a dispute before Employment Tribunal proceedings are issued.

If you reach an agreement during the conciliation period you can settle your claim by using a COT3 form. If you are unable to settle your claim then your (or the employer) can bring the conciliation to an end and you will receive an Early Conciliation Certificate.

Instigating early Conciliation through ACAS is now a mandatory step that an individual must take before issuing an Employment Tribunal claim. You will need to lodge a form with ACAS and obtain and Early Conciliation Certificate before you can commence an Employment Tribunal claim.

What is the difference between a COT3 and A Settlement Agreement?

Both are written agreements that you and your employer can use to settle workplace claims.

A Settlement Agreement can be used to settle workplace disputes and is found in legislation. As part of the settlement you will agree to give up some or all of your legal rights against your employer. Because you are giving up such a fundamental right you will need to take advice from an independent solicitor. The solicitor will review the Settlement Agreement and liaise with you to ensure that you understand its content and the effect of it. They may also liaise with your employer to try to resolve any queries or concerns that you may have.

A COT3 does the same thing as a settlement agreement but it can only be used if you reach a settlement through ACAS. This is most commonly the case where a claim has been or is about to be made at the Employment Tribunal. If you use a COT3 agreement you will not need to take advice from an independent solicitor, although it is advisable to do so.

How does a Settlement Agreement work?

A Settlement Agreement is used to protect employers by stopping employees from bringing legal claims against them. It is a contract between an individual and their employer by which the individual contracts out of some or all of their legal rights.

Settlement Agreements are often used by employers when they terminate an employee’s employment. They will usually involve the employer paying a compensation payment to the employee in exchange for the employer getting the peace of mind from knowing that the employee is giving up their right to make a claim against them.

For a Settlement Agreement to be binding you must take legal advice on the terms and the effect of the Agreement. Once signed a Settlement Agreement is almost impossible to unravel, even if it turns out to be a bad deal. So, it is essential that you take the very best advice, which is where we can help. We have advised on hundreds of Settlement Agreements, from the simplest of agreements to the most complex arrangements at director level.

We will assess your potential claims against your employer and advise you on whether you are getting what you deserve.

Your employer will often not give you their best offer first time and any offer presented to you will often not be set in stone. We can help you renegotiate the terms to make sure that you are properly compensated and that your interests are well protected.

Do I need to visit a Solicitor with my Settlement Agreement?

No – we will communicate by email and telephone with your employer and you to receive a copy of the draft Agreement and arrange a telephone/video call with you to review it. We are required by law to carry out an identity check on you which we perform online for a small additional fee.

How much does a Settlement Agreement cost?

Our charges are very reasonable and we can tailor them to your needs and to the work that you would like us to do.

In most cases we will agree a fixed fee for your Settlement Agreement, so that you have the comfort of knowing in advance what our fee will be. In the vast majority of cases your employer will pay most or all of your legal fees for taking advice on your Settlement Agreement.

What is the minimum wage in the UK?

From April 2024, all workers aged 21 and over are legally entitled to at least £11.44 per hour.

  • 18-20 year olds £8.60 per hour.
  • 16-17 year olds £6.40 per hour.
  • Apprentices under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship £6.40 per hour.

Government Minimum Wage

National Minimum Wage Entitlement – ACAS

What is the difference between National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW)?

They are the same thing but the National Living Wage is the title the government has given to the highest tier of the National Minimum Wage for those workers who are 21 and over.

Legal Expenses Insurance

We can act for you under a legal expenses insurance policy, which usually cover employment disputes. This sort of policy is often included with, or attached to, household insurance policies.

Learn More About Legal Expenses Insurance here

Post-employment notice pay (“PENP”)

From 6 April 2021, new legislation will amend the current formula for PENP to avoid unfair outcomes if an employee’s pay period is defined in months but their contractual notice period is expressed in weeks. The changes will apply to those individuals who have their employment terminated and where the termination payment is received on or after 6 April 2021.

What is minimum Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

From 6 April 2024 Statutory sick pay will increase from £109.40 to £116.75 per week. You can claim SSP on the fourth day you are off sick from work. Your employer may have a sick pay scheme and for information on this you should check your contract of employment however the minimum pay is £116.75 per week.

What is Shared Parental Pay (SHPP)?

You can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between you and your partner. You can check when you and your partner can take your leave and how much statutory pay you will get using the Shared Parental Leave and Pay planning tool

What you will get – GOV.UK

From 7 April 2024 Shared parental pay will increase from £172.48 to £184.03 per week or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

Can an employer recover training costs when an employee leaves?

Much of the answer will lie in whether the employer has a contractual right to claw back training costs when an employee leaves. If there is no contractual right to claw back the training costs then an employer will be unable to recover the monies. In this situation an employer may try to deduct the costs from the employees’ salary whilst working their notice. This runs an increased risk of the employee making a claim of unlawful deduction of wages or indeed if the claw back that the employer made brings the employees’ salary under the national minimum wage, the employee can have a claim for non-payment of the national minimum wage.

However, even though an employer inserted a claw back clause in the employees’ contract of employment in an attempt to recoup on their investment, should an employee leave shortly after completing training or before completing the training, the employer needs to be careful that the clause is carefully drafted so as not to amount to a penalty clause. A penalty clause is a clause that can be construed as a punishment. As such, a penalty clause will not be enforceable by the employer.

In 2017 the government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy which is a tax on employers with a pay bill in excess of £3m. Those employers who pay the levy are able to access funding for apprenticeships and training. However, employers are unable to recover the levy from the apprentice if either the training terminates early or the apprentice leaves employment.

So what can an employer do when an employee leaves employment either during or shortly after the employer has invested in training for that employee?

For employers, it is important to have the contractual right to claw back training costs. However, the employer needs to ensure that the drafting of such repayment clauses are such that they are not deemed to be “extravagant and unconscionable”. The employer must make certain:-

• There is a sliding scale of repayments whereby an amount to be repaid by the employee reduces depending on the length of time that has passed between the completion of the course and the employee leaving employment;
• Allow the contractual right to deduct such training fees from the employees’ wages or notice pay;
• To have an obligation on the employee to repay the training fees at a reasonable level;
• After a certain period of time no such repayment by the employee is required.

With regard to National Minimum Wage, there is the concern that the employee would have a claim should the deduction from the notice pay make the employee fall below the National Minimum Wage requirement. Case law has clarified the position as to whether the employee would have a claim that where an employee resigns or is guilty of misconduct which results in the seeking of the repayment of the training fees by the employer, then such a deduction will not have to be considered for National Minimum Wage purposes.

If, however, the employer was to make the employee redundant and such a deduction would result in the employee receiving less than the National Minimum Wage, the deduction would then be taken into account.

The employer should also ensure that any such agreement for the repayment of training fees is entered into with the employee prior to the commencement of the training.

Employment Blogs

Employment Team

Annalie King - Kerseys Solicitors

Annalie King

Partner & Solicitor - Head of Employment Team
About Annalie King. Annalie qualified as a solicitor specialising in Employment Law in 2008. She trained and worked initially upon...
Read Profile
Adrian Chaffey - Kerseys Solicitors

Adrian Chaffey

Senior Solicitor
About Adrian Chaffey. Adrian joins our growing commercial team from the London office of a major regional firm and brings...
Read Profile
Rosie Brighty - Employment Law

Rosie Brighty

Trainee Solicitor - Employment Team
About Rosie Brighty. Rosie studied Law at the University of East Anglia and graduated in 2022 with a 2.1.  Rosie...
Read Profile

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