Legal Advice for Employees
Julian Taylor Solicitors recognise the utmost importance of your career and your ability to make a living. We will partner with you to understand the challenges you are facing at work, and help you to resolve these challenges.
We specialise in all areas of employment law, including the following:
A settlement agreement is a contract under which an employee agrees to waive their rights to pursue claims against their employer, usually in return for a compensation payment. They are often used when an employment relationship ends, and will include terms dealing with a range of matters that arise on termination. It is necessary to seek a lawyer’s advice on a settlement agreement so that you understand its terms and get the best deal for you.
We are highly experienced in drafting, negotiating and advising on settlement agreements. Leaving employment can be a stressful time. We will guide you through the process, and work with you to ensure you understand the agreement and that it meets your needs. Whether it is advising on your share option position, helping you manage your reputation through the agreement of a reference, or advising you on post termination restrictions so you know clearly what you can and can’t do in future, we can provide advice.
Many agreements will be concluded and signed off quickly. However, where the agreement isn’t right for you we can advise you on how best to negotiate a better deal. We frequently negotiate on our clients’ behalf, and will often secure better terms.
“ I had reason to call on Julian Taylor Solicitors’ expertise as I needed some expert advice on a settlement agreement with an ex-employer. They were recommended to me by a friend who works in HR who had achieved some excellent outcomes working with Nicola Wallbank. I found Nicola to be extremely professional and helpful. She carefully guided me through the process and stepped in whenever a problem with the employer occurred. We ultimately reached a satisfactory and painless outcome which was a testament to Nicola’s patience and professionalism. I have no hesitation in recommending Nicola and Julian Taylor Solicitors (and indeed I have done so on many an occasion).”
MD of a training business
Employers need a fair reason to dismiss staff, and should follow appropriate dismissal procedures. This does not always happen. We appreciate this can be a very unsettling time for employees. We can advise you on your dismissal or potential dismissal. Where needed, we can advise you on how best to fight your corner in an ongoing dismissal procedure (such as a disciplinary or redundancy consultation process). Alternatively, if your dismissal has already taken place we will advise you on your potential claims, and seek to obtain an appropriate severance payment. We also advise and represent clients in employment claims in the courts and tribunals. Strict time limits apply in unfair dismissal claims, so if you have been dismissed it is important that you seek immediate advice to avoid your claims being out of time.
A constructive dismissal occurs where an employer behaves so badly that it amounts to a fundamental breach of your employment contract. In order to bring a claim, the employee needs to accept the employer’s breach by resigning in response. If you think you may have grounds upon which to claim constructive dismissal we would urge you to seek advice promptly and before you resign. We can advise on your options, and where appropriate have input into any resignation letter.
If you are considering a move to a competitor, or perhaps setting up on your own in competition with your employer, we can advise you on your move. If your employer is concerned that you may be breaching the obligations you owe to them (for example in relation to their confidential information, or perhaps non-compete clauses in your employment contract or an LLP Deed) you could be on the receiving end of costly litigation in the High Court. We can advise you on your risks and obligations, advise you on whether your employer’s contract terms are likely to be enforceable, and help you navigate the move. We are frequently involved in negotiating a release from covenants, and also represent clients in litigation when legal action has been taken against them.
If you are offered a new role and provided with terms, we can provide you with advice on those terms before you accept them. Contracts are often drafted in favour of the employer, and don’t always reflect what you might think has been agreed. We can advise you on those terms, or associated bonus documentation, to ensure that you understand the deal, and are entering into an arrangement that is going to work for you now and in the future.
“ I also encourage those considering a new job offer to invest in advice from Julian Taylor Solicitors to explain any issues in the contract and suggest constructive amendments.”
Investment services professional
We can advise you on any aspect of family rights – for example maternity or adoption leave, paternity leave, shared parental leave, time off to care for dependants, and rights to request flexible working.
We are commonly engaged by women who are concerned that their pregnancy or maternity leave is the cause of unfavourable treatment at work. If you find yourself affected by this, we can help you to understand your rights, and advise you on how to proceed.
We also frequently advise employees on the right to request flexible working, commonly requested by working parents to enable them to better juggle work with family commitments. We can support you in making a strong request, and can advise you on challenging your employer if they refuse without good reason. In certain situations you may have a discrimination claim, and we can work with you to pursue your claims.
There are many ways reasons for employees becoming dissatisfied with work. It may be that you do not believe you are being paid correctly, that you feel bullied by your manager, or that believe you are being subjected to unlawful discrimination.
The first step to deal with most concerns will be to lodge a grievance under your employer’s grievance procedure. If you are contemplating raising a grievance we recommend that you take advice. We can help you weigh up your options, and assist you with drafting a strong grievance so that it clearly sets out your concerns and what you are looking to achieve. We can also advise you on the grievance process (for example by walking you through what you can expect at a grievance hearing, and how best to pitch any appeal).
Being accused of wrongdoing or under performance, and called to a disciplinary or capability hearing can be a very stressful time. We have vast experience and a strong track record in advising employees on defending disciplinary allegations, and can support you in defending yourself and your hard earned career.
We appreciate that a bonus can be an important part of your overall remuneration package. If you have not been awarded the bonus you expect, your employer may be in breach of your employment contract. Even employers who operate schemes that are stated to be “discretionary” may have some limitations on the way that discretion can be exercised, and so there can be claims if that discretion has been exercised in a discriminatory or particularly arbitrary way.
Bonuses can be worth a lot of money, and we have a strong track record in helping senior executives secure the payments they deserve.
We are also experienced in equal pay disputes. If you believe you are being paid less than a colleague of the opposite sex who is doing the same or similar work to you, you may have an equal pay claim entitling you to back pay and increased pay for the future.
The law protects individuals against discrimination in connection with various protected characteristics – age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief.
It may be that you are feeling unsupported by an employer who is refusing to make workplace adjustments to accommodate your disability or are being overlooked for opportunities because of your sex. We have advised on many discrimination matters and have brought successful discrimination claims against large employers. If you feel like you are being subjected to any negative treatment because of a protected characteristic, then get in touch.
The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) is a piece of legislation that is designed to protect employees when the assets of a business are sold or a function is outsourced. In summary, TUPE gives employees automatic rights to transfer to the new employer, enhanced protection against dismissal, certain rights to be informed and consulted with prior to any transfer, and also limits the new employer’s ability to alter employees’ terms and conditions post-transfer.
If you are impacted by the uncertainty of a takeover, merger or restructure, and would like advice on your rights then we can assist.
Whilst many disputes can be settled without recourse to the courts or tribunals, sometimes litigation cannot be avoided. We can advise and represent you at all stages of proceedings and will partner with you every step of the way. We have considerable experience in the Employment Tribunal and in both the County Court and High Court.