Could an Employment Law Solicitor Help You?

Most of us are lucky enough to go about our working lives without requiring the services of an employment law solicitor. But it’s worth being aware of what employment law solicitors are actually concerned with, so that if problems were to arise in the workplace you’d know if they could help you and how.Employment law solicitors can help with any legal dispute with your employer, or former employer if you act quickly enough. They can represent you at tribunals with professional bodies, as well as at appeals against their decisions, ensuring that your voice and your side of the story is heard and taken into account.As well as their role in tribunals, employment law solicitors can help you come to Compromise Agreements. These are legal agreements which aim to resolve dispute between an employee and their current or past employer when the employee leaves their job with an employment tribunal claim such as unfair dismissal. These agreements aim to help both parties: the employee is given a cash settlement and reference from the employer, whilst the employee relinquishes their legal right to make any claim. Due to the fact that such agreements involve the potential claimant giving up any legal right to claim, employment law solicitors should always be consulted during this process.One other well known aspect of employment law, and thus of employment law solicitors’ work, is discrimination. Both indirect and direct discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation or religious belief are illegal and in cases where an individual believes themselves to be the victim of discrimination a solicitor should be consulted. There also exist laws to protect a complainant from being victimised following a complaint of discrimination. However, the employee also has the responsibility to raise the issue in writing with their employer and signal their intention to bring their claim to a tribunal within three months. This, coupled with the fact that discrimination tribunals are frequently long and drawn out, requiring the presence of numerous witnesses, demonstrates the importance of consulting an employment law solicitor in such cases.Behind discrimination, inequality in pay for men and women is perhaps the most common employee grievance. Under the Equal Pay Act 1970, any employee who can prove that a member of the opposite sex “who does the same job, does work rated the same under a job evaluation scheme and does work of equal value, for the same employer, but is paid more,” has the right to bring the matter to an employment tribunal. The wording of this Act is in parts subjective and open to interpretation, so it is important to consult a solicitor who will be able to advise on whether you have a case.

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