Have you been dismissed from work or are you going through disciplinary proceedings? Our expert lawyers have been involved in many such proceedings and high-value dismissal cases, helping clients like you to keep your job or secure compensation if you are unfairly dismissed. This page gives information for employees who need advice however we also have a page for employers here.
If you are involved in a disciplinary / dismissal situation then early legal advice is essential. We can help you with:
- Advising you if you have to attend a disciplinary hearing or appeal. Additionally, in instances where the allegations are serious and career threatening we may even be allowed to accompany you to the hearing if your contract allows that;
- Dismissal due to discrimination, harassment and victimisation or bullying treatment;
- If you are leaving by mutual agreement and need to negotiate the terms of your termination package via a Settlement Agreement;
- If you have been dismissed from work and your employer doesn’t have a fair reason for dismissing you or has not followed a fair disciplinary or dismissal process;
- If you have been unfairly dismissed from work as a result of improper handling of redundancy by your employer;
- If you have been dismissed after your employer has transferred the business or unit that you work in, over to another company but has not followed specific rules (TUPE);
- If you are thinking about leaving or have left your employment because of your employer’s conduct and you wish to make a claim for constructive dismissal. The reasons you leave your job must be serious and these types of claims can be complex therefore it is preferable to get expert legal advice before leaving your job to strengthen your position;
- If you have been wrongfully dismissed. This is essentially a breach of contract claim by the employee i.e. you have been dismissed fairly however your employer has not complied with their contractual obligations to you, for instance not paying you for your full notice period and other benefits that would have been earned or accrued during the contractual notice period.
An appointment with one of our employment lawyers will provide you with knowledge of the employment law issues relevant to your particular circumstances. We can advise you on the potential value of your claim, and if required we can negotiate an employment termination package (Settlement Agreement) on your behalf.
How do I know if I have a good case?
When you first come in to meet us, one of our employment lawyers will carefully assess the circumstances of your employment dispute and discuss your case with you. This will allow us to have an open discussion with you about the issues involved and provide an honest appraisal of the merits of your case at an early stage. If we need more information or documents to be able to give a view on the merits of the case, we will inform you of that.
How long do I have to be working to be protected from being unfairly dismissed?
Employees are protected from being unfairly dismissed providing they have been employed with the same employer and have completed 2 years’ service. However for many types of dismissal claims there is no minimum period of employment required prior to raising a claim i.e. where your dismissal arises following you making whistleblowing disclosures or carrying out other protected acts, or where your dismissal is an act of discrimination. Early advice is essential, particularly given the strict time limits for raising claims.
Our team of employment lawyers are highly experienced in their field and include two accredited employment law specialists. Everyone we represent, from the highest ranking senior executives and partners to employees, receives the best legal representation and the highest level of customer care at all times.
We provide a personal, thorough and cost-effective service. Unlike some law firms our focus is on the quality of advice and outcome rather than volume of clients. This allows us to give your case the attention it deserves.
What are the costs?
An appointment with one of our lawyers will help you understand the issues clearly and provide you with an honest appraisal of the merits of your case at an early stage. You can take advantage of our Initial Consultation Fixed Fee Package for Employees which provides up to 60 minutes meeting with one of our qualified lawyers for £295 including VAT. That initial consultation will allow you to consider if you wish to proceed.
We do not offer a Legal Aid option or offer a free meeting and we do not do work on a “no win no fee basis”.
If you require further advice after the initial consultation, then like most law firms we would bill the time we work on your case at an agreed hourly rate (pay as you go option). We always aim to keep costs as manageable as possible. The rate will depend upon the experience and seniority of your lawyer and will be agreed with you beforehand. We will always try to provide you with an estimate of your total costs at the beginning of the case and update you should the position change. Time is carefully recorded by our lawyers to ensure that you only pay for the time spent on your case.
What about claiming on legal expense insurance that often comes with your household or car insurance?
Yes we can act for employees who have the benefit of legal expense insurance. If you have a general household or motor insurance policy this may already include legal expense insurance for employment matters. All policies vary, but generally this type of insurance can cover legal fees incurred in some employment disputes. You can check your policy document direct or failing that, telephone your insurer and ask if you have legal expense insurance cover for employment law claims.
In most cases your insurer will allow you use the solicitor of your choice – you are entitled to insist on this. Your insurer may give you an application form to fill in before giving your claim the go ahead and from this they will assess whether your claim or claims have prospects of succeeding in an Employment Tribunal or Court. If it does not, then no cover will be provided, therefore it is absolutely critical that you set out the claim or claims as clearly and comprehensively as possible so that it is not turned down by your insurer.
It is often worthwhile obtaining legal advice from an employment law solicitor before filling out the insurers’ application form. You will then be aware of all claims you could have, and give yourself the best chance of satisfying your insurer that your claim(s) have the required prospects of success.
If you have such a policy, please inform your employment lawyer at your initial meeting so that this option can be discussed, ideally before you make your application to your insurer.
How do I take the first steps?
We cover all aspects of law including corporate, commercial, personal matters and litigation. For all your legal needs, we’ve got them covered. For more information please visit www.bto.co.uk