Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding Employment issues
Can Employees with under one year's service claim Unfair Dismissal?
Not usually but there are a couple of exceptions. Firstly where the dismissal is for what is known as an Automatically Unfair reason (normally where there is an element of discrimination) the one year requirement will often not apply. Secondly the Statutory Minimum must be given and expire before the year is completed (one week for an employee with this service).
Will costs be awarded following a Tribunal hearing?
Not normally as, unlike Court Cases, the general position is that each party bears their own legal costs. However the awarding of at least a portion of the costs is becoming more common and normally occurs where the Tribunal are of the opinion that a claim was misconceived or had no reasonable prospect of success.
Can a long-term sick employee be dismissed?
Yes but the Employer will need to demonstrate that they have followed a fair procedure in doing so and will normally be required to obtain medical evidence where possible. They will also need to demonstrate that they have a real need to replace the Employee and the more senior the Employee is the easier this will generally be.
Following the introduction of Age Discrimination can an Employer insist on a mandatory retirement age?
For the time being yes as the Act itself sets an age of 65 and this has been held to be fair by the European Court of Justice. However there is quite a detailed procedure to follow in relation to the right to request to continue working and Employers and Employees should seek advise on this.
Does Legal Aid cover Employment Claims?
No but the similar Legal Help does subject to eligibility. Employees who have been dismissed and are on Job Seekers Allowance are normally automatically eligible. Although it does cover all the preparation for the hearing Legal Help funding does not cover the cost of actually appearing at a Tribunal.