Legal Jargon

Usually this occurs when an employee is dismissed without any, or the correct, period of notice that is required either in their contract of employment or by statute. Wrongful dismissal is not the same as unfair dismissal, although both may apply to the same case.

Legally binding rules that, among other things, set out the minimum rest and break periods to which employees are entitled each day/week, and the maximum working hours. Typically, working time should not exceed 48 hours per week.

A witness statement is a formal document, addressed to the Court, in which a witness sets out all the facts that they are aware of that apply to the case. They are normally treated as ‘evidence in chief’.

The ‘without prejudice’ rule means that statements made in discussions or communications as part of a genuine attempt to settle a dispute are private and cannot later be put before the Court as evidence of admissions against the interests of the party that made them. For example, a suggestion of a way to settle a dispute made by one party during mediation cannot later be used to indicate that the party had accepted responsibility or to frame any compensation or damages. ‘Without prejudice’ exists to encourage parties to negotiate an agreement rather than depend on the court to make a judgement, both to save cost and reduce pressure on Court. The contents of ‘without prejudice’ communications cannot be divulged to the Court unless it is “without prejudice save as to costs”, when it can then be divulged after the final hearing has been dealt with or the case has been settled.

In the context of an employment dispute, ‘without prejudice’ refers to private settlement discussions that should not be referred to in regular correspondence or to the Employment Tribunal. These can be to settle the dispute, or sometimes employers use this term to discuss possible exit packages with an employee.

Disclosing or reporting a wrongdoing at work which affects others. Employees gain protection when disclosing certain information, which means that they cannot suffer a detriment or be dismissed because of the disclosure. This is sometimes referred to as “making a protected disclosure”.

A form of discrimination where an employee suffers a detriment because they have raised a discrimination complaint themselves or have supported another individual with their complaint.

A statutory employment claim that employees may bring in an Employment Tribunal. Employers can only dismiss employees for one of the following reasons: misconduct, capability (which means an inability to do their job to a satisfactory level), redundancy, illegality and/or some other substantial reasons. If a person feels their employment has been terminated for a reason other than one of these then they may be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.

Legislation which preserves and protects employees’ terms and conditions when a business or undertaking, or part of one, is transferred to a new employer.

When an employee is dismissed without notice or payment for notice.

A document recording the terms of an agreement reached between parties.

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