As an employee working with any kind of company, it’s never pleasant to find yourself in a situation where it’s necessary to turn to legal advisors. Nevertheless, for a million and one reasons there are indeed instances where the only real way of making any forward progress is to speak to those who are skilled and experienced in all areas of employment law.
On a rather more positive note, the experts at Hudson McKenzie advise that the overwhelming majority of UK firms are now doing more than ever before to operate in a manner that’s 100% favourable for workers at all levels. Nevertheless, when things take a turn for the worse and suffering in silence is no longer an option, employment lawyers provide an essential lifeline for a surprising number of employees and workers every day.
In terms of specific functions and roles, quality employment lawyers can offer advice, guidance and representation for a wide variety of matters, including the following:
Grievance and Disciplinary Hearings
If you have at any time in your employment history faced disciplinary action for something that wasn’t in any way founded or your fault, it might be a good idea to speak to the professionals. Disciplinary matters leave rather damaging black marks on the CV and employment history of pretty much anyone, which is why those that are wholly unfair and unjust should be either removed or avoided altogether. If you’re sure you’re in the right and you’ve faced or are facing a disciplinary hearing, be sure to have the right representation on your side.
More often than not, redundancies are largely inevitable and occur because a business either closes its doors entirely or scales down its operations. However, there are instances in which employees are let go for reasons that are wholly preventable or even due to personal matters. When this happens, there could be grounds for action to be taken against the unfair dismissal – action that’s usually only made possible with solid legal representation. So should you ever get the feeling you’ve been or are being dismissed for reasons that aren’t in your mind fair, speak to the professionals.
A controversial subject to say the least, but if the company you work for is operated in a manner that’s unethical, unfair or downright illegal, you have a responsibility to bring it to the attention of the appropriate legal parties. Whistleblowing is of course not without its risks, but a good lawyer will not take a single step forward with the process unless they are 100% convinced you have a case and therefore will be successful. If, by contrast the case really has no legs, they won’t take it in the first place.
It’s never fun to be offered a bonus that’s considerably lower than expected, but if at any time you are offered or provided with a bonus that’s a) unfair or b) breaches what you were promised contractually, you could benefit from speaking to an employment lawyer. Far from a case of greed, it’s simply a matter of making sure you get what you’re owed and what you’re entitled to. And if you don’t, it’s your responsibility to fight for it – with the appropriate help, of course.
Bullying and Harassment
Harassment and bullying in the workplace are pretty rare these days and extremely difficult to get away with. Nevertheless, there are certain instances in which bullying behaviour and intimidation are either swept under the rug or just accepted as part of the job. Suffice to say that there is in fact never, ever any excuse for bullying or any reason to accept or overlook it. Even if it is not happening to you personally, everyone plays a role in keeping the workplace free of all such behaviour – even if it means seeking legal advice on the subject.
Last but not least, an employee’s contract is the single most important document they have in their possession and one that should be taken seriously by all parties. As such, if ever you feel your contract is being in any way breached by your employers, legal advice can and should be sought. What’s more, if you feel that anything your contract includes is in any way unfair or unjust, you could still benefit from seeking legal advice even if you have already signed it. So even if it’s just to give things a quick once over to make sure all is as it should be, it often pays to give the professionals a call.