Trends: The Top 5 Employment Law Claims
The current economic climate is making it even more challenging for businesses to thrive and prosper given the uncertainty over Covid19 social distancing, the move towards a home-based system of working and of course, the implications of Brexit. Nowhere is the effect greater than the risk to jobs, careers and livelihoods.
As a result, one area that Lawson-West Solicitors has seen in an increasing demand in advice for is regarding alleged unfair treatment in the workplace which comes in the form of all shapes and sizes.
One might consider that the primary issue in times like this, is the prospect of redundancy. This is certainly a key issue amongst employees who may feel that they have been selected unfairly. Sometimes that is the case and sometimes not, but the key is to get advice at an early stage to plan the best way forward.
However, whilst redundancy ranks high in the issues employees are having and is centre page in media outlets, there remains the repetition of issues in the workplace that end up in the journey towards Employment Tribunal.
Looking at the work that the Lawson-West focus on, employers and employees continue to become involved in disputes that focus on these five main areas:
Undoubtably one of the most complex and emotive areas are claims that centre around disability. Very often there are polarised viewpoints from either side and a number of hurdles for both parties to deal with. The disability often manifests itself as a mental illness outright or is a consequence of a physical disability. This makes the case more complex given the interpretation of the ‘discrimination’ difficult to establish. Overall, the most involved cases tend to be in this area.
The classic unfair dismissal claim always has, and always will, rank high in the claims brought by employees. Often the issues can be very straightforward, and much will depend on fair process and investigation with a focus on reasonable belief. Again, these can be emotive claims with employees first and foremost wanting to ‘clear their names’.
A particularly specialised area, even today society has yet to wholly address the prejudice caused, particularly to women, in the workplace. The cases are often detailed and complex and rely on witness testimony alongside documentary evidence. The impact of sex discrimination can also be long-term affecting the confidence of the victim and thus, as with most tribunal cases, the parties become very invested in the case.
This is particularly common as a claim and considerably difficult to succeed in, hence it appears in our top 5 claims given the regularity of the problem in the workplace. It is essential to take proper legal advice regarding these type of claims as the nuances of the law are complicated and often involve a significant chronology of time. You need to act swiftly if you are affected by constructive dismissal.
As above, given the current climate, one can expect these types of claims to increase significantly in the near future. A fair procedure and proper consultation are key and where most of the actions of the employer fall down. As with most cases the fact of the redundancy can be catastrophic on the employee in terms of financial income and together with the feeling of rejection, the employee often has a point to prove in being selected.
Ashley Hunt, Director, Employment Team
"As with all these cases, conciliation and trying to solve the problem at an early stage is always the best approach with litigation being the last resort. It is always surprising how many parties are unrepresented even in the most complex claims which unfortunately tends to result in injustice to either party."
Our employment team is well-versed in handling all these types of claims, at every stage, if you need to speak to one of our expert solicitors, please Contact Us here.