Where employees are unfairly dismissed they can take their employer to an Employment Tribunal. They can seek a basic award due to the unfair dismissal and they may also be entitled to compensation. Employees may also seek reinstatement or re-engagement although this is less common.
Employment law is very complicated and employees often have to meet detailed conditions laid down in legislation and their employment contract.
Other types of worker also have employment rights. Agency workers, and people who are self-employed or on zero hour contracts can also seek redress in certain circumstances. However, it is likely that employees under a full employment contract will have better rights than other types of worker.
It is important to get detailed employment advice in order to understand your legal rights.
In addition to claims for unfair dismissal there are other types of redress under employment law. There are provisions in regard to:
- the minimum wage,
- working time,
- unlawful deductions from wages, and
- redundancy payments.
An application can be made to the employment tribunal where an individual has been treated unlawfully in respect of these and other legal protections.
The law on discrimination is now highly developed and also very complicated. The current law is based on the Equality Act 2010.
The law has developed through legislation on sex discrimination, race relations and disability discrimination. Further employment protection was introduced against discrimination on the grounds of religion, age and other characteristics. These were developed further in 2010 with the Equality Act.
There is now legal prohibition against discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability, age, religious belief, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership and other characteristics.
Employment is one of the most important fields covered but the Act also includes protection in education, transport and other fields.
If you think you have been discriminated against on any of these grounds you should get advice. The law not only covers discrimination but also harassment and victimisation. You do not have to have been employed for any particular period in order to go to an Employment Tribunal.