WE PUT EMPLOYEES ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD, AND MORE, FOR EXPERT EMPLOYMENT LAW ADVICE.
This is something we are passionate about. At ELP our philosophy has always been to give employees access to at least the level of expertise and service that they would expect from a large corporate firm while keeping our fees reasonable. We help you get the best deal, and we make sure you are not “steamrollered” just because you are the “smaller fish”.
Our Employment Law Practice has been advising and representing employees in employment law matters for more than 14 years, in Edinburgh and across Scotland.
We have always been aware that it is not easy for employees to find an experienced employment lawyer to act for them. Some law firms are more interested in doing work for employers, and others have fees structures which are not viable for many employees. At ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan our specialist employment law solicitors are very proud of the fact that we represent employees and employers. We believe it is right that employees should have access to real employment lawyers, and it should go without saying that we offer the same combination of expert employment law advice and quality personal service to all of our clients. The fact that we represent both employees and employers gives us a distinct tactical advantage – we know what the other side is likely to do to try and discourage you, and we can advise you with experience on what issues are worth pursuing, what is likely to be a “bluff”, and much more.
Our clients can meet us, confidentially, in relation to a full range of employment law matters at our offices in West and East Edinburgh. All of our clients benefit from dealing directly with one of our employment law solicitors who is responsible for and does the work on their file. We offer a FREE INITIAL TELEPHONE CONSULTATION, as we believe it is important for us both to be happy that we can offer you worthwhile and valuable advice before you take the step of instructing us as a client. Thereafter we offer employees legal fees packages for ongoing employment law advice, which are specifically tailored to give our clients the best value for money in the circumstances, whether it be for a small one-off piece of advice, a compromise or settlement agreement, or an ongoing dispute or Employment Tribunal.
At ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan we provide expert advice to employees on the entire range of employment law issues. Whether you are facing a redundancy situation, you are being unfairly dismissed, you are facing disciplinary proceedings, you are being discriminated against or victimised, you have an employer who won’t accommodate your personal or family situation, you have a legitimate grievance which is not being dealt with, or you simply want advice in relation to the content of a new employment contract or terms and conditions, we can help.
We can provide you with advice in relation to your legal position, and, just as importantly, using our extensive experience we can advise you of the best course of action depending upon what you would like to achieve. For example, we can assist with drafting of submissions for disciplinary, grievance and redundancy meetings, we can directly negotiate severance packages, we can advise on the value and content of Settlement Agreements, and of course we regularly represent our clients in Employment Tribunal proceedings. Unlike many advisers we are actually experienced in providing these services in full.
Our employment lawyers advise employees on complicated employment law matters on a daily basis. We provide expert advice on what is a complicated area of law, but we do so in a way that is effective and convenient for our clients. We will not waste time and money on matters which are not going to assist your employment law case. We will tell you if an offer which you have been made is unreasonable, and we will help you negotiate in an effective way, all using our experience. We will always be happy to discuss matters with you in detail and to explain our thinking on the legal issues. We firmly believe that to have a close two-way relationship with our clients can help achieve the best results.
Employment Law Services For Employees
We have provided some information below in relation to the areas of employment law which we are commonly asked about below. However, every employment law case is unique on its own facts, and you will get the best advice from one of our specialist employment law solicitors who will look into the detail of your case with you. If you feel that we can be of assistance in relation to any employment law matter please feel free to telephone or email us in the first instance. We know that employment situations can often be sensitive and even upsetting, and for that reason we try to ensure that our clients feel as comfortable as possible when dealing with us.
Please remember that in our experience issues in the workplace often have the best chance of being resolved if they are dealt with at an early stage. For this reason, and also because Employment Tribunal proceedings have to be dealt with within strict time limits, we always recommend that potential clients speak to us at the earliest possible stage.
From 1st October 2006 employees have been legally protected against discrimination on the grounds of their age. As a result of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 and the Equality Act 2010 employers are not allowed to treat employees less favourably because of their age unless the employer can show that this is justifiable in the circumstances. The effect of this is that employees are now entitled to protection against obvious direct discrimination, such as verbal abuse on the grounds of age or preference being given in application processes to younger or older applicants, and in addition employees are entitled to protection against policies implemented by employers which adversely affect employees of a certain age. ELP can provide advice and representation in relation to all aspects of age discrimination.
In certain circumstances employees are offered special legal protection when their employer changes. If an employee simply begins a new job with an employer which is unconnected to his or her old employer, the employee will simply start afresh. However, where there has been a “transfer of an undertaking”, for example where the employee’s old employer is taken over by another company, the employee is entitled to retain the majority of his or her existing terms and conditions. The employee is also entitled to be kept on as an employee by the new employer unless there is a good economic, technical or organisational reason for the new employer not to do so. The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 came into force in April 2006 and have been amended since. This is a complicated area of law on which ELP are happy to provide advice and representation.
ELP are frequently consulted by clients who wish advice in relation to compromise agreements. Compromise agreements are often drawn up by employers in circumstances in which an employee’s employment is coming to an end. The employee may be redundant, or there may be an ongoing dispute which means that either the employee, the employer, or both wish to bring the employment relationship to an end. The point of a compromise agreement is usually to draw a line under the employment relationship. Typically the employee will agree to accept a sum of money in exchange for waiving any rights which he or she may have to take legal action against the employer. As a result, it is particularly important for the employee to take legal advice in relation to what he or she is being offered to ensure that it is fair and sufficient in the circumstances. Compromise agreements are not legally effective unless the employee has received advice on them from a relevant independent adviser such as a solicitor. ELP can provide advice and representation in relation to all aspects of compromise agreements, including negotiation and completion.
A constructive dismissal situation can arise where an employer behaves badly towards an employee, and the employee feels that he or she has no option but to resign. In this situation, provided the employee meets the various legal requirements, it is possible for the employee to proceed with an unfair dismissal claim against the employer. However, it is important to appreciate that such a claim will only be successful when an Employment Tribunal is convinced that the employer has committed a material breach of contract against the employee, and the employee has resigned because of this. Constructive dismissal claims are well known to be one of the most difficult types of claims to bring. That being the case, we would encourage clients to consult with us at the earliest possible stage if they are having difficulties with their employers. This allows us to provide clients with practical advice on how to deal with problems in the workplace, and if these are not resolved reasonably we can then advise clients in relation to constructive dismissal claims. We strongly recommended that employees should not resign prior to taking legal advice.
Employees have a contractual right to receive wages and benefits from their employer in accordance with the written (or in some cases verbal) agreement which they have reached with the employer in relation to remuneration. However, employees are also afforded special legal protection against deductions from wages. Under the provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996, generally speaking employers are not entitled to make deductions from employees’ wages unless the employee has previously agreed to this in writing. There are exceptions to this, for example where the deduction is to take account of a previous overpayment made to the employee in error, but generally speaking employees are well protected in this area. ELP can provide advice and representation in relation to all aspects of wages and remuneration.
At ELP we have a particular belief that disabled employees should be adequately protected within the workplace. In addition to the underlying principle that all employees should be treated fairly and reasonably, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Equality Act 2010 place certain obligations on employers which are designed to promote equal opportunities for disabled employees. It is unlawful for employers to treat employees less favourably or unfavourably on the grounds that they are disabled, and it is also unlawful for employers to fail to make reasonable adjustments within the workplace to prevent the employee finding him or herself at a substantial disadvantage. There are a whole range of steps which employers might properly take to comply with the disability discrimination laws. These can include making physical changes to the workplace, providing employees with specialised equipment, and changing employees’ hours of work or responsibilities at work. Where disability discrimination has taken place the victim can be entitled to financial compensation including compensation for injury to feelings. ELP can provide employees with practical advice and representation in relation to all aspects of disability discrimination.
While there is an obvious need for employers to undertake disciplinary proceedings against employees in certain circumstances, it is important that these are conducted fairly. ELP can provide employees with advice in relation to any disciplinary proceedings which are being taken against the employee. We encourage employees to take advice from us at an early stage in disciplinary proceedings, as we can help ensure that the employee takes all of the necessary steps to defend the disciplinary proceedings. A solid and well-constructed defence is often what is needed to bring the disciplinary proceedings to an end. In disciplinary matters employers are bound to follow fair and reasonable procedures. ELP can advise employees on whether or not this has been done, and on how to challenge unfair disciplinary action, up to and including the making of unfair dismissal claims in the Employment Tribunal.
All employees are entitled to receive a written statement of the major terms and conditions upon which they are employed within the first two months of their employment. This written statement normally takes the form of an Employment Contract. ELP can provide advice and representation with a view to ensuring that employees receive a written Employment Contract. We can also advise employees in relation to the terms of their Employment Contracts. It is often difficult for employees to argue successfully with employers in relation to the terms of their contracts, but there are minimum standards which employers have to meet, for example in relation to hours of work. In addition, higher level employees will often be in a stronger bargaining position, may have concerns in relation to the difficult area of restrictive covenants, and we can assist in relation to the negotiation of satisfactory terms of employment.
ELP provide employees with advice and representation in relation to all forms of Employment Tribunal claims. These are wide ranging, and can involve fairly straightforward matters such as unpaid wages and failure to provide Employment Contracts, and more complicated matters such as discrimination, harassment and unfair dismissal. We are very experienced in representing employees before Employment Tribunals. Our primary aim is to achieve a satisfactory settlement of claims prior to the point at which our clients have to go through the stress and expense of the Employment Tribunal Hearing. In cases in which settlement cannot be achieved we seek to ensure that all of the relevant evidence is placed before the Employment Tribunal and that the relevant evidence is given by witnesses in examination and tested fully in cross examination to give our clients the best possible chance of success. We prefer that employees contact us at the earliest possible stage if they are considering Employment Tribunal proceedings. However, we can also provide advice and representation to employees whose proceedings have already begun, provided we are given adequate notice of important dates such as Hearing dates.
The Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, and the Equality Act 2010 seek to promote equality between men and women in the workplace. Sex Discrimination is dealt with as a separate topic below. In relation to equal pay, broadly speaking the legislation gives every employee a right to equal terms and conditions of employment where he or she does work that has been rated as equivalent under a job evaluation study, or where he or she can properly prove that the work they do is of equal value with that of a fellow employee of the opposite sex. The courts are prepared to imply into Employment Contracts “equality clauses” to the effect that the employer shall not treat an employee less favourably than another simply on the grounds of sex. The result is that employees can make claims for breach of contract in the Employment Tribunal and other Civil Courts to secure the right to equal pay. ELP can provide advice and representation in relation to all aspects of equal pay and sex discrimination.
As a result of the Employment Act 2002 and subsequent legislation employees have the right to request a change in their terms and conditions of employment to allow flexible working patterns. The intention of this kind of legislation is to promote family friendly working arrangements for employees who have children or carer responsibilities. A specific procedure has to be followed by employees who wish to request flexible working arrangements, and in turn employers are obliged to deal with such requests in a certain way. ELP can advise employees on how to make flexible working requests, and on whether or not employers have dealt with such requests fairly and in accordance with the law. There has been concern on the part of employees that if an employer has followed the basic procedure and “considered the request” then it is very difficult to challenge the employer’s decision. However, it is important to realise that flexible working rules must be considered in conjunction with the rules on indirect sex discrimination which stem from the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Equality Act 2010. These discrimination rules place many employees in a better position to argue for flexible working arrangements. In the event that no agreement in relation to flexible working arrangements can be reached, ELP can provide advice and representation before the Employment Tribunal in relation to flexible working issues.
ELP firmly believe that if an issue arises in the workplace which cannot be resolved informally, it is important to raise the issue with the employer as a grievance at an early stage. Submitting a grievance should be seen as a positive step because a reasonable employer who is confronted with a grievance will take steps to resolve the matter. Of course, some employers are not reasonable, but it remains important to follow a proper grievance procedure. If an Employment Tribunal ever has to consider a dispute it is often important for an employee to be able to show that he or she has attempted to have the matter resolved by way of a grievance. ELP can assist employees with the drafting and pursuit of grievances. We encourage employees to contact us at the earliest possible stage.
Harassment in the workplace can take many forms. Generally speaking, harassment will take the form of conduct directed against a person which will make that person feel uncomfortable, threatened or vulnerable. Employees can suffer harassment from their colleagues or from employers themselves. The course of action to take in a harassment case will depend upon the circumstances, but employees are legally protected from harassment in a number of ways. Employees have the right to raise grievances against colleagues and superiors who harass them. Employees are also protected under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Where employees are harassed or victimised due to their personal characteristics, for example their sex or race, they enjoy additional protection under the Discrimination legislation. ELP can provide employees with advice and representation in relation to all aspects of harassment and victimisation at work.
An employee’s Employment Contract should stipulate the employee’s entitlement to annual holidays and holiday pay. Some employers are more generous than others in this respect. However, employees do have an underlying legal entitlement to a minimum amount of paid annual holidays. This minimum derives from the Working Time Regulations 1998. At present the minimum entitlement amounts to 5.6 weeks’ paid holidays per year including statutory and public holidays. ELP can provide advice and representation in relation to all holiday-related matters. The law in this area has evolved greatly, and in certain circumstances account can now be taken of the likes of overtime records when calculating the value of holiday entitlement.
As a result of the Working Time Regulations 1998 employees are entitled to legal protection in relation to the hours which they work and the rest time or breaks which they receive between and during working days. Generally speaking, employees cannot be forced to work more than an average of 48 hours per week on an ongoing basis. Employees are also entitled to a minimum break time of 20 minutes over the course of every six hours of continuous work. Employees are also entitled to adequate rest times between shifts. ELP can provide employees with advice and representation in relation to working hours in all kinds of businesses.
Employees who suffer from ill health can find themselves in a difficult employment position. Employers will often take steps to bring an employee’s employment to an end if they believe that the employee is unable to fulfil their current role. However, employers are under a legal obligation to behave reasonably towards employees in this respect. Some employees also enjoy special protection under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and Equality Act 2010 which is dealt with under a separate heading above. In certain circumstances employers will be obliged to consider making changes to an employee’s role to allow the employee to return to work. Employers can also be obliged to make physical changes in the workplace, to provide suitable equipment, and to deal with ongoing issues in the workplace, if these will assist the employee. Employers must refrain from making decisions too early. They must wait a reasonable time before dismissing employees who suffer from ill health, and they must not do so if there is a reasonable prospect of the employee returning to work within a manageable timescale. ELP can provide advice and representation to employees who suffer from ill health, and, where necessary, we can make arrangements to visit clients at their home if that is more appropriate.
Employees in the United Kingdom are entitled to receive a minimum wage. For employees aged 21 and over the current national minimum wage rate is £6.70 per hour. For employees aged between 18 and 21 the current national minimum wage rate is £5.30 per hour. There are also lower rates which apply to certain apprentices and employees below 18 years of age. These rates are reviewed regularly. Despite the law on the national minimum wage certain employers in the UK do persist in paying employees at a lower rate, and foreign employees can be particularly vulnerable to this. ELP can provide advice and representation in relation to the national minimum wage and all other matters relating to pay and remuneration.
Employees are entitled to receive notice if their employer wishes to terminate their employment. The length of notice which employers are obliged to give depends upon the length of service of the employee in question. Some employees’ contracts of employment will contain generous notice provisions. Otherwise the statutory minimum periods of notice apply. Employees with between four weeks’ and two years’ continuous service are entitled to a minimum of one week’s notice. Employees with more than two years’ continuous service are entitled to one week’s notice for every year of service up to a maximum of 12 weeks’ notice. Employees are also obliged to give employers a minimum of one week’s notice if they are resigning, although most employers will require more than this if they have issued written Employment Contracts. As far as notice pay is concerned, employees are entitled to receive pay during their notice periods as normal. Employers will often retain the right to place employees on leave during their notice periods, or to bring the employment to an end early, but employees will retain the right to notice pay in those circumstances. ELP can provide advice and representation in relation to all aspects of notice and notice pay.
In recent years family friendly legislation has resulted in an increase in parental rights enjoyed by employees. In addition to maternity rights and the right to request flexible working arrangements (both of which are dealt with as separate topics), employees can be entitled to parental leave, paternity leave and time off to deal with family emergencies. ELP can provide advice on all parental rights enjoyed by employees.
As a result of the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 part-time workers have a specific legal entitlement to be treated no less favourably than comparable full time workers who undertake substantially the same kind of work within the business. This rule applies to rates of pay, bonuses, shift allowances, sick pay, holiday entitlement and other benefits. The effect of the rule is that salary and benefits should be given to part-time staff on a proportionate basis to those given to full-time staff depending upon hours worked. Where they are not, employees have the right to raise grievance and Employment Tribunal proceedings. ELP can provide advice and representation in relation to all issues arising from part-time work.
Employees enjoy various legal rights both during and following pregnancy. For example, during pregnancy employees are entitled to paid time off to attend ante-natal medical appointments. Employers are obliged to take reasonable care for the health and safety of pregnant employees. Of course, employees are entitled to begin maternity leave prior to their expected date of childbirth. Employees are entitled to take 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave, and a further 26 weeks additional maternity leave. Employers have different terms and conditions in relation to pay while on maternity leave. As a minimum statutory maternity pay is payable, and the statutory maternity pay period has recently increased to 39 weeks. Other than remuneration, the majority of employees’ contractual benefits continue during ordinary maternity leave, and employers are obliged to do all that they reasonably can to ensure that employees returning from maternity leave can return to their original roles. Of course, employees whose family circumstances change are entitled to request flexible working arrangements. This is dealt with as a separate topic above. ELP can provide advice and representation to employees on all employment matters relating to pregnancy and maternity.
The law concerning racial discrimination is governed primarily by the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Equality Act 2010. In general terms it is unlawful for employers to treat employees and prospective employees less favourably on racial grounds, for example because of employees’ colour or race, or ethnic or national origins. It will also generally be unlawful for employers to apply requirements or conditions to employees, for example in relation to clothing or hours of work, which present more difficulties to one racial group than another. The circumstances in which discriminatory treatment can be justified are limited. The Race Relations Act 1976 and the Equality Act 2010 also offer employees protection against racial harassment, and from victimisation resulting from the fact that employees have made a complaint in relation to racial discrimination. Employees should be aware that in relation to racial discrimination matters a legal remedy can lie against both the employer and the particular perpetrator of the discriminatory act. Where racial discrimination has taken place the victim can be entitled to financial compensation including compensation for injury to feelings. ELP can provide employees with advice and representation in relation to all aspects of racial discrimination.
Employees can be made redundant where an employer’s business circumstances are such that they no longer require employees of a particular type, where they have too many employees of a particular type, or where a particular workplace is closing down. However, where an employer is considering redundancies the employer is obliged to follow proper procedures, and to behave fairly towards individual employees. Employers should only make employees redundant where they have properly considered the alternatives, including possible alternative employment for employees, which could avoid the need for job losses. Essentially redundancy should be a last resort. Where employers are selecting individuals for redundancy they must do so using fair and objective criteria. Employers should decide which employees will remain with the business depending upon which employees are of most future value to the business, rather than on more subjective criteria such as whether or not the employee’s manager likes or dislikes the employee. ELP can provide advice and representation on all matters relating to redundancy, including redundancy pay, notice periods, redundancy consultation procedures, unfair selection for redundancy and unfair dismissal.
Since December 2003 it has been unlawful to discriminate against employees and prospective employees on the grounds of religion and belief as a result of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 and the Equality Act 2010. In general terms it is unlawful for an employer to treat an employee or prospective employee less favourably on the grounds of the employee’s religion or belief, and it is also unlawful for an employer to apply an unreasonable condition on an employee which places that employee at a disadvantage as a result of the employee’s religion or belief. The legislation also protects employees from harassment in the form of unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating the employee’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the employee. Employees are also protected from victimisation in the form of less favourable treatment by the employer because the employee has raised an issue relating to religion or belief. ELP can provide advice and representation on all matters relating to religion, belief and the workplace.
At ELP we provide advice on a daily basis in relation to severance packages. Severance packages are often negotiated when either the employee, the employer or both feel that the employment relationship should come to an end, but that this should involve some kind of financial package. Financial packages of this kind can cover salary, notice pay, compensation for loss of employment or office, redundancy pay, and payment in respect of various other matters including non- competition clauses and confidentiality clauses. Non-financial matters such as employment references, and agreement that neither party shall badmouth the other, are also often important. As a result of our experience in dealing with severance packages and Employment Tribunal claims we are in a position to give expert advice on whether or not severance packages being offered are satisfactory or unreasonable. Severance packages will often take the form of settlement agreements or compromise agreements, and we are qualified to sign these off as “relevant independent advisers”. We can provide advice and representation in relation to all aspects of severance packages, including negotiation and completion.
Under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful to discriminate against employees and prospective employees on the grounds of their sex. The effect of this is, for example, that employers should not give unfair preference to men or women, on the basis of their sex, at any stage in the employment relationship. This includes the job application stage, interviews, terms and conditions offered to employees, and promotions. It is also unlawful for employers to impose an unreasonable condition, for example on a woman, which the employer would also impose on a man, but which is more to the detriment of woman generally than it would be to men. An example of this “indirect discrimination” would be an unreasonable insistence that all employees work full-time. The legislation also provides employees with separate protection from harassment. In this context harassment can take place where an employer subjects a woman to unwanted conduct which has the effect of violating her dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for her. Employees are also protected from being victimised because they have raised a sex-related issue in the workplace, or because they have rejected some kind of sexual advance. Employees who are victims of sex discrimination, harassment or victimisation are entitled to make Employment Tribunal claims against both the employer and the individual perpetrator of the act. Employment Tribunals have jurisdiction to award financial compensation in these respects, including compensation for injury to feelings. ELP can provide employees with advice and representation in relation to all aspects of sex discrimination, harassment and victimisation in the workplace.
Since December 2003 it has been unlawful to discriminate against employees and prospective employees on the grounds of their sexual orientation as a result of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Equality Act 2010. In general terms it is unlawful for an employer to treat an employee or prospective employee less favourably on the grounds of the employee’s sexual orientation. The legislation also protects employees from harassment in the form of unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating the employee’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the employee. Employees are also protected from victimisation in the form of less favourable treatment by the employer because the employee has raised an issue relating to sexual orientation. ELP can provide advice and representation on all matters relating to sexual orientation and the workplace.
Employees are entitled to time off work in a variety of circumstances. Whether the time off is paid or unpaid will depend upon the terms of the employee’s contract of employment, and also the legislation which governs the type of time off work that is being taken. Employees can be entitled to time off work when they are sick, when they are pregnant, when they have family responsibilities, and when exceptional circumstances arise such as citation to court or jury duty. ELP can provide full advice in relation to employees’ rights in these circumstances.
Unfair dismissal is one of the most common types of claim made in the Employment Tribunal. The current law in relation to unfair dismissal is contained primarily in the Employment Rights Act 1996. At ELP we have a great deal of experience in advising and representing employees in relation to unfair dismissal. A dismissal can only be fair if it is for one of the “potentially fair” reasons, which include conduct, capability and redundancy. Before an Employment Tribunal will accept a conduct dismissal as fair, the employer must be in a position to demonstrate that proper procedures have been followed, and that dismissal is a reasonable response to the employee’s conduct. Generally speaking employees should not be dismissed for conduct unless they have committed an obvious act of gross misconduct, where they have received a number of similar warnings previously, or where they have been put on fair notice that the conduct in question is likely to result in dismissal. In relation to performance issues, employees should always be given the chance to improve their performance and should be given assistance and training where appropriate. Where employees have been unfairly dismissed, Employment Tribunals have jurisdiction to award compensation, principally by reference to what the employee has lost as a result of being dismissed and in addition by reference to a “Basic Award” which is of the same value as a statutory redundancy payment. ELP can provide employees with advice and representation on all matters relating to unfair dismissal, including preparation for disciplinary hearings, preparation for appeal hearings, negotiation of severance packages, and applications to Employment Tribunals.
Employees have a general right not to be victimised by employers. In addition, as a result of the various pieces of anti-discrimination legislation referred to above, employees have specific rights not to be victimised because they have raised issues with their employer in relation to matters such as sexual equality, racial equality, disability, age equality, sexual orientation, and religion and belief. This protection applies both to employees who feel that they have been the victim of discriminatory treatment, and other employees who have been involved as witnesses in internal proceedings. ELP can provide advice and representation to all employees who believe that they have been victimised in the workplace.
Employees are of course entitled to be paid for the work that they do for employers. The amount of payment that employees are entitled to receive will depend upon the terms of their Employment Contract or other agreement with the employer, although this can be overridden by the National Minimum Wage legislation if the employer has not offered to pay enough (this is dealt with under a separate heading above). Where employees do not receive their proper wages they are entitled to make claims before the Employment Tribunal in respect of unlawful deductions from wages and breach of contract. ELP can provide employees with advice and representation on all issues relating to wages.
We have been using the services of ELP, especially their employment law advice service for employers, for more than 3 years. The reason we chose ELP is previous firms of lawyers we used were very aloof and did not offer practical guidance. We have a great relationship with them and trust Duncan’s advice implicitly. The reason for this is he knows our business and understands our style of management. This is invaluable when you are dealing with staff issues. The advice given is straight forward and to the point. ELP have also helped us develop our staff handbook and other procedures that are relevant to our company over the years.
I’ve turned to ELP for advice and support on a range of legal matters and have found them to be friendly, fast and efficient. A lot of people are intimidated by solicitors but ELP go out of their way to make legal support easy and accessible.
I would like to express my gratitude towards you for the professional, courteous, efficient, and helpful manner in which you conducted yourself within the business of dealing with myself and the sale of my property. You are a credit to yourself and the people that you represent.
We are a firm of Chartered Surveyors operating in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas and on two occasions during the course of the last year required help in relation to Employment Legislation.
In the first instance, we were looking to employ a Chartered Surveyor from a company which had gone into voluntary liquidation and sought advice from ELP prior to proceeding due to concerns in relation to matters such as restrictive covenants. That advice was well explained on a sound basis, delivered timeously and enabled us to proceed with the employment of that person.
Following his employment we took the opportunity of reviewing our Contracts of Employment and to that end, ELP provided an excellent service in that regard. In what appears to be a constantly changing working environment, ELP provided us in the first instance with a standard Contract of Employment which we jointly reviewed taking into account the nature of our business and business practices and produced a document to the satisfaction of both employer and employees. The service provided by ELP was first class in terms of efficiency, consideration of options and attention to detail.
We propose to continue our relationship with ELP in the years to come in relation to employment issues as it has become quite clear that such services from a competent organisation are invaluable in the present working environment.
We deal with digital distribution of music. We wanted to use a law firm who were good at what they do but who also had a modern and friendly approach that would suit our kind of business. We have used ELP to frame our employment contracts and employment policies, which are well drafted and tailored to suit and protect our business. We are also able to call them when anything legal comes up in the business that we need some guidance on, whether it be staffing issues or anything else. This is probably the best part of the service we receive – ELP are always happy to help, and we can speak to them as business advisers as well as employment lawyers. We would definitely recommend ELP to any business needing employment law or just general advice.
I just wanted to thank you for your professional service you provided me during what is a very difficult time for me. Your experience, diligence and knowledge have resulted in a larger settlement of which I am very grateful . I also appreciated your patience and understanding of my situation. I would have no hesitation in recommending your services to others.
ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan and Employment Law Practice are trading names of ELP-AM Solicitors Limited, company no. SC471191,
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