Do you need a labour lawyer?


Labour lawyers, also known as employment lawyers, are lawyers who are experts in employment law. They are able to advise employers and employees on the law that governs their relationship.

What does a labour lawyer do?

Labour lawyers will be able to advise clients on two main areas of employment law:

1) Contract law

This governs the employment contract between the employer and employee.

The contract is an important document and will establish the rights and obligations of both parties. For example, the employment contract will establish the salary that will be paid to the employee, and it may include confidentiality agreements that will come into effect if the employment is terminated.

A breach of the employment contract can lead to an employee’s dismissal. It can also lead to an employee bringing a claim against their employer in an employment tribunal. A labour lawyer should be consulted if you believe your employer has breached your employment contract.

2) Statutory regulations

The second area of employment law in which a labour lawyer must be an expert is the large statutory framework that regulates employment. Statutory regulations include the minimum wage, redundancy, TUPE transfers and disciplinary procedures

The legal statutory framework for employment also includes the correct procedure for employee dismissal. If you have been dismissed without the correct procedure being followed, or you have been dismissed due to a discriminatory reason, you may have a claim for unfair or unlawful dismissal.

Compromise agreements

Many employers opt to negotiate a compromise agreement with the dismissed employee to avoid having to go to an employment tribunal. A compromise agreement is a written agreement where an employee gives up their right to enforce a claim against their employer, in return for an employment termination payment.

In order to be a valid compromise agreement, the employee must have received independent legal advice from a labour lawyer. It is highly important that you get legal advice from a labour lawyer before signing a compromise agreement, as it entails that you will relinquish your legal rights to bring a claim against your employer.

EU law

Some labour law is governed by the European Union; for example, the European Working Time Directive limited the maximum length of a working week to 48 hours in seven days, and a minimum rest period of 11 hours in each 24 hours. Although the directive applies to all member states, in the UK it is possible to opt out of the 48-hour working week in order to work longer hours.

For more information on being dismissed from your job, see our information page on unfair dismissal.

Do you need a labour lawyer to represent you at an employment tribunal? Do you need advice while you are still working for a company? Contact Law can put you in touch with a labour law specialist to suit the needs of your case. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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