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Employment Law Guidance from Stroud Employment Law

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Posting as Stroud Employment Law

I thought it might be helpful to provide some employment law guidance as many are facing challenges in the workplace.

Some may be laid off or be subject to short time working.

These are measures businesses may take to respond to a temporary reduction in demand or in response to fire or flooding for example and is driven by a desire to retain employees.

There is a general right in common law to tell employees not to turn up for work but there is no general right not to pay employees because work is not available. Therefore, lay off and short time working can only be imposed on you if:

There’s a contractual right (it’s written in your contract)

A collective agreement with a Union exists

A precedent has been set through previous customs and practices at your workplace

If none of the above apply, then you should be paid your normal wage. It is therefore important to check your contract.

If your contract does not allow for lay offs and short time working and you do not reach agreement to a variation or change to your contract, you should raise a formal, written grievance. You may be able to lodge a claim with the employment tribunal and it is important that you follow this step.

There is a strict time limit for claims to the ET of 3 months and any claim starts with ACAS.

If you believe you have been selected for these measures based on age, disability, gender, race or religion, you have protection under the Equality Act 2010. In these cases, you should seek legal advice.

For disability discrimination, it is important to know that your employer must be aware that you have a disability.

Unfortunately, there is no time limit for lay offs and short time working and in the current climate it may be very difficult for businesses to give definitive time frames.

If you are unpaid, you are entitled to statutory guarantee pay. This is currently set at a maximum of £29 per day (£30 from 6/4/2020), if you are paid less than this normally per day then that rate will apply. You can only claim guarantee pay for a maximum of 5 days in any 3 month period

You can work elsewhere whilst being laid off and should discuss this with your employer.

You may wish to claim for redundancy if you have worked for 2 years or more. You can do this if you are either laid off for 4 or more consecutive weeks or for 6 weeks or more in any 13 week period. Write to your employer to tell them that you wish to claim redundancy.

If your employer does not reject your claim within 7 days, give your employer notice in writing in line with your notice period. If your notice period is not contractually defined, you should give 1 week’s notice per year served.

If your employer goes into administration or bankrupt during this process, contact the Government Redundancy Payments Helpline on 0330 331 0020. If you are on SSP or Maternity Pay, you should contact HMRC on 0191 225 5221.

Redundancy payments are tax free up to 30000 but holidayand notice pay is taxable.

I hope this information is helpful. I am happy, as always, to offer telephone advice free for 30 minutes. I can be contacted on 01453 763384 until 9pm daily.

The advice given here is general information and does not constitute legal advice for any individual situation.

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