There really aren’t many scenarios in life that pack the same kind of punch as losing your job…and for all the worst possible reasons, of course. Regardless of the reason for the redundancy or the job loss, you find yourself and your life thrown into absolute turmoil which can make you feel powerless, worthless and worried about the future. As such, this generally doesn’t tend to be the kind of time you’d ideally want to make things any more unpleasant or confusing, which is why speaking to an employment lawyer is something the vast majority choose not to bother with.
Unfortunately however, this is precisely what leads to thousands of people being wholly short-changed and sold-short every year. According to the experts at www.hudsonmckenzie.com, there are so many instances in which it could be in the benefit of the individual facing the job-loss to speak to a lawyer – even if they themselves believe their case is a hopeless one.
Here’s a quick look at a few examples of how the right legal representation could be of value:
Unfair Dismissal Claims
When you are made redundant, it’s natural to assume that there’s really no point in speaking to a lawyer as the business you worked for may have had no choice but to lay off any number of workers. However, when any employer chooses or is forced to make any employees redundant, there’s a very specific process that must be followed and rules that must be upheld. Should any of these rules be broken or procedures sidestepped, there’s a possibility you could claim against them.
If, for example, the reason you were chosen for dismissal was unfair, you could have a valid claim against them. Or if they chose you for dismissal on the grounds of some other disagreement that wasn’t in its own right grounds for firing you, this again could make for a successful claim. Chances are you won’t know the full ins and outs of your dismissal at a legal level, which is precisely why it’s so important to speak to a lawyer to find out where you stand.
Not to be confused with unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal refers to a scenario where an employee is fired in a manner that breaches the terms outlined in their contract of employment. If, for example, it states in your contract that you must be given at least a month’s notice before your contract is terminated but you’re only given a week’s notice, this is grounds for a wrongful dismissal claim.
In order to assess whether or not you have a claim, your legal representative will need to look through your contract in detail and evaluate its terms in accordance with the way you lost your job. Again, it’s impossible to identify any and all discrepancies without experience and training, so it’s a good idea to get things looked over even if you think there’s little chance of a successful outcome.
Redundancy Pay Claims
If you are made redundant from a job you have been working for in excess of two years and are below retirement age, you may be entitled to redundancy pay in accordance with both UK law and the contract you signed in the first place. However, this is an area of employment law that very few people have a strong enough grasp of to argue successfully, which is why it’s of such importance to bring the matter to the attention of an experienced employment lawyer.
In terms of how much you may be entitled to, this comes down to myriad factors including your length of time with the business, the terms set out in your contract and how much you are paid per month/year. Perhaps the most important thing of all to take on board when it comes to redundancy pay claims is the way in which you only have a certain amount of time following the loss of your job to make such a claim, otherwise you will forfeit any of the money you may have been owed. So, even if you’re relatively sure you aren’t entitled to redundancy pay, it’s a good idea to find out before it’s too late.
Arranging a Consultation
Most reputable employment lawyers will be happy to arrange a preliminary consultation which is not only 100% free of charge, but also free of any obligations to go ahead with the case. It’s all about finding out whether or not you have grounds to make a claim of any sort, which will of course be up to the lawyer to determine. Employment lawyers are not in the habit of taking on jobs they aren’t 100% convinced they can be successful in, so if the lawyer you choose jumps at the chance to represent you, it’s a pretty good sign.