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Employment Law Pitfalls At Christmas20th Dec 2017

by Neil Andrews on 20th Dec 2017

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MeToo protest against sexual harassment

This is a perilous time of year for employers and employees alike – and not just because of Christmas party indiscretions.

There are many more hazards out there beyond alcohol and mistletoe: redundancy, unfair dismissal and discrimination to name just a few. (Employers – find out more here.)

But we’ll start with mistletoe-related dangers because the landscape has changed dramatically in the last year…and it will continue to do so.

Sexual Harassment And The #MeToo Movement

Two words sum up the huge and long overdue changes that have rocked society’s view and treatment of sexual harassment: Harvey. Weinstein.

The world may have come a long way since the 1970s but events over the last year showed us just how far it still has to progress.

The power of the #MeToo movement in denouncing sexual assault and harassment is testament to how bad and how deeply concealed the problems were – and what happens when light is shed on them.

Employers who fail to treat sexual harassment in the most serious possible manner will pay the price. But the issue goes even deeper than that, into the realms of power and control.

Employees – particularly millennials – are no longer prepared to tolerate anachronistic boardroom bullies and control freaks. The days of management by shouting should be over. Employers who have yet to grasp that could find themselves on the wrong end of a tribunal claim.

Beware Of Discrimination

Numbers of employment tribunal claims rose significantly last year after the government bowed to pressure and abolished the fees it had introduced back in July 2013.

It is lso worth remembering that unfair dismissal is not the only potential pitfall for employers. Aggrieved employees are increasingly making discrimination the basis of their complaints. Why? The reasons are simple:

  • Employees need to have completed two years’ service before they can claim for unfair dismissal. There is no such requirement for discrimination claims.
  • Damages for unfair dismissal are capped – but they are unlimited for discrimination. 

Get Expert Legal Advice In Advance

Avoid legal pitfalls by phoning our employment law solicitors before you take action. A simple phone call may be all you need to safeguard your rights.

For more information phone employment law solicitor Neil Andrews, a Partner at Coles Miller and head of the Commercial Department, on 01202 355695.

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.