Training

AN INTRODUCTION TO DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE

Every company wants the best person for the job. However, unequal treatment, prejudice or harassment discredits many businesses every year and the costs are high in both fines, awards legal and fees.

A director, owner or manager may be held responsible for any discriminatory action by it's employees.

It is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of someone's sex, sexual orientation, status as a married person, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, beliefs or because of a disability, pregnancy or childbirth, or subsequent maternity leave or because they are a member or non-member of a trade union.

It is unlawful to discriminate against part-time workers.

From 5 December 2005, laws have been extended to include people with certain illnesses effectively from the point of diagnosis. The restriction that mental illnesses must be "clinically well recognised" has also been removed from this date.

Also from 5 December 2005, a person who is a civil partner in a registered civil partnership of a same-sex couple should not be treated less favourably than a married person in similar circumstances. If a civil partner is treated less favourably, they may be able to bring a claim for sexual orientation discrimination under the Sexual Orientation Regulations or a claim for sex discrimination.

The law in Northern Ireland is more wide-ranging on matters of discrimination.

This guide tells you what you must know about the law on discrimination and advises on best practice.

AGE DISCRIMINATION

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations Act was introduced on 1st October 2006, making it unlawful to discriminate against individuals on the basis of age in recruitment and employment.

Helpful Hints - Job Descriptions

  • When advertising new positions, your job description should outline the duties required of the position along with the skills, knowledge and experience required to carry out these duties.
  • Avoid any reference to the age group of the desired applicant or the age group of any colleagues that the successful applicant will be working with, e.g. 'applicant needed to work with a young, lively team'.
  • Add the words 'or equivalent' next to any academic qualifications. Simply stating a GCSE requirement would rule out many older people who left school before GCSEs were introduced.
  • The term 'mature' should be avoided unless it is made clear that it refers to attitude rather than age.
    Avoid asking for 'x years experience'. The quality and relevance of the experience should be important - not the number of years.
  • You may find it helpful to monitor how effective your recruitment process is. For example, you could count the number of candidates of different age groups who applied, were short-listed, interviewed and appointed.
  • You should also make sure that your redundancy procedures are based on business needs rather than age.
  • Useful Contacts
    You can call The ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) help-line for any specific questions on 08457 474747.
  • Alternatively, visit The Department for Trade and Industry, ACAS, or Age Positive websites for more information.

THE EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES ACT 2004

The following are major changes to the Regulations which came into force in Great Britain on 6th April 2004.

Restrictions on charging introduction or 'transfer' fees
Changes to the Employment Agencies Act 1973 in 2000 permitted the Government to restrict charges to 'temp to perm', 'temp to temp' and 'temp to third party' fees.

Firstly you may not charge an introduction fee for a temporary worker unless you give the client the option of paying the fee or taking the worker for an extended period of hire.  The amount of the fee and the period of hire are a matter for negotiation and are without restriction.

Secondly, you may charge a client an agreed sum of money if they take on a temporary worker either on a permanent basis or through another agency within a period of eight weeks after the end of an assignment provided the client has the option of keeping the worker on a temporary basis for an agreed period of time instead.  Again, there are no restrictions on the length of either the initial period of hire or the extended period and no restriction on the amount of the fee.

You may also charge a client who introduces a worker to another person, who may be another agency, who then employs that worker within eight weeks of the end of an assignment provided they have been given the option of an extended hire period and chose not to exercise this.  (If it is the first assignment for that worker with that client, the period during which you can charge a fee is the longer period of either 14 weeks from the start of that assignment or eight weeks after its end.)

Limited Company Contractors
Since the definition of a 'work-seeker' has changed from an 'individual' to a 'person', limited company contractors seeking work through employment agencies or businesses are protected by these Regulations.  Many contractors objected to this claiming that it might affect their status for IR35 and so the Government has introduced an opt-out for those contractors who do not want the protection of the Regulations.  This will be in the form of a declaration before the start of an assignment and there are measures to prevent work-seekers being coerced into signing this.

If a contractor submits to the protection of the Regulations you will not be able to restrict him/her from taking up work directly with a hirer to whom he/she has been supplied by you.  However, this will not stop you charging the hirer a 'transfer fee' (see above).

Paying Temporary Workers
Employment businesses will be unable to withhold pay in circumstances where either the client refuses to pay for work done, as a penalty for not completing an assignment or in circumstances where the worker does not produce a signed timesheet, provided the business can satisfy itself by other means that the work was done.

Agreement of Terms
Agencies will have to get the agreement of worker and clients to any terms offered together with any variation in those terms and record these in a single document.  This means you will have to get a signature or some evidence of agreement and may not have important information such as rates of pay or refund terms in a separate document to the terms of business.

Information from and to the Hirer and Work-Seeker
Detailed information about the work and any risks to Health & Safety will have to be obtained from a hirer before the assignment starts.  While confirmation of a worker's identity and their willingness to take the assignment must be obtained from the worker before putting their details forward.

There Regulations also detail the information that you must give orally or otherwise, when you introduce a worker or offer work to a work-seeker.

Unsuitable Candidates
Agencies who become aware within 3 months of an introduction to a client of any information that makes a candidate unsuitable for the position they have been placed in must inform the hirer without delay.  This provision may give rise to some interesting issues over Data Protection and so the detailed guidance expected to accompany the Regulations will be important for interpretation of the circumstances this will apply in.

THE EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES ACT 2004

The following are major changes to the Regulations which came into force in Great Britain on 6th April 2004.

Restrictions on charging introduction or 'transfer' fees
Changes to the Employment Agencies Act 1973 in 2000 permitted the Government to restrict charges to 'temp to perm', 'temp to temp' and 'temp to third party' fees.

Firstly you may not charge an introduction fee for a temporary worker unless you give the client the option of paying the fee or taking the worker for an extended period of hire.  The amount of the fee and the period of hire are a matter for negotiation and are without restriction.

Secondly, you may charge a client an agreed sum of money if they take on a temporary worker either on a permanent basis or through another agency within a period of eight weeks after the end of an assignment provided the client has the option of keeping the worker on a temporary basis for an agreed period of time instead.  Again, there are no restrictions on the length of either the initial period of hire or the extended period and no restriction on the amount of the fee.

You may also charge a client who introduces a worker to another person, who may be another agency, who then employs that worker within eight weeks of the end of an assignment provided they have been given the option of an extended hire period and chose not to exercise this.  (If it is the first assignment for that worker with that client, the period during which you can charge a fee is the longer period of either 14 weeks from the start of that assignment or eight weeks after its end.)

Limited Company Contractors
Since the definition of a 'work-seeker' has changed from an 'individual' to a 'person', limited company contractors seeking work through employment agencies or businesses are protected by these Regulations.  Many contractors objected to this claiming that it might affect their status for IR35 and so the Government has introduced an opt-out for those contractors who do not want the protection of the Regulations.  This will be in the form of a declaration before the start of an assignment and there are measures to prevent work-seekers being coerced into signing this.

If a contractor submits to the protection of the Regulations you will not be able to restrict him/her from taking up work directly with a hirer to whom he/she has been supplied by you.  However, this will not stop you charging the hirer a 'transfer fee' (see above).

Paying Temporary Workers
Employment businesses will be unable to withhold pay in circumstances where either the client refuses to pay for work done, as a penalty for not completing an assignment or in circumstances where the worker does not produce a signed timesheet, provided the business can satisfy itself by other means that the work was done.

Agreement of Terms
Agencies will have to get the agreement of worker and clients to any terms offered together with any variation in those terms and record these in a single document.  This means you will have to get a signature or some evidence of agreement and may not have important information such as rates of pay or refund terms in a separate document to the terms of business.

Information from and to the Hirer and Work-Seeker
Detailed information about the work and any risks to Health & Safety will have to be obtained from a hirer before the assignment starts.  While confirmation of a worker's identity and their willingness to take the assignment must be obtained from the worker before putting their details forward.

There Regulations also detail the information that you must give orally or otherwise, when you introduce a worker or offer work to a work-seeker.

Unsuitable Candidates
Agencies who become aware within 3 months of an introduction to a client of any information that makes a candidate unsuitable for the position they have been placed in must inform the hirer without delay.  This provision may give rise to some interesting issues over Data Protection and so the detailed guidance expected to accompany the Regulations will be important for interpretation of the circumstances this will apply in.

DATES OF LEGISLATION

Age Legislation October 2006
Legislation on age was introduced in October 2006 to cover employment and vocational training. It will effect people of all ages and it will effect you. Age will be the final strand of equality legislation to be implemented and it will be enforced alongside existing legislation on race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief
Anti-discrimination legislation that already exists.

Equal Pay Act 1970
The Equal Pay Act 1970 gives an individual a right to the same contractual pay and benefits as a person of the opposite sex in the same employment, where the man and woman are doing the same work, work rated as equivalent work, or work of equal value.

Sex Discrimination Act 1975
The Sex Discrimination Act applies to men and women of any age, including children. It makes discrimination on the grounds of sex or marriage unlawful and victimizing anyone who takes a case is also unlawful. However, it is not unlawful to discriminate against someone because they are not married.

Race Relations Act 1976
The Race Relations Act covers people from all racial groups and makes no distinction on the grounds of race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), or ethnic or national origin. The Act was amended in 2000 –the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. This means that the Act now includes public functions, even if those functions are carried out by a private business; and it also places a general duty on listed public authorities to promote race equality.

Disability Discrimination Act 1995
The Disability Discrimination Act covers discrimination against disabled people. It originally applied to employers with 15 or more employees, but recent changes implemented October 2004 mean that the Act now applies to most employers no matter how many members of staff. The Act is to ensure that disabled people are treated equally and not discriminated against for a reason related to their disability including if, without justification, a ‘reasonable adjustment’is not made. The Act also applies to all those who provide goods, facilities and services for the publicEmployment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
The regulations protect everyone from direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimization in employment and training on the grounds of sexual orientation. Practical workplace guidance can be obtained from ACAS, Stonewall –a lesbian, gay and bisexual group (www.stonewall.org.uk). There is a range of information and advice sources available on the DTI web page dedicated to the regulations (www.dti.gov.uk/equality). The regulations will be updated to reflect the introduction of the Civil Partnership Act and the new legal status of civil partnership.Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
The regulations protect everyone from direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimization in employment and training on the grounds of religion or belief. Practical workplace guidance can be obtained from ACAS. Information detailing the cultural differences, customs and requirements of different religions can be found at www.mulifaithnet.org

The Human Rights Act 1998
Although the Human Rights Act is different to the other laws listed here, it is useful to know the basics as it is being used more frequently. The Human Rights Act came into force on 2 October 2000. It has sixteen basic rights, which effect all aspects of human rights, from freedom from torture and killing to individual rights in every day life. It also includes the right not to be treated differently because of your race, religion, sex, political views or any other status, unless it can be objectively justified. It incorporates into UK law Rights and freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. The new law does three simple things It makes it unlawful for a public authority, like a government department, local authority or the police, to breach the Convention rights, unless, because of an Act of Parliament, it has no choice. It says that all UK legislation should be given a meaning that fits with the Convention rights, if that’s possible. If a court says it’s not possible, it will be up to Parliament to decide what to do It means that cases can be dealt with in a UK Court or tribunal. Until this law, anyone who felt that their rights had been breached had to go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg

DISCRIMINATION AGAINST DISABLED PEOPLE

Since 1 October 2004, it has been unlawful for any employer, regardless of size, with the exception of the armed forces, to directly discriminate against a disabled person because they are disabled. Also they must not discriminate against a disabled person for a reason related to their disability, unless this can be justified.

What counts as a disability?

The Disability Discrimination Act defines disability as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This doesn't include drug or alcohol abuse or a tendency to start fires, steal or physically abuse others, amongst other exclusions.

From 5 December 2005, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 has widened this definition of disability, providing protection for people with cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis, effectively from the point of diagnosis. The restriction that mental illness must be "clinically well-recognised" before it is judged to be a mental impairment has also been removed. Read about the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 on the Directgov website.

What employers must not do

An employer mustn't treat a disabled person less favourably than other members of staff. For instance, you shouldn't refuse to interview, employ, train or promote a disabled person, simply because of their disability. Since 1 October 2004, harassment on the grounds of disability has also been explicitly outlawed.

What employers must do

Employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to enable a disabled person to work or continue working. Reasonable adjustments often involve little or no cost to your business. To find out what you need to consider before making an adjustment for disabled employees see our guide on how to provide access and facilities for disabled people.

Penalties for discrimination

Where an employment tribunal finds that disability discrimination has occurred, penalties can be high, since there is no limit on compensation.

There are no length-of-service or age requirements in bringing a claim and where the claimant is an employee, he or she does not need to have left your employment. However, the claim to an employment tribunal will generally have to be brought within three months of the alleged discriminatory act occurring.

DIRECT AND IN-DIRECT DISCRIMINATION - DISCRIMINATION IN DAY-TO-DAY WORKING PRACTICES

Direct discrimination is generally easily recognisable, where someone is denied employment because of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc. Indirect discrimination, however, can be harder to detect and may often be unintentional.

If a person feels they are discriminated against unlawfully, they may take a case to an employment tribunal. This could lead to heavy penalties for an employer and, in the absence of an appropriate explanation, employment tribunals are required to infer that discrimination has occurred. See the A-Z list of practical guidance on employment issues on the Acas website.

It is also important to bear in mind that anti-discrimination legislation applies equally to part-time workers. It's against the law to discriminate against part-time workers because of their part-time status.

Most employers produce policies that set out the rules and procedures their staff need to know. A policy statement may help employees to understand what the employer expects of them, and their legal rights and obligations.
- see our guide on how to set up employment policies for your business.

Equal pay reviews

Many companies have instituted equal pay reviews which aim to ensure that all staff enjoy the same pay and conditions while doing similar types of work.

The reviews can help avoid "glass ceiling" working cultures, where certain types of people don't get promoted above specific levels. These reviews can also help make sure that an equal-pay policy is working.

Equal-pay reviews may be carried out by someone within the company trained to deal with equality issues or they may be conducted by an outside team of specialists. Access information which provides advice for employers on good, equal-pay practice on the Equal Opportunities Commission website.

Positive action

In the UK positive discrimination is unlawful but positive action is not. This means equality targets can be put in place as a way of eliminating historic imbalances in terms of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and religion or belief

DISCRIMINATION IN RECRUITMENT AND INDUCTION

It is important to avoid discrimination in recruitment and induction processes. Remember - someone might be able to take you to an employment tribunal, even though they're not an employee, if they believe they weren't selected for a particular job for discriminatory reasons.

The Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Employment that came into force 22 November 2005. It becomes statutory from 6 April 2006. This provides guidance on how to prevent unlawful racial discrimination in recruitment policies. Download guidance on achieving racial equality in employment from the Commission of Racial Equality website (PDF).

Since 1 October 2004, the Disability Discrimination Act has included provisions outlawing job advertisements which imply that any candidate's success depends to any extent on him or her not having a disability, or which indicates a reluctance on the part of the employer to make reasonable adjustments. In addition, since 5 December 2005, third-party publishers, eg newspapers, are liable if they publish discriminatory advertisements.

While it is rare to see advertisements specifying a particular race or gender, age discrimination is still common with phrases such as "young", "would suit someone who has just qualified" or "minimum of ten years' experience".

This is likely to lessen when proposed anti-age discrimination legislation is enacted but it is good practice to take action on this now. See the page in this guide on age discrimination.

In certain circumstances discrimination may be allowed if it is seen to be a genuine occupational qualification for the job in question.

When interviewing people for a job there are certain questions you should not ask, either directly or indirectly, including whether a candidate is married, a partner in a same-sex civil partnership, or plans to have children. You must not attempt to elicit information about a person's sexual orientation or their religion. Read about the actions you should take to give equal treatment to civil partners in your policies, forms and other material on the ACAS website.

Care should also be taken when asking about a disability. Whilst the Disability Discrimination Act does not prohibit an employer from seeking information about a disability, that information must not be used to discriminate against a disabled person. An employer should only ask such questions if they are relevant to the person's ability to do the job, after a reasonable adjustment, if necessary.

This approach should be applied throughout meetings and induction.

DISCRIMINATION ON THE GROUNDS OF RACE

It's unlawful to discriminate against someone, either directly or indirectly, on the grounds of race, colour, nationality - including citizenship - or ethnic origins, under the Race Relations Act 1976. Racial harassment is defined as a form of discrimination.

As with other forms of discrimination, it can be either direct or indirect on the grounds of race.

Direct discrimination may include treating somebody less favourably on the grounds of their race, colour, ethnicity or national origin.

Indirect discrimination can occur when an employer applies an apparently general rule that in practice disadvantages people of a particular race, colour, ethnicity or national origin and that cannot be justified.

This form of discrimination applies to the way employees are recruited, trained, promoted and selected for dismissal on grounds of redundancy, or, after they have left, if an employer refuses to provide a reference because they have a discrimination claim against an employer.

From 22 November 2005, a revised Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Employment became available. This is intended to help employers draw up an equal opportunities policy to prevent unlawful racial discrimination. The code will not place any legal duties on employers until 6 April 2006 when it becomes statutory, but it may be taken as evidence in legal proceedings. Download guidance on achieving racial equality in employment from the Commission for Racial Equality website (PDF).

The penalties for race discrimination can be high, both for organisations and individuals, since there is no limit on compensation.

There are no length-of-service or age requirements in bringing a claim and where the claimant is an employee, they do not need to have left their employment.

 

DISCRIMINATION ON THE GROUNDS OF RELIGION OR BELIEF

Discrimination against an employee or job candidate on the grounds of their religion or belief became unlawful from December 2003 under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations.

The regulations apply to discrimination on grounds of religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief. They cover discrimination on grounds of perceived as well as actual religion or belief and the religion or belief of someone with whom the person associates.

As with other forms of discrimination, the new legislation recognises both direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief.

Direct discrimination may occur in areas such as recruitment, selection, training, promotion, selection for redundancy or dismissal when someone is treated less favourably than another because of their actual or perceived religion, religious or philosophical beliefs. An example of this would be where an employee is dismissed on grounds of misconduct for taking leave for a religious occasion.

Indirect discrimination occurs when an employer applies a provision, criterion or practice which disadvantages people of a particular religion or of particular religious or philosophical beliefs and which cannot be justified.

The regulations also outlaw:

  • Harassment - unwanted conduct that violates people's dignity or creates an intimidating or offensive atmosphere
  • Victimisation - treating people less favourably because of something they have done under or in connection with the regulations, eg made a formal complaint of discrimination or given evidence in a tribunal case

There are no length-of-service or age requirements in bringing a claim and where the claimant is an employee, they do not need to have left their employment.

DISCRIMINATION ON THE GROUNDS OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION

Discrimination against an employee or job candidate on the grounds of their sexual orientation became unlawful from December 2003.

The Sexual Orientation Regulations apply to discrimination on grounds of orientation towards persons of the same sex (lesbians or gays), the opposite sex (heterosexuals) and the same and opposite sex (bisexuals). They cover discrimination on grounds of perceived as well as actual sexual orientation and the sexual orientation of someone with whom the person associates.

As with other forms of discrimination, the legislation recognises both direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. From 5 December 2005, a person who is a civil partner in a registered civil partnership of a same-sex couple should not be treated less favourably than a married person in similar circumstances.  If a civil partner is treated less favourably, they may be able to bring a claim for sexual orientation discrimination under the Sexual Orientation Regulations or a claim for sex discrimination. Download a guide on the rights of civil partners from the Women and Equality Unit website (PDF).

Direct discrimination may occur in areas such as recruitment, selection, training, promotion, selection for redundancy or dismissal or in awarding employment-related benefits when someone is treated less favourably than another because they are - or are thought to be - lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual.

Indirect discrimination occurs when an employer applies a provision, criterion or practice which disadvantages people of a particular sexual orientation and which cannot be justified.

From 5 December 2005, indirect discrimination could also occur where a civil partner is treated less favourably than a married employee on a range of employment rights and employee benefits including the right to:

  • make a request for flexible working
  • statutory paternity leave and pay for a newborn child or newly adopted child
  • vocational training
  • access to a benefit that is given to a married employee –such as a pension or private health care

The regulations also outlaw:

  • harassment - unwanted conduct that violates people's dignity or creates an intimidating or offensive atmosphere
  • victimisation - treating people less favourably because of something they have done under or in connection with the regulations, eg made a formal complaint of discrimination or given evidence in a tribunal case

There are no length-of-service or age requirements in bringing a claim and where the claimant is an employee, they do not need to have left their employment.

DISCRIMINATION OVER MEMBERSHIP OR NON-MEMBERSHIP OF UNIONS

Employees may not be refused a job, dismissed, selected for redundancy or discriminated against, for:

  • Joining a trade union, or declining to join one
  • Carrying out trade union activities at an appropriate time
  • Making use of trade union services at an appropriate time

Also, they cannot be dismissed or selected for redundancy for refusing to accept an unlawful incentive by an employer to give up any of these trade union rights, or give up their collective agreement rights.

Many trade unions are recognised by an employer when it negotiates agreements on pay and other terms and conditions of employment. This is a process known as collective bargaining, but it is not compulsory for an employee to be a member of that or any other trade union.

Any withholding of a job offer, dismissal, or selection for redundancy, for membership or non-membership of a trade union could lead to a claim at an employment tribunal.

Employers could also face an employment tribunal claim for dismissing, electing for redundancy, or treating detrimentally an employee who takes part, or proposes to take part, in trade union activities or makes use of a trade union's services at an appropriate time.

For these purposes, industrial action does not count as a trade union activity.

An "appropriate time" may be, for instance, outside working hours, during an employee's lunch break or at a time when the employer has agreed that they may take part in trade union activities.

 

 

SEX DISCRIMINATION

Sex discrimination legislation applies to all workers, not just employees.

As with other areas of discrimination, sex discrimination can be direct - treating somebody less favourably on the grounds of their sex - or indirect - applying an apparently general rule which in practice disadvantages one sex and which cannot be justified. It includes the way you recruit, train, promote and dismiss people. Former employees retain the right to bring action if they discover, after leaving, that they suffered discrimination.

The penalties for sex discrimination can be high, both for organisations and individuals, since there is no limit on compensation.

There are no length-of-service or age requirements in bringing a claim and claimants who are employees do not need to have left thier employment.

From 1 October 2005, the law is explicit that less favourable treatment of women on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity leave counts as unlawful sex discrimination.

Also from 1 October 2005, new regulations make sexual harassment - and harassment on the ground of sex - explicitly unlawful in employment or vocational training. Sexual harassment can include insensitive jokes, displays of sexually explicit material, sexual innuendos or lewd comments or gestures.

It's unlawful to discriminate against a person on grounds that they have undergone, are undergoing or intend to undergo gender reassignment. It is also unlawful to treat a person undergoing gender reassignment less favourably than a person who is off sick for another reason and similar period.

Since 4 April 2005, a person recognised under the Gender Recognition Act 2004 has the right not to be discriminated against as a person of their acquired gender.

Pay and conditions
Women and men are also entitled to equal pay and conditions for work of equal value. This may be different work from that of a colleague of the opposite sex but it is equal in terms of the demands of the job where they are doing the same or similar work, work rated as equivalent, or work of equal value. The latter is where work may be different from that of a colleague of the opposite sex but it is equal in terms of the demands of the job.

As of 5 December 2005, employers will be required to treat married employees and civil partner employees in the same way. This means that any benefit such as private health care that is available to the spouse of an employee, should also be made available to an employee’s civil partner. Download a guide on the rights of same-sex partnerships from the Women and Equality Unit website (PDF).

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQ - Dependent upon the offence, you can dismiss an employee instantly.
Answer: False, a disciplinary procedure must be followed in every instance where an employee can is dismissed.

FAQ - An employee cannot take us to an Employment Tribunal unless he has 12 months service.
Answer: False, there are 42 different ways an employee can take an employer to a Tribunal in the first year of service and 20 ways they can take an employer to a Tribunal before they have even been recruited.

FAQ - When an employee is off sick, he is not entitled to holidays.
Answer: False, in accordance with the Working Time Regulations 1998, holidays would still accrue during the course of the sickness period.

FAQ - Part time workers are not entitled to the same holidays as a full time worker.
Answer: False, part time workers are entitled to be treated exactly the same on a pro-rata basis.

FAQ - A formal verbal warning can be given without a disciplinary hearing.
Answer: False, a disciplinary procedure must be followed in every aspect of the disciplinary process.

FAQ - An employee can be dismissed without notice.
Answer: True, in cases of gross misconduct.

FAQ - In a disciplinary hearing, an employee is entitled to have his solicitor present.
Answer: False, an employee is only entitled to have a fellow employee or a Trade Union representative.

FAQ - An employee can be dismissed without being paid holiday pay in certain circumstances.
Answer: False, an employee can never be dismissed without being paid holiday pay regardless of the circumstances, even for gross misconduct.

FAQ - An employee does not have the right of appeal when dismissed for gross misconduct
Answer: False, in every aspect of the disciplinary process an employee has the right to appeal.

FAQ - An employee cannot be discriminated against because of his or her age.
Answer: True, the discrimination Acts do not come in until October 2006 with regard to age, however, best practice would dictate that any kind of discrimination does not occur.

FAQ - An employee cannot be unfairly dismissed within the first 12 months of service.
Answer: False, there are 21 automatically unfair ways to dismiss an employee within the first 12 months.

FAQ - There is no limit on the amount an Employment Tribunal can award.
Answer: True. In discrimination cases, the ceiling is unlimited.

FAQ - There is a legal right to statutory/bank holidays.
Answer: False, whilst there is a legal right to holidays, statutory and bank holidays can be included in the holiday calculation.