Monthly Archives: March 2013

Employment rates increased in last quarter of 2012

According to figures released by the Office of National Statistics, the number of people out of work in the UK fell by 14,000 in the final three months of 2012.

The number of people out of work in the UK fell by 14,000 in the final three months of 2012.While that still leaves approximately 2.5 million Britons out of work, the figures mean that the overall unemployment rate has now dropped by 0.1% to 7.8%.

In addition, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 12,500 to 1.54 million in January.

While the news will obviously be welcomed by anyone who’s actively seeking work, it’d be foolhardy to suggest that life is easy for anyone that’s currently unemployed.

Indeed, just a quick glance at the figures above will surely illustrate the difficulties anyone that’s unemployed currently faces. Simply put, there are still far more people out of work than there are available jobs.

That’s why, if you feel that you’ve been wrongfully dismissed from a job, it’s more important than ever to know your rights. Every year, thousands of people are victims of unfair dismissal – however not all of them realise this.

If you’ve lost your job over something that isn’t expressly detailed in your contract, or if you feel you’ve been treated unfairly, then you could have a case.

While sometimes it’s tempting to just attempt to move on, with the job market being as competitive as it is the last thing you really need are awkward gaps in your CV, or to have to explain a dismissal within an interview. Especially if that dismissal wasn’t your fault.

If you think you fall into this bracket, contact us here at Ashby Cohen today. With years of experience, we’ll be able to advise you as to whether you have a case, and let you know your best plan of attack for moving forward.

Dancing miners dismissed amid health and safety fears

Ashby Cohen are well aware of the grievances that can arise as a result of health and safety regulations. A group of workers from an Australian mining company have been removed from their roles after carrying out an underground version of the Harlem Shake and posting the results on YouTube.

The boogying miners’ former bosses at Barminco have claimed the employees demonstrated a clear breach of the firms “core values of safety, integrity and excellence” and have imposed a lifetime ban on them carrying out work for the company.

The craze, which has stormed the globe recently, revolves around a 30 second clip in which participants perform bizarre dance routines sporting minimal clothing, strange outfits or brandishing peculiar props.

However, whether an employee is performing the Harlem Shake or not, it is their responsibility to ensure reasonable care is taken for their own welfare and that of colleagues and visitors – which means being well versed in the necessary health and safety standards laid out by an employer.

One sacked miner has hit back, though, by claiming the group DID meet workplace safety regulations as they took the usual precautions of donning helmets, cap lamps and glasses, and ensuring rescue devices were available before they carried out the stunt.

Here at Ashby Cohen, we’re well aware of the grievances that can arise as a result of health and safety regulations – and that’s why we offer advice to employers and employees who are concerned with breaches of legislation in the workplace.

We’re the experts in employment law cases and our years of experience leave us ideally placed to offer specialist advice, whatever your complaint may be.

Call us today for a free of charge initial consultation.

“You’re fired!” – Lord Sugar accused of constructive dismissal

Ashby Cohen can help support you through constructive dismissal issues.A previous winner of BBC’s The Apprentice is suing her former boss Lord Sugar for constructive dismissal from her £100,000 a year position.

Stella English, 34, asserts she was little more than an “overpaid lackey” in her role at Lord Sugar’s Viglen, and felt obliged to offer her resignation after the position “became increasingly untenable to continue”.

Ms. English, who fended off competition from 15 other contestants to claim The Apprentice crown, has since told an employment tribunal she was “ostracised” by colleagues at Viglen after taking up the role.

Lord Sugar, once dubbed “Britain’s most belligerent boss”, has denied the accusations and said, “This is a scam. This is an abuse of the tribunal system.”

He also hit back by claiming that he was under no obligation to give her “meaningful employment” and accused Ms. English of being “suspicious” and “untrusting”.

Here at Ashby Cohen, we’re well aware of the emotional rawness Ms. English and Lord Sugar are likely experiencing – after all, we are the employment law specialists.

We’re also conscious of the difficulty former employees have in succeeding in such a claim – and that’s why it pays to have the experts on your side.

Proving constructive dismissal requires you to demonstrate that:

  • The employer has displayed a breach of your contract
  • The breach had given you no option but to leave
  • You have not done anything that could be interpreted as you having accepted the breach

Whether it is one serious breach or a chain of events leading to the straw that broke the camel’s back, Ashby Cohen can help.

Our expertise in employment law, alongside our years of experience, leaves us ideally placed to support you through constructive dismissal issues.

Call us today for a free initial consultation.

What is a restrictive covenant?

For help with drafting up a contract featuring a restrictive covenant contact Ashby CohenIt’s only natural that you wouldn’t want any former employees using information gained while working for your company to compete against you after they’ve left, and that’s why a restrictive covenant can be such a useful tool for employers.

In short, a properly drafted restrictive covenant can prevent employees from competing with your business after their employment has terminated. It can also prevent them from soliciting customers of your business by using knowledge of those customers gained during their employment.

While the practice might seem a little harsh on former employees, the truth is that often employees find out information about your business that you simply can’t afford to let fall into the hands of competitors.

When drafting up a contract featuring a restrictive covenant, you have to be mindful of how justifiable imposing one is. For instance, you need to be mindful that the covenant only covers a reasonable geographic area, and that it only lasts for a reasonable time frame.  Bear in mind the employee’s position as well – while it’s obviously justifiable for senior members of staff to have a restrictive covenant in their contract, is it really necessary for bottom rung staff just trying to make ends meet?

If any former employees seek to say that they are not bound by the terms of their restrictive covenant after they’ve left your company, you have to be able to prove in court that imposing the restriction in the first place was completely justifiable for business reasons. In deciding whether or not the restriction was justified the court looks at the circumstances at the point when the covenant was entered into and not at the point when the employee left the employer’s employment.

As such, it is important that you use the services of restrictive covenant solicitors before drafting anything up. Having one in your employee contracts can obviously be very useful, but you have to be mindful that what you’re doing is lawful and justifiable in a court of law –nevertheless the dangers of not having one are just too great.