DAVID ROYDEN - EMPLOYMENT SOLICITOR
UK EMPLOYMENT LAW

David Royden is a Partner with Laytons Solicitors and Head of Employment Law, Manchester, UK

Laytons Solicitors is a national law practice specialising in all aspects of Company and Commercial Law

Laytons Solicitors, 22 St John Street, Manchester M3 4EB.
Tel: +44 (0) 161 834 2100
Fax: +44 (0) 161 834 6862

Offices at London, Manchester and Guildford, UK

 

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Dismissal related to Adoption Leave

Employees are protected from suffering a detriment or dismissal for taking, or seeking to take, adoption leave. Employees who believe they have been treated unfairly for these reasons can complain to an employment tribunal regardless of their length of service. Employees who are not given their job back at the end of ordinary adoption leave are entitled to make a complaint of unfair dismissal, regardless of their length of service.

It is unlawful for an employer to dismiss an employee because:

  • they took or sought to take adoption leave or
  • their employer believes that they are likely to take adoption leave or
  • the employee failed to return after a period of additional adoption leave and:
    • their employer failed to give them appropriate notice of their return date and they reasonably believed that the period had not ended; or
    • their employer gave them less than 28 days notice of the date on which their adoption leave would end, and it was not reasonably practicable for them to return on that date.

This protection against dismissal also applies if an employee is selected for redundancy on these grounds.

If a redundancy situation arises during an employee's ordinary or additional adoption leave which makes it impractical for their employer to continue to employ them under their original contract, the employee is entitled to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy where there is one. The offer should be made before the original contract ends and the new contract must take effect immediately when the original contract does end.

If the employer fails to offer a suitable alternative vacancy and there is one, the redundancy will be regarded as unfair dismissal. If the employee unreasonably turns down a suitable alternative vacancy, they may give up their right to a redundancy payment.

An employee may make a complaint about redundancy during adoption leave to an employment tribunal.

Dismissal relating to the right to request Flexible Working arrangements

It is unlawful for an employer to dismiss an employee irrespective of their age or length of service if the reason or the main reason for the dismissal is that:

  • they made an application to work flexibly under the right
  • their application to work flexibly has been granted
  • they have made or have stated their intention to make a complaint to an employment tribunal in respect of their application to work flexibly.

This protection against dismissal also applies if an employee is selected for redundancy on these grounds.
It is also unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to any other detrimental treatment on these grounds.

Dismissal relating to Parental Leave

The Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations 1999 give employees the right not to be dismissed where the reason, or the main reason is that they:

  • took or sought to take parental leave;
  • declined to sign a workforce agreement for the purposes of the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999;
  • performed (or proposed to perform) any functions or activities as a workforce representative or candidate for the purposes of the Regulations.

There is no qualifying period of service or upper age limit for employees who wish to complain that they have been dismissed for one of these reasons. It is also unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to any other detrimental treatment for any of these reasons.

Dismissal relating to Time Off for Dependants

The Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations 1999 give employees the right not to be dismissed where the reason, or the main reason is that they exercised their right to take time off to deal with certain circumstances involving a dependant.

There is no qualifying period of service or upper age limit for employees who wish to complain that they have been dismissed for this reason. It is also unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to any other detrimental treatment for this reason.

Dismissal relating to the Tax Credits Act 2002

From April 2003, the Tax Credits Act 2002 introduces working tax credit. Employees will be held to be unfairly dismissed (or selected for redundancy) if the reason, or the main reason, for the dismissal is:

  • that they are entitled, or will or may be entitled, to working tax credit; or
  • that they took (or proposed to take) any action with a view to enforcing or otherwise securing a right conferred by regulations under the Tax Credits Act 2002; or
  • from the same date, that their employer was prosecuted or fined as a result of such action.

There is no qualifying period of service or upper age limit for employees who wish to complain that they have been dismissed for one of these reasons.

This protection applies to individuals who are employees within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996. It is also unlawful for an employer to subject such employees to any other detrimental treatment. In addition, individuals who are not employees within the meaning of the 1996 Act, but who are employees within the meaning of the Tax Credits Act 2002, are protected against detrimental treatment (including the termination of their contracts).

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