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Employment Law Farleys Solicitors LLP

Breach of Employment Contract Solicitors

Breach of Employment Contract Legal Advice

If you’re a current or recently dismissed employee and believe that your employer has acted in breach of contract, you’re in the right place.

Here at Farleys Solicitors, we can advise you on all matters of employment law including what to do if your employer has made changes to your working conditions, duties, or pay that you did not accept.

As an employee, you can be left in a difficult situation, and it’s very common for employees to fear that making a complaint will cause them to lose their jobs. However, this is why employment law exists: to protect your rights in the workplace.

We recommend you first review your employment contract and employee handbook, then speak to an employment law firm as soon as possible. This is because claims with Employment Tribunals and the Court are time sensitive, and are generally considered to have begun from the date of the incident — not from when you reported it.

Farleys has extensive experience handling breach of contract disputes. We are frequently approached to handle claims for issues around unfair dismissal, discrimination, harassment, unfair deductions from pay, wrongful dismissal, and issues regarding pay.

We’re able to advise our clients through every stage of the legal process and we provide expert representation if your case is brought before the Employment Tribunal or the Court.

If you think you need to speak with a specialist breach of contract solicitor, or you simply need more information, there are a number of ways to get in touch with us. You can give us a call on 0845 050 1958, use our chat to be connected with an expert, send us an email, call 0333 331 5294 or visit one of our local offices in Manchester, Blackburn, Preston, Accrington, and Burnley.

What Is Breach of Contract?

A breach of contract is when one party either, the employee or employer, breaks a term outlined in an employment contract. The break or violation may come in the form of an action, request, or verbal change to the employment contract without proper notification or agreement from the other party.

If you believe that your employer has changed the terms of your work, or failed to give you proper notification of a change, or has breached a term specifically outlined in your contract of employment, you should speak to an employment law solicitor at the earliest opportunity!

Contact a Solicitor for Breach of Employment Contract Advice

To speak to an employment law solicitor about a breach of contract or any employment law matter, call 0333 331 5294,  or email us. Our experienced team will be able to help and advise you.

Breach of Contract FAQ's

What is the definition of an Employment Contract?

An employment contract is the written, verbal or implied contractual relationship between an employee and employer.

The law regards a contract of employment to have begun between the employer and employee from the moment the latter accepts an offer of employment.

Typically, an agreement of employment is formalised through a signed contract of employment or a written statement detailing the roles and responsibilities of your job.

What can an Employment Contract contain?

A contract of employment may include (but isn’t limited to):

• Job title, responsibilities, duties.
• Pay.
• Hours of work.
• Access to in-work benefits (sick pay and holiday).
• Employment start date.
• Notice periods.
• Description of the role.

In some cases, the employment contract may also outline any rights like pension, paid holiday, statutory sick pay, parental or adoption leave, redundancy pay, and protection against unfair dismissal.

Generally, under an employment contract, both parties agree to the following terms:

  • To maintain trust and confidence through co-operation.
  • To act in good faith towards each other.
  • To take reasonable care to ensure health and safety in the workplace.

How can an employee be in Breach of Contract?

As an employee, you could be considered in breach of contract under numerous circumstances, some of which may result in termination of employment, or dismissal.

Some examples include:

• Failure to meet minimum standards required.
• Breach of confidentiality.
• Repeated misconduct.
• Resigning without giving (or working) proper notice.
• Working for a competitor when this is prohibited under current contract.
• Non-performance of duties resulting in financial loss to the business.
• Persistent lateness resulting in financial loss to the business.

The latter of these circumstances could mean your employer might have grounds to seek a claim, or damages against you.

If you’ve been given notice your employer is taking you to Court please give us a call on 0845 050 1958 - our expert team is here to help!

How can an employer be in Breach of Contract?

An employer can be in breach of contract if they do something that doesn’t match what’s outlined under the terms of the employment contract.

This may include (but isn’t limited to) when your employer:

• Fails to give proper notice when you’ve been dismissed.
• Makes unauthorised changes to the employment contract.
• Doesn’t follow correct procedures as outlined or agreed.
• Has failed to pay monies owed (like your salary).

Your employer is not allowed to make changes to your working hours, job duties, rate of pay, when you work, or employment contract without notifying you, and in many cases reaching agreement with you.

If your employer is trying to enforce a change, you should contact a solicitor right away as they can advise you on the best course of action. Quick action is important, because if you continue working even if you object to these changes, it might be seen as acceptance of the new terms.

The employer is responsible for paying wages for hours you’ve worked, including all contractual holiday or sick pay, notice period, or a payment in lieu of notice. These are all payments required under your contract.

What is Unfair Dismissal?

You may have a claim for unfair dismissal if your employment contract has been terminated and your employer did not have fair reason to do so, or did not follow a fair procedure.

While the circumstances surrounding each unfair dismissal case is different, we often deal with unfair dismissals in which:

• An employer does not have a fair reason for dismissing an employee.
• The employer didn’t follow correct process when dismissing you.
• The employer dismissed you for an automatically unfair reason (like jury duty or maternity leave).

An employment law solicitor will be able to advise you regarding your specific situation.

An unfair dismissal may involve a breach of contract but this is not required to bring a claim.

What is Constructive Dismissal?

A constructive dismissal is where, as an employee, you feel that you must resign in response to a breach of your contract of employment by your employer.

It may include (but isn’t limited to) circumstances such as:

• Being demoted for no reason.
• Unpaid or incorrectly paid wages.
• Bullying or discrimination.
• Grievances.
• Changing work hours or other contractual terms without proper notice or agreement.
• Excessive workload (more rarely).

You should know, to make this type of claim you must typically have been working for your employer for at least two years. It's also worth remembering that there may be other claims to make instead of constructive dismissal, like wrongful dismissal. In order to make sure you’re making the right claim, it’s always best to seek the advice of a solicitor.

What is a Wrongful Dismissal?

A wrongful dismissal is when an employer ends an employee’s contract in a way that breaks the terms of the original agreement.

Examples of wrongful dismissal include:

• Failure to give an employee proper notice.
• Failure to follow contractual disciplinary or redundancy procedures.
• Termination of a fixed-term contract before its completion.

Sometimes a constructive dismissal may lead to a claim for wrongful dismissal. For this reason and many others, wherever employment law is concerned, it’s best you consult with a solicitor to make sure you’re represented properly, efficiently, and consistently throughout the dispute process.

Does a Breach of Contract need to go to an Employment Tribunal?

Not necessarily. This is where the law, the specifics of your case, the timing, your employment status and the decision you make on where best to pursue the case will come together.

The first thing to remember is you can only make a breach of contract claim to an Employment Tribunal if you no longer work for your employer. If you’re still working for your employer, you’ll need to handle the breach of contract claim in Court.

In some cases and circumstances it might be easier to prove a breach of contract like non-payment of wages, holiday pay, sick pay, in an Employment Tribunal rather than a Court, under legislation provisions rather than as a breach of contract claim.

For most situations regarding breach of contract, disputes it’s best to seek employment contract legal advice as soon as possible.

If you need help or advice with a breach of contract dispute, give us a call on 0845 050 1958.

I think my employer is in Breach of Contract, what should I do?

If you think your employer might be in breach of contract the best thing you can do is review your employment contract and any employee handbooks. You might even want to speak with your employer directly to try and resolve the dispute.

However, if that isn’t possible, or you want legal advice before doing so, give us a call on 0845 050 1958. Our experts can help advise you on your rights and the best course of action!

What are Unlawful Deductions from Wages?

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 employees are protected from unlawful deductions from wages, which is simply unpaid or underpaid wages. For this to apply there must be an actual deduction of wages and not simply a proposal to deduct wages.

Examples of unlawful deductions from wages are things like non-payment of wages, non-payment of holiday pay, and non-payment of contractual sick pay.

Your employer is allowed to deduct wages if it is required or authorised by law, there’s a provision in the contract, or the worker has given the employer prior written consent to the deduction.

How much does a Breach of Contract Solicitor cost?

Employment law is highly complicated area and the cost will heavily depend on if you’re taking the case to Court and/or an Employment Tribunal.

Costs can be incurred through two methods. The first is a static cost for paperwork and filing fees. The second is a variable cost which includes the time spent on the case and the hourly rate associated with person doing the work or appearing in Court or Employment Tribunal.

We provide our clients with expert legal advice, friendly and straight-talking legal services at a fair cost. You can rely on us to keep you informed of any changes throughout the process.

For the most accurate costing we recommend you speak with one of our specialists and give us a call on 0845 050 1958.

Contact a Solicitor for Advice on a Breach of Employment Contract

If you need to speak with one of our specialist breach of employment contract solicitors about any of our services, feel free to give us a call on 0845 050 1958, chat with an expert, send us an email, or visit our offices.

We have several conveniently located offices across the North West in Manchester, Blackburn, Preston, Accrington, and Burnley.

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