Phil Cookson
Employment for Individuals

Employment Law for Employees

If your employer, former employer or prospective employer has treated your unfairly or poorly, our employment lawyers are here to empower you and help you enforce your rights. If you need to make a legal claim to an employment tribunal, you usually only have three months to do it. So, when employment law issues arise, they need to be acted on quickly and efficiently.

Our employment law team brings together years of experience with a business-like approach to advise on a wide range of employment law issues. We help individuals when they have an employment law related problem, from resolving pay issues to making claims for discrimination, bullying and harassment.

Employment problems can be very complex. We help individuals understand the situation they are in and the options they have.

Our employment law team is headed by Partner, Phil Cookson. Phil specialises in all matters of employment with particular expertise advising clients in the agricultural and food sectors.

Phil is supported by a dedicated and highly competent team who are here to help you through this time. We know just how stressful facing problems at work can be, so our goal is to help you resolve the issue as quickly and positively as possible.

Get in touch with our employment law solicitors

For further information about employment, get in touch with our solicitors in Alconbury, Peterborough, Spalding, Nottingham or Birmingham.

Employment law services for individuals

  • Unfair dismissals or summary (without notice) dismissals without cause
  • Unlawful deductions from wages
  • Unfair selection for redundancy
  • Sex, disability or racial discrimination
  • Family friendly rights
  • Change of terms and conditions of employment without consent


There are strict laws governing when and why an employer can fire you from your job. If you have worked for your employer for over two years, you have more protections, but all employees, no matter how long they have worked for their employer, are protected from certain types of treatment, such as discrimination.

Our employment lawyers can provide advice if you have been dismissed from work or are under threat of dismissal. We can advise on all types of dismissal and whether you may be able to make a legal claim for compensation and other remedies. Our expertise includes:

Unfair dismissal claims

Where your employer has dismissed you for an unfair reason or has not gone through the right process to dismiss you.

Fair reasons to dismiss an employee are:

  • Capacity
  • Conduct
  • Redundancy
  • Continuing to employ the employee would break the law
  • Some other substantial reason (whether this is fair will depend on the circumstances of the case)

Dismissing an employee for whistleblowing can also be grounds for unfair dismissal.

Constructive dismissal claims

If your employer has treated you so unfairly that you had no choice but to resign, you may have grounds for a constructive dismissal compensation claim.

Wrongful dismissal

If your employer has dismissed you in breach of your employment contract, you may have a claim for wrongful dismissal. The classic case of wrongful dismissal is where your employer does not serve the correct notice on you.

Redundancy disputes

Our employment solicitors can provide advice about your legal rights and options if you have been made redundant or are at risk of redundancy. Our expertise covers a wide range of issues that can arise during redundancy processes, including:

  • Determining whether the dismissal is a genuine redundancy
  • Checking whether your employer followed the correct redundancy procedures
  • Resolving disputes over pay, bonuses and remuneration
  • Advising on discrimination issues

We can advise on claiming compensation for unfair dismissal, negotiating settlement agreements, and represent you during employment tribunal proceedings.

Pay disputes

Your employment contract will stipulate details of your salary, bonuses and any other remuneration. If you think that your employer has breached your employment contract in relation to pay, our employment lawyers can help you negotiate a suitable outcome.

Our experience includes supporting employees, from juniors to high level executives, in grievances over pay. We can also represent you during disputes, including negotiating a settlement agreement, going through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) processes, and taking your claim to an employment tribunal.


Equality laws protect people from being discriminated against at work. We support people in grievances and employment claims in relation to all protected characteristics, including:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment or confirmation
  • Sex
  • Sexuality
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Marriage and civil partnership

Maternity, paternity and adoption rights

When you have a baby or adopt a child, you have valuable legal rights at work, for example, to take maternity or paternity leave. Our employment solicitors support mothers and fathers who are being discriminated against at work.

We can help with all kinds of disputes related to having children, including:

  • Maternity, paternity, shared and adoption parental leave
  • Pay
  • Time off for appointments
  • Unfair dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity
  • Returning to work after maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave

Employment contract disputes

Your employment contract regulates your relationship with your employer and gives you vital rights. Even if your contract is not in writing, it can still exist. So, if you are having a problem at work, get in touch with our employment solicitors. We can review your employment contract, interpret its terms and advise on your rights and options.

Resolving employment law disputes

There are many options open for employees going through employment disputes. Because problems at work can be very stressful, it’s usually best to try to resolve the issue informally without going through employment tribunal proceedings. With the right help from an employment law specialist, this is usually possible.

Our aim is to help you find the best possible solution, whether this is making a formal grievance through your employer, entering into a settlement agreement with your employer, going to mediation, or going to an employment tribunal.

We will always set out your options in simple, plain English, so you know exactly what you are facing and how to deal with it.

Settlement agreements

A settlement agreement is a formal contract you can enter into with your employer to resolve an employment dispute. Usually, your employer will agree to pay you some money to end your employment.

You will also have to waive your right to take your claims to an employment tribunal. For this reason, you must have independent legal advice before you sign a settlement agreement, and your employer will usually agree to cover your legal costs.

We can provide advice about entering into a settlement agreement with your employer, including reviewing and advising on a proposed agreement, negotiating terms, and ensuring you fully understand the effect of the agreement.

Alternative dispute resolution processes

Where negotiations between you and your employer are not going well, it can be useful to use a neutral third party process to help you work through the issues and reach a resolution. Such alternative dispute resolution processes could include:

  • ACAS Early Conciliation
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration

Employment tribunal or court proceedings

Applying to an employment tribunal or court is a final resort when you have exhausted other dispute resolution tactics (or where making a legal claim is your only realistic option).

There are strict time limits on applying to a tribunal (usually, you have three months less one day to start a claim, or six months less one day for redundancy pay and equal pay claims). So, even if you think you can resolve your issue without making a claim, it’s vital to seek legal advice as soon as possible to protect your right to go to an employment tribunal.

Get in touch with our employment law solicitors

For further information about employment law problems, get in touch with our solicitors in Alconbury, Peterborough, Spalding, Nottingham or Birmingham.

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