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Insights // 19 January 2024

HeIp! I need an Employment Lawyer… Common Employment Law Questions

Senior solicitor Andrea Corr, in our Employment Law team, looks at some of the common (and less common) issues arising in the workplace and what the law has to say about them.

Q: I have just been offered a job. What does the law say about employment?

A: Congratulations! The law has plenty to say on all aspects of the employment relationship, as follows:-


Q: What information does my employer have to provide to me about my terms and conditions of employment?

A: The Employment Rights Act 1996 provides a list of fundamental employment terms (e.g. name of your employer, place/hours of work; salary; holiday entitlement etc,  details of which must be provided by employers to employees by no later than their first day at work.

Q: I had a rather chequered past as a teenager and have a criminal record. Do I have to disclose this to my employer?

A: Not always. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 provides for situations in which offences may be considered to be spent.  

Q: I am pregnant and was refused a job purely on the basis that I was just about to have a baby. Is this allowed? 

A: No. A refusal to offer a job in such circumstances is highly likely to constitute pregnancy-related discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. 

Salaries and Payments

Q: As an employee does my employer have to give me details of my earnings and deductions?

A: Yes, under the Employment Rights Act 1996 you are entitled to itemised payslips. 

Q: My wages have not arrived on time - what can I do?

A: You should raise this immediately with your employer. If, because of your employer’s error, you suffer losses, e.g., bank charges, then your employer should also consider reimbursing these to you. 

Q: My employer has sent me abroad to work. In the country where I am based it is common to give gifts to officials in order to facilitate transactions. As my employer has asked me to do this, I assume that it is ok? 

A: No. Even though this activity is abroad you may still be prosecuted in the UK under the Anti-Bribery Act 2010.


Q: Do I have to contribute to a pension? 

A: No. Your employer is however obliged to comply with the provisions of the Pensions Act 2008 which generally means your employer will auto-enrol you into a pension scheme. You may however opt-out if you wish.  

Equal Pay

Q: My male colleague earns more than me, even though we do the same job. I do however have more qualifications and experience. 

A: You are entitled under the Equality Act 2010 to equal pay for equal work. Equal work may be classed as ‘like’ work, whether the job and skills are the same; or work rated as equivalent where work is rated the same; or work of equal value, where the work is not similar but is of equal value. 


Q: My employer proposes to add surveillance cameras to the workplace. Can they do this? 

A: Yes, it is permissible in certain circumstances to do so but any interference with your right to privacy under Article 8 – Schedule 1 Human Rights Act 1998 should also be proportionate. 


Q: The business I work for is to be sold and we are all to be made redundant – is this right?

A: This could be a transfer of an undertaking in which case the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 may apply. This would then operate to transfer your employment to the new purchaser of the business.  


Q: I had an Employment Tribunal case against my employer and as a result they failed to offer me a promotion. How can I deal with this? 

A: This would potentially be victimisation contrary to s27 of the Equality Act 2010. You could raise it in the first instance as a grievance with your employer. 

Q: I have been summoned for jury service but my employer is refusing to let me attend. Are they obliged to let me attend? 

A: Yes but they do not have to pay you during your absence.

Q: I am in a WhatsApp group with other employees. Can I say what I like on social media?

A: It would be wise to first consider the impact which this may have. If the topics in the group are such that your colleagues are offended by your comments, and what is said in group chats is reported to your employer, then it could lead to some difficult discussions with your employer. 

Q: What about my human rights? Can’t I say what I wish? 

A: The right to self-expression is not absolute and your employer is free to direct how its employees should behave at work. In some cases, this may even extend outside of work.  

Termination of Employment

Q: I have been dismissed without any notice – is this legal?

A: Only in certain circumstances – for example, the law provides that you may be dismissed without notice for gross misconduct. 

Q: I have been offered a settlement agreement – do I have to pay tax on any payment in lieu of notice (PILON)? 

A: Yes. Under the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 PILON is taxable.

Q: My employer is no longer able to run their business because they are insolvent and so I have lost my job. Who will pay the salary owed, holiday pay, notice and redundancy pay?

A: You may be due payments by the administrator or liquidator of the insolvent Company or from the Government’s Redundancy Payments Service.  

Q: My partner was unlucky enough to die at work. Is their employment continuing?

A: No. Their employment has ended by operation of law. However, their estate is still owed payment for the work which they have undertaken to date, and any unpaid holiday. 


Q: My employer wishes to prevent me from working for their principal competitor for 6 months after leaving. Is this permitted? 

A: Possibly depending on their employment contract.  In certain circumstances such restrictions may be valid (if incorporated in the contract)  and they may be enforced against you by means of an injunction obtained in the High Court of England and Wales. 

The information above is generalised, please always seek advice specific to your situation. 

For further information or legal advice, please contact or call 0118 951 6800. 

This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.

Andrea Corr

Andrea Corr

Senior Solicitor, Employment Law

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