Employment Law Glossary

  • ACAS
    Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service

  • Accrued
    When something is accumulated.

  • Appeal
    When a decision has been made at formal proceedings, the employee will usually have the right to take the matter higher for the matter to be reconsidered.

  • Burden of Proof
    This means that whoever is deemed to have the burden of proof is the person who must first prove their case. In the example of Constructive Dismissal cases and the burden of proof

  • Compensation
    If an employee is successful in a claim at Employment Tribunal then it is likely they will be entitled to an award which is usually termed compensation.

  • Compromise Agreements
    A Compromise Agreement is an Agreement entered into by the employee and employer which effectively signs away the employee’s right to any claim that they have or may have against the employer. In order for such an Agreement to be binding it must comply with certain conditions.

  • Conjoined Appeal
    Appeal claims joined in together

  • Constructive Dismissal
    This is a term used when an employer has committed a fundamental breach of the employee’s contract of employment and the employee subsequently resigns and claims that they had no alternative. Employees considering this course of action must ensure that they have carried out a full and proper Grievance Procedure. They must also ensure that they satisfy the eligibility criteria which is the same as those listed under unfair dismissal.

  • Court of appeal
    This is a court which is higher than the County Court. A Court of Appeal’s decisions are binding on the lower County Court.

  • Culpability
    This means that they are deserving of blame

  • Degrade
    This is where an employee’s dignity is affected

  • Dignity at Work
    This terminology usually arises when a party feels that they have been harassed which has an impact on their self esteem.

  • Directors service Agreements
    These are bespoke contracts of employment for Directors of businesses.

  • Disability
    An Employee may have a physical or mental impairment that affects their day to day activities which may be deemed a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995

  • Disability Discrimination Act
    This is specific statutory legislation and the most recent of which is the Disability Discrimination Act 1995

  • Disciplinary action
    This is action taken by the employer when an employee needs to be disciplined. For full details see ‘Disciplinary Procedures’

  • Disciplinary Rules and procedures
    Where an employer is contemplating dismissing an employee it is now a statutory requirement that they ensure the statutory disciplinary and dismissal procedure is carried out. Failure to do so is likely to result in the finding of an automatic unfair dismissal (irrespective of the strength of the employer’s underlying case) and an increase on the compensation from between 10 - 50%.

  • Discrimination
    this may apply when a person is treated less favourably on the grounds of their sex, gender reassignment, marital status, race, disability, sexual orientation and religion or religious belief and from October 2006, Age.

  • EC Directive
    This relates to European legislation but there should be no need to define this under employment law specifically because it covers all areas of law.

  • Employment Appeal Tribunal
    An employment matter can be taken to an Employment Tribunal. However, upon receipt of the judgment, in some situations the losing party can appeal to a higher Tribunal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, who has the power to either overturn or concur with the original decision.

  • Employment Contract
    This is an Agreement between the Employer and Employee. For a contract to exist, it does not have to be in written form. It can also be orally and/or through custom and practice.

  • Employment Equality
    All employees should be treated equally, for example, a female worker may be deemed to have been treated less equally if she receives less salary that her male colleague who carries out the exact same job on the exact same terms and conditions

  • Employment Protection Legislation
    Employees and Employers are protected under numerous legislation and regulations

  • Equal Opportunities
    Ensuring all employees are treated equally

  • European Court of Justice
    this is the European Court of Justice

  • Genuine Occupational Requirement
    This means that when an employee is potentially discriminating against an employee they have a genuine reason why they are. For example, if it is essential that a job is held by a woman to preserve the decency or privacy because it is likely to involve physical contact with other women then it will be a genuine occupational requirement that the job requires a female without being deemed discriminatory.

  • Grievance Procedure
    An employee working in an organisation may have difficulties or concerns about their work, their working conditions or perhaps a relationship with a colleague. The Grievance Procedure is a formal way in which those grievances can be addressed. Since October 2004 it has become a statutory requirement for employees to undertake a grievance procedure before they pursue a claim to an Employment Tribunal. Failure to do so is likely to result in their claim being barred.

  • Gross Misconduct
    The act committed is so bad that the employee, if found guilty, will be dismissed

  • Harassment
    This occurs where on the grounds of sex, marital status, gender reassignment, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, an employer behaves in a way that has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an interrogating, hostile, degrading, humiliating environment for the individual.

  • Hostile
    This is where the employer or another employee is particularly unfriendly and/or aggressive.

  • Human Rights Legislation
    As well as specific Employment Law, there is legislation that protects a person’s rights and both may sometimes overlap. For example, religious discrimination may also involve infringement of the Human Rights Act 1998.

  • Humiliate
    This is where an employee’s dignity, self esteem or pride is affected as a result of the treatment by either the employer or another employee.

  • Inadmissible
    This means that something is not allowed. Dismissal of an inadmissible reason will be deemed unfair dismissal.

  • Incident
    This is when there has been an occurrence of something

  • Injure
    This is where the employee or employer suffers harm

  • Intimidating
    This is where an employee is fearful of the employer or another employee.

  • IRLR
    Many Court cases are often reported on in order that they can then be referred to by others for use in future case. If they are reported they will be given a reference in order that they can easily be located. This is part of the case reference for those reported by ‘The Industrial Relations Law Reports’.

  • Job evaluation Study
    this is not something that the Employment Department has specifically requested and does not need defining on the website.

  • L and C agreement
    means the Information and Consultation Agreement.

  • Onerous obligations
    This is when a party is required to do something that is particular burdensome

  • Prevailing
    This is terminology used when something is so frequent, common or widespread.

  • Pro-rata Holiday
    this is where something is apportioned, for example, a part time worker is entitled to the same holidays (20 days) as a full time worker on a pro rata basis. If the part time worker only works three days a week they will be entitled to only 12 days holiday.

  • Regulations
    Regulations, like statutes, provide both protection and obligations on parties.

  • Remuneration
    this means the Employment’s salary.

  • Sexual Harassment
    unwanted conduct of a sexual nature towards an employee

  • Statutory Maternity Pay
    In certain situations women on maternity leave may be entitled to maternity pay from the government

  • Statutory Obligations
    Obligations that are imposed by statute i.e. Acts of Parliament.

  • Tribunal
    This entails a board of officials appointed to hear cases and make a judgment in situations that cannot be resolved between the parties themselves.

  • TUPE
    The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) preserves employees' terms and conditions when a business or undertaking, or part of one, is transferred to a new employer.

  • Unfair Dismissal
    This is a statutory claim which can be brought only by certain employees who satisfy eligibility criteria. This includes that they must be an employee with at least one year’s continuous employment and within a specific age limit which is either below the age of 65 or below what is deemed a normal retiring age by them.

  • Wrongful Dismissal
    Wrongful dismissal is the legal term used for a dismissal by the employer that was in breach of the employee’s contract of employment. For example, an employee with a one month notice period within their contract, who is dismissed without notice and who has not carried out any misconduct is likely to have a claim for wrongful dismissal. The remedy would be payment to the employee of their one month notice period.

Whatever your legal query, Franklins Solicitors have the know how to help guide you through the maze of life.