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  • Overview

    Expert advice from Employment Lawyers in Kent

    This page gives an overview of our employment services for employees. If you're an employer looking for professional advice on employment law, please visit our 'For Your Business' page.

    Facing a difficult situation regarding your employment such as redundancy or unfair treatment can be frightening and stressful. It can feel as if all the cards are stacked in favour of your employer. It's important to understand that employment legislation exists to protect employees – getting advice on your rights can give you an entirely different picture. That is why our employment lawyers are the perfect team to assist you. 

    Our employment lawyers have a proven track record of winning employment tribunal claims and disputes. They achieve great success in negotiating severance packages and assisting in the facilitation of exit strategies.

    Getting advice from our employment solicitors can help you achieve a quick resolution, maximum compensation and an amicable exit.

    How our employment lawyers can help:

    • Legal advice on the Employment Rights Act 1996
    • Spell out the pros and cons of the options open to you
    • Give you a clear idea of the timeframe
    • Define the best strategy
    • Guide you through the process
    • Prepare you for meetings with your employer
    • Draft any communications
    • Represent you at employment tribunal, employment appeal tribunal, high court and court of appeal.
       

    Find out more about:

     

    With offices in two locations (Tunbridge Wells and Thames Gateway - Dartford), our employment lawyers in Kent are available for face-to-face client meetings and regular calls to update you on your case. Contact our employment solicitors in Kent and Sussex today for further advice.
     

              

  • Related Client Stories

    Successfully advising a client regarding its managing director’s behaviour

    Thomson Snell & Passmore were instructed by a retail and wholesale business that needed advice regarding its managing director’s behaviour.

    Advising a headteacher on whether action taken so far could give rise to a claim of procedural fairness

    Nick Hobden was contacted by a headteacher of a specialist school when an employee (a speech and language therapist) did not return to work after the Christmas break. The employee gave notice and was signed off as sick by her GP for work-related stress for the duration of her notice period.

    Acting for an individual sued by his previous employer

    Our client was sued by his previous employer for £277,240 for breach of express and implied terms of his employment contract. In particular, it was alleged that he had breached his duties of faith and fidelity, had taken confidential information and had approached and solicited clients in competition with his previous employer as well as enticing five employees to leave with him.

  • Latest Updates

    Workplace Law - June 2019

    Welcome to the June edition of workplace law.

    Workplace Law - May 2019

    In this edition, we review the rise of disability discrimination claims, the effect that menopause is having on women at work, the potential claims of discrimination from vegans, shared parental leave and the work/life balance.

    Work-life balance

    The UK has the longest working week in Europe but before we pat ourselves on the back too much for being such dedicated workers, there is evidence to suggest we are not working as productively as our European counterparts. 

    Shared Parental Leave and discrimination

    The Court of Appeal has handed down its judgment in two joined cases which concerned whether it was discriminatory to pay men on shared parental leave less than women on enhanced maternity pay terms.

    Why is there so much beef with vegans?

    It might be hard to swallow but veganism is on the rise, globally.

    Putting a Menopause on work

    Menopause can be a challenging time and bring with it unexpected changes to the body that affect an individual’s daily life. 

    Disability discrimination claims are on the rise

    Research indicates that disability discrimination claims being heard by the Tribunals increased by 37% from 2017 to 2018. This may well be because of the abolition of Tribunal fees, but another strong contender is that stress-induced mental health issues are on the rise. This comes as with the increasing readiness of employees to allege that mental health issues amount to disabilities. There is also an increasing awareness of mental health issues and a tendency to hold employers responsible for these.

    Holiday pay must include regular voluntary overtime

    The Court of Appeal has handed down a judgement in the case of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust v Flowers which concerned whether pay for voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay.

    Campaign launched to improve job security

    The Living Wage Foundation has recently launched Living Hours which is a new campaign aimed at FTSE100 employers and has been designed to improve job security for zero hour contract workers.

    Businesses encouraged to join the #WorkWithMe pledge

    There are one million disabled people in the UK who would like to work, but are not given the opportunity by many businesses. YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, recently conducted research focusing on HR decision-makers, which revealed that many businesses are contributing to a disability employment crisis due to outdated beliefs and an unwillingness to tackle the issue

    Workplace Law - April 2019

    Welcome to the April edition of workplace law.  This time we look at women’s progression in the workplace, the ethnicity pay gap, Brexit travel, National Minimum Wage enforcement and stress at work.

    Stress at work

    Stress is, arguably, inherent in work and is a nationwide issue.  A recent report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 37% of the 1,078 professionals interviewed had noticed a rise in stress-related absences over the past year. 

    National minimum wage enforcement

    There are various levels of national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) depending on an individual’s age. 

    Only 5% of employers have analysed their ethnicity pay gap

    New research suggests that only a small fraction of UK businesses have conducted any analysis of their ethnicity pay gap with legal restrictions and GDPR compliance being the main factors restricting them from doing so.

    Women's progression in the workplace

    The Government Equalities Office has recently issued new guidance for employers on actions they can take to support women’s progress in the workplace.  It is hoped that this will help to close the gender pay gap and increase gender equality in the workplace.

    UK named among least ‘family-friendly’ countries in new study

    The UK has been ranked as one of the least family-friendly among the world’s richest countries; a new study by the UN’s children’s charity has shown.

    Workplace Law - March 2019

    Welcome to another edition of Workplace Law! In this edition, we look at the continuing increase in tribunal awards and statutory payments, the lack of awareness for holiday pay, mental health in the construction sector and suspension of employees.

    When can an employer suspend an employee without breaching the implied term of trust and confidence?

    In a case featuring London Borough of Lambeth, the Court of Appeal grappled with this question when Mrs Agoreyo, a primary school was suspended after two teaching assistants accused her of using excessive force against two young pupils with special educational needs.

    Holiday pay awareness

    We all recall the Taylor Review, published in July 2017, which looked at the labour market and provided a number of recommendations for workplace reform, addressing the status issues for atypical workers in the gig economy and agency workers.  

    Workplace Law - February 2019

    Welcome to another edition of Workplace Law! In this edition, we look at ACAS’ updated guidance on age discrimination, the recent Ladbrokes redundancy selection criteria case and the gender pay gap.

    How can my organisation explain its gender pay gap?

    Organisations with a headcount of 250 or more employees on the ‘snapshot date’ of 5 April 2018 are required to publish gender pay gap reports by 4 April 2019 at the latest.

    Ladbrokes out of luck on their proposed redundancy criteria

    Not only do some of their customers experience bad luck, but it appears that Bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral have had their fair share of misfortune this month.

    ACAS’ updated guidance on age discrimination

    Age is one of the nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 (EQA 2010).  Under the EQA 2010, discrimination, i.e. the treatment of someone unfairly because of a protected characteristic, is discriminatory and therefore against the law.  

    Workplace Law - January 2019

    Welcome to the first edition of Workplace Law 2019! In this edition we look at the updates on the Government’s Good Work Plan, the gig-economy Uber case, and the ICO’s no-deal Brexit data protection advice.

    Welcome to Eleanor Hobbs

    A warm welcome to Eleanor Hobbs who started with Thomson Snell & Passmore at the beginning of this year. Eleanor joins us from Hailsham Chambers and is working closely with the employment team and through her apprenticeship course with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

    ICO reiterates data protection advice in the case of a no-deal Brexit

    The Information Commissioner’s Office has provided six practical steps for companies, including employers, to take in order to prepare for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit situation.

    Uber drivers are “workers”, and are entitled to minimum wage, annual leave and unlawful deduction protection

    The Uber case was one of the first and arguably the most high-profile Gig Economy cases that contested whether the individual Uber driver was self-employed or a worker. 

    The Government’s Good Work Plan

    Move over 2019, we’re already looking at April 2020! In December 2018, the widely-anticipated Good Work Plan was published, outlining the “Government’s vision for the future of the UK labour market”.   

    Workplace Law - December 2018

    Welcome to a festive edition of Workplace Law, in the articles that follow we look at GDPR and the risks of allowing employees to access work emails from personal devices, Collaborative Employment Law and our Christmas wish.

    All I want for Christmas is EU (withdrawal clarity)

    In a November Workplace Law article we highlighted the continued uncertainty of the position of the three-to-four million EU nationals residing in the UK, and the employers that employ them, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. 

    Collaborative Employment Law: make it your New Year’s Resolution…

    The Employment Tribunal national user group has published the minutes of its most recent summit, we feel they highlight the necessity for businesses to look for new and innovative means to approaching disputes in the workplace 

    General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

    Is it a coincidence that X-mas and GDPR both have four letters in them? We think not, and so here is a festive update on GDPR. This is our present from us to you, you’re welcome

    Workplace Law - November 2018

    Welcome to another edition of Workplace Law, in these articles we look at the employment tribunal fees, EU workers rights on a no-deal Brexit and the research conducted by ACAS on sexual harassment.

    ACAS research - Sexual Harassment

    In 2016, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that 52% of all women polled in their ‘Still just a bit of banter?’ report had experienced some form of sexual harassment.

    EU workers’ right to work in the UK on a no-deal Brexit

    The deadline of the 29 March 2019 for Brexit creeps ever closer and on a daily basis, we can all speculate whether we are heading for a “no-deal” Brexit.  

    Employment tribunal fees

    It has been a little over a year since the employment tribunal fees were abolished following the Supreme Court judgment, which heavily criticised the fees and decided that they were unlawful.

    Workplace Law - October 2018

    Don’t be tricked by recent updates on employment law, let us treat you with updates on the scary Data Protection fines, parental bereavement and frightening vicarious liability. Happy Halloween!

    Welcome

    A belated welcome to William Chrusciel who has started as a Trainee Solicitor with Thomson Snell & Passmore in September.  This is his first seat but already William has assisted with a number of the workplace law articles and is working closely with the employment team.

    Vicarious liability

    There has been a recent string of vicarious liability cases seemingly increasing the remit for which an employer will be found to be vicariously liable for the actions of its employees.  The case of Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Limited is another one of these cases.  

    Parental Bereavement – new right to 2 weeks’ leave expected in 2020

    The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Bill has recently received Royal Assent, and is expected to come into force in April 2020.

    Data Protection fines – what employers should really be nervous about this Halloween…

    UK data protection legislation, including the new GDPR, is enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO has the authority to issue monetary fines of up to 4% of a company’s annual worldwide turnover, or 20 million euros, for those in breach of their data protection duties.

    Workplace Law - September 2018

    In this edition of Workplace Law we look at the new guidance on employment references, the call for a four day week and some tribunal statistics.   

    Call for a four day week

    We’re not one for causing controversy but we couldn’t let this one just pass us by!

    Tribunal statistics

    It’s that time again; the Government has published the latest batch of tribunal statistics detailing claims from April to June 2018. 

    ACAS launches new guidance on employment references

    The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) have produced new guidance on providing references in an effort to assist employers when providing references for departing personnel.

    Employment status

    The hot topic

    Are you being discriminated against?

    More and more people think they may be being discriminated against – but there are many different forms of discrimination which means potential claims are not always straight forward.

    Workplace Law - August 2018

    In this edition of Workplace Law we look at holiday pay calculations and the recent gender pay gap reporting. 

    Workplace Law - July 2018

    We are really heating up this edition of Workplace Law as we take a look at the recent heatwave and the government’s recent list of employers failing to pay the National Minimum/Living Wage.

    Naming and shaming of employers failing to pay the National Minimum/Living Wage

    The saying goes “another day, another dollar”. 

    Some like it hot

    Summer has officially arrived and with it comes a heatwave.  With some parts of the country reaching a scorching 30 degrees there are a number of heatwave warnings in place.  

    Workplace Law - June 2018

    Welcome to another edition of Workplace Law. In this edition, we consider how you can survive the World Cup and the recent Supreme Court case involving Pimlico Plumbers.

    Pimlico plumbers

    By way of a very brief re-cap to this long running worker status case, Mr Gary Smith commenced work for Pimlico Plumbers in August 2005 and worked solely for them until he was released from service on 3 May 2011.  During this time Pimlico Plumbers gave him a contract that labelled him as an independent contractor.

    The World Cup 2018

    Football fever has once again gripped the world with the advent of the World Cup – Russia 2018

    Thank you

    We wanted to say a big thank you and goodbye to Susanna Rynehart.    

    Shared parental leave

    Shared parental leave has had a very low uptake on a national scale.

    ACAS time limits are sequential

    Whenever you are faced with an actual or potential employment tribunal claim, the first thing to look at is whether the claimant will/has lodged their claim within the limitation period for the specific claim(s).

    Article for people management re unpaid internships

    Internships are an increasingly common route into work, particularly for young graduates. In April, the Institute for Public Policy Research published research suggesting that the number of internships has doubled since 2010. Of these internships, they estimate that one in five is unpaid. 

    Workplace Law - March 2018

    Happy Easter!  In this Spring edition, we consider the possible extension of shared parental leave to the self-employed, the increase in ACAS Early Conciliation notifications and tribunal claims and finally the recent case outlining that costs can be awarded even before the ET3 is served on the claimant.

    Costs can be awarded for the period before the ET3 is lodged

    Unlike the other civil courts in the UK, costs are not necessarily awarded to the winning side.  Instead, costs can be awarded generally only when a party has acted, amongst other things, unreasonably.  

    Increase in employment tribunal claims and ACAS Early Conciliation notifications

    Since the abolishment of the employment tribunal fees in July 2017 there has been an increase in both ACAS Early Conciliation (EC) notifications and employment tribunal claims.  

    Shared parental leave for the self-employed

    Shared Parental Leave (SPL) was introduced to the UK in 2015 and allows mothers going on maternity leave to split up the 52 weeks of maternity leave and 39 weeks of statutory pay with their partners.

    Overtime and holiday pay

    The transport and logistics sector relies upon having a flexible workforce, and the ability to require employees to work overtime is key to ensuring that customer demand is met.

    Workplace Law - January 2018

    Happy New Year and welcome to another edition of Workplace Law.  In this edition, we consider rogue employees when it comes to data breaches, covert cameras and the increase in tribunal fees.

    Employment Tribunal statistics

    We are certain that you’ve never read a more enticing heading.  

    Covert cameras and fingers in the till

    Surveillance at work is a tricky issue. Employers need to protect their business and property, including against the risk of unscrupulous employees. The difficulty arises where this practical necessity comes up against data protection law and human rights.

    Workplace Law - December 2017

    We have a look at the future of the Fit for Work scheme, unlimited roll over of unpaid holiday and how softening the blow of dismissal can make life harder for employers. We wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

    How softening the blow could make life harder for employers

    Dealing with performance issues can be awkward and it can often be easier to put it off and hope that the matter will resolve itself. Many choose to ‘soften the blow’ by giving reasons that do not reflect badly on the employee, like redundancy or reorganisation, what could be wrong with that? That way we can all avoid that awkward conversation that the employee is not meeting the requirements but still achieve the ultimate goal of removing the employee. Yes, that sounds good! Wrong.

    Unpaid holiday, unlimited roll over

    A recent European Court of Justice case has found that where workers are not paid for annual leave, their annual leave entitlement will roll over indefinitely. At the end of their employment, they are then entitled to payment in lieu of their accrued entitlement, apparently without limitation.

    Fit for Work out, what’s coming in?

    The government has recently announced that it is scrapping the Fit for Work scheme in England and Wales from 31 March 2018, citing low uptake for the GP-led occupational health programme. When surveyed, two thirds of GPs had not referred anyone to under the scheme in the last year, and of those who had, 40% had no successful returns to work.

    Workplace Law - November 2017

    In the wake of a number of high profile allegations of sexual harassment we consider how to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace in this month’s Workplace Law. We also consider on going case law developments in respect of employment status and the risk assessment you need to perform for women who want to breastfeed at work.

    Breastfeeding at work – Risk assessments

    The obligations on employers to carry out risk assessments in relation to new and expectant mothers are well-established. Where working conditions might put new or expectant mothers or their babies at risk, employers must carry out a risk assessment.

    Employment Appeal Tribunal upholds the ruling that Uber drivers are workers

    Just over a year ago two drivers brought an action against Uber in the Employment Tribunal (ET) arguing that they should be treated as employees. The ET concluded that Uber drivers were not employees but that they were workers as a result of which they were entitled to be paid the minimum wage, receive paid statutory holiday and be paid statutory sick pay.

    How to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace

    Half of British women and a fifth of men have been sexual harassed in the workplace, a BBC report revealed recently. The #metoo campaign that’s swarming social media has revealed that many individuals are not aware of what actually constitutes sexual harassment and that there are far more victims then we currently think.

    The benefits of promoting positive mental health in the workplace

    The management of mental health in the workplace has been hitting headlines in recent months. In October, the Thriving at Work report, commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May, found that up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year, with poor mental health costing the UK economy up to £99billion annually.

    Government announces Social Care Compliance Scheme for underpaid sleep-in shifts

    The government has announced a new Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS) to help care providers who have underpaid workers carrying out sleep-in shifts in the past.

    Workplace Law - October 2017

    The workplace as we know is ever evolving so make sure you are up to date with the latest issues in the workplace by reading this edition where we consider the ECJ ruling on discrimination for Greek police, previous incidents at work being considered in a misconduct dismissal and the taxation position of termination payments from April 2018.

    Segregation in School - The Al-Hijrah case

    The Court of Appeal has found that segregation of pupils by sex at an Islamic faith school in Birmingham was directly discriminatory.

    Holiday pay calculations when an employer is insolvent

    Could you live without a job? For some the answer is ‘of course, as long as I win the lottery!’ But for the majority of us, our employment is our livelihood; it pays for the food on our table, the clothes on our backs to the cars we drive.

    Tattoos - the last Taboo?

    Love them or hate them, tattoos are popular and more and more people have them. From Judi Dench to Harry Styles, an increasing amount of people are choosing to decorate their bodies with ink.

    Caught on Facebook - Monitoring workers' digital communications

    Last year, in Barbulescu v Romania, the European Court of Human Rights decided that employers were able to monitor their workers’ emails where there was a good reason for doing so. Now, in a surprising turn of events, that decision has been reversed on appeal.

    Has the fog cleared on vaping at work?

    E-cigarettes have not been around long but you can find an E-cigarette shop in almost every high street or shopping centre and it is estimated that there are circa 2.8 million E-cigarette users in the UK.

    Why is the take up of shared parental leave so low?

    The conciliatory service ACAS recently published a report focused on workplace attitudes towards supporting parents who take extended leave to care for children. The report, Flexible Working for Parents Returning to Work – Maintaining career development, confirms that while there’s been a big push for employers to encourage women to feel comfortable taking maternity leave without losing their status in the workplace, the same can not be said for their male counterparts.

    Workplace Law - September 2017

    The workplace as we know is ever evolving so make sure you are up to date with the latest issues in the workplace by reading this edition where we consider vaping at work, monitoring employees and the tattoo taboo..

    New guidance published on supporting parents of ill or premature babies

    There are over 95,000 babies born prematurely in the UK every year. Currently there are no enhanced or additional maternity or paternity rights for parents of babies born early.

    Huge hike in compensation payments for hurt and upset employees

    With effect from the 11 September 2017 there will be a very significant rise in compensation awards for injury to feelings or psychiatric injury in discrimination cases.

    Significant court case continues

    On 26 July 2017, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the employment tribunal fees regime, introduced in 2013, was unlawful. The government had already undertaken that if it lost the case it would refund the fees paid over the last four years.

    Workplace Law - August 2017

    There is lots of information in our August edition of Workplace Law, we have split it into three sections. These include: Voluntary overtime - we talk about a new ruling which will be welcomed by employers who are paid overtime. Statutory payments - employers need to alter how they have been calculating various statutory payments. Injuries to feelings in the workplace - a recent case (De Souza v Vinci Construction) resolved questions as to whether civil courts can now apply injuries to feelings.

    Proposal for paid time off for grieving parents

    Just before Parliament broke up for its summer break, the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill was introduced into the House.  The bill proposes that employed parents who have lost a child will, for the first time, get statutory paid leave to grieve.

    We have all been calculating statutory payments incorrectly

    Whilst this decision cannot compete with the recent employment tribunal fees ruling in terms of consequences for employers, it does go against over 20 years of established practice and will come as a shock to most employers.

    Another case shows the limits of TUPE obligations in re-contracting situations

    A recent case involving an NHS trust has demonstrated that, for a group of employees to transfer to a new contractor under TUPE, it is essential that they are organised for the principle purpose of carrying out the end client’s particular work.

    Breathing Space For Social Care As HMRC Stops Pursuit Of Fines For Minimum Wage Failures

    Newsflash - Holiday pay and voluntary overtime

    Employees who regularly work voluntary overtime should have these payments included when calculating their holiday pay, following a landmark decision on overtime and holiday pay at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) last week, in the case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts.

    Workplace Law - July 2017

    In our July edition of Workplace Law we have prepared a summary of the key points raised in the Taylor Review on Modern Working Practices. The Good Work Report makes a series of recommendations some of which if implemented into legislation then will have far reaching consequences for employers and the employment relationship. Please therefore take some time to read this month’s edition.

    Newsflash – Supreme Court abolished employment tribunal fees

    In a ground-breaking decision handed down this morning the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees are unlawful, prevent people having access to justice and the fee regime will be abolished with immediate effect from today.

    National minimum wage for workers on sleep-in shifts

    The recent case of Focus Care Agency Ltd v Mr B Roberts had the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considering whether those working “sleep-in” shifts were entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for just the time they were awake or the whole of their shift, even when they were asleep.  

    The Taylor review of Modern Working Practices

    This summer has seen the release of the eagerly anticipated independent review into modern employment practices following a swathe of high profile challenges to employment status in tribunals up and down the country.

    Legal lowdown: Polygraph testing

    A member of our Employment team spoke to HR Magazine about use of polygraph tests in employment disputes and whether they are admissible in courts and tribunals and the implications of if an employee refuses a test.

    Payroll blunders can be costly

    Earlier this month, John Lewis was forced to make a £36m provision for potential costs of paying the national minimum wage, after discovering that its systems may not comply with regulations.

    Workplace Law - May 2017

    In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at the multifactorial approach when considering National Minimum Wage for sleep-in workers, the potential discriminatory tests following an employer’s test and the MP’s assessment of the gig economy. 

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Get In Touch

By submitting an enquiry through 'get in touch' your data will only be used to contact you regarding your enquiry. If you would like to receive newsletters from Thomson Snell & Passmore please use the separate form below.

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Clear concise advice and the negotiated removal of a number of unpleasant clauses to my benefit.

Client

Very prompt and responsive both during and after business hours, to successfully progress the case to agreement within a short time period and to schedule

Client

Thank you to Nick Hobden, for the support and advice offered to me during a rather difficult period in my life.

Client

Alex has been amazing throughout this case. I definitely would not have got through the trial without him - you should be very proud of your work on this case

Counsel

The highly regarded Nick Hobden heads the department and focusses on assisting clients in the education and charity sectors with employment disputes.

The Legal 500 2017

Head of department Nick Hobden is described by clients as someone who is "very knowledgeable and commercially astute with a strategic perspective." He regularly represents clients in Employment Tribunal and High Court claims, and is noted for his expertise in the education and charity sectors.

Chambers UK 2018

Meet The Team

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