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Confused by some of the jargon used by employment lawyers or HR departments?  Use our helpful A to Z of employment law to understand your position:

  • A week’s pay

A capped sum used as the basis for calculating weekly earnings for the purposes of several statutory rights. 

  • ACAS

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service - an independent organisation that seeks to promote improvement in industrial relations. ACAS publishes a Code of Practice and will mediate employment disputes.

  • Adoption leave

Parents of adopted children are entitled to 52 weeks' leave, subject to eligibility.   

  • Age discrimination

Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s age.    

  • Agency worker

Someone who registers with an employment agency and undertakes work for the agency’s clients.

  • Apprentice

Someone who is employed at a junior level under one of a number of specified government–recognised apprenticeship schemes for the primary purpose of training and development. 

  • Basic award

An award made by the Employment Tribunal to compensate successful employees for unfair dismissal.  This award is calculated according to a formula based on the employee’s age, length of service and weekly pay.

  • Breach of contract ("BOC")

When either party to a contract breaches one or more of its terms.

  • Casual workers

Workers employed on an ad hoc basis, often in industries such as catering and agriculture. The work offered to a casual worker is usually seasonal or in an industry which has variable needs throughout the year.   

  • Collective agreement

An agreement or an arrangement between an employer and one or more trade union.

  • Compensatory award

An award made by the Employment Tribunal to compensate successful employees for the losses they have incurred as a result of the termination of their employment.

  • Conciliation

An alternative dispute mechanism which aims to resolve disputes outside of the Employment Tribunal.  

  • Constructive dismissal

The employee is forced to resign from their employment due to the actions of their employer making the working relationship untenable.

  • Continuous employment

A minimum period of service with an employer before an employee accrues certain employment rights (such as the right to bring  an unfair dismissal claim or claim statutory maternity pay).

  • Contract of Employment

A written agreement governing the relationship between the employee and the employer.  Sometimes referred to as a “Section 1 statement”, or a written statement of terms and conditions.

  • Disability discrimination

Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s disability.

  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures

These set out the process to be followed when there are allegations of misconduct against an employee or when an employee wishes to raise a grievance against their employer.

  • Dismissal

When the employer terminates the Contract of Employment with the employee.

  • Early Conciliation

A mandatory procedure which must be initiated and concluded before a claim is issued in the Employment Tribunal. 

  • Effective date of termination ("EDT")

The date upon which the employee’s employment terminates for the purposes of employment legislation. 

  • Employee

Someone who is contracted to carry out certain duties in accordance with their Contract of Employment. 

  • Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT")

Hears appeals against decisions of the Employment Tribunal.

  • Employment Tribunal ("ET")

Hears employment disputes. Cases are adjudicated by one legally qualified Employment Judge who may sit alone or with two lay members with appropriate experience.

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission ("EHRC")

Promotes understanding of the importance of equality and diversity, encourages good practice in relation to equality and diversity, promotes equality of opportunity, enforces the Equality Act 2010 and works towards the elimination of unlawful discrimination and harassment.

  • Fixed-Term Contract

A Contract of Employment that terminates upon the expiry of a fixed-term, on completion of a particular task or on the occurrence (or non-occurrence) of a specific event.

  • Flexible working

The right to request a flexible working pattern of employment.

  • Garden leave

A period when an employee is asked not to attend the office or contact clients or customers, but still receives their salary and contractual benefits.

  • Gig Economy

A way of working whereby an individual is self-employed but takes on numerous short term "gigs" for different organisations.

  • Gross misconduct

Misconduct so serious as to justify the dismissal of an employee without notice or a payment in lieu.

  • Guarantee payment

A payment made to employees who have been laid off.

  • Harassment

Unwanted conduct violating another person’s dignity, or creating an offensive, intimidating or hostile environment.

  • Handbook

A paper-based or electronic document containing an employer’s employee-related policies and procedures. 

  • Holiday

A period of time where the employee does not attend their place of work but continues to receive their usual remuneration.

  • Industrial action

Can include strikes, work-to-rule, go-slow or an overtime ban.

  • Maternity allowance ("MA")

A social security benefit paid to those who are not entitled to statutory maternity pay. 

  • Maternity leave

A period of leave an employee is entitled to take upon the birth of their child.

  • National Living Wage ("NLW")

A premium added to the national minimum wage for all workers aged 25 and over, which is effective from April 2016.

  • National Minimum Wage ("NMW")

A minimum hourly rate of pay which workers in the UK are entitled to receive.

  • Notice

A period of time that must be given to the other party before terminating a Contract of Employment.

  • Parental leave

A period of leave in addition to maternity or paternity leave.

  • Part-time workers

Workers who are paid by reference to the hours they work.

  • Paternity leave

A period of leave the father of a child is entitled to take following the child’s birth.

  • Protective award

An award which the Employment Tribunal may order an employer to pay to its employees if it has failed to inform and consult the employees’ representatives when making 20 or more employees redundant.

  • Protected conversation

Properly described as a “pre-termination negotiation” it is a framework for a discussion with an employee which will be inadmissible in evidence in any later unfair dismissal claim. 

  • Race discrimination

Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s race.

  • Redundancy

Where an employer decides to reduce its workforce (usually due to a reduction in work) leading to an employee having their employment terminated.

  • References

Information given to a future employer highlighting an employee’s key achievements and responsibilities whilst in employment.

  • Discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief

Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s religion or belief.

  • Settlement Agreement

A written agreement complying with certain strict statutory requirements which has the effect of waiving those statutory rights of an employee which are identified in it. 

  • Sex discrimination

Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s sex.

  • Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation

Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s sexual orientation.

  • Shared Parental Leave

An entitlement for eligible parents of babies and adopted children to share maternity rights and benefits for their child during the child’s first year. 

  • Statutory adoption pay ("SAP")

Payments made by an employer to an employee who is on adoption leave.

  • Statutory maternity pay ("SMP")

Payments made by an employer to an employee who is on maternity leave.

  • Statutory sick pay ("SSP")

Payments made by an employer to an employee who is on sick leave.

  • Strike

A mass refusal of employees to continue to work, often arranged by a trade union in protest to an employer’s actions.

  • Suspension

Where an employer sends an employee home and does not give them any work to do, but they remain an employee entitled to pay and benefits.  Usually happens when the employer is investigating an employee’s alleged misconduct.

  • Terms and Conditions of Employment

Usually found in the Contract of Employment; terms and conditions which record the terms upon which the employee works for the employer.

  • Trade union

An organisation which consists of workers whose principal purpose is the regulation of relations between workers and their employers.

  • Transfer of undertakings ("TUPE")

Legislation that regulates what happens to its employees when a business is transferred from its owner to another, or where responsibility for an out-sourced service is transferred. 

  • Unfair dismissal ("UD")

The reason and the manner in which the dismissal of an employee was handled.

  • Unlawful deduction of wages

The deduction of any sum from an employee’s wages without the employee’s authorisation or consent.

  • Victimisation

An individual treats another person unfavourably because they suspect or know that the person is intending to do a protected act. A protected act includes discrimination proceedings, giving evidence in proceedings or making an allegation of unlawful dismissal. 

  • 'Without Prejudice' conversation

A rule which will generally prevent statements made in a genuine attempt to settle an existing dispute, whether made orally or in writing, from being put before a Court or Tribunal as evidence of an admission by the party making the statement. 

  • Worker

Someone who works under a Contract of Employment or any other contract (written or oral) whereby they undertake to perform certain duties on behalf of the employer.

  • Working Time Regulations ("WTR")

Legislation that regulates the number of hours an employee is to work, the employment of children, rest breaks and holidays.

Meet the Team

Blacks’ Employment Team has a wealth of knowledge and experience over a complete range of employment law issues. We are renowned for our friendly and pragmatic approach.

Paul Kelly is the Head of Department with overall responsibility for the team and supervises all team members on respective matters, save for matters handled by other partners in the team who have responsibility for that matter. 

Employment Bulletins

To view any of our recent bulletins please click on the date below.

27/11/2018 - “Carriages at midnight” – A Christmas warning

20/11/2018 - Winning the holiday jackpot

13/11/2018 - Employment Tribunal Fees – a Phoenix from the ashes?

06/11/2018 - Employing and Dismissing Reservists

30/10/2018 - Personal liability for whistleblowing claims

23/10/2018 - The abolition of Employment Tribunal fees: what has been the real effect?

17/10/2018 - Postponing Disciplinary Hearings

09/10/2018 - Parental Bereavement Leave

02/10/2018 - Tipped Off?

25/09/2018 - Notice: will it always be regarded as resignation?

You can view all of our past bulletins here.

You can sign up to our employment bulletins here. 

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Chris Allen
Chris Allen
Managing Partner
0113 227 9228

Chris Allen qualified as a Solicitor in 1993 and joined Blacks Solicitors in 1994, where he has held the position of Managing Partner since 2008.

He specialises in advising on the drafting and negotiation of Settlement Agreements, drafting contracts of employment, and conducting Employment Tribunal proceedings.

Chris is recognised by The Legal 500 for “leading by example” and for being “friendly and reasonable”. He has also been flagged by Chambers & Partners as “an absolutely first class communicator, whether that is with his clients or with the community more widely.”

He is also a member of the firm’s Sports Law team which acts on behalf of a number of sports clubs, associations, manufacturers and retailers. The Team is recommended by The Legal 500 for providing “a very high level of service.” Chris is noted as a Leading Individual in this area of law and is described as a “consummate professional and a concise lawyer with a fine eye for detail.”

Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly
0113 227 9249

Paul Kelly joined Blacks Solicitors in 2002, where he trained, qualified, and became a Partner in 2011. He is Head of the Employment team and supports Owner Managed Businesses (OMBs) and senior executives.

Having practiced exclusively in employment law for 14 years, Paul is regarded as an experienced practitioner who is known for his common sense approach to dealing with employment disputes and his focus on achieving the best commercial outcome for his clients.

He specialises in advising on redundancy, restructuring, grievances, disciplinary procedures, and employment litigation, and has particular expertise in advising on and negotiating senior exit strategies on behalf of employers and employees.

Paul is frequently asked to provide commentary for national publications on a vast range of employment and HR issues such as the gig economy, the display of religious symbols at work and bereavement leave.

He is recognised by the Legal 500 as being a “phenomenal lawyer”, “personable” and “technically strong.”

Richard Parr
Richard Parr
0113 227 9246

Richard Parr qualified as a Solicitor in 1978 and has worked at Blacks Solicitors since 2009, where he is currently a Partner in the Employment team.

With 40 years’ post-qualification under his belt, Richard is an expert employment practitioner, combining intellect with practical application to add real value for clients. He specialises in TUPE, employment issues in insolvency, executive termination packages (including tax issues), post termination restrictions and the Commercial Agents Regulations.

His background in civil litigation has given him an invaluable skill-set for those employment disputes which are particularly acrimonious, allowing him to display a powerful grasp of both tactics and litigation psychology.

Richard is described by the Legal 500 as having “too many strengths to list” and attracts praise for his “entrepreneurial style and approach.” He is noted by Chambers & Partners as being “recognised by peers for his reputation in the SME market and his broad employment knowledge.”

Tom Moyes
Tom Moyes
0113 227 9238

Tom Moyes qualified at Blacks Solicitors in 2009. He became a Partner in 2015 and currently works in the Employment team.

He provides his clients with clear and practical legal advice in respect of employment law issues and acts for both individuals and companies.

Tom specialises in: disciplinary and grievance procedures; discrimination; preparation of contracts of employment; directors’ service agreements; employment policies; Settlement Agreements; restructuring and redundancy; and exit strategies.

He also specialises in Tribunal litigation and has been described by his clients as “clearly a very talented solicitor” and “nothing short of brilliant”.

Tom is also recognised by The Legal 500 as being a “star lawyer”, “razor sharp”, and for his “communication skills and legal knowledge”, with him being “able to communicate on both a lawyer level and personal level extremely well”.

Euan Lawrence
Euan Lawrence
0113 227 9207

Euan Lawrence is an Associate Solicitor in the Employment team. Having joined Blacks Solicitors in 2006, Euan qualified in 2008 and was promoted to Associate in 2014.

He specialises in providing clear, practical advice on workplace disputes and other aspects of employment law to employers (predominantly owner managed businesses) and individual employees.

Particular areas of strength include drafting and negotiating settlement agreements, advising on exit strategies, preparing service agreements, advising on TUPE transfers (related to business sales, tendering for public sector contracts and intra-group transfers) and contesting Employment Tribunal claims.

Euan has considerable experience of presenting on a variety of topics to clients and business contacts both through Blacks and his involvement with a BNI networking group (of which he has been a member for over 9 years). He has also appeared on BBC Radio Leeds, Radio Aire and BBC Look North discussing the practical application of the law to the workplace.

Euan is also recognised by The Legal 500 for his “enthusiastic and extremely dedicated” approach.

Iain Jenkins
Iain Jenkins
Employment Director
0113 227 9308

Iain Jenkins is an Employment Director in the Employment team.

He has over 20 years’ experience as an employment lawyer and joined Blacks Solicitors in 2015 to further strengthen the Employment team.

He acts on a wide range of employment issues both for employers and individuals, including restrictive covenants and confidentiality cases. He regularly advises on and negotiates settlement agreements and termination packages. His work also covers general advice on HR matters and advice required on the sale and purchase of businesses, particularly covering TUPE. In addition to his advisory work, Iain runs external training courses on behalf of Blacks on general employment matters.

He also advises on data protection and particularly the impact of GDPR. This work covers advice on the employment and commercial aspects of data protection.

Iain has been recognised in Chambers Legal Directory and is also a CEDR accredited mediator. He has mediated a number of commercial disputes. Iain has also recently qualified as a workplace mediator.

David Ward
David Ward
0113 227 9262

David Ward is an Associate Solicitor in the Employment and Commercial teams. He trained with Blacks Solicitors from 2011 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2013.

He acts for both individuals and companies, providing clients with clear and practical legal advice and excellent client care.

He specialises in running Employment Tribunal litigation, negotiating complex and contentious settlement agreements and advising upon all aspects of employment law disputes. David has a particular interest in the education and military sectors which are niche areas of employment law.

David also undertakes commercial advice, especially relating to the automotive industry.

David is recognised by the Legal 500 for his “ability to explain the legal process in simple terms”.

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