Tag Archive: employment

Job Search Efforts Key to Your Employment Case

In Ontario if you have lost your job several factors in your legal claim against the employer can decide whether your damages are awarded in full or reduced. We examine the subject of mitigation when it comes to your job search efforts and how they can strenghten or weaken your case.

You’ve been terminated and have engaged a lawyer to handle your case. You may still be dealing with the emotional effects of losing your job, and the last thing you are thinking about is looking forward and securing new employment.

Your lawyer advises you to begin your job search and to keep details of your efforts. This is because the law references the principle of mitigation that requires dismissed employees to make a concerted effort to find similar employment. In fact, many strong cases have been derailed because the employee has either not made these efforts, or has not kept detailed documentation of their search efforts. In these instances, the damages you can claim may be substantially reduced. Here are some suggestions on how to manage your job search:

1. Keep a hard copy file – you should begin by keeping a detailed file of all the job applications you send out as well as the cold calls or introductory calls you make to prospective employers. Keep a record of dates the applications were sent or the calls were made and the names of the contacts at the companies. The more relevant documentary evidence you can gather, the stronger your case becomes.

2. Track your expenses – you are allowed to claim reasonable expenses you incur in the process of looking for another job. Document and keep all your receipts for expenses such as office supplies, photocopies, transportation, and other relevant expenses.

3. Search often – it’s important to demonstrate that your job search efforts are consistent and regular.

4. Build a professional resum� – your resum� and cover letters will become evidence that is used in your case. A clearly inadequate resum� may be referenced as a reason that you have been unsuccessful with your job search efforts.

5. Apply for a number of positions – if you are finding it difficult to find similar positions within your specific area of expertise, you need to broaden your search to include jobs that may be outside of your specialty but might otherwise be acceptable.

6. Follow up – once you’ve applied for a position or have had an interview, you should follow up with the prospective employer and again, be sure to document the results of your follow-up contact.

7. Outplacement counselling – an outplacement counsellor can assist you in focusing your attention on transitioning into new employment. You should make use of this service, primarily for developing your resum�, polishing your interview skills, and helping you to tap into the hidden job market.

Preparing Witnesses for Employment Tribunal

During an employment law workshop recently, we discussed the role of witnesses. If you have dismissed an employee or dealt with the appeal and there’s a subsequent employment tribunal claim, you’re probably going to have to give evidence. It can be quite daunting, so I thought I’d put together some notes to help witnesses prepare for what to expect and how to deal with being a witness.

A tribunal is a public hearing, so members of the public or journalists may be present during the hearing.

Before giving evidence you will be required to stand while you either take the oath or affirm. An oath can be taken on a holy book which the tribunal will have. The alternative is an affirmation which is a solemn civil promise which is not linked to a religious belief.

Witness evidence will be given, either by the witness reading his statement out loud. Alternatively, the tribunal may take the statements “as read”, in which case it will not be necessary for you to read it out loud.

The employer’s legal representative may ask additional questions to expand on or clarify the evidence you have given. The claimant’s representative will then have the opportunity to question you closely about issues referred to in the witness statement and associated issues. This is referred to as “cross-examination”. The members of the panel may also have some questions. At the end of these questions you will be able to stand down.

If there is a break in the hearing whilst you are giving evidence, for example over lunch or overnight, you will be unable to discuss the matter with anyone because you will continue to be under oath.

The vast majority of tribunal claims (80%) settle or are withdrawn. With tribunal claims increasing and the cost of preparing and defending a claim running at about 8,000 to win, it pays to be prepared. If you can do some of the preparatory work, you can save a substantial amount. Find out what to do and how to do it in our practical workshop From E1T to Tribunal. The next workshop is on 13th October.

Russell HR Consulting provides expert knowledge in the practical application of employment law as well as providing employment law training and HR support services. For more information, visit our website at or call a member of the team on 0845 644 8955.

Russell HR Consulting offers HR services to businesses nationwide, including Buckinghamshire (covering Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Banbury, Northampton, Towcester and surrounding areas), Nottinghamshire (covering Chesterfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, Sheffield, Worksop and surrounding areas) and Hampshire (covering Aldershot, Basingstoke, Reading, Farnborough, Fareham, Portsmouth, Southampton and surrounding areas). You are free to copy and distribute this Article provided you agree with the terms and conditions of the web site and/or Article-website-Publisher whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.

Employment Law In The UK

In the UK, employees are entitled to a certain amount of paid holidays each year. This statutory holiday entitlement is given to people who work full or part time. These statutory holidays are applicable to all employees regardless of length of time with an employer. Time off is worked out on a fairly simple system where you will be entitled to a set number of days of annual leave dependent upon the number of days per week you work. The formula is 5.6 multiplied by the number of days per week you work, so for instance, if you work a five day week, it is 5.6 x 5 = 28, so you would be entitled to 28 days of paid annual leave. If you work 3 days per week, then it would be 5.6 x 3 = 16.8 days of paid holiday annually. This figure includes public / bank holidays.

Your employer must give you a contract of employment which will normally state how much leave you will receive. There is no upper limit on how much leave you can have, this is at the discretion of your employer but it will never be less than the statutory limit. There are of course exceptions to the rules and those employed in the armed services, the police and some civil servants do not get standard statutory holidays, they are given contractual holidays which are generally more than 28 days of paid leave per year.

Prior to the 1st of April 2009, employees were entitled to 4.8 weeks of paid holiday per year under the statutory holiday rules, however, this has been increased to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday per year. When the leave year begins varies from company to company, some will begin on the 1st of April and end on the 31st of March and all annual leave must be taken within that period. This information will be found in your employee contract. As a general rule, any leave not taken within the year will be lost, occasionally at your employers discretion, you will be allowed to carry it over to the following year. When you started working for an employer will set the amount of holiday you will be entitled to, for instance, if you started your new job in October and the holiday year begins on the 1st of April, you will be entitled to half the statutory annual paid leave for that year. The following year, providing you remain with that employer, you will be entitled to the full amount.

Many people think that they are entitled to take bank holidays off but this is not the case. You need to check your employment contract to see whether you can take these holidays off or not. Depending on the business you work for, you may be expected work over bank holidays. You will not lose out though, you will be able to take these days at some other time over the year or as a part of your annual leave entitlement. There are eight bank holidays per year in England and Wales, ten in Northern Ireland and nine in Scotland. These days are incorporated into your statutory holidays and you can take them at any time, with your employer’s approval – you will normally have to book your holiday time with your employer beforehand.

If you are an employer and are unsure of the legislation surrounding statutory holidays, you will need to talk to someone with knowledge of human resources legislation and employment law.