Social media lends itself to people making comments on the spur of the moment, some of which may be intended as a joke, but are later regretted. But when it relates to your workplace, it can cost you dearly.
It is increasingly becoming a source of friction in employment law, with some recent decisions shedding light on how employees can be caught out.
We asked our legal expert Philip Landau to explain more…
“You may have read about the general issue before – how the posting of adverse comments relating to your work can get you into trouble.
But with a string of recent cases, some of which have reached the employment tribunals, there is a potent reminder of the perils of posting about your workplace or colleagues on Facebook and other social media sites, especially where this is in clear breach of your employer’s social media policy. Continue reading “Could You Lose Your Job Because of Something You Post on a Social Media Site?” »
This guest post comes from experienced career consultant Simon North, Founder of Position Ignition and creator of the Career Ignition Club. Here he looks at the range of thoughts and emotions that come with being made redundant.
“Redundancy is horrible; it is also a fact of life and it’s happening to more and more people with more and more regularity. It’s just a part of our changing world and it is the acceleration of change that is impacting on employment. So what is it that we can do to help ourselves if we’re affected by redundancy? These 10 steps will help you to deal with redundancy.
If redundancy is a shock to you, you are going to recoil from that, and dip into the classic stages of change, which will mean that you move from shock to denial. Whether your redundancy has been quick and came out of the blue, or whether it’s been a slow burn through a long period of time, you are likely to go through those emotions. You have to get through it. We always do but the sooner you can focus on what’s important to you, the sooner you will move on. Continue reading “10 Steps to Dealing with Redundancy” »
It is usual for employers to insert clauses (especially into senior employees’ contracts) which seek to restrict an ex-employee’s conduct post-termination. It is also, however, becoming more and more common for employers to put these into the contracts of junior employees. But what are they?
We asked our legal expert Philip Landau to explain…
“The types of post termination restrictive covenants which you may find in your employment contract are:
In order to be enforceable, the restrictive covenants will need to prevent you from one of the above activities for a set period of time after termination of your employment (usually 6, but sometimes 3 or 12 months).
Whether such clauses are actually enforceable against you will depend upon the particular circumstances of the case. However, the following principles will usually be taken into account:
If you do have restrictive covenants in your contract, your options post-termination can be severely limited. This could leave you unable to start work with a new employer for the period of time set out in the agreement. This is usually six months but can sometimes be for a period of up to 12 months.
You may decide to ignore the restrictions when you leave and go and work for the employer of your choice, and taking your clients and contacts with you. You would, however, run the risk of your old employer issuing legal proceedings against you to enforce the restrictive covenants. They could even have grounds for seeking an injunction restraining both you and your new employer from being in breach of the covenant.
Such applications are rare, but you should nevertheless not recklessly breach your covenants without first taking professional advice. It could otherwise prove very costly.”
Jobsite have partnered with specialist employment law solicitor Philip Landau, to bring you expert advice on your rights in all key areas of your working life. As a Jobsite user you are also entitled to receive a free initial consultation on all employment law issues from Philip. Philip can help with a number of legal problems; perhaps you feel your employer isn’t following their legal responsibilities, you believe you have been dismissed unfairly or you are unsure about clauses in your contract. Once he knows your specific situation he can let you know what your rights are and what action you can take. To get in touch with Philip, click the link below and he will contact you to discuss your situation in more detail. Philip Landau is a solicitor and partner, specialising in employment law, in the London legal firm Landau Zeffertt Weir.
The information and any commentary on the law on this web site is provided free of charge for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information and commentary accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying upon it, is assumed by either Jobsite or Landau Zeffertt Weir. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal advice from a solicitor about your case or matter and not to rely on the information or comments on this site.
With an in-tray full of applications an employer will spend approximately 20 seconds casting an eye over each one. You have to be sure that in those 20 seconds your cover letter has sufficient impact to make the reader want to know more about you.
A covering letter builds upon the information you provided in your CV, it is a focussed sales pitch stating clearly in simple language just why this company should employ you. All of its contents should reaffirm to the reader that you are the right person for that job.
Before you sit down to write your letter do some research on the company and into the role to which you are applying. The easiest way to do this is on the Internet. Be sure you know exactly what the company does and how they are placed amongst their competitors.
Try to gauge what the company’s business plan is. For example if they have spent a lot of money on a flashy website they could be hoping to expand more into online sales. As accurately as you can try to, know exactly what will be expected of you should you get the job. For example what are the duties of a marketing manager and what qualities they should posses?
Carrying out research shows to the employer that you have initiative and that you are genuinely interested in the company, it will also allow you to use style and terminology that is appropriate to the audience. For example the company may be relaxed or very formal, new or established, rapidly expanding or in the doldrums.
If you are applying for an advertised position make sure that the job advert is in front of you and refer to it frequently.
It is imperative that you address your letter carefully. After spending time wording it to perfection you do not want it to be directed to the wrong person or to go astray.
If you are applying for an advertised vacancy there is probably a contact name on that advert, and so address your letter to that person.
If you are writing to a company for a job when they have not advertised a vacancy, the chances are that unless you have contacts on the inside you will not know the name of the person you need to write to. In this case you can address your letter to the manager of the specific departments to which you are applying, for example Marketing Manager, Sales Manager, otherwise you can send it to the Human Resources Manager or Recruitment Manager. Visit the company’s website and see if you can track down the name of a relevant recipient. Alternatively give the company a call and ask for the name of the head of department to which you are applying.
You should make sure that the recipient’s name, department and address details on the envelope are the same as at the top of the letter.
The opening paragraph should be short and hard-hitting. Begin with an arresting sentence in which you explain why it is you are writing, for example ‘I would like to be considered for the position of Marketing Manager’.
If you are applying for an advertised position then say where you saw the advert, ‘ In response to the Marketing Manager job vacancy advertised in ‘Marketing Weekly’. If someone referred you to your contact, mention your friend’s referral in this section. Continue reading “How to Write a Covering Letter” »
You can’t have escaped the recent turmoil in the High Street as Comet went into liquidation and then HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster entered into administration. Others may well follow.
If you work for a company that is in a dire financial position, you will be concerned not just about retaining your job, but whether you will get paid for outstanding salary and what your redundancy entitlements are.
We asked our legal expert Philip Landau where you stand if this is something that your employer is facing…
“There is a difference between an employer being in liquidation and administration. If your employer is in liquidation, there is no continuing business and you will be out of a job. Where your employer is in administration, however, an administrator will be appointed to see if the business can be kept alive pending a transfer in whole or part to a new buyer. There are limits on making any legal claim against your employer in an insolvency situation.
The administrator who is appointed to run the company has a period of 14 days after their appointment to decide if they want to retain the company’s employees- or offload the costs of those employees by dismissing them. If you are dismissed within the 14 day period, you become an “ordinary creditor” within the administration (alongside other ordinary creditors). If the administrator retains you on the other hand, you become a “preferential creditor” where you would stand a better chance of recovering outstanding salary and redundancy payments if the company ultimately went under.
If a buyer for the business is found, your employment rights and previous terms of contract are generally protected and transferred to the new owner under the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection from Employment) Regulations (“TUPE”). This includes your continuity of employment and any outstanding payments owed to you. There are some circumstances, however, where your contract terms can be varied by an administrator as being necessary for the survival of the business. This is deemed a “permitted variation”. You could, therefore, find yourself being forced to accept some changes to your terms of employment in relation to the transfer of the business.
If a buyer of the business cannot be found and therefore insolvency is the only option, the Insolvency Act 1986 limits what you can recover in money terms as a preferential creditor. This includes:-
Any additional amount you are owed (or relating to periods longer than four months) rank as ordinary debt only along with the bulk of other creditors.
If you find there are insufficient funds to pay you from the insolvent business, you can apply to the National Insurance Fund (“NIF”) for outstanding payments including salary, notice, holiday and redundancy pay. The NIF is operated by the Redundancy Payments Office, although the process can be complex and time consuming.
In order to qualify for NIF payments your employer must be insolvent and your employment needs to have terminated. You must also have done everything you can to get your payment, including applying in writing to your ex-employer for the payment within six months of the date your employment ended. Continue reading “Your employer’s insolvency often means fast-track redundancy – but will you get paid and what are your rights?” »