Employment law is complicated and few people have a clear idea of all their rights at work. If you think your employer has treated you unfairly, it is important to get legal advice at the earliest opportunity. Generally, the longer you leave a problem, the fewer options you may have.


Once you have found a lawyer, you should explain your situation briefly to him/her. It may be helpful to email the history ahead of a meeting.

Make sure that you mention the dates of the events you are concerned about. If you plan to take someone with you to the meeting, mention this and ask if there are any documents you need to bring. If in doubt, take documents with you.


how long you have worked for your employer and how much you earn, the details of your problem at work. What events have led you to your current situation, whether you have any relevant documents and he may also ask for any documents which you do not have that might be relevant to the case.

Once you have explained your circumstances in detail, your solicitor can explain your options. If your solicitor believes you have a case and you want to take it further, you need to decide how you are going to do this.

Employer’s procedures

It is important to try to sort out your problem with your employer direct first, either informally or using their formal complaints/grievance procedure. If you have started using your employer’s complaints procedures or if your employer has started to take action against you and try to go to any meetings that are arranged and use any appeal procedures your employer has in place. An employment solicitor can review papers with you and perhaps advise you of points to cover at a meeting.

The time limits for taking your claim to a tribunal depend on what your complaint is about.

Settlement Agreements

If you can reach an agreement with your employer without going to a tribunal, this can be recorded in a ‘settlement agreement’. This is a legal document which confirms the terms of the settlement you have agreed, in exchange for which you give up your legal claims against your employer. Your employer will usually make a contribution to your legal costs as part of the agreement. The law requires that you obtain independent legal advice before a settlement will be valid.