FAQs For Employment Law

What is employment law?

  • Governs the relationship between employers and employees, covering a wide range of issues such as hiring, working conditions, wages, benefits, and termination.

What are my basic rights as an employee?

  • Employees have a right to:
  • A safe and healthy working environment
  • Fair wages (in line with current legislation) and equal pay for equal work
  • Protection from discrimination and harassment in the workplace
  • Entitlement to family and medical leave & pay
  • Annual leave
  • Minimum notice periods
  • Protection from unfair dismissal

What constitutes unfair dismissal?

  • Termination of employment is only fair if;
    • it follows a fair process;
    • is on the basis of one of the accepted reasons (conduct, capability, redundancy or some other substantial reason); and
    • is not due to an automatically unfair reason (for instance discrimination on the grounds of a protected characteristic or being a member of a trade union etc).
    •  Employees generally need 2 full years employment before they can make a claim (unless an exception applies)

What is workplace discrimination?

  • Workplace discrimination involves unfair treatment of employees based on protected characteristics (including race, colour, sex and/or gender re-assignment, religion, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy or maternity or sexual orientation).
    • Discrimination can affect hiring, promotions, job assignments, and other employment conditions.
    • Discrimination based on a protected characteristic is unlawful and termination on such grounds is automatically unfair.

What is harassment in the workplace?

  • Workplace harassment includes any unwelcome conduct based on one of the protected characteristics that creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment for instance is a common form of harassment.

What should I do if I believe I am being discriminated against or harassed at work?

  • If you believe you are experiencing discrimination or harassment, you should:
    • Document the incidents in detail, keeping notes of dates and times and if there were any witnesses
    • Report the behaviour to your supervisor/line manager or HR department as soon as possible
    • Follow your company’s procedure for handling such complaints, usually detailed within a grievance policy.
  • Your employer should treat the matter seriously by investigating and discussing the issues with you, following its grievance procedure and give you a decision or outcome of the grievance in writing

Can my employer change my job description or duties?

  • Yes, employers can generally change an employee’s job description or duties, but significant changes should be communicated clearly and may require employee consent, especially if the changes affect pay, status, or working conditions.

Are non-compete clauses in an agreement enforceable?

  • Contracts of employment often have non-compete clauses (or restrictive covenants).   It is a common misconception that such clauses are not enforceable.
    • Restrictive covenants must be reasonable in scope, duration, and geography to be enforceable.  They must not go further than is necessary in order to protect an employer’s business and any clauses which are a restraint of trade could be deemed as too wide.
    • What is considered reasonable will be dependant on the circumstances of each case and a judge will decide on the facts.

Securing Your Family’s Future: The Importance of Estate Planning for Young Families in England and Wales

A common misconception is that only the wealthy or elderly need worry about estate planning. But its importance cannot be emphasised, particularly for young families in England and Wales. We’ll explore the main justifications for why estate planning is so important for those who are just beginning a family and becoming parents in this blog post.

  1. Guardianship for Minor Children:
    • Parents should name legal guardians for minor children in estate planning to ensure their well-being in unexpected circumstances. This decision is legally documented in a Will, avoiding disputes and providing stability and support. It reflects parents’ commitment to their children’s future.
    • Appointing guardians is a crucial process for parents to secure their children’s future. This can be done by appointing guardians in a Will. This process provides peace of mind, alleviating concerns about their loved ones’ well-being and upbringing.
  2. Wealth Distribution and Inheritance Tax:
    • A clear estate plan is crucial for ensuring the distribution of assets according to the deceased’s wishes, preventing delays, disputes, and increased expenses. It also minimizes potential for family conflicts and uncertainty about inheritance, thereby reducing potential misunderstandings or disputes among beneficiaries.
    • Poor estate planning can expose young families to inheritance tax, a government levy on a deceased’s estate. By proactively addressing this through exemptions, trusts, and tax-efficient asset structuring, families can safeguard their wealth and minimize the financial strain associated with inheritance tax.
  3. Protecting Your Family Home:
    • Estate planning safeguards family homes and ensures a smooth transfer to future generations. It uses legal mechanisms like Wills and Trusts to stipulate wishes, protect from disputes, and maintain the home’s value, making it a cherished legacy.
    • Wills and Trusts are essential tools in estate planning for effective property management and distribution. Wills outline a legally binding roadmap, while Trusts allow individuals to set specific conditions and potentially minimize taxes, providing a comprehensive and flexible approach.
  4. Financial Security Through Trusts:
    • Trusts are a crucial tool in estate planning, allowing individuals to set aside assets for their children with specific conditions, providing financial security and a protective shield against potential creditors. They offer a strategic and secure method for long-term family benefit.
    • Trusts are strategic estate planning tools that allocate funds for specific purposes like education and healthcare. They allow individuals to designate conditions for fund disbursement, providing control and assurance. Trusts align financial resources with life goals, ensuring the well-being and advancement of loved ones.
  5. Ensuring Healthcare Wishes are Respected:
    • Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health and Welfare are crucial in estate planning for unforeseen medical circumstances. They allow individuals to express their preferences and appoint trusted individuals to make decisions, providing peace of mind and guidance for family members.
    • Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health and Welfare provide clarity and guidance in healthcare decisions. They outline personal values and preferences, reducing uncertainty and conflicts among family members. This proactive approach aligns decisions with the individual’s expressed desires, providing comfort and assurance in emotionally challenging situations.
  6. Avoiding Probate Delays:
    • Probate, the legal process of proving a Will and dealing with the administration of an estate can be time-consuming and costly without a well-defined estate plan. This can lead to delays, court fees, legal expenses, and administrative costs, diminishing the estate’s value.
    • A well-structured estate plan expedites estate administration by outlining the deceased’s wishes, minimizing ambiguity, and streamlining the probate process. This reduces the emotional and logistical burden on the family, preserving the estate’s value and easing the administrative burden on grieving family members.
  7. Keeping Pace with Life Changes:
    • Regular reviews and updates to an estate plan are crucial, especially after life events like birth or financial changes. These updates ensure the plan remains current and accurately represents an individual’s wishes, providing ongoing protection and peace of mind for themselves and their loved ones.

Estate planning is a crucial step for young families hoping to protect the future of their loved ones, and it’s not only for the old. Young parents can secure a legacy that represents their objectives and values by being proactive about estate planning in England and Wales and getting competent legal counsel.

Setting the Tone for Success: New Year’s Resolutions for a Promising Year Ahead

Every year, as we bid the old year farewell and welcome in the new, there’s usually a burst of energy for personal development.  New Year’s resolutions, much like business-plans, have the power to spark significant progress in both the personal and professional spheres by heightening resolve.  

At Aston Bond, we think resolutions have the ability to spur advancement.  Here are just some resolutions that resonated with us all. They may well be the key to improving our lives, both in and out of the workplace.   

  • Accept Innovation:

 Accepting innovation is not only advantageous but also essential in a world that is changing quickly. Let’s resolve to keep an open mind to novel concepts, tools, and approaches. Let’s push back against the status quo and make an effort to improve our work and procedures with creative alternatives.

  • Encourage cooperation:

Individual efforts are rarely sufficient to achieve success. Let’s make it our goal to promote a collaborative culture in our teams this year. We may maximise our combined potential by promoting honest communication, exchanging differing viewpoints, and utilising one another’s advantages.

  • Prioritise Well-Being:

The last several years have served as a timely reminder of the need of placing our bodily and mental health first. Let’s make a commitment to upholding a positive work-life balance, engaging in mindfulness exercises, and encouraging one other’s well-being endeavours.

  • Lifelong Learning:

Acquiring knowledge is an ongoing process. Here at Aston Bond, we believe that ongoing training and education, whether it is by picking up new skills, keeping up with the latest industry news and market trends, or looking for chances for personal growth. This advances the company’s overall goals while simultaneously fostering individual growth.

At Aston Bond, we embark on this new year with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication. As we set our intentions and resolutions, let’s support each other in achieving these goals. Together, let’s make this year one filled with growth, innovation, and success.

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?  Let us know in the comments of our LinkedIn post!

Here’s to a promising and prosperous year ahead!

A journey of growth- Reflecting on Laaibah’s time at Aston Bond

Hi! Colleagues, clients & connections.

Over the past year, I’ve been working at Aston Bond Law as a Digital Marketing Apprentice.

Having completed various exams, training & projects my time at Aston Bond Law Firm comes to an end, so I can carry on my career in the digital realm. I can’t help but look back on the incredible journey I’ve had over the past year.

From the very beginning, it was evident that this would be no ordinary apprenticeship. I was stepping into a world where tradition meets innovation.

I’d like to take this opportunity to share a few words about my time here, and the impact that digital marketing has had on the business.

My journey:

Breaking the traditional educational routes, I left sixth form to start an apprenticeship at Aston Bond. I had little knowledge about the legal industry and how to navigate it online. However, I was welcomed by an incredible team of professionals who were patient, supportive, and eager to help me learn.

Since starting Aston Bond, my digital implementations allowed for our business to:

  • Have an increased online visibility
  • Higher rates of client engagement
  • Access to a broader audience
  • Enhanced brand reputation
  • Providing client & connection education
  • A traditional yet different approach to marketing
  • Enhanced user experience on digital platforms

Let’s talk about what I’ve achieved in the past year:

  • Level 3 qualifications in Marketing & Coding Principles
  • Various digital marketing skills
  • Real-World experiences
  • Access to a professional network
  • Increased job opportunities
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Industry knowledge
  • Personal & professional growth & much more.

If you told me a year ago, I would have achieved this, chances are I wouldn’t believe you.

My digital marketing efforts have been not just about driving traffic or boosting search rankings; it’s also been about providing information, assistance, and a sense of trust to those who seek legal counsel.

As I step away from Aston Bond Law Firm, I do so with the knowledge that this isn’t an end but rather a new beginning.

I’ll carry the lessons I’ve learned here, not just about digital marketing but also about dedication, integrity, and the pursuit of excellence.

Aston Bond Law Firm has instilled in me a profound respect for the legal profession, and I’ll always cherish the memories and experiences I’ve gained during my time here.

To the entire team at Aston Bond Law Firm, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You’ve made this chapter of my life unforgettable, and I’m excited to see where my journey in digital marketing will take me next.

With sincere thanks and warm regards,


Spooktacular Halloween Bash at Aston Bond Law

At Aston Bond, we’re known for our serious commitment to the law and unwavering professionalism. However, when Halloween rolls around, we believe in taking a break from the legal jargon, putting on some spooky costumes, and having a good time.

This year, our office was transformed into a cauldron of creativity and fun as we celebrated Halloween with a costume party that will be talked about for ages.

Have a look at some of our spookiest costumes:

No Halloween party is complete without a spooktacular feast, and we didn’t disappoint. Our lunchtime spread featured an array of piping hot, delicious pizzas.

As we hung up our costumes and returned to our offices, we couldn’t help but reflect on the fun we shared. These Halloween memories will continue to haunt us for years to come. We’re back in our suits and ties, but with a new appreciation for the spooky fun to make our law firm even stronger.

Happy Halloween from all of us at Aston Bond Law.

Strengthening connections at Aston Bond Law

Networking. At Aston Bond, we believe that networking is more than just handshakes and business cards; it’s about building lasting relationships that foster collaboration and growth.

This morning, our talented team, including our experienced Residential Property Solicitor and Trainee Private Client Solicitor, had the opportunity to attend a networking event that not only expanded their connections but also reinforced the values we hold dear.

Kanchana Kumari had the opportunity to introduce herself to the business professionals and share insights into her role as a Trainee Private Client Solicitor.

We believe that this interaction was not just an introduction but a demonstration of the values and expertise that define our law firm.

By sharing knowledge, forging connections, and embracing collaboration, we continue to build a stronger foundation for our clients and their legal needs.

We look forward to the opportunities that these connections will bring, further solidifying our mission to be the law firm our clients can rely on, every step of the way.

How to prepare for a legal consultation

Embarking on a legal journey can be intimidating and complicated, but clients can make the most of their legal consultations and create a positive environment for a successful working relationship with their lawyers being well prepared.

To guarantee that a legal consultation is effective, educational and customised to each clients’ demands, it is important to plan ahead. Clients can maximise their contact with legal professionals and create the foundation for a successful legal strategy by adhering to these rules.

Before the consultation, it is crucial for clients to have a clear understanding of their objectives and expectations.

Whether seeking legal advice for a business matter, personal dispute, or any other issue, clients should be clear in their minds on their primary concerns, desired outcomes, and any specific questions they may have.

Developing a concise list of priorities enables clients to effectively communicate their needs to their legal representative, facilitating a more focused and productive discussion during the consultation.

Clients should come prepared with all essential materials, such as contracts, agreements, letters, and any other pertinent case records, in order to provide their lawyer with a thorough picture of the circumstances.

Screenshots of texts or WhatsApp messages and pictures are also useful and often used in evidence so don’t forget e-documents are just as crucial. 

Creating a chronology of events and a thorough description of the circumstances leading up to the consultation can also provide representatives with insightful information about the nuances of the case.

Through proactive gathering of necessary data, customers can expedite the consultation process, enable legal experts to provide more accurate advice and ultimately save them time (and money!).

Making a list of inquiries to bring up during the session may guarantee that clients get thorough and customised legal advice from their advisers.

Clients should ask about the available legal solutions, the expected duration of the case, the related charges and fees, and any particular dangers or difficulties that might occur.

Ultimately, and potentially a bit later down the line, a probability of success should be obtained where possible. 

Clients can obtain a better grasp of the legal process and make wise judgements going forward by actively engaging in the discussion and asking questions about any legal complications that may arise.

Equally important is building a solid and cooperative relationship with your adviser and keeping lines of communication open and honest.

Clients should be honest about all pertinent facts and refrain from omitting any crucial factors which  could affect the case. Being transparent and upfront about worries or fears enables solicitors to anticipate problems and take proactive measures to resolve them.

It is crucial to approach your first legal consultation with an open mind and a readiness to consider legal guidance and counsel.

Even though clients could have different viewpoints and expectations, it’s important to have an open mind to the experience and perspectives offered by legal experts.

Clients can make better decisions that are in line with their goals and intended outcomes by being open to alternative legal methods (mediation for example), potential risks, and the ramifications of various courses of action.

By adhering to these guidelines and adopting a proactive and prepared mindset during the legal consultation, clients can maximise the benefit of their interactions with legal experts, establish the foundation for a successful legal plan, and ultimately secure a more favourable outcome for their legal cases.

The legal implications of Halloween

As the leaves change colours and the air turns crisp, it can only mean one thing: Halloween is approaching.

A season of spooktacular fun, creative costumes, and candy-filled adventures, Halloween is cherished by people of all ages.

However, there are many legal implications and considerations that are often overlooked.

In this blog post, we will illuminate the legal issues that can lurk in the dark corners of Halloween and explain how you can stay out of legal trouble while enjoying the festivities.

Offensive Costumes:

While Halloween encourages creative expression, wearing offensive or culturally insensitive costumes can lead to social and employment-related consequences, including complaints and potential disciplinary actions being taken in the workplace.

If your workplace encourages taking part in festivities, ensure everyone is clear on what is expected in your notices and ask staff to be sensitive to others in their choice.

Trick-or-Treating and Premises Liability:

One of the main Halloween activities, trick-or-treating can sometimes lead to injuries. If your property is part of the trick-or-treat trail, you may be liable for accidents that occur.

Ensure your property is well-lit and free of hazards and consider a warning sign to protect yourself from liability.

When handing out sweets, ensure anything being oven out has appropriate labelling, particularly items with nuts, to avoid any injury.  

Pranks and Vandalism:

Halloween pranks that go too far can result in criminal charges, such as trespassing or vandalism. It’s essential to understand the boundaries between innocent fun and criminal behaviour.  Be mindful of others generally and ensure nothing you do can be taken as threatening behaviour.

In most cases, houses with a pumpkin or other Halloween inspired decorations welcome visitors but stay away from houses with no decorations or lights off.

Noise Ordinances:

If you’re hosting a Halloween party or event, be aware of local noise ordinances. Excessive noise during the late hours could lead to complaints and potential legal consequences.

Pet Safety:

Costumed people and the constant doorbell ringing can distress pets. In some cases, pet owners may be held responsible for their pet’s actions if someone gets injured.

Child Custody Disputes:

Halloween can sometimes lead to custody disputes between divorced or separated parents. Clear custody arrangements and open communication are crucial in avoiding legal conflicts.

While Halloween is undoubtedly a time for celebration, it’s important to be aware of the legal implications that can arise during this time.

At Aston Bond, we’re here to help you navigate these legal shadows and provide guidance should you ever need it.

Wishing you a safe and spooktacular Halloween!

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Banker gets sacked after lying about work expenses

A banker named Szabolcs Fekete, who worked as a senior analyst at Citibank, was fired from his job due to trying to expense sandwiches and some coffees for his partner, and then proceeded to lie about it when he was confronted by his company: Citibank.

Mr. Fekete worked at the bank since 2015 and specialised in financial crime. The events revolved around a business trip he took to Amsterdam in which his partner joined him. He claimed that he had bought two pasta dishes, two sandwiches and two coffees on the trip which he expensed. He initially stated that he had eaten these by himself.

Later down the line, he admitted that he had shared his meals with his partner who had joined him in the trip. Before this in an email exchange with his manager, Fekete mentioned ‘I was on a business trip by myself and I had two coffees as they were very small.’

When the discrepancies were noticed, he was questioned further. In response, he said ‘All my expenses are within the €100 daily allowance. Could you please outline what your concern is as I don’t think I have to justify my eating habits to this extent.’ The issue itself wasn’t necessarily about the lie however, but the fact that he may have breached the expenses policy which is the reason Citibank escalated this matter.

The policy that was breached specifically was that spousal travel and meals are not reimbursable. Whilst he did later admit to it, his reason was that he was suffering with personal issues before the trip, including the grieving of the death of his grandmother, and had been confused. Citi fired him on the grounds of gross misconduct and Mr Fekete responded by suing them for unfair dismissal.

Unfortunately for him, the tribunal was in favour of Citi and he lost.

The judge said ‘I have found that this case is not about the sums of money involved. This case is about the filing of the expense claim and the conduct of the claimant thereafter. I am satisfied that even if the expense claim had been filed under a misunderstanding, there was an obligation upon the claimant to own up and rectify the position at the first opportunity.’

This case has now made headline news.  In reality, nothing in this case is new.  It is well established that an employer is entitled to be able to trust its employees and where that trust is breached, the employer is within its rights to act accordingly.  It is perhaps a stark reminder however that a lie is a lie, irrespective of how big or little it may be.

It should also serve as a reminder to employees that where a mistake is made, a swift acknowledgement and apology would be better than an attempt at hiding your error.

Make sure that you know your rights, our solicitors at Aston Bond are here to help you.

Contact us at: +44 (0)1753 486 777 or drop us an email at info@astonbond.co.uk.