Employment

The Jargon Buster contains an extensive list of words and terms, with explanations of each. Click a letter to view terms with that initial.
  • Capability - If your employer has dismissed you for poor performance reasons (capability), When deciding whether this was a fair reason for your employer to dismiss you, the employment tribunal will consider a variety of factors, including:

    • Whether it was reasonable for your employer to conclude at the relevant time that your performance was below the standard reasonably required for the job you were employed to do.

    • The extent to which your employer gave you time and opportunity to improve.

    • The tribunal is also likely to consider whether your employer provided necessary training and support. If your employer has a capability procedure and failed to follow this, it may affect the fairness of your dismissal.
  • Compromise Agreement - Now known as a Settlement Agreement
  • Direct discrimination is where someone is treated less favourably because of their protected characteristic. Claims for direct discrimination are most likely to be brought in relation to either age or pregnancy and maternity.
  • Harassment is "unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity or creating intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual". Employees will now be able to complain of behaviour that they find offensive even if it is not directed at them, and the complainant need not possess the relevant characteristic themselves. Employees are also protected from harassment because of perception and association.
  • Indirect Discrimination can occur when a business has a condition, rule, policy or even a practice in their organisation that applies to everyone but particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic. For example, a policy that says you won’t allow any employee to work part-time will affect more women than men, as they are more likely to want to work part time because of their childcare responsibilities. If you can’t justify that policy, it will be discriminatory.
  • Misconduct - Dismissals relating to conduct can result from a variety of activities. Some examples are employees using abusive language, theft, fraud and drunkenness at work. In the more minor categories employees should normally be given the chance to improve their behaviour through a ‘warning’ system, such as ‘verbal warning, first written warning, final written warning, dismissal’. However in some instances an employee can be shown to have acted in such a manner to justify an employee immediately dismissing the employee with no system of warnings, which is commonly known as ‘gross misconduct’. An example of this could be where an employee punches another employee.
  • Redundancy - A redundancy situation occurs where:

    • A business closes or relocates, or an employer decides to shut down its business.

    • A particular workplace closes or relocates, or an employer decides to close a particular workplace, such as one of its offices or factories.

    • An employer no longer needs as many employees to carry out a particular type of work.

    In the event the Employer can justify that the reason for the redundancy is genuine they would also have to demonstrate that the process followed was also a fair one leading to a fair decision.
  • Settlement Agreement is a contract between an employer and employee. It’s usually used as a way of paying an employee a sum of money (a compensation payment) in return for the employee waiving their rights to bring certain employment tribunal claims against the employer.
  • Victimisation occurs when an employee is treated badly because they have made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance under the Equality Act; or because they are suspected of doing so.