Your Rights; Sue Bent of the Coventry Law Centre Answers Questions on Housing, Health and Community Care, Human Rights, Discrimination, Welfare Rights, Employment and Immigration Issues. the Centre Employs Solicitors and Experienced Paralegals and Can Represent Clients in Both Court and in Tribunal

Article excerpt

Byline: Sue Bent

Q I AM taking my employer to an Employment Tribunal because I think that I was unfairly dismissed. I've been contacted by ACAS who've asked me to give them a calculation of the compensation I am claiming. I've no idea how to do this, what should I do?

A If you are successful at tribunal you could be awarded compensation for your loss of earnings up to the date of the hearing (taking account of any earnings you had since leaving work), future loss of earnings, loss of other financial benefits, expenses of looking for work, loss of your statutory rights and also a payment roughly equivalent to a redundancy payment. However, the tribunal can reduce the amount awarded if they think that you have been at fault in the conduct which led to your dismissal or if they think that the dismissal was only unfair for a technicality. In some circumstances the award can be increased or decreased if you or your employer haven't followed the proper procedures. If your employer didn't give you a written contract you may be entitled to some additional compensation of two or four weeks' pay.

If you are having difficulty working out what to claim you should get legal advice.

Q MY husband had a severe head injury at work about 10 years ago. There is no way he can work any more and he was awarded the middle rate of Disability Living Allowance. His condition has gradually got worse and we felt that he would now be entitled to the higher rate care component but he was reduced to the lower rate after examination from a doctor who only asked questions for about 15 minutes. What can we do?

A You always take a risk when you ask the Disability Benefit Centre to look again at a current Disability Living Allowance award.

You should always seek advice from a welfare rights worker first. It is possible that his general medical condition may have become worse but that he has become used to his condition and can now look after himself better than before. …