A contract of employment may be viewed as illegal, if for example, an employee and employer agree that part of the employee’s pay will be paid in cash and not subject to deductions of Income Tax and National Insurance. In this case the parties to the contract are seeking to defraud a third party, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and in this instance the employee will generally be unable to invoke the benefits of employment legislation. In practice, an employee who is knowingly participating in an illegal contract would be unable to pursue rights, such as taking a claim for Unfair Dismissal if the employment is terminated. A contract may be illegal from the outset, or become illegal because of the mode in which it is carried out.
The Agency’s Enquiry Point is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. Enquiry Point advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Enquiry Point is also an important contact point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.
The Enquiry Point provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.
While the advisors cannot provide a legal opinion they can help callers gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as well as identifying possible options to help resolve their issues.