Employment Law Services

Employment law is constantly evolving.

Hardly a month goes by without the report of a legal challenge being brought, the outcome of which could have far reaching consequences for employers and employees alike. The earlier you seek expert advice, more often than not, the better the outcome will be.

Our employment lawyers are all accomplished Tribunal advocates and skilled negotiators. They will provide you with no nonsense, pragmatic advice and minimise your exposure to Employment Tribunal claims. We advise on:

  1. Contracts and Policies – getting it right from the start
  2. Discipline and Grievance
  3. Discrimination
  4. Employment Tribunals
  5. Unfair Dismissal
  6. Redundancy
  7. Training

1. Contracts and Policies

Every employer is under an obligation to issue a Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment within two months of the commencement of employment. Failure to do so can result in an application by an employee for a declaration from the Employment Tribunal as to the Terms and Conditions of Employment. It can also result in an award from the Tribunal of two or four weeks pay. 

Properly prepared Contracts of Employment and up-to-date Policy Documentation will meet your legal obligations, provide clarity, and assist in the smooth operation of your business. These should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

We can also provide you with access to our comprehensive Employers Online Manual which contains invaluable advice and guidance in relation to all day-to-day employment issues. The Manual is constantly updated to ensure it is legally compliant and reflects best practice.

We offer very competitive fixed fee arrangements for drafting and revising Contracts of Employment and Policy Documentation.

Please contact any member of the Employment Team for further information.

2. Discipline and Grievance

Inevitably it will be necessary for you to take disciplinary action against one or more of your employees either because of misconduct, poor performance or poor attendance record. Undoubtedly the sooner you deal with the problem, the better. Likewise, all employees are entitled to bring grievances.

Employers require Discipline and Grievance Policies which we can provide. We can also provide you with no-nonsense advice on the conduct of discipline and grievance hearings. Through our HR Assist Programme we can provide you with the services of our HR Director.

As soon as you are aware of any potential disciplinary situation, or you receive intimation of a grievance, please contact a member of the Employment Team who will be happy to advise and guide you.

3. Discrimination

The Equality Act outlaws discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion and belief. A person need not be an employee to be able to bring a discrimination claim. An unsuccessful candidate for a job can bring a claim if he or she can establish that they have been discriminated against. There is no limit on the amount of compensation which the Tribunal can award for unlawful discrimination. Such claims can not only be costly in terms of compensation, but can also inflict serious reputational damage.

Our Praesidium Employment Law Protection Scheme provides employers with insurance against claims, including discrimination claims. Please also note that you should regularly update your Discrimination Policies.

Please contact a member of the Employment Team for further advice and support.

4. Employment Tribunals

Although the introduction of fees payable by the Claimant in the Employment Tribunal has reduced the number of claims substantially, there is still the probability that at some point you will face a claim in the Employment Tribunal. Our Employment Team represents employers at Employment Tribunals throughout the UK and before the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

There are strict time limits for lodging a Response to a claim which, if not met, generally mean that you will not be entitled to present your defence before the Employment Tribunal. It is important that you instruct us at the earliest possible stage in order that we can properly prepare your defence to any claim.

We are happy to agree fixed fees for the various stages of defending an Employment Tribunal claim.

Please contact any member of the Employment Team for further advice and support.

5. Unfair Dismissal

Employees with more than two years’ service have the statutory right not to be unfairly dismissed. There are a number of circumstances in which employees with less than two years’ service can bring a claim and it is important if you are minded to dismiss an employee, that you seek advice before doing so. We will guide you on the approach to adopt so as to minimise the risk of a claim to the Employment Tribunal.

We will also advise you on alternatives to dismissal such as the protected conversation.

Claims to the Employment Tribunal can prove costly both in terms of compensation and management time. Our aim is to keep you out of the Employment Tribunal.

Please contact any member of the Employment Team for advice and support.

6. Redundancy

In these uncertain times you may face the unpleasant task of having to reduce your workforce. It is essential that you follow a proper process of redundancy consultation. Where you are planning to dismiss more than 20 employees at one establishment in a period of 90 days or less, you have an obligation to consult collectively with appointed representatives. A failure properly to consult will almost certainly result in an Employment Tribunal claim.

We can advise and support you through the consultation process. Through our HR Assist Programme we can provide the services of our Director of HR to conduct the consultation process. Our Praesidium Employment Protection Scheme will provide cover against claims.

Please contact any member of the Employment Team for advice and support.

7. Settlement Agreements

Settlement Agreements are now an established part of HR practice. A Settlement Agreement can allow a dignified exit for an employee in difficult circumstances and provides the employer with the certainty that the employee cannot bring an Employment Tribunal claim. Settlement Agreements have to be carefully worded to suit the circumstances of each individual case and will generally follow from a successful protected conversation.

The Employment Team has extensive knowledge in drafting Settlement Agreements.

Please contact any member of the Employment Team for advice and support.

8. Training

We provide a regular programme of training in relation to topical employment issues. These include a mock disciplinary hearing and a mock tribunal, as well as updates on changes in the law and HR practice. We are happy to provide bespoke training on specific issues and welcome suggestions for training topics from our clients.

The regular training programme is provided free of charge. We will negotiate a competitive rate for the provision of bespoke training. All of our Employment clients receive our monthly Employment Briefing free of charge.

Please contact any member of the Employment Team for further advice.