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Employment Law advice

Keeping on the right side of employment law

Employees are critical to the success of any organisation. It makes sense to protect them, and plenty of regulation has been passed to ensure that everyone is treated well at work. But employment law is often complex and regularly updated. Keeping up to date can feel like a never-ending task. That’s where we come in.

  • Reducing the risk of claims
    From recruitment to termination and everything in-between, our highly qualified consultants can assist with all of your employment law needs.
  • Preparing for tribunal
    We provide assistance with all documentation leading up to a tribunal and can prepare tribunal documentation up to and including representation at Employment Tribunal.
  • Managing tribunal costs
    Not only are tribunals time-consuming, they can also be expensive. Our service can be supported by an Employment Practices Liability Insurance Policy to enable your business to manage the cost.

How we can help

Our Employment Law team are qualified and legally trained consultants. They will remain on hand to support you, providing hands-on and commercially viable advice and assistance, either face-to-face or by phone and email. We help you navigate legislation and put in place procedures to protect you, your employees, and your business.

Our personal approach

We allocate each of our clients a dedicated consultant who will get to know your business and assist with any employment law query from start to finish. We will draft any relevant letters or documents required to deal with an employment issue (personalising these to suit your needs). We assist with formal investigations, as well as offer on-site assistance to attend meetings you hold with your employees (i.e. redundancy consultation or disciplinary meetings), or to discuss complex cases face to face.

Access a wealth of knowledge 

As a client, you will have access to our employment law document library to support you in your decision making process. We can also help by undertaking gap analysis and identifying areas where your team could do with additional support. We provide the service and/or the training to support and upskill your internal team.

Our Employment Law services includes:

  • Access to a designated Employment Law Consultant to assist with any employment law queries via telephone, email and on site. This may include our attendance at disciplinary and grievance meetings.
  • Drafting any letters we advise clients to send to an employee, tailoring these to their business and the specifics of each case.
  • Drafting and updating contracts of employment and employee handbooks to bring these in line with any new employment legislation and ensure that they continue to reflect business needs.
  • Assisting with settlement negotiations and tribunal claims.

Dealing with ACAS Early Conciliation and preparing for tribunals

We can also be on hand to assist where the employment relationship has broken down or there has been an application for ACAS Early Conciliation. Our consultants can guide you through the process and conduct negotiations through ACAS to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

Preparing for a tribunal can be time consuming and stressful. We provide assistance with all documentation leading up to a tribunal and, where appropriate, can respond to and prepare tribunal documentation up to and including representation at Employment Tribunal.

Not only are tribunals time-consuming, they can also be expensive. Our Employment Law Assistance service can be supported by an Employment Practices Liability Insurance Policy to enable your business to manage the cost of Employment Tribunal compensatory awards and representation costs. This gives the benefit of being able to fix the costs associated with Employment Tribunal claims, whilst also allowing you the flexibility to depart from best practice as and when.

Frequently asked questions

Q
I have an employee who is not up to the job can I dismiss them?
A
To avoid an unfair dismissal, it is important that you can identify a fair reason for the dismissal (there are 5 potentially fair reasons which you may rely on) and that you acted reasonably in dismissing the employee for that reason. A dismissal of an employee who is not up to the job may potentially be fair on the grounds of either conduct or capability, depending on the circumstances. It would be important to ensure that you follow a fair procedure prior to dismissal, to help evidence that you have acted reasonably and in line with the legal requirements. Employees who have less than two years service are unable to bring a basic unfair dismissal claim, making dismissal much easier when this is the case. However, there are still a number of other claims an employee can bring at any stage of their employment (and in some cases, before their employment has even commenced). As such, we would always suggest seeking advice prior to dismissing an employee.
Q
I have an employee who is returning from maternity leave and is seeking flexible working. Do I have to agree to this?
A
A qualifying employee (that is an employee who has 26 weeks continuous employment) is entitled to make a request for flexible working. Only one request can be made in any 12 month period. Although there is no requirement to accept their request, there is a requirement to deal with the request in a reasonable manner and the employer must notify the outcome to the employee within a three-month decision period. The employer must be able to rely on at least one of eight specific business reasons should they wish to refuse the request. Whilst a failure to do so may result in a possible claim for a breach of the right to request flexible working, employers should also be mindful that it is open to women whose requests for flexible working are rejected to seek redress by making a sex discrimination claim. We would suggest having a clearly worded flexible working policy in place so that all employees are clear as to the procedure to be followed when making a request, and to always seek advice.
Q
How do we as a business calculate holiday entitlement and the amount of holiday pay?
A

Entitlement to annual leave is calculated in accordance with the Working Time Regulations 1998, which specifies that workers are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks annual leave.

Holiday pay should be based on an employee’s normal remuneration. All types of overtime, including voluntary, must be included when calculating a worker's statutory holiday pay entitlement, apart from overtime that is only worked on a genuinely occasional and infrequent basis. Commission and certain other types of payments should be included.

We can advise and calculate (providing practical examples) the entitlement for your employees or workers and, subject to the appropriate earnings information, the amount of holiday which should be paid.

Q
How can I tell if our contracts of employment are correct or up to date?
A

There are statutory requirements as to what information should be given to an employee in relation to terms of employment. As an employer, you are legally obliged to provide a basic written statement of the main terms and conditions, also known as the particulars of employment, within the first two months of an employee’s start date. That said, many employers tend to include additional clauses to help support the growth of the business and provide necessary clarity and consistency for both parties. It is also important to comply with the minimum statutory requirements in terms of pay, hours of work, annual leave etc.

We would suggest reviewing your employment contracts and handbook every 12 months, to ensure that they remain up to date and in line with the relevant legislation.

We can draft, review and update employee contracts and an employee handbook, tailoring this documentation to meet the needs of the business. We can also provide advice and assistance in relation to contractual changes and how to implement these within your business, helping to reduce the risk of potential claims.