We are able to advise, assist and represent you in all work related matters from initial contracts of employment to disputes relating to whistleblowing or discrimination.
We can advise employees of all seniority in relation to:
- Contractual terms
- Settlement Agreements
- Grievance and Disciplinary issues
- Maternity and Paternity Rights
- Discrimination, Harassment and Whistleblowing
- Constructive Dismissal
- Employment Tribunal Claims
We can advise everyone from company directors and executives to low earning and vulnerable employees. We will always give you clear, sensible and commercial advice and will try to effect a compromise for you but if litigation is necessary we will guide you and support you throughout the process. As well as traditional hourly rates, we may be able to act for you using Legal Expenses Insurance, and where appropriate, for fixed fees or no win no fee. We will be happy to discuss your particular requirements.
We can advise you on the terms of Contracts of Employment when entering into new employment, in respect of changes proposed by an employer to an existing contract or when leaving employment if you want to understand the likely implications of breaching restrictive covenants. We can help negotiate changes for you or reach a deal with your employer over restrictions.
We can also advise you on your options when you believe your employer is breaching your contract and either help you resolve any dispute or represent you in a claim to enforce the contract.
Settlement Agreements (formerly known as Compromise Agreements) usually offer a compensation payment in return for termination of employment or changes to contractual terms. They can also regulate other aspects of the post-employment relationship, such as provision of references and dealing with confidentiality and other restrictions. They can be used in matters as simple as voluntary redundancy or more complex situations following grievance or disciplinary procedures.
To be effective, employees signing Settlement Agreements must take independent legal advice, often paid for by your employer. Our advice is always practical and we will do everything to protect your interests and to secure the best compensation package we can. We will give you clear and simple advice on the agreement offered to you and whether it is fair, the terms need amending or we consider it can be enhanced.
Grievance and Disciplinary Issues
Your employer should have a Grievance Procedure, designed to allow you to raise a formal complaint internally, before resorting to litigation. We can help you draft a grievance or appeal against a grievance outcome. We can also help prepare you for a grievance or appeal meeting, giving you a checklist of points to make. Where you are not happy with a grievance outcome, we can discuss your options, help negotiate a solution or represent you in litigation.
If you are facing disciplinary procedures, we can help you present your best defence. We will assess the evidence presented to you and guide you in the points to make at your disciplinary hearing. If disciplinary action is taken, we can advise you on the merits of appealing, draft that appeal and help prepare you for an appeal hearing. We can also advise on the merits of a negotiated settlement or Tribunal claim.
Maternity and Paternity Rights
Legislation dealing with working parents and carers is complex and ever changing, as evidenced by the recently introduced Shared Parental Leave. Rights range from time off for ante natal appointments to various forms of paid and unpaid parental leave, flexible working and time off in emergencies.
Sadly, many employers do not follow the law, either because they are not aware of their obligations or because they ignore them. If you are facing problems at work because you are pregnant or caring for a child, we can advise you of your rights and the options available to enforce those rights or seek a resolution with your employer.
Discrimination, Harassment and Whistleblowing
Discrimination is unfortunately still a feature of working life. It takes many forms, from overt name calling or bullying to practices and procedures that indirectly disadvantage particular groups. Discrimination because of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation is unlawful. We can advise workers facing such discrimination on the merits of pursuing a claim or seeking alternative resolutions.
We can also help whistleblowers experiencing victimisation or even dismissal after disclosing information about wrongdoing.
You might be concerned about your selection for redundancy or your redundancy package. We can advise on the merits of bringing a Tribunal claim related to redundancy or help negotiate a better package for you. We can also advise on a Settlement Agreement presented to you in a redundancy situation.
If you have been dismissed, or believe you will be dismissed, we can advise on the merits of a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal and help negotiate a solution for you. We are able to advise prior to the termination of employment and may be able to negotiate your continued employment or a negotiated exit that preserves your reputation. It is often possible to avoid having to take proceedings by taking our advice at an early stage.
We will always give you clear sensible and commercial advice and will seek to negotiate a settlement but where litigation is necessary, we will guide you and support you throughout the process.
If you resign because your employer has breached your Contract of Employment or treated you intolerably, you might have a claim for Constructive Dismissal. We can advise on your specific situation, before and after a resignation, looking at the merits of a claim and setting out your options. We can seek to negotiate a resolution with your employer or represent you in a claim, if that is necessary. We can also help with you through a Grievance Procedure.
TUPE protects employees when a business or part of it is sold or in outsourcing situations. TUPE law is complex. Some employers get it wrong by way of ignorance; others seek to push the boundaries. If you have lost your job or your terms of employment change because your employer has lost a contract or sold part or all of the business, TUPE may protect you. We can advise on the merits of bringing a claim or seek a negotiated solution for you.
Employment Tribunal Claims
We have significant experience of dealing with Employment Tribunal claims on behalf of both employees and employers involving almost all aspects of Employment Law, including Unfair Dismissal, Constructive Dismissal, Discrimination and Harassment, Whistleblowing, TUPE, Redundancy, Breach of Contract, Holiday Pay and Deductions from Wages. We have represented clients in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal as well as at first instance.
Our Tribunal advocacy experience leaves us well placed to give clients early advice as to the prospects of success at Tribunal and the merits or otherwise of settlement as well as being able to ensure that cases are properly prepared in a way to best present the evidence to the Tribunal Judge. Our advice is commercial and practical but where litigation is necessary, we will guide you and support you throughout the process.