For your business

Employment Law

We know that compliance with Employment law can be daunting. Employment laws are wide reaching, complex and regularly change. Keeping up is a full-time job in itself, and sometimes impossible for the start-up or SME without the resources to employ specialist HR staff.

We specialise in advising start-ups and SMEs, though we can help any size of business. We’ll help you get the paperwork right, coach you through dealing with staff problems or queries you may not have encountered before and be there if an employee raises a Grievance or Employment Tribunal claim.

We will always consider how the problem is affecting your relationship with your employees and their relationship with other employees. Doing nothing can affect morale and zap energy and management time. We deal with matters in a commercial manner - avoiding litigation where possible but not advising defensively so as to handcuff your organisation: if a commercially sound solution incorporates some risk, we will advise you of the benefits and potential pitfalls before agreeing a way forward.

We have a variety of solutions to suit your budget: advising on a pay as you go or retainer basis, and where appropriate can agree fixed fees. Whether you prefer unbundled advice, want to outsource investigations or need full representation in the Employment Tribunal, we can help. If you want absolute certainty of your legal spend, we can source insurance against the compensation and legal fees associated with an Employment Tribunal claim.

Employment Law Services for Your Business

We can help your business in the following ways:

Settlement Agreements and Negotiated Exits

Where it just isn’t working out, we can coach you through the process of holding a protected conversation and draft robust but fair Settlement Agreements likely to find favour with the employee and their lawyer. We can also advise in ACAS Early Conciliation or on the merits of settling an Employment Tribunal claim.

Contracts, Policies and Procedures

We get to know you, your business and staff roles before drafting bespoke Contracts of Employment and Policies and Procedures for Employee Handbooks. We can also draft Directors’ Service Contracts and Consultancy Agreements. As well as drafting documents from scratch, we can carry out an audit of your existing paperwork and let you know what needs amending.

Staff Problems: Disciplinary, Capability and Grievance Procedures

We appreciate that you might never have needed to discipline a member of staff before or don’t know how to deal with an employee who is perpetually absent or underperforming. As well as drafting procedures for you to follow, we can coach you through the process or even carry out an investigation for you. We’ll advise whether your approach is likely to be considered reasonable and discuss the risks of an Employment Tribunal claim.

Business Transfers, Outsourcing and TUPE

TUPE is perhaps the most complicated aspect of Employment law, and can apply in many situations involving business sales, property transactions, outsourcing and public sector contracts. We can advise on the risks of TUPE applying to the transaction, and where it does help with provision of Employee Liability Information, due diligence, informing and consulting employees and agreeing appropriate warranties and indemnities. Where there is a dispute over whether TUPE applies, we can assist in corresponding with the other party and advise on the merits of defending or settling claims by employees.

Redundancy and Restructuring

Restructuring and redundancy situations are never easy. The last thing the business needs in difficult times is further liability. We can help you get it right, consulting with employees over changes where necessary and designing fair redundancy processes when staff need to be let go. Where restructuring or redundancy leads to disputes with employees, we can advise on the merits of defending or settling Employment Tribunal claims.

Leave and Flexible Working for Parents and Carers

Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Shared Parental Leave and more: with various forms of leave available for both mums and dads, duties to pregnant staff and expectant fathers and the right for any employee to request flexible working, it can be difficult to negotiate the minefield of legislation in this area. We are expert in this field and can answer your questions, no matter how trivial or complex.

Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Discrimination

To successfully defend Employment Tribunal claims for discrimination or harassment, it can be necessary to show that the employer took all reasonable steps to prevent staff from discriminating against, harassing or victimising their colleagues. That starts with an Equal Opportunities Policy but does not end there. As discrimination is our specialist area, we can help you not only by drafting appropriate policies but by coaching you when staff raise complaints and Grievances about discrimination or harassment and advising on the merits of settling or defending Employment Tribunal claims.

Employee Competition: Restrictive Covenants and Injunctions

Ex-employees seeking to compete with your business and poach clients or key staff can cause considerable damage. We can help with prevention as well as cure, drafting bespoke and enforceable Restrictive Covenants in Contracts of Employment and advising on the merits of applying for an Injunction or demanding undertakings from an ex-employee who has taken confidential information or who is attempting to take clients or encourage colleagues to move with them.

Defending an Employment Tribunal Claim

Employment Tribunal claims harm your business: they have not only a financial cost but drain management time and focus away from where it matters. We will give you commercial advice on the merits of settling or defending a claim, and help you mount a robust defence where appropriate. As well as going on record at the Employment Tribunal, we can give unbundled advice and help you draft documents whilst you represent yourself. Our considerable advocacy experience means that we know exactly what Employment Tribunal Judges expect and can ensure that your case is expertly prepared.

Unfair Dismissal

Fear of an Unfair Dismissal claim can handcuff decision making. We hear tales of Employment Consultancies advising so defensively that organisations have not dismissed staff caught with their hand in the till. Our advice is commercial, assessing the real risk of an Unfair Dismissal claim rather than seeking to exclude the possibility altogether by retaining staff who need to go. As well as advising in formal disciplinary and capability situations, we can discuss protected conversations. If facing an Employment Tribunal claim for Unfair Dismissal or if you are contacted by ACAS in Early Conciliation, we have vast experience, enabling us to assess the likely prospects of success and value and give you commercial advice on the merits of defending or settling the claim.

Constructive Dismissal

Whether an employee raises a Grievance or simply resigns on bad terms, we can advise on the risks of a Constructive Dismissal claim. If you receive an Employment Tribunal claim for Constructive Dismissal or are contacted by ACAS in Early Conciliation, our wealth of experience in dealing with these claims means that we can assess the merits of defending or settling the claim and, if appropriate, assist you in presenting a robust defence.

Whistleblowing

Claims that whistleblowers have been victimised can be made by any worker with no qualifying service and no cap on compensation. We can help you draft a Whistleblowing Policy or advise if staff complain that they have been victimised for being a whistleblower. If you receive an Employment Tribunal claim arising out of Whistleblowing or are contacted by ACAS in Early Conciliation, our substantial experience of Whistleblowing claims means that we can assess the merits of defending or settling the claim and, if appropriate, assist you in presenting a robust defence.