Employment Law for Employers
We provide high quality legal advice and are commercially sensitive to the issues facing employers.
Employment law and rights are often considered a minefield for employers because of frequent changes. Up-to-date advice from our experienced employment lawyers will help you understand your legal obligations as an employer.
We pride ourselves on our friendly, approachable way of working – one that our established clients have come to appreciate and find very reassuring. We provide a fast and convenient service and welcome meetings over the telephone or via Skype.
The team is headed up by Michael Scutt, assisted by Elizabeth Russell. Michael has great experience in acting for both Claimants and Defendants in the High Court, County Court and in Employment Tribunal disputes. He regularly advises employers regarding their legal obligations to their employees and in ensuring that their policies and procedures are relevant and up to date. Michael and Elizabeth are able to support employers considering redundancy programmes or requiring assistance with settlement agreements.
Disciplinary & Grievances for Employers
We advise and support employers when handling disciplinary and grievance procedures, including conducting capability and conduct hearings.
We take into account the employer’s time constraints and accommodate the necessary procedure within the required timeframe. We always aim to safeguard the employer to minimise its exposure to legal liability, when providing advice as to best practice.
Discrimination for Employers
Discrimination claims can cause employers significant stress and concern. There are various types of discrimination which can occur.
In short, an employee may have a claim if they feel they have been treated less favourably or suffered some disadvantage on the basis of certain ‘protected characteristics’ which may be relevant to them.
These ‘protected characteristics’ are age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, race, religion/belief and sexual orientation.
Discrimination is a wide and complex area of law. Should you be unsure of your position, we would encourage you to seek legal advice with us, as many situations at work can be caught under anti-discrimination laws.
We understand how distressing this can be for many employers and we always aim to deal with discrimination cases in the most sensitive way possible.
Employment Contracts & Staff Handbooks
We have expertise in drafting contracts of employment. We tailor these to suit the employer’s particular needs, taking into account the nature of the employer’s business and line of work.
We stay up to date with the latest changes in an ever-evolving workplace and can draft a wide range of staff handbooks and policies. This includes social media policies to protect employers in an online platform, as well as more niche ones such as “bring your own device” policies.
We act for employers, defending claims made by their employees.
We vigorously defend employment tribunal claims, whilst taking a commercial approach to identify the best options for our clients. We have in depth experience of acting for major businesses, as well as smaller and local ones.
We share our clients’ aims in concluding any disputes as quickly as possible in the most cost effective way.
We are able to act on a retainer basis and provide ad hoc employment advice over telephone or email, at the employer’s convenience.
We can also hold Skype meetings if that is beneficial for you.
We give commercially focused advice and always keep the employer’s aims and outcomes in mind. This ensures that employers receive advice that is tailored to their own circumstances.
Problems with Employment, Contracts or Redundancy
We provide high quality, pro-active and relevant advice to employers facing problems with particular employees and/or their contracts of employment.
We can advise on a wide range of topics, including outsourcing and TUPE, restrictive covenants and confidentiality provisions. We can also provide advice as to how to make employees redundant and guide employers through the correct process to follow.
In many such cases, it is important to act quickly and get prompt legal advice, which we can provide. In exercises of damage limitation, we take a commercial approach to ensure employers are exposed to minimum liability and risk.
Redundancy for Employers
Making cutbacks or restructuring can be every bit as stressful for a company as for the employees affected.
Care needs to be taken to ensure that the correct processes are followed in order to try and prevent claims for unfair dismissal or discrimination occurring.
The law concerning redundancy and consultation periods can be complex and it is vital for any employer contemplating making roles redundant to ensure there is a credible and genuine business case in existence to explain the decisions taken.
We can help you with this and are able to discuss with you any concerns you may have surrounding the redundancy process and how to implement a redundancy programme. With your objectives in mind, we can navigate you towards your desired outcome as far as possible.
Settlement Agreements for Employers
In certain cases, it is neither time nor cost-effective to pursue the case in an employment Tribunal, or the associated risks of doing so are too high.
We may therefore advise that a settlement agreement is entered into with the employee(s) in question. Settlement agreements were formerly known as compromise agreements.
We advise on the form and content as well as draft settlement agreements, while guiding you through the whole process.
We also guide employers through the process which may culminate in a settlement agreement, for example when entering into off the record “protected conversations” with employees with a view to facilitate the exit of employees.
Unfair Dismissal for Employers
There are very few ways in which an employer can lawfully terminate an employee’s employment.
If the correct procedure is not followed, then a claim may arise. Additionally, if an employee feels they have been treated unfairly in some way, they may claim that the employer’s conduct constitutes their dismissal – a situation known as constructive dismissal.
Consequently, employers need to tread a careful line between running their business and treating their staff fairly and consistently. These issues can be technically as well as factually complex and claims can arise if the process is not handled properly. Get in touch with us if you believe you may be facing a claim for constructive dismissal or need advice on how to deal with an underperforming or difficult employee.