Employment Law For Employers
How our employment law solicitors can help your business
Employment law is one of the most important aspects to a business. Navigating the minefield of employment law can be daunting, with frequent changes to the rules, and serious repercussions if you get it wrong.
Our expert team are able to assist with both contentious and non-contentious matters, from assisting with the recruitment process and drafting contracts, to bringing and defending claims for unfair dismissal and discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, disability, religious or sexual orientation.
Our knowledge of HR issues together with our experience of tribunals means that we can effectively manage risks that your business may be facing and review your internal policies to ensure up to date compliance.
With short time limits in employment law and the risk of not being able to recover costs, seeking early advice is imperative. Our expert team are able to assess issues promptly and achieve resolutions. We pride ourselves on getting to know you and your business and on tailoring our advice to meet your specific requirements and priorities.
Call us today for help in relation to any of the following topics:
- Employment status
- Drafting employment contracts and contracts for services
- Drafting policies, procedures and staff handbooks
- Advising on HR issues
- Advising in relation to TUPE, change of terms of employment and reorganisatio
- Advising in relation to disciplinary and grievance procedures
- Advising in relation to dismissal (i.e. how to avoid claims of unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal)
- Defending unfair dismissal, breach of contract, discrimination, equal pay and/or whistleblowing claims
- Defending claims relating to bonuses, commission payments and/or share entitlements
- Anti-discrimination measures
- Directors and director duties
- Individual redundancy
- Collective consultation and redundancies
- Employment tribunals
- Drafting and negotiating the terms of Settlement Agreements
- Restraint of trade, confidentiality and intellectual property
Can you avoid an employment tribunal claim?
The best way to avoid an employment tribunal claim is to avoid any disputes in the workplace. You can do this by ensuring that company documentation such as employment contracts, staff handbooks and policies are up to date and accurate. You should encourage employees to raise any issues with management informally in the first instance so that you can attempt to resolve such issues. If any employees remain unsatisfied, you should encourage them to follow the company’s grievance procedure. By following this method it is hoped that any issues can be resolved before the employee seriously considers commencing an employment tribunal claim.
It is also important that you keep up to date with all and any changes in employment law so that you know exactly where you stand.
If an employee does intend to bring an employment tribunal claim against you, they will first need to contact the ACAS Early Conciliation Team who will then contact you on their behalf to see whether any issues can be resolved before the employee commences any action.
If the relationship between you and the employee has completely broken down, it may be worthwhile proposing a settlement agreement. This is a document whereby it is recorded, amongst various other terms, that the employer will pay the employee an amount of compensation in exchange for the employee not bringing, or withdrawing, employment tribunal proceedings.
How long is TUPE is valid for?
TUPE (short for The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006) is designed to protect employees when a business changes ownership.
If you have recently purchased a new business and/or merged with another company, it is likely to apply.
TUPE ensures that employees automatically transfer to the new owner and that their terms and conditions remain the same, or are more favourable, upon transfer. It also allows continuity of employment so that the employees maintain their rights.
TUPE protects against any change of an employee’s terms and conditions for an indefinite period if the sole or principal reason for the change is the transfer and so any such changes will be void and could potentially give rise to an employee complaint, which, if not resolved, could turn into a potential claim against you.
The new employer can, however, change an employee’s terms and conditions in certain limited circumstances and when the changes are unrelated to the transfer. In broad terms, the new employer has to have an economic, technical or organisational (“ETO”) reason to do so or the terms of the contract permit the employer to make the change. This can be a complex area which employees may feel disgruntled about and so we strongly recommend that you contact our employment solicitors for advice before changing any terms.
Although TUPE regulations do not generally apply to employees who are made redundant by the original employer prior to the transfer, any dismissal which takes place after the transfer, and that is connected to the transfer, will be automatically unfair.
How are contracts of employment established?
As with any contract, there will need to be an intention to create legal relations – an offer, acceptance of that offer and consideration (i.e. salary).
In a usual business setting, an employer will carry out a recruitment process by advertising a vacancy, inviting applicants for interviews, shortlisting some applicants and finally making formal offers of employment in writing.
An employee may accept an offer in various ways, even by simply starting work.
We appreciate that not all circumstances are this formal and there may not always be a written contract of employment. It is possible to determine the terms of an employer and employee relationship by their conduct. This is not ideal, and it may give rise to a potential claim by the employee as the employer has most likely failed to provide what is known as a “section 1 statement” to the employee. Our expert employment lawyers based in London can provide you with more information in this regard.
Why choose Summit Law LLP for employment law proceedings?
Summit Law LLP is a Lexcel accredited firm based in London. We have a dedicated team of specialist employment lawyers who are ready and available to assist you.
Our employment lawyers have experience in acting for both employers and employees and benefit from that in being able to pre-empt what your opponent is likely to do next and the advice they are likely to be receiving.
We have a wealth of experience across all types of organisations ranging from international companies with thousands of employees to small business with less than five employees.
We pride ourselves on delivering valuable and dependable expert advice at a reasonable cost. Whether you are facing HR related matters or legal issues within the workplace, we can help you by taking control of the situation and letting you get back to running your business.
Our employment solicitor fees
We offer a fixed fee initial consultation in all employment matters in order for us to assess and agree the overall work involved.
The current members of our team and their hourly rates are as follows:
- Partner £400
- Associate £325
- Solicitor £225
- Paralegal £195
Range of costs
- Advice only – £750 to £4250 plus VAT
- Negotiating a settlement – £3,000 to £12,750 plus VAT
- Preparation for a tribunal hearing – £10,000 to £30,000 plus VAT
Advice can normally be provided within two to four weeks.
If we are required to provide advice, correspond with the other party and achieve a settlement, the matter is likely to take six to eight months.
If the matters proceeds to an employment tribunal claim, they can take between six months to two years to reach a conclusion.
We may need to make payments on your behalf, known as disbursements. These are payable to third parties and might include counsel’s fees, expert’s fees, travel expenses and court fees.
Counsel’s fees will vary according to experience and the complexity of your matter. We will obtain an estimate from counsel for your approval before incurring this expense on your behalf.