Paul Robinson Solicitors understand just how much valuable time and focus employee issues can take away from the efficient running of your business. Our employment experts work closely with your existing HR team providing them with the support and confidence to handle all of your company’s day-to-day employment issues swiftly and effectively.
Keeping on top of the latest employment laws and developments
As members of the Employment Lawyers’ Association, Paul Robinson Solicitors’ employment law team is well-informed of any changes in employment law and practices. We will ensure that your HR team are made fully aware of any developments and subsequent implications for your business.
From initial employment advice through to full Employment Tribunal representation or retained employment advice services, the express aim of our team is to ensure that clients are provided with the highest-quality legal advice at the best possible value.
Practical and effective solutions to employment issues
Finding the right employees is hard. Retaining them and keeping them happy can be even harder. We can help you from the outset of the employment relationship. We can advise on your recruitment policy, employment contracts, employee reward and bonus schemes, how to increase employee engagement and retention and raise morale to make sure your staff stay happy, and more importantly that the right staff stay.
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It is essential that all employees are provided with a contract of employment within two months of starting work. Our specialist employment lawyers can assist you with drafting employment contracts and ancillary documentation, such as specific policies and staff handbooks.
Having a valid employment contract in place provides certainty for both employer and employee and reduces the chance of future dispute. Ancillary documentation, such as an Equal Opportunities Policy is essential if, as an employer, you wish to rely on a statutory defence to a claim including harassment. The inappropriate use of social media by staff can result in damage to a business and as such we would highly recommend that an employer has a carefully drafted policy in place to minimise risk of issues arising.
Given the rate of change in employment law it is highly recommended to carry out regular reviews of your contracts and policies. We would welcome the opportunity to carry out a review of your existing employment documentation so as to advise on any changes required, in order to ensure that it is up-to-date and protects your position in accordance with the current law.
We are also able to prepare standard contracts and policies on a fixed-fee basis. If your requirements are more specific, then we will be happy to discuss the potential charges that will apply. We can also assist with the preparation of service agreements for directors.
We understand that it can be a worrying time for you and your business if a former or current employee threatens or brings a claim. It is essential that the defence to any claim is clearly drafted, not least due to the fact that the Tribunal has the power to “strike out” a defence on the basis of the submitted paperwork alone. As a result, it is very important to take legal advice at an early stage and ensure that your defence is robustly drafted in order to protect your position and maximise your chances of defeating the employee’s claim.
We always provide our clients with practical and cost-effective advice. We also offer a retainer service under which we can provide you with comprehensive advice on all HR and employment law issues that may arise on a day to day basis, reducing the likelihood of a dispute escalating to a claim.
In the event of a dispute you may also wish to consider instructing Paul Robinson Mediation, a division of Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP. Our qualified Mediators can help resolve disputes amicably. To ensure independence, neither employer nor employee can be a client of this firm in order to use our Mediation services.
Where an employer and employee want to end their relationship, a Settlement Agreement can be a useful tool. Entering into a Settlement Agreement, under which any potential claims are raised and settled, means that there is no need to resort to an Employment Tribunal hearing in order to resolve a dispute and allows both parties to move on with certainty.
It is recognised as the only way an employee can validly “contract out” of their employment rights under UK law and will generally provide for a severance payment to be made to the employee, in return for which the employee agrees not to pursue any claim against the employer in an Employment Tribunal or otherwise.
We are able to draft settlement agreements and assist with the negotiation of terms.
As an employer, you will undoubtedly wish to protect your business if an employee leaves to work for a competitor or to set up a competing business. To do so, you need to ensure that you have enforceable restrictive covenants in place within the employment contract so as to restrict the employee from competing, soliciting clients or poaching staff.
We can assist you by reviewing your existing contracts or by drafting valid restrictive covenant clauses and advising you on their introduction during the employment relationship. If a breach has already occurred or is anticipated we can assist you by seeking undertakings or an injunction against a former employee and/or their new employer/business.
With constant advances in technology it is imperative that your contracts keep pace. We can advise on the best methods to protect information confidential to your business such as client contacts and terms of business.
We are committed to protecting our client’s interests. Issues can usually be avoided by ensuring not only that your business is fully compliant with employment law, but most importantly that you understand it. This greatly reduces the potential risk of Employment Tribunal claims being brought in the first place. As a result, employment law training is a key service that we are pleased to offer our clients.
Our employment law experts can provide practical and cost-effective training sessions to your management or human resources team tailored to your particular requirements on a wide range of subjects from recruitment through to handling redundancies and dismissals. We can provide practical user-friendly training materials and always ensure that our clients are provided with comprehensive advice as well as increased knowledge. We can work closely with you to design and tailor the course to meet the needs of your business.
Employment Law is one of the fastest changing areas of law and as an employer you need to ensure that you remain up to date with changes in legislation and case law. You are likely to need to deal with frequent queries from or about employees relating to such matters as flexible working, maternity and paternity rights and sick pay etc.
Our Employment Team is on-hand to assist you. For a low cost fixed annual fee our experts are able to deal with all of your day-to-day employment queries. The fee charged is dependent upon the number of employees you have and how many Employment Tribunal Claims have been made against you in the preceding three years. As part of our service we also carry out an initial review of your current documents including employment contracts and ancillary policies, to ensure they all comply with the current law. As part of this audit we will suggest any amendments required and ensure you are aware of the correct procedures to follow.
Unlike remote employment helpline services, our lawyers are local to your business and will meet with you at the outset of the retainer service to get to know your business inside and out. This personal service ensures that you don’t have to explain the background each time you contact us. You are guaranteed consistency of advice safe in the knowledge that your correspondence with us is protected by legal advice privilege – this is not always the case with advice received from external HR consultants. Furthermore our experts are not bound by regimented scripts which are so often features of helpline services. In addition, we will not refuse to provide advice if you do not follow the correct procedures, unlike a lot of the HR and insurance-backed advisory services, who provide legal advice to employers but only on ‘their terms’.
Our fixed fee can be paid either monthly or annually to suit your needs and we will then provide personal advice and assistance, as and when issues arise. This means that you are less likely to find yourself in a situation of dealing with an Employment Tribunal claim with all the cost and management time that can involve. We can also provide a review of your current practices, make you aware of any changes in the law and provide all the support and reassurance you need, without you having to worry about receiving a bill for an unknown amount.
Our employment experts can provide support and technical advice regarding the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations - commonly referred to as TUPE. TUPE may be relevant where there is a sale or transfer of a business and in such circumstances it is essential that advice from an employment specialist is sought so as to avoid future liability and potential claims. We can also advise on internal restructures and reorganisations, providing pragmatic, commercial advice on any employment law implications such as redundancy, consultation obligations and changing terms and conditions.
Our employment law team are able to prepare documentation for alternative working arrangements such as consultancy, apprenticeships and temporary workers. It is vitally important that any contractual paperwork reflects the working relationship between the parties so as to avoid potential issues on tax and employment status.