Regardless of how many employees your business has or the size of your premises, you must strictly adhere to employment laws at all times. The consequences of neglecting to do so can be catastrophic on many levels. Staff manuals, health and safety, working time regulations, equality and diversity legislations, use of data and disciplinary procedures to name but a few are all elements that need to be taken into consideration when employing a work force.
Therefore, it is easy to see how employers can sometimes make errors which see them in need of legal advice. Laws are constantly changing and evolving, and whilst it may be possible to keep on top of any developments independently, our employment lawyers are here specifically to take the weight off your shoulders. You can rest assured that our expert team are always up to date with the latest rules so will always provide you with accurate advice and guidance.
Advising employers throughout Kent and beyond
We can also offer meetings at your place of business or via a skype conference call if needed.
Our Employment solicitors at Bailey & Cogger can assist you with:
- Drafting policies and procedures to deal with everything from the rights of new parents to the process for making a flexible working request;
- Creating tailored employment contracts and service agreements;
- Ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory obligations;
- Advising on grievance and disciplinary issues;
- Investigating and resolving complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying;
- Resolving disputes concerning pay, bonuses, annual leave and pension entitlement;
- Advising on the fair treatment of employees on long-term sickness leave;
- Defending unfair dismissal and other Employment Tribunal claims;
- Defending personal injury claims brought by employees and visitors to your premises;
- Providing representation before professional bodies and industry regulators;
- Negotiating severance packages and settlement agreements;
- Enforcing restrictive covenants and restraint of trade provisions, including via court proceedings if necessary;
- Recovering confidential and commercially sensitive information from former employees;
- Preventing infringement of your intellectual property rights;
- Addressing data protection issues in the context of employment
- Advising on issues arising out of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) following a business sale or transfer of services.
Employment Tribunals and dispute resolution
It will typically be in your best interests to prevent any employee dispute from reaching an Employment Tribunal to avoid any unnecessary expense and disruption to the operation of your business.
We take a proactive approach to employment dispute resolution and have a strong track record of helping businesses negotiate favourable and commercially sensible settlements. We work discreetly, taking steps to minimise the risk of any negative publicity. Wherever necessary, we can help you access methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as mediation and arbitration. In the vast majority of cases, we are able help businesses find a positive resolution long before the matter reaches an Employment Tribunal.
Our skilled lawyers also regularly advise clients at Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) proceedings, defending claims in all types of employment matters, including:
- Breach of employment contract
- Unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal and wrongful dismissal
- Redundancy disputes
- Discrimination, harassment and bullying
- Pay disputes
We have the ability to represent you at all stages of your matter, including instructing a barrister to represent you at any hearings. This allows a consistency in approach that will give you the best possible chance of achieving a positive result in a cost-effective manner.
The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (referred to as TUPE) is a complex area of employment law that requires specialist legal advice.
We commonly advise businesses on TUPE in cases involving:
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Changing service providers for an organisation, such as:
- Outsourcing services
- Bringing services in-house
We can provide detailed advice about protecting your employees’ legal rights whilst promoting the success of your business during a TUPE transfer, including:
- Implementing employees’ continuous service under the terms and conditions of their employment contracts
- Harmonising the operation of your business after a transfer
- When and how to vary an employee’s contract of employment
- Disclosure of employment liability information
- Implementing collective agreements
- Dismissals and redundancy
- Defending constructive dismissal claims
Employment contracts, policies and procedures
Contracts, policies and procedures form the foundation of every strong business. Employers are legally required to provide their employees with written information about their employment.
When done well, your contracts and policies will elevate your business and make it simpler to run. They can also prevent disputes from escalating. For example, a clear, comprehensive employment contract will reduce the risk of your employees misinterpreting the terms of their employment or give them scope to challenge a decision.
We have a wide range of experience drafting and reviewing contracts, policies and procedures for a variety of industries and business structures. We will work closely with you to establish your commercial goals and adeptly tailor our advice to suit your needs.
We are always delighted when a client returns to us to regularly update or review a contact or policy because this allows us to apply a consistent approach and evolve our advice as their business grows.
From time to time you may have to consider making an employee or employees redundant. Like you, our employment lawyers do not take such a decision lightly. We will provide sensitive, practical advice and talk you through the procedure you need to follow, including:
- Formally consulting with your employees about the potential of redundancies
- Exploring alternative solutions such as altering the terms and conditions of an employment contract, implementing flexible working, or banning overtime
- Advice on contractual redundancy pay
- Drafting and reviewing correspondence and redundancy-related documentation
- Advice on using settlement agreements to formally end an employee’s contract of employment
- Defending redundancy-related Employment Tribunal claims, including pay disputes and unfair dismissal
Settlement agreements can be used to resolve a wide range of employment law issues, from standard employment exit processes to claims for dismissal or discrimination.
Typically, a settlement agreement will formally end an employee’s contract of employment. By signing, the employee will agree to waive their legal claims and you will agree to various terms such as to pay a sum of money or provide a favourable reference. Assuming the agreement is valid, the employee will be unable to go to an Employment Tribunal or take any further action against you in respect of their claims.
Although you may have to pay some money to your employee, entering into a settlement agreement can be far easier and cheaper than defending protracted Tribunal proceedings.
Our employment law solicitors’ fees
We offer an initial appointment to discuss your requirements at a fixed cost of £180 inclusive of VAT. After that we can arrange flexible payment terms, including monthly billing to help you budget.
Get in touch with our employment law solicitors in Kent
Alternatively, please fill in our online enquiry form for a quick response.