HR Advice for Employers

We act for a range of company owners, managers and HR professionals to prevent employment problems arising. Call 01202 525333 for a free no obligation quote.

HR Retainers / Consultancy

We offer bespoke HR packages tailored to your businesses needs, where we advise in relation to all aspects of human resources and can act as your HR department.

We regularly advise our retainer client’s on day-to-day HR issues and we are always at the end of the phone to answer questions, provide advice and offer input on strategy to deal with employment issues that arise. By having early advice and intervention to ensure that all processes are followed correctly, and decisions made lawfully, this can put your business in the strongest position to defend against any future Tribunal claims. We can advise on all areas of employment law, including: disciplinary matters, handling grievances, handling poor performance, managing sickness absence, redundancy process and defending Employment Tribunal claims. We can also provide a review of your employment documents, including contracts and policies, ensure they are up to date and legally compliant, and make recommendations where appropriate.

Please feel free to contact us to have a no obligation discussion about your businesses requirements and how we can assist you.

HR Training

We can offer bespoke HR training courses for your staff. We often travel to businesses and deliver training to staff on site, usually to managers, HR and business owners. The training that we offer is tailored to the client’s specific requirements, which can cover any topic and be aimed at any specific team or staff. We aim to keep our training as engaging as possible, encouraging interaction and offering examples of our experience.

Recent examples include managing poor performance, managing sickness absence, equality and diversity, dealing with data subject access requests, conducting a disciplinary process, and grievances.

If you believe that your staff would benefit from any specific training, we are happy to discuss your requirements and explain what we can offer you.

Employee Documentation

By law, employees must be given written terms and conditions of employment on their first day of employment. There are various pieces of information which must be included in these terms and conditions for example place of work, hours and length of service. Employment law is regularly changing, which means that contracts need to be regularly reviewed to ensure they are legally compliant. For example, often we see contracts where the notice periods are outdated, below the legal minimum and therefore unlawful. We recommend that staff documentation is updated annually to ensure that no changes to the law are missed.

We are happy to review your existing contracts and policies, and provide a free no obligation quote to either draft new documents or update existing ones. We also discuss with you the needs of your business to ensure that the documents adequately cover your requirements i.e. drafting intellectual property clauses or post-termination restrictions.

It is important to have clear non-contractual policies in place to guard against costly Tribunal claims and set out guidelines and rules for employees in order that they know what is expected of them. Usually policies are contained in a staff handbook and, dependant on the size of the business, include: anti-bullying and harassment, equal opportunities, capability, disciplinary, grievance, data protection, health and safety. We offer several other policies in addition to these, and can also create policies tailored to your business.

Employment Settlement Agreements

A settlement agreement is one of the only ways that an employer can be certain that an employee will not bring a claim against them. The agreement is legally binding and usually includes the employee waiving their rights to bring a claim in return for a compensatory payment.

Our employment lawyers are very experienced in drafting settlement agreements, and we can help to negotiate them on your behalf. We understand that this can be a daunting process but we are here to help and support you in discussing the background, assessing any potential claims they employee may have, advising you in relation to negotiation and explaining the impact of the agreement. We will always help you find the best possible outcome as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

Employment support for buying or selling businesses – TUPE

Our team can provide specialist advice to guide you through the process of a TUPE transfer, ensuring that you comply with all of the legal requirements to reduce the risk of any Tribunal claims arising from the transfer. TUPE will usually apply during a business purchase or when a service is transferred to a new provider. Whether you are buying or selling, TUPE still imposes various restrictions and obligations on you that must be complied with, including the obligation to inform and consult, for the seller to provide the buyer with specific employee information and restrictions on changing employee terms and dismissals.

During a TUPE transfer, employees automatically transfer to the new employer on the same terms, together with all associated liabilities, so it is important that the buyer knows exactly what employees they are taking on, and for the seller to provide the information required.

We can advise you throughout the process, identify any risks and dealing with any issues that may arise, to ensure that the transaction is as smooth as possible.

Changing Terms and Conditions of Employment

All employees have an employment contract either in writing or by custom and practice. To change the terms or vary an employee’s contract, it is important that the correct process is followed as you cannot force a change on an employee without the risk of being in breach of contract, which could lead to costly Tribunal claims.

Terms may change naturally throughout their employment, for example pay increases, which are not controversial. Written employment contracts usually include the discretion to make changes, however these clauses only usually cover minor changes. If there is no express agreement in the contract, you will need to seek the employee’s agreement by way of consultation.

However, if a fundamental change is intended i.e. reducing pay, changing hours or introducing post-termination restrictions, you must consult with the employee and seek their agreement. Of course, employees may not always agree to changes and we can assist you in the event that this happens and advise you on your options. If you are considering making a variation to your employee’s contract, we recommend contacting us early on if you anticipate an issue arising or the employee not being happy with the change as we can help guide you through the process to reduce the risk of a dispute or future Tribunal claim.

Data Protection and responding to Data Subject Access Requests

GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 impose many strict obligations on businesses, particularly relation to how they process their employee’s personal information and whether the process followed is lawful. Individuals have the right to make a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR), which can be a very daunting process for a business as these requests usually require a significant search of its systems and records in order to comply with the request. There is also a strict timeframe to comply with the request, currently one month.

Our experts can provide guidance and advice about your data protection obligations, help to review your current processes and procedures, assist you with responding to a DSAR including what information to include, redact or exclude.

HR Retainers / Consultancy

We are able to offer advice in relation to all aspects of human resources and can act as an employer’s HR department. We advise on day to day HR issues for example disciplinary matters, poor performance, managing sickness absence and employee grievances.

HR Training

We are able to offer advice in relation to all aspects of human resources and can act as an employer’s HR department. We advise on day to day HR issues for example disciplinary matters, poor performance, managing sickness absence and employee grievances.

Employee Documentation

By law, all employees must be given written terms and conditions of employment within 2 months of commencing employment. There are various pieces of information which must be included in these terms and conditions for example place of work, hours and length of service.

Employment Settlement Agreements

An employment settlement agreement (previously called a compromise agreement) is the only way that an employer can be certain that an employee will not bring a claim against them.

Employment support for buying or selling businesses - TUPE

Our team can provide specialist advice on what Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) – TUPE – does as well as when it applies.

Changing Terms and Conditions of Employment

An employee’s terms may change throughout their employment for example in relation to pay. A lot of changes will not be controversial however if an employer wants to do something to the detriment of the employee the employee may be less agreeable.

Data Protection and responding to Data Subject Access Requests

Employers have many obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to how they process personal information lawfully, our experts can provide guidance and advice on what these include.

Our Experts

Kate Brooks

Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services

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Hannah Roberts

Paralegal

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Rebecca Bennett

Solicitor

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Here to help

Our specialist teams can provide full service legal advice and assistance, providing practical and cost-effective solutions.

Our offices

Bournemouth
302 Charminster Road Bournemouth Dorset BH8 9RU
01202 525333 Contact
London
Office 320 107 – 111 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AB
02039 784720 Contact
Poole
14a Haven RoadCanford Cliffs, Poole Dorset BH13 7LP
01202 709898 Contact
Ringwood
Monmouth Court Southampton Road, Ringwood Hampshire BH24 1HE
01425 484848 Contact
Swanage
55 High Street Swanage Dorset BH19 2LT
01929 422233 Contact
Wimborne
39a East Street Wimborne Dorset BH21 1DX
01202 057676 Contact