Bishop & Sewell
Flower

The law around employment regulations is rarely straightforward, so having the issues spelt out through clear advice helps.

Clear & Concise

Clarity is our goal. We know our clients want practical solutions, not legal lectures. We deliver straightforward, unambiguous advice, coupled with clear recommendations, aimed at keeping your business moving forward.

Adding Value

Often, we work alongside clients as an outsourced HR resource, advising when needed and can do so on a retainer basis. We are only interested in charging for the value that we add.

Major Projects – Beautifully Managed

Sometimes you’ll be involved in major projects, such as redundancy or outsourcing exercises. Our extensive experience means we deliver efficiently, accurately and on time.

We offer diagrams to explain the process, roll-out programmes, scripts to use at employee meetings and experienced draftsmen to deal with the warranties and indemnities that might be needed.

Best Outcomes

When it comes to disputes, our heavyweight litigators are experienced advocates, used to acting for companies and will fight to preserve your interests. Your lawyers not only need to be sharp advocates with an eye for detail and an absolute understanding of the law, but also good organisers who are capable of scheduling Tribunal tasks to fit in with company deadlines. Our systems are so streamlined that we are able to offer fixed fees in relation to most cases.

Overall, our aim is to get business done – despite the obstacles and distractions often in the way. Sometimes that will involve taking on risk, sometimes you will want to ensure that the risk is minimised.

That’s why you need commercially minded lawyers who’ll help you see things in black & white.

Next Steps

For initial advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our team, please email employment@bishopandsewell.co.uk or contact 020 7631 4141 and ask to speak to the Employment team.

Well drafted policies and procedures will help you to manage your business, comply with current legislation and handle many day-to-day employment matters more efficiently.

Similarly, contracts drafted in plain English will ensure certainty and clarity – both for your organisation and your employees. They can help reduce the scope for disagreement and misunderstanding and to protect your organisation’s important business interests.

Our employment lawyers will draft policies and contracts that are tailored to your business in clear, understandable language. We can also review contracts, policies and procedures to ensure that with the ever-changing legal requirements, they are up-to-date and compliant.

We understand that businesses need to remain flexible and may need to implement changes to their employees’ contracts. We can advise you on the processes to adopt when varying contractual terms and also on contract and policy issues arising from acquisitions, disposals and mergers, including the application of TUPE and/or the collective redundancy consultation obligations.

How We Can Help

We can assist your business by reviewing and/or drafting:

  • Directors’ service agreements
  • Employment contracts
  • Consultancy agreements
  • Non-Executive letters of appointment
  • Partnership agreements
  • LLP agreements
  • Staff handbooks and individual policies and procedures, covering a variety of matters including disciplinary, grievances, poor performance, equal opportunities, social media and IT and family-related matters such as maternity, paternity and flexible working etc.

Discrimination law can be extremely complex, with new decisions from Europe frequently having an indirect impact on employment situations in the UK. In many situations circumstances can arise which, if not handled correctly, can give rise to significant liabilities for unlawful discrimination.

This is also an area of employment/HR practice where employers can sometimes make dangerous assumptions, without fully appreciating the employment rights that could apply and protect a particular employee. If breached, these could expose the employer to considerable awards for compensation.

How We Can Help

Our Employment team advises on all aspects of equality and diversity and will work with you to ensure that your business is compliant with legislation relating to sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion/beliefs and age.

We can provide clear advice to assist you in handling these difficult employment/HR situations. The complaints made by employees will often involve allegations of a very sensitive nature, which need to be handled by you with care.

We are also experienced in drafting staff handbooks, contracts and comprehensive policies to cover equality and diversity issues and are well placed to answer any queries or grievances you may be grappling with.

Despite the best intentions, disputes can and do occur within the workplace. We regularly deal with a range of difficult situations that can arise during the employment relationship.

We pride ourselves on providing clear, concise and practical advice, together with speedy response times. Often an informal approach, with advice from us, can avoid a problem from escalating too far, or if a more formal approach is required, we can advise on and communicate with your employee on your behalf.

How We Can Help

We can advise on:

  • Grievances within the workplace.
  • Discrimination complaints, including bullying and harassment.
  • Termination of employment.

When it comes to Tribunals, we are specialist, heavy-weight litigators, used to acting for companies and experienced in seeing things to the end. Our aim is to reach a swift and sensible resolution to your dispute, without having to resort to the Employment Tribunal where possible.

We always listen to the outcome that you are seeking and discuss with you the approach and strategy to follow with a view to securing that outcome.

In the case of disputes, you need lawyers who not only specialise in Employment law, but who are also used to acting for companies. Your lawyers not only need to be sharp advocates with an eye for detail and an absolute understanding of the law, but also good organisers who are capable of scheduling Tribunal tasks to fit in with company deadlines. Which is, of course, exactly what we offer, but that’s not all.

Trained Tribunal Advocates

Training makes a difference. Lawyers that are prepared to conduct the case at hearing leave nothing to chance when preparing a case. Their ability to sense what a Tribunal will demand of you or your witnesses is greatly heightened. This means you get a sharper lawyer and a better prepared case.

Experienced

It is quite true to say that many employment tribunal cases settle, often on commercial grounds. What distinguishes our lawyers is their experience in seeing cases to the very end, personally. This experience has been gained when acting for NHS clients, where it is often not possible to settle cases due to Department of Health policy restrictions. This means that you really are getting the benefit of properly experienced advocates who have actually ‘been there’.

Efficient & Commercially-minded

We only offer trained advocates with over 7 years’ plus experience of litigating Tribunal cases. Their experience has bred efficiency and as a result, we are able to offer fixed fees in relation to most cases. Our systems are so streamlined that we can even work with you to choose what elements of the work you might choose to undertake yourself.

At the same time, our lawyers are alive to the commercial aspects of litigation. Such as cost and reputation-management. It’s why one of the first things we do upon instruction is to undertake a commercial review of the litigation and present a short strategy note.

This helps you to identify you litigation goal (fight or settle), by going through issues such as: the percentage chance of successfully defending the claim; the realistic financial exposure if you lost; likely legal costs; settlement options and recommended settlement sum if that were a consideration. In doing so, we keep you in commercial control at all times.

There is an art to setting up a truly ‘off-the-record’ conversations. Get this wrong and you will likely hand an employee the ability to accuse you of a pre-determined decision to affect a certain outcome – and by extension an unfair dismissal or discrimination claim.

We can help you get this right. We can also provide the right documents to get a deal done. Rest assured, our settlement agreements are up-to-date with changes in the law and will always be tailored to your company and the current circumstances.

Whatever project you are planning, whether it be a variation of existing terms and conditions of employment, an outsourcing exercise or the creation of a staff body, or redundancy, our extensive experience can help you.

We will advise you on all the options open to you – even the ones that you haven’t thought of. We will highlight the common employee issues that arise and propose solutions that have been tried and tested in the past or that would be better suited in the circumstances.

We listen to the reasons for reorganising and potentially making people redundant and can help you create efficient roll-out programmes to help make the process as easy as possible to complete.

Ultimately a Tribunal’s role is to police unreasonable approaches. We will help ensure you can demonstrate genuine reasons for your proposed actions and then follow a fair procedure.

Our lawyers are particularly experienced in advising on multiple redundancy situations and those relating to business transfers and changes in service provider (TUPE).

How We Help

Our employment lawyers will work with you to find solutions, advising on:

  • Whether a redundancy situation arises as a result of restructuring
  • Strategies for approaching redundancy
  • Consultation with affected individuals
  • Consultation on a collective basis, as required by statute rules
  • Election of employee representatives
  • BIS notification
  • Selection pools, criteria and processes
  • Statutory and contractual redundancy payments
  • The inter-relationship between TUPE and redundancy

Employer Advice Legal Team

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