United Kingdom labour law regulates the relations between workers, employers and trade unions. People at work in the UK benefit from a minimum charter of employment rights, which are found in various Acts, Regulations, common law and equity. This includes the right to a minimum wage, under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. The Working Time Regulations 1998 give the right to 28 paid holidays, breaks from work, and attempts to limit excessively long working hours. The Employment Rights Act 1996 gives the right to leave for child care, and the right to request flexible working patterns. The Pensions Act 2008 gives the right to be automatically enrolled in a basic occupational pension, whose funds must be protected according to the Pensions Act 1995.
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As an employer you must treat part time workers no less favourably than full timers, unless you have good reason. We can carry out a health check to minimise your risk here. We can also support and guide you in dealing with requests from your staff to move to part time working.
Advice on LLP and partnership agreements, formations, conversions of companies and partnerships to LLPs
- The duty of good faith
- Discrimination issues
- Remuneration structures
You need to protect your business in the event of someone leaving and poaching your clients or staff, using confidential information or setting up in competition. Too wide and they won’t be enforceable. We can help in drafting suitable restrictions.
Did you know that you can monitor your employees internet usage and private emails?
Come and talk to us about putting a policy in place to achieve this.
There are many potential pitfalls for an employer in recruiting a new employee and it is vital that an employer is aware of these. We can advise on best practice to enable you through training and creation of a paper trail to avoid these pitfalls as far as possible. Unfortunately for employers, each stage of the recruitment process from the job description, to the interview process to the job offer itself can lead to problems and potential claims such as discrimination and data protection. We are called on to advise on all stages and we provide practical and comprehensive advice to enable employers to proceed with confidence.
Do you need to carry out a reorganisation or redundancies? You want clear, comprehensive and practical advice on how to conduct a redundancy process fairly, with minimal disruption and effect on morale for your staff. We are experienced in dealing with redundancies from the small to large scale, needing collective consultation. We guide you through each step and provide all necessary documentation. If you need Settlement Agreements for peace of mind, we can draft these for you.
If you need to carry out a reorganisation and change job roles or reporting lines, we can help in giving you a clear procedure to use, with suitable checklists and documents to make the process as pain free as possible, minimising business disruption.
Are you wanting to get rid of the senior employees who are expensive to the business? Are you concerned about how to raise discussions about leaving? We can help you through the relevant processes and provide you with an analysis of the options and risks you have if you decide to terminate contracts of employment in such circumstances.
Special considerations apply when you are appointing a senior executive and in particular if they are to be a director of the company, the service agreement will need to contain tailored clauses. At the other end of the employment cycle, if you wish to dismiss a senior executive then again different considerations apply than with a more junior employee – the need for speed and minimal disruption to the business may outweigh the requirement to comply with good employment practice. In these circumstances, having practical advice to achieve an agreed departure can be key. We have experience in providing strategic advice in these situations and approaching the issues on a commercial basis.
If you wish to terminate the employment of an employee, a settlement agreement can be a useful tool for ensuring an orderly exit. We can prepare and negotiate the agreement for you and advise you on how best to protect your business.
We regularly advise employers on these agreements and have been included on a number of panels put forward to employees of major UK based companies carrying out large-scale redundancy programmes.
Tweeting, Facebook, Linked In, YouTube, MySpace, blogs - the list goes on. Are you concerned about damage to the company’s reputation? What can you do about employees posting social media comments? Do you know whether you are allowed to monitor your employees? Are your employees aware of the company’s data protection obligations? We can help you put in place clear and effective policies in all these areas and assist you in any action you may need to take.
We have a user-friendly staff handbook. You can pick and choose which policies you want, or we offer a starter handbook covering the basics. It covers everything you need, including grievances, disciplinary and performance policies, expenses, sickness absence and family friendly procedures. Having the policies in place gives managers and staff a fair framework for addressing issues
The loss of a team can cause significant damage to your business, with you losing your skill base and/or the threat of competition, and your existing customers being targeted. What steps can you take to protect yourself? Or maybe you are the new employer, with a new team that has joined you: what are your risks and what practical steps should you take to minimise your exposure?
We help train your managers in how to deal with performance and conduct issues, to achieve the best results and minimise the risk of an unfair dismissal or discrimination claim. Recruitment procedures are also an area we find help is valuable: all steps from placing the advertisement to offering the job. Our aim is to support your business to get the best from your staff and management.
Do you want to transfer a business? Are you aware of the strict procedure you need to follow and the risk of claims in the employment tribunal if you do not? The regulations can also apply to outsourcing and service provider arrangements. We can help you plan the whole process and help ensure that you avoid the costly penalties that can arise as well as automatic unfair dismissal claims for TUPE related dismissals. TUPE is a very complex area, which requires specialist advice - we can provide this.
Have you received a claim from an ex-employee for unfair dismissal? Are you concerned that a dismissal will lead to a claim? We advise regularly on disciplinary and performance management processes leading to termination and will guide you through implementing a fair process. These can be time consuming and trying times for HR and management and having expert advice will help to ensure the process runs as efficiently and smoothly as possible. We will always take you through the process and advise as to the risks attached so that you are fully informed to take the most appropriate decisions.
Are you worried that your employees might raise claims against you for possible wrongdoing in the work place or possible breaches of legislation? If so, you can put processes in place to provide a mechanism for encouraging employees to deal with such issues internally.
What Others Are Saying
"Belinda was at all times responsive and astute in the handling of my case. SW19Lawyers know their subject matter well and provided a very friendly and supportive service."
[Magic Circle Partner]
“I have worked with SW19 who have always been incredibly dedicated and focused on the task in hand. They provide pragmatic and commercial advice notwithstanding the legal complexities. I highly value their high standard of client service and concern for their clients’ interests and I positively recommend them to others.”
"Highly recommended and they more than lived up to expectations. They were unerringly professional, spot on with tactics, very client focused and a pleasure to work with. I would be more than happy to recommend SW19Lawyers."
[Senior executive in the insurance industry]
"I needed a good employment lawyer as a matter of urgency. At a time when I was upset, stressed and unsure of my rights, I found SW19Lawyers immensely helpful. They were easy to talk to, understanding, clearly knowledgeable and very experienced. Professional but approachable, they made a difficult time easier for me. Thanks SW19Lawyers. I have already recommended you to others".
"Thank you for your support. You are our go to lawyers when required. I am very happy with everything you have done for us and know that will continue in the future." [client in the fashion industry]
"In a world of ever increasing complexity for employers, it's good to know Belinda has got the detail covered!" [Wealth management firm founder]