Employment Contacts, Contracts for Services, Consultancy Agreements and the like are all essential in setting out the terms of engagement between two parties. Having a contract in place from the outset sets out clearly the expectations and terms to which all are working.
When drafting a contract it will also ensure that you give proper regard to the status of the employment relationship e.g. is the individual an employee, worker or self-employed contractor? Drafting a contract that is not representative of the true nature of the employment relationship will be of limited assistance when a dispute arises.
It is important that the legitimate interests of your business are secured and regard should be given to what, if any, restrictive covenants will be necessary to ensure business protection not only during the employment relationship but after it has terminated.
Having properly drafted contracts will serve to reduce any ambiguity when an issue arises and we are here to assist in drafting tailor made contracts for your business needs.
An employment handbook is an essential tool for any workplace as it sets out all company policies and procedures that all members of staff should adhere to.
There are numerous policies a company can have within its handbook the primary ones being:-
Other policies can include for example IT and Communications, Social Media and Health & Safety.
Having policies and procedures in place, and more importantly, following them, ensures uniformity across the business and will serve to ensure that any issue is dealt with reasonably and will assist in defending any complaint that may arise.
Grievance & Disciplinary Procedures are those most frequently used within the workplace. Having a clear policy in place will ensure that any grievance or disciplinary matters is handled in the correct manner and that there is consistency in the company’s approach.
Dealing with grievances promptly and fairly and investigating potential disciplinary matters swiftly is best practice. It is a stressful time for all concerned.
Evidence is key, so you should always ensure that you have a written note of all conversations and meetings with staff and that the company is following its own procedures. All too often we are instructed in performance/conduct issues where an employer has been dissatisfied with an employee’s performance over a period of months or even years and has reached a point where enough is enough. However the employer has often failed to ever bring the issue to the employee’s attention and follow its own disciplinary procedures which in turn makes is difficult to dismiss fairly in such circumstances.
Where a company fails to follow any reasonably procedures in dealing with grievance and disciplinary matters, an Employment Tribunal may award a Claimant a 25% uplift on compensation. Following a fair and reasonable procedure therefore not only strengthens your position but will also guard against uplift in a Claimant’s compensation.
We offer a Helpline service whereby for a fixed annual retainer you can receive unlimited advice and assistance by telephone or email in connection with your day to day employment matters that arise. Sometimes all you need is to check you are on the right track and other times you may for example require guidance in how to properly investigate or deal with a complaint that has arisen.
We can also conduct a review of your internal policies and procedures to make sure everything is up to standard and recommend staff training where necessary to ensure staff fully understand their responsibilities in the workplace e.g. not to discriminate against colleagues and third parties in breach of the Equality & Diversity Policy.
It may well be that you don’t require our services that frequently and so the Helpline is not for you. Instead you can simply get the same service but on a pay as you go basis.
Whether it is restructuring a new or existing business we are here to assist you with ensuring that the process is as seamless as possible and will advise on all matters that may arise whether that be a variation to contracts, the redundancy process, TUPE related issues or advising upon and drafting Settlement Agreements where appropriate.
During times of uncertainty, staff are often very restless and this can cause disruption to your business and so it is imperative that any restructure/redundancy process is dealt with swiftly and with transparency.
We can help to ensure that you have a clear strategy in place and that you fully understand your obligations and the rights of the employees before putting changes into action.
The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) Regulations 2016 (as amended) or TUPE for short can apply where there has been a business transfer or where there is a service provision change.
TUPE can often be a complex matter and can give rise to large claims where the transferor or transferee doesn’t comply with its obligations. TUPE provides additional protection to employees and so it is imperative that the correct process is followed and full due diligence on employment liabilities is carried out and understood by both parties to a transfer to reduce the risk of any issues arising.
We can assist you with dealing with all issues that can arise from TUPE transfers.
We are here to advise you in defending potential and actual Employment Tribunal Claims against your company, its officers and staff.
The first notification you will obtain of a current or ex-employee contemplating bringing a claim will be a notification from ACAS to see whether you are open to ACAS Early Conciliation.
All potential Claimants must now process their claim through ACAS Early Conciliation and can only proceed to issue a Claim with the Employment Tribunal if Conciliation fails and they have been provided with an ACAS Certificate.
We can assist in evaluating the strengths, weaknesses and risks of your defence, deal with any settlement negations and advise and assist you through the Employment Tribunal process to include representation at all Employment Tribunal Hearings.
To view our costs for Employment Tribunals, please click here.
You may contact Allington Hughes with any legal queries or questions by calling or emailing our offices. We will endeavour to offer you straight forward advice from one of our fully qualified and experienced legal team.
Please note that e-mails are a non-secure method of communicating and we cannot guarantee that your e-mail will be received by us. We do have a filtering system in place, and would always recommend that if your e-mail is urgent, that you follow it up by telephone.
Wrexham 01978 291000 | Chester 01244 312166 | Llanrwst 01492 641222