The specialist employment law advisors at Foys offer expert legal advice and assistance to Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire based business owners who are dealing with employment and employee-related issues.
Employment law is crucial to your business’ success. As an employer, you must be mindful of your employees’ rights, your duties to your employees, how best to deal with them and how you can protect yourself if necessary. Employment law is ever-changing, and it can be a minefield to traverse alone, which is why we’re here to help.
Foys Solicitors can help make employment law easy for you to fulfil your legal duties as an employer. We do this by breaking down all the legal jargon and communicating with you in a straightforward, efficient way.
Our employment team can offer you the advice you need regarding all areas of employment law. Whether you want us to draft employment contracts, you need advice about disciplinary or grievance issues, you want assistance in implementing a redundancy procedure, or you wish to pursue or defend proceedings against an employee, we are here to help.
The areas of employment law we cover
Contracts of employment
This is a legal agreement between you and your employees. You must ensure that your employees receive certain written particulars of employment (often contained in a written contract)within two months of the date they initially started working for you. Our employment solicitors will advise you on how to meet the requirements of the law by assisting you with drafting contracts and policy documents, as well as the implementation of regular reviews of contracts.
Employee handbooks and policies
Handbooks serve an important purpose in that they include information on your employees’ rights to certain leave and pay – such as sick, maternal, paternal and bereavement leave and pay – as well as policies relating to disciplinary procedures and grievances. Well-constructed and coherent handbooks can protect your business and ensure that you are not failing the ACAS Code of Practice. Our specialists can help you put together employee handbooks and policies that are in line with current legislation in England and Wales.
Defending employment tribunal claims pursued by employees (i.e. unfair dismissal and discrimination)
Due to recent judgments, more businesses face an increased risk of tribunal claims. It is not only important that your policies are up-to-date and in keeping with current legislation and laws, but that your contracts are also in keeping with these changes too. However, in the event that you’re facing an employment tribunal claim, time is of the essence so please in touch with Foys as soon as possible. Our solicitors can advise you on the best course of action to take and can be involved in any negotiation efforts before a tribunal, such as mediation and/or arbitration. Should the tribunal end up being heard, our experienced specialists will be able to represent and defend your business at the tribunal.
Advice on redundancy procedures
While it is never the intention of business owners to put redundancy procedures in place, circumstances may arise where this situation becomes a necessity. It is extremely important that you seek out advice from a solicitor before you take any action as there are a number of legal considerations that must be taken into account before commencing and during redundancy procedures. Our employment specialists will be able to help you take the steps required to make this process lawful and as streamlined as possible.
Disciplinary and grievance issues
Before beginning any disciplinary action, businesses should seek legal advice on whether or not they should suspend an employee – and the possible permutations that could arise from such action. Additionally, if you are dealing with a grievance matter, it is also essential to understand the legal position surrounding the process. Both disciplinary and grievance issues require adherence and compliance with the ACAS Code of Practice. At Foys, we will guide you through these delicate issues with expert legal advice from solicitors who have extensive knowledge and experience of grievance and disciplinary procedures.
Dismissing or disciplining an employee
The decision about whether or not to dismiss or discipline an employee is not one that should be taken lightly. As an employer, you will be expected to explore alternatives to dismissal, such as disciplinary proceedings and the provision of written warnings. There are circumstances where a dismissal could be ruled as unfair by an Employment Tribunal, should the employee decide to pursue a claim. At Foys, our employment specialists will talk you through the potential legal ramifications and repercussions of disciplinary proceedings (including the decision to dismiss) to minimise any adverse effects to your business interests.
Drafting and dealing with settlement agreements
Previously known as a compromise agreement, settlement agreements are legally binding documents that detail terms and conditions that have been mutually agreed by an employer and an employee to settle any potential employment tribunal claims. As such, business owners must ensure that any settlement agreements signed on behalf of your business are consistent, transparent and in keeping with legislation and laws. Our employment solicitors will help you draft these agreements and can also support you with legal advice if required.
Variation of contract terms
This relates to when there are clauses in contracts that impose certain conditions, as well as the situations where these conditions come into effect, that can vary or change the terms of that contract. Recent court case decisions regarding such contract disputes over variations continue to display the importance of well-drafted contract terms. Foys’ employment solicitors are experts in this field. We can help you construct contracts that protect your business from any potential pitfalls if the terms change. Additionally, we can offer expert advice on how to proceed if the terms between parties in a contract are disputed.
Cases involving discrimination are often very complex and must be handled with the utmost sensitivity. There is the danger of your business’ reputation being damaged, which can have effects on your finances and your personal image. To navigate through this legal minefield, you must be guided by legal specialists with knowledge and expertise in this field. This is what our employment advisors provide to clients dealing with discrimination claims. As we also advise individuals and employees who feel that they have been discriminated, our legal experts are finely tuned to how both sides approach such cases.
Business Transfers (TUPE)
The regulations surrounding when a business is taken over by another business or undergoes substantial restructuring, are covered by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations. Known commonly as TUPE, it serves the purpose of protecting employees during such transfers and restructuring. If your business is going through changes, it is necessary to seek out legal advice when devising the plan and strategy surrounding these changes, as well as its effect on employment contracts and redundancies. Foys’ employment solicitors provide this advice to keep you in compliance with employment law and to help protect your financial interests.
Breach of restrictions by an employee
When employees leave your company, you may be concerned that they will try to poach your clients and fellow employees, or become a direct competitor to your business almost immediately after their employment ended. A way to protect your business against this scenario is the use of restrictive covenants. If you believe an employee has breached any restrictions, you may be entitled to take legal action. As the law surrounding this area has gone through significant changes in recent years, please seek out legal advice on how to respond to a breach. Our legal specialists will guide you through this process, ensuring that you achieve the maximum damages possible. If your contracts currently don`t contain restrictions, or if you are unsure whether or not any existing restrictions adequately protect your business, our specialist advisors can help.
Your rights should not be hampered by fees
As we work with many companies from all aspects of business across Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire daily, we understand that the available budgets differ from client to client. But as employment law is important to not only your employees, but also your business interests, you do need to seek out legal advice.
At Foys, we believe that every business owner can benefit from having their voice heard and being able to express their legal concerns to a professional, which is why we offer a free initial consultation. We will be able to analyse your requirements and work out a plan moving forward.
This will also allow us to give you a rough estimate of what our services will cost, and the different funding options available to you, including insurance funding, hourly rates and fixed fees.
We provide personalised legal plans, so you can be in control of the legal fees that you are spending, ensuring that with Foys you never have to worry about being hit with an unfair or unjust bill.
Know your employment rights: how employment law can help you
Employment law is a vast area of law that takes in a wide array of elements relating to your employees, your business and beyond. Ultimately, as an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your business is in compliance with the law and legislation surrounding employment.
Employment law covers many different issues such as contracts, employee rights, grievances, disciplinary matters, dismissals, redundancy, recruitment, discrimination, hours, remuneration, leave and pay. These issues are covered in the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Working Time Regulations 1998, the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, the Pensions Act 2004, the Equality Act 2010 and in many more acts, laws, policies and guidelines.
Unfortunately, on top of having to understand the laws and legislation surrounding employment, it is also mandatory to stay up-to-date on all manner of developments. Without the right knowledge, you will leave yourself and your business exposed and unprotected to the possibility of legal action that could damage both your reputation and your finances.
For many small to medium-sized business owners, this can have disastrous outcomes so please obtain legal advice from a trusted professional as soon as possible.
Defending you at an employment tribunal
An employment tribunal claim is when an employee believes that they have been treated unfairly and request a tribunal to resolve the dispute and determine whether or not their claim has legal merit. Examples of unfair treatment include discrimination, unfair dismissal and unlawful deductions from wages. Employers have 28 days to respond to a Tribunal claim. A tribunal hearing is generally held at the employment tribunal office that is closest to the employee or former employee’s place of work.
The repercussions of a tribunal hearing to a business and its owner(s) can be quite severe, including financial loss, damage to reputation and stress.
While you are able to represent yourself at an employment tribunal, it is highly recommended that you employ a qualified employment law specialist who understands the ins and outs of employment law. This ensures that your business has the best chance of not only successfully defending an employment tribunal claim, but it may help you avoid an employment tribunal claim altogether. Advisors, such as our employment law specialists at Foys, will, if appropriate, attempt to negotiate a settlement that is to the satisfaction of the employer.
If the case does end up being heard at a tribunal, we will do everything to support you and your business against these claims. Our specialists will ensure that you will be prepared, informed and supported throughout the proceedings. We do this because we want you to have the best chance of succeeding, and we will do everything in our power to achieve this outcome.
Our employment law solicitors for employers are by your side
As your legal advisors, Foys’ team of excellent employment law experts, spread across various offices, will tirelessly work to support you, advise you on decisions relating to all manners of company and business law, and protect your business interests.
With decades of experience, you can trust us to guide you in the right direction – no matter what aspect of employment law you need to understand. To get started, phone our employment team at our Doncaster office on 01302 327 136, and we will arrange for your free initial consultation with one of our employment law solicitors.
This page was updated on 24/07/19
Please note that although we use the word solicitor, your case could be carried out by a legal advisor, legal executive or paralegal depending on the nature of the case.