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Advice for business

Employment Law for Employers

Our specialist employment solicitors operate in a complex, ever-changing area of law. We offer clear, proactive advice, allowing business owners to get on with what they do best - running their business.

The team is recommended in the Legal 500, a leading guide to law firms in the UK.

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Employment law is increasingly complex and, even for an experienced HR professional, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest developments.

However, getting things wrong can be costly. Employers need the right advice at the right time from experts who take a pragmatic and commercial approach.

Our team specialises in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law, offering practical, common sense advice to balance the commercial realities of running a business with the ever-changing legal requirements.

You can see our fees for defending claims of unfair or wrongful dismissal by clicking this link.

Employer Protection Policy 

We also offer an Employer Protection Policy, a retainer based fee structure for specialist HR legal advice, backed by insurance protection against any claims by employees. The same commercial advice, a cost-effective way to pay.

We can help you with:

  • Disciplinary action and grievance procedures
  • Drafting service agreements, contracts of employment and consultancy agreements
  • Defending employment tribunal claims
  • Negotiating settlements
  • Advice on discrimination and harassment issues
  • Drafting and advising on compromise agreements for departing employees
  • Negotiating termination deals
  • Redundancy programs
  • Advice on post-termination restrictions
  • The employment aspects of corporate acquisitions and disposals
  • Bespoke in-house training for Management and HR Teams
  • Employer Protection Policy.

Contact us if you would like a free initial appointment to discuss any of these issues.

Employment Law in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Ringwood and the New Forest

We have offices in Christchurch and Ringwood, but ou r specialist Employment Team also covers Bournemouth, Poole, Ringwood and the New Forest, with the majority of our clients located in the Bournemouth and Poole area.

Thanks to our outstanding IT systems, we can service clients from across the country.

Ask us at Frettens

What is the current minimum wage?

The minimum wage rates are currently:

·         NLW (age 23 and over) - £8.91

·         Age 21 and 22 - £8.36

·         Age 18 to 20 - £6.56

·         Age 16 and 17 - £4.62

·         Apprentice rate - £4.30

Can I employ EU workers after Brexit?

Yes, absolutely, but EU nationals will no longer have the automatic right to check by virtue of the freedom of movement. If staff are being recruited from the EU and are arriving in the UK after the end of the transition period (1 January 2021) they are subject to the same immigration rules as everyone else.

Employers are under a legal duty with civil and criminal penalties for employing someone without the right to work in the UK.

Should my business have a working from home policy?

Yes, absolutely. While there is no legal obligation to have a policy concerning working from home, any issues arising from employees working at home will be much easier to address if there is a policy in place. This also helps requests to be dealt with consistently and fairly.

If your business does not have a policy, we would strongly advise that one is drafted and implemented as soon as possible and ideally before any permanent homeworking arrangements are put into place.

What is repudiatory breach of contract in employment?

A repudiatory breach of contract is a breach which is so serious that it effectively renders the contract useless and therefore gives the innocent party the option to terminate. An obvious example of this would be an employer preventing a contractor from entering the site.

However, identifying a repudiatory breach of contract can often very difficult. For example, a generally poor standard of workmanship might have serious consequences, but it is unlikely to be classed as a repudiatory breach.

Occasional late payments could cause major cash-flow problems for the payee, but they will probably not amount to repudiatory breaches, particularly if past experience shows that payment is always made eventually.

When is a dismissal for redundancy unfair?

A dismissal for redundancy is likely to be unfair unless the employer has considered whether there is suitable alternative employment within the business (or group). If suitable alternative employment is offered, it might be subject to a statutory 4 week trial period if the role, place of work or other terms and conditions are different from the previous job.

Read more here.

Should I be using remote monitoring software?

Introducing monitoring software could damage employee trust and confidence, especially during coronavirus. Surveillance software isn’t fool proof – it can’t record thinking time or the creative process in any meaningful way.

Employers need to be mindful of employee rights in these situations. Many employees object to being so closely monitored in this way and capturing screenshots carries the real risk of the employer ending up as a data processor for what could be highly confidential information.

Employees might not be allowed to be using business IT equipment to access their private email or medical records, but that is unlikely to protect the business if that data is accidentally disseminated.

What is an employment settlement agreement?

Settlement Agreements are legally binding contracts which are signed between an employee and employer. They settle claims which an employee may have arising from their employment such as pay claims or discrimination, or claims following termination of employment such as unfair dismissal.

Usually but not always, settlement agreements will involve a payment by the employer in exchange for the employee agreeing not to bring proceed with any legal claims they may have.

Compromise agreements is just an older name for what was basically the same thing until 2012. There were some slight differences in the regulations which mean that some (increasingly rare) claims still have to be dealt with under the old compromise regime.

Read more here.

What is the 'statutory defence' to discrimination claims?

S109(4) of the Equality Act introduced the so-called ‘statutory defence’ to discrimination claims. If an employer ‘took all reasonable steps to prevent’ the discriminatory conduct they will not be liable for the offending behaviour.

Reasonable steps are likely to include:

·         Appropriate and up-to-date polices in relation to harassment and bullying, communications and diversity and equal opportunities;

·         Ensuring staff are aware of those policies and receive relevant training;

·         Effective management of grievance and disciplinary processes where unlawful conduct occurs

Problems will arise where businesses may have such policies and training in place but there it is outdated or ineffectual. 

For further guidance, please contact our experienced Employment Team here.

Should I implement flexible working?

The potential advantages of flexible working are as follows:

·         Employees are generally more productive working remotely than in-office workers

·         In-office workers are generally distracted more times a day than remote workers

·         Flexible working can increase retention and morale amongst employees

·         Flexible working improves employment prospects for women, who are twice as likely to work flexibly whilst juggling childcare responsibilities

    Get in touch with our solicitors today

    We offer a free initial appointment to all new clients. To get in touch with our expert solicitors in Christchurch and Ringwood, simply call 01202 499255 or visit our get in touch page.

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