If you run a business or an organisation, there will inevitably be times when difficult employee relations issues arise. When this happens, the right Employment Law advice is crucial.
In the worst case scenario, missteps can lead to an Employment Tribunal claim. Unfortunately for employers, now that Tribunal fees have been scrapped, there’s nothing to stop litigious employees pursuing legal action. With the average award for unfair dismissal sitting at almost £14,000 and discrimination claims costing closer to £30,000, the cost of going it alone can be significant. Of course, as well as the impact on your bottom line, there’s also reputational damage to consider.
But it’s not all about legal risk. Employee relations issues can impede productivity, affect morale, and contribute to a high turnover. They put a strain on management, destabilise your workforce, and ultimately affect your ability to deliver on key objectives. If you’re not an Employment Law expert, the time and stress involved in dealing with your people problems can become a considerable burden – one that will only increase as your organisation grows.
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So where do you turn for Employment Law advice?
Employers will often use a law firm when employee issues arise. However, this means that:
- You’re taking a reactive, rather than proactive, approach to employee relations matters, allowing problems to occur then paying to fix them;
- You’re without day-to-day support and therefore have to find the answers to your queries yourself or resort to guesswork; and
- You pay by the hour, meaning you can expect a significant bill whenever professional help is needed, especially if the issue is complex and takes some time to resolve.
There is a better way. At Ellis Whittam, we combine the quality of Employment Law advice you can expert from a leading law firm with the certainty of fixed fees – giving you access to as much support as you require, without having to worry about cost.
Ellis Whittam: Unlimited Employment Law advice, dedicated experts
Employment law is complex and constantly changing and it can be difficult for employers to keep pace with new legal requirements and emerging case law. As such, your practices may be outdated, or you may handle situations in a way that doesn’t align with best practice, leaving you exposed to legal risk.
At Ellis Whittam, we take care of everything for you. Our unlimited, fixed-fee service gives you access to a small team of named Employment Law Advisers, who will provide ongoing support with all your HR and employment law needs.
Your dedicated team will:
- Offer a constant source of practical Employment Law advice on a full spectrum of employee relations issues, from the seemingly simple to the most complex;
- Guide you every step of the way through difficult situations – including gross misconduct, discrimination complaints and redundancy – advising on the correct process to follow and the legal pitfalls to avoid;
- Draft your essential documentation, including your Contracts of Employment and Employee Handbook, to ensure they are legally-compliant and provide the best possible protection for your organisation; and
- Keep you one step ahead of employment law developments that may affect how you operate and support you through the changes.
Whether you’re facing an imminent crisis, have a quick query, or just want a second opinion, with direct access to an Employment Law Adviser who understands your organisation inside and out, you can be sure that you’re receiving the best possible advice.
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Our Employment Law advice is backed up by a range of additional tools and protections to help you future-proof your organisation, tackle issues confidently, and manage your responsibilities on a daily basis, including:
Get unlimited HR and Employment Law advice for your business now
From big household names to small independent businesses, Ellis Whittam provides trusted support to over 17,700 organisations across the UK. Whatever your size, sector or current situation, we can help to relieve your workforce pressures, ensure your organisation is compliant, and ultimately save you valuable time and money.
To talk through your specific needs and find out how our outsourced HR and Employment Law support can transform your approach to workforce management, call 0345 226 8393 or request your free consultation using the button below.
Quick-fire Employment Law Guides
What constitutes workplace bullying?
There is no statutory definition or exhaustive list of bullying behaviours in the workplace. Unison describes bullying as “persistent offensive, intimidating, humiliating behaviour, which attempts to undermine an individual”, while Acas says bullying is “behaviour from a person or group that’s unwanted and makes you feel uncomfortable”. Like Unison, Acas qualifies “uncomfortable” as “intimidated”, “degraded”, “humiliated”, “insulted” or “offended”, so these are reasonable criteria to set. Most definitions recognise that bullying relates to repeated unwanted conduct rather than one-off instances.
It is important to distinguish actual bullying from behaviour that an individual simply doesn’t like. For example, a manager raising concerns over poor performance, provided it is done professionally, is unlikely to amount to bullying, while constant unfair criticism may.
What is the Good Work Plan?
The government’s Good Work Plan is an ambitious shake-up of employment law intended to improve the rights of employees and workers. The plan, which was published in 2018, will implement the recommendations arising from the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, including changes to contracts and holiday pay calculations.
These changes will come into effect from 6 April 2020, requiring employers to adapt their processes and documentation accordingly. In addition to the three changes happening in April, there are several more Good Work Plan changes in the pipeline that don’t yet have an implementation date.
How much are employees entitled to in redundancy pay?
Redundancy comes at a cost for employers. Once you have selected employees for redundancy, you will need to think about pay. Those who have worked for you for two years or more will be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment. The amount they receive will depend on their age, pay and length of service:
- Those under 22 years of age are entitled to half a week’s pay for each full year’s service;
- 22 to 41-year-olds are entitled to one week’s pay for each full year; and
- Those aged 41 or older are entitled to one and a half week’s pay for each full year.
A week’s pay is capped at £525, with a maximum length of service of 20 years. Therefore, the maximum statutory redundancy pay an employee will receive is £15,750. From 6 April 2020, these figures will rise to £538 and £16,140 respectively.
Can parents attend work if their child is sent home from school due to COVID-19?
Official guidance states that individuals who have had recent contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus must self-isolate for a period of 14 days, but “if you live with other people, they do not need to self-isolate”. This would imply that parents don’t need to self-isolate in this scenario; however, the guidance also states that other members of the household “should avoid contact with you as far as possible and follow advice on hygiene”. Clearly, this isn’t possible between a parent and a child.