Advice Line

Fast, pragmatic, commercial. Our Employment Law and HR advice line gives you and your managers access to truly unlimited advice on all of your people-related challenges, from the seemingly straightforward to the most complex.

Your organisation will be assigned a team of three legally-qualified experts, including at least one qualified Employment Law solicitor, who will support you as a high-quality extension of your team. 

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How we help

Expert employment advice, complete control over costs

Whether you’re facing a crisis or just need clarification on the best course of action, even the most knowledgeable employers will require expert Employment Law advice from time to time.

With a dedicated expert in your corner, you can talk through your options and achieve your preferred outcome as quickly and efficiently as possible, with minimal management burden and legal risk.

  • Support whenever you need it with our 24/7 advice line
  • Pragmatic, relevant and consistent advice from named, dedicated Employment Law and HR specialists
  • Certainty of cost through our fixed-fee, unlimited use model
  • Free up management time with document drafting included
  • Reduce your exposure to unplanned costs with our Legal Expenses Insurance

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Support for business owners, HR teams and managers

We believe a personalised approach helps achieve the best possible outcomes for your organisation. That’s why we assign a trio of Employment Law specialists – made up of a lead Employment Law solicitor and two junior lawyers or paralegals – who will get to know your business, your goals and the sorts of issues you face.

As well as offering advice and guidance on all your employee challenges – from simple sickness absence queries to complex grievances and disciplinary matters – your expert Ellis Whittam team can craft your contracts, draft your documents and keep your policies up to date. Store these essential documents, plus refer back to conversations with your adviser, through your own online portal.

Unrivalled expertise

We have 2.4 X the number of qualified solicitors than any of our larger competitors

Popular FAQs

Common questions about our advice line support, answered by our Employment Law & HR specialists.

What sorts of things can you advise on?

HR matters come with the territory when you run a business or manage an organisation and we’re here to help you through it all. Whether you’re battling absenteeism, struggling to manage an underperforming employee or need help navigating a complicated exercise like redundancy, we can walk you through the steps required to handle the situation appropriately.

Is everything dealt with through one team?

Yes. All of our advisers are qualified legal professionals or on the road to formal qualification, which means a full range of employee issues can be dealt with within your dedicated three-person team. In the event that you’re presented with an Employment Tribunal claim, we will conduct a full handover to our Litigation Team so that they are well equipped to defend you.

What if my adviser isn’t available?

Our set-up means you have support from not just one legal expert but three dedicated professionals who genuinely understand your business. As well as a more collaborative approach and the benefit of shared expertise, this means you are never left without support during periods of absence.
While we’re always available over the phone, if you’d prefer to self-serve, our user platform, MyEW, contains a full library of Employment Law and HR resources and allows you to refer back to conversations with your adviser at any time.

How is an Employment Law service different to a HR advisory service?

Our approach is simple: find out what you want to achieve and help you get there as quickly and easily as possible, whilst being mindful of the risks. While HR professionals can provide a process-driven answer, as lawyers we are able to advise you from a commercial point of view, helping you achieve your preferred outcome without unnecessary procedural hurdles.

Will I pay more if my workforce grows?

No. Because we believe in providing the best-quality Employment Law advice at a fair and fixed price, your costs won’t change throughout the duration of your contract, not even if your organisation grows or your usage increases.

What if the law changes? Will you keep me compliant?

Employment legislation is constantly evolving, and it can be difficult for employers to keep pace with new legal requirements and emerging case law. If your practices become outdated, or you handle situations in a way that doesn’t align with best practice, you leave yourself exposed to legal risk.
We will keep you informed of any Employment Law developments that may affect how you operate and help you to apply the changes, including reviewing and amending your contracts and handbooks where necessary.

Can you support me on site?

We’ll be able to guide you through most matters over the phone, but if you’re not fully confident and feel that more hands-on assistance is required, we offer a range of specialist HR Consultancy services that can be tailored to your specific needs.

What MI will you provide so that I can understand usage?

For clients with larger case volumes, we can prepare monthly MI reports to provide insight into your organisation’s usage of our advice line and other service elements. As well as helping you to maximise our support, this insight is valuable when it comes to identifying emerging workforce issues, trends and problem hotspots.

Explore our fixed-fee Employment Law support

We do more than just advice...

Contracts and Handbooks

Whether you have nothing in place or just need an expert review, our Employment Law specialists can carefully craft your employment contracts and employee handbooks to guarantee compliance and provide the flexibility you need as an employer.

What are the risks of not having the right contracts in place?

Failing to provide an employee with a contract could lead to additional compensation being awarded to an employee who successfully makes another sort of claim against their employer. In addition, a number of practical problems could be caused by having incorrect contracts, such as paying too little (or too much) notice, getting holiday entitlement wrong and failing to protect legitimate business interests in the face of an employee leaving for a competitor.

How often do HR policies need to be reviewed?

Whenever there are changes to UK employment legislation, such as the recent changes to bereavement leave or the Good Work Plan, it’s important to make sure your contracts, handbooks and policies are updated accordingly. We can take the pressure off by alerting you to any such changes and helping you to implement them in your documentation and practices.

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Drafting Letters and Documents

From the most straightforward warning for poor attendance to complex grievance outcome letters and everything in between, our Employment Law solicitors can draft all your employment documents to save you valuable time and stress.

What sorts of documents can you draft?

Just about anything and everything you might need during the employment relationship. All of our advisers are qualified legal professionals or on the road to formal qualification, which means we can support you with a full spectrum of advice and documentation, from first written warnings to new contractual clauses, to a policy you might not have in your handbook, plus more complex legal documents like settlement agreements and redundancy outcome letters.

I’ve got a HR team and just want templates we can use. Do you have a resources bank?

Yes, our fixed-fee Employment Law and HR support includes full access to our Knowledge Hub, available through MyEW, which contains most of the templates we work from. If you have an internal HR team, you may prefer to access these and tailor them yourselves. However, for more complex cases, we would always suggest engaging with our legal advisers as it can be all too easy to word something in a way that leaves you exposed.

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e-Learning

Tired of classroom training, or unable to take time out? Raise awareness of best-practice around workplace issues and prevent HR headaches with our flexible, cost-effective e-Learning courses.

What types of courses are available?

Our ever-growing library of e-Learning courses currently covers over 100 topics, including HR courses such as Equality & Diversity, Sexual Harassment and Social Media Use; soft skills courses such as Communication, Leadership and Change Management; and compliance courses such GDPR, Anti-Money Laundering and the Bribery Act. We also offer an extensive range of Health & Safety courses, including Accident Reporting, Risk Assessment and First Aid. Download the full course catalogue.

How much do the courses cost?

All of our e-Learning courses are free for the first year when you purchase our Employment Law and HR or Health & Safety managed service. This means you’re not paying per head or per course, which not only keeps down but gives you complete cost certainty over your training expenses. This is particularly handy if your workforce is growing, as you won’t need to purchase extra licenses, giving you exceptional value for money.

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Legal Expenses Insurance

An optional component of our Employment Law and HR support, by underpinning our advice with LEI, you have maximum reassurance that your business is protected against unfair dismissal and other costly employee claims.

I’ve never had a claim before – why would I need to take LEI?

For the same reason you take out any insurance policy – to guard against the high cost of defending an Employment Tribunal claim. The premium cost is very low compared to the potential payout, especially as it covers the cost of representation as well as any potential compensation. You don’t have to have LEI, but it could significantly impact your bottom line if something goes wrong, given that the cost of even the most basic unfair dismissal claim could be £20-25,000 when legal costs are factored in. Unfortunately, the latest Tribunal statistics suggest that employers now are more vulnerable than ever.

Can you deal with Employment Tribunal claims, or is this triaged outside of EW?

Should you receive a claim, your dedicated Employment Law adviser, who will have dealt with the matter up until that point, will conduct a full handover to our Litigation Team. They will explain the case history, share all the relevant documentation and offer their views on the prospects of the claim. Our Litigation Team will then take over all the prep work, including drafting a defence, producing bundles, dealing with Acas and the other side, and briefing counsel. Rest assured this is a smooth process, with everything kept inside EW, and you will be in safe hands throughout.

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Management Information

Discipline, performance, absenteeism. We’ll show you exactly where your dedicated Employment Law advisers are spending their time so that you can target key problem areas for more productive, high-performing teams. Recommended for large organisations with high case volumes.

What detail does the MI provide?

The report will highlight what sorts of issues we are advising on and who/where in your business those questions are coming from. That way, we can easily spot problem areas, bring them to your attention and recommend steps to address the issues.

What sorts of recommendations do you typically provide?

We will provide practical and pragmatic recommendations to address whatever common problems are arising. The exact nature will depend on the sort of issues but could include training of managers in certain areas or the production of additional guidance and documentation to guide them through tricky subjects.

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MyEW

From document templates to HR Software, MyEW gives you all the tools you need to manage even the trickiest employee issues, improve efficiencies and get the answers you need, fast.

What sorts of issues can I find guides and templates on?

We have hundreds of guidance notes and accompanying templates covering a full spectrum of employment-related issues, including Maternity, Pay, Flexible Working, Holidays, Performance and Redundancy. All of these resources are created by our experts, and if you require further support or have any questions, you can contact your dedicated team of advisers for practical advice and guidance.

What does the HR Software do?

There can be a great deal of administration involved in managing employees, and the burden only increases as your business grows. If filing cabinets of employee information is no longer cutting it, our HR Software will help to automate your processes, save valuable time and manage HR tasks at the touch of a button. Use it to store and organise employee data and essential documents; manage and report on holidays, absence, timesheets and rostering; stay on top of employee reviews; maintain a comprehensive employee directory, and keep a record of training and development.

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95% Client satisfaction rate - 97% Client retention rate

Experts in Employment Law & HR

Why choose us?

At Ellis Whittam, we’re known for our bespoke service and the quality of our support. Not only is our expertise unmatched, but we take the time to know you so that we can function as a true extension of your team.

  • Your own small team of dedicated experts
  • Commercial, pragmatic advice tailored to you
  • Bespoke contracts, policies and handbooks
  • Trusted by over 35,000 organisations
  • Recognised as a leading firm by the Legal 500

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