Looking to make changes within your organisation? If it will have a fundamental impact on the employment relationship, you have a duty to inform and consult with your employees first.
Whether you’re embarking on large-scale redundancies, considering making changes to employees’ terms and conditions or going through a transfer of ownership, our skilled HR specialists can conduct productive consultations with those affected to help you make informed, commercial decisions.
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How we help
Meaningful consultation to help you move forward
Employers have a legal duty to inform and consult on a range of business, employment and restructuring issues – but this isn’t just a box-ticking exercise. Involving employees in decision-making can help you to identify opportunities, generate new ideas and build trust.
However, this can be a large undertaking. If you don’t have the time or expertise to manage the consultation process yourself, Ellis Whittam can offload this pressure by assigning a dedicated HR Consultant to support you.
- Support tailored to your reorganisation needs, from operational consultations with affected employees to full end-to-end project management
- Expert presence at announcement or at-risk meetings to answer process questions so that managers can focus on the business case
- Identify ways to avoid, reduce and mitigate the impact of redundancies by having a highly-qualified consultant lead consultations with employee reps
- Ensure employees can make their case properly by having the same named consultant conduct individual consultation meetings on your behalf
- Minimise noise with help pulling together FAQs of common questions that you can circulate to affected employees
Common consultation queries, answered by our HR specialists.
What matters must employers consult employees on?
All employers must inform and consult their employees on selling the business or buying a new one, making 20 or more people redundant within a 90-day period, and health and safety issues. If you employ over 50 employees, you may also have to consult employees on changes to your pension scheme and share other business information within your workforce if they request an information and consultation agreement.
If I’ve already made a decision, do I need to consult?
Consultation should take place when proposals are still at a formative stage. If it begins after decisions have already been made, this will be too late for any meaningful discussions to be had. It is important to remember that consultation is not an end in itself and shouldn’t be treated as such. Consultation during a redundancy exercise, for example, is about more than just informing the employee of a decision you’ve already made; it should open a two-way dialogue where views and information can be exchanged, with the ultimate aim of exploring ways that redundancy might be avoided, as well as discussing any selection process with the employee. As Acas guidelines state, “Making a pretence of consulting on issues that have already been decided is unproductive and engenders suspicion and mistrust about the process amongst staff.”
Explore Our HR Consultancy Services
We do more than just consultation support...
Want to ensure your organisation is compliant with HR best practice and latest employment law developments? Keen to understand your strengths and weaknesses, protect your organisation, and improve the efficiency of your HR system? Then you need a HR audit.
Policies, procedures, practices. Get a systematic health check of how you’re performing from a people management perspective and take your HR function to the next level with support from Ellis Whittam.
Investigations, Hearings and Appeals
There are many components to a fair disciplinary or grievance process. If you’re not comfortable conducting investigations, hearings and appeals yourself, or are simply strapped for time, our seasoned HR specialists can offer on-site support to take the pressure off.
We can conduct the meetings for you or, if you prefer, attend them with you to provide expert guidance and reassurance. This is invaluable when experienced, independent HR support is needed.
Mediation and Facilitation
Resolving a workplace dispute or repairing a working relationship that has gone sour isn’t always easy. At Ellis Whittam, we can provide mediation or facilitation services to help two or more individuals or groups reach a solution that is acceptable to everyone.
We can help those involved understand each other’s perspectives, clarify potential options, and develop an appropriate action plan for the parties to follow – allowing you to move forward positively.
Got big plans for your organisation over the next 12 months to three years? Then you might need to rethink and right-size your organisation to make sure your structure and skillset aligns with your aims.
If you’re not sure where to start with a task of this scale, our skilled HR Consultants can support you through the reorganisation process and ensure your workforce is set up for future success.
Welfare and Medical Capability Meetings
When dealing long-term absence or persistent short-term absences, care must be taken to avoid being found liable for unlawful discrimination.
If you have concerns about an employee’s ability to undertake their role effectively, our seasoned HR Consultants can take care of all formal meetings for you and help you to do the right thing by your people and your business.
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
Who you'll be working with
Principal Employment Law Adviser
HR Consultancy Manager
“I’ve taken Ellis Whittam into every organisation that I’ve worked with. I’ve introduced them to many teams and many colleagues and referred them with absolute pleasure because I genuinely trust in the service that we get.”
Debbie Jamieson, People Director
“We get a great deal of comfort and satisfaction knowing that we have support as and when we need it, in a decisive and responsive way.”
Richard Berry, Group HR Director
Bluestone National Park Resort
“What we recognised in Ellis Whittam is the background that they have. They are able to supply knowledge and experience in a number of disciplines, which enables us to develop our business in a way that’s safe, to do it on time and with a quality to it.”
Debbie Rainbow, Director of Human Resources and Health & Safety
“As the company started to get larger, we knew we had to protect our employees and our contractors both onsite and in the offices. Ellis Whittam is exactly what we needed to move the company forward.”
Joanne Beaver, Operations Director
“We have found Ellis Whittam to be responsive and aligned with our business in terms of our processes and expectations. Their pragmatic approach has proven to be a great fit – nobody wants to be fighting their adviser on basic employment decisions.”
Jonathan Green, COO
“Ellis Whittam supports our 280 staff members with Employment Law and Health & Safety and has provided quality management training too.”
Lisa Best, Head of Service Delivery
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