Most small and medium-sized organisations won't have access to an in-house Employment Law specialist.

In many cases, when employee relations issues arise, employers will attempt to establish the legal position themselves, or lean on an employee who has some limited knowledge of employment law. However, given the complexities involved and with new case law emerging all the time, going it alone can leave you exposed to legal risk.

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Do I really need Employment Law support?

Now that Employment Tribunal fees have been scrapped, employees have essentially nothing to lose by pursuing claims for unfair dismissal, breach of contract, unlawful deductions from wages or discrimination against their employer. As such, any missteps you make have potentially serious consequences.

It’s a situation no employer wants to face – defending an Employment Tribunal claim is a stressful, costly and time-consuming process and may cause significant harm to your reputation, thereby impeding your ability to do business and attract and retain new staff.

With this in mind, any issues within your workforce that may put your organisation at legal risk should be dealt with by an Employment Law specialist. With working knowledge of best practice and an intricate understanding of the law, an Employment law specialist is best placed to advise you on your options, highlight the risks involved, and guide you through the process to your preferred outcome.

Percentage of claims successfully defended by employers nationally
10%
Percentage of claims successfully defended by Ellis Whittam
82%

Ellis Whittam: Your Employment Law specialists

At Ellis Whittam, we’re experts and helping organisations overcome their people problems quickly and compliantly. We provide ongoing, dedicated support, giving you reassurance that professional advice is just a phone call away.

From day-to-day queries regarding overtime and holiday entitlement to help with more complex matters such as redundancy and discrimination, our team of qualified Employment Law specialists are on hand to offer practical advice and steer you in the right direction.

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Our current work satisfaction score is 97%

What makes us different

Unlike traditional law firms, we focus only on employment law. This means we have an in-depth understanding the intricacies of employment legislation and can offer the best possible commercial advice based on your particular set of circumstances. What’s more, as a fixed-fee service, we’re are also typically 45% cheaper than the hourly cost of a law firm.

Plus, unlike other fixed-fee companies who claim to be Employment Law specialists, our commercially-savvy advisers have over 300 years’ combined experience. In fact, the majority of our team are qualified solicitors or members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

In this way, we combine quality of advice with complete cost certainty, offering a unique solution to your employment-related challenges.

What we can help with

Our unlimited, fixed-fee service is designed to give you all the support you need to manage your workforce effectively with minimal disruption and legal risk.

To save you time and money and ensure the best possible protection for your organisation, we will:

  • Review (or, if necessary, draft) your Contracts of Employment and Employee Handbook to ensure all essential policies and contractual documentation is robust, up to date and legally compliant; and
  • Draft any employment-related letters or documents you require, including settlement agreements.

To help you make light work of employee relations challenges, you will have access to a dedicated Employment Law specialist for expert advice, guidance and clarification on a full spectrum of employment-related issues, including:

Grievance and disciplinary
Performance
Sickness absence
Pay
Maternity and paternity leave
Terms and conditions

Whether you’re in the midst of a crisis or just looking for a second opinion, support from an Employment Law specialist is the quickest and safest way to approach employee matters without destabilising your teams or falling foul of legal pitfalls.

Regular employment law updates and support through changes
Cloud-based software to manage essential HR functions
Recorded correspondence between your organisation and your adviser
A growing range of interactive e-Learning courses to upskill staff
Expert-created document templates and guidance notes

More reasons to choose Ellis Whittam

We believe in the value of a personal approach. That’s why we assign each of our clients a dedicated team of named Employment Law experts who will get to know your organisation and how you operate.

That way, when you pick up the phone looking for specialist employment law help, you’re speaking to someone who genuinely understands your situation and can provide advice that is in your best interests – with no need for catching up and no time wasted.

Unlike a traditional solicitors firm, where you may pay an extortionate upfront cost and then additional fees for small tasks, we provide unlimited support on a fair, fixed-fee basis. This means that your costs remain the same no matter how much your business grows or how many times you need our support.

What’s more, our honest and open approach means that when you outsource your employment law to Ellis Whittam, there’s no hidden charges or automatic renewal clauses to worry about.

For added peace of mind, our Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) for Employment Tribunals covers the cost of defence, settlements and awards in the event of an employee bringing a claim against you. Therefore, if you were to lose a discrimination claim, you could stand to save approximately £24,500 to £38,000.

Importantly, unlike some of our competitors, we use an entirely independent FCA-regulated insurer. This means we’re not concerned about our bottom line when we’re advising you; the decisions we make have only your interests and desired end result in mind.

Owing to our expertise and solutions-focused approach, we are consistently high achievers when it comes to protecting our clients. Not only do we reduce the risk of an Employment Tribunal claim by c.77%, but should the worst happen, you’re over eight times more likely to defend a claim when supported by one of our Employment Law specialists. As such, you can be reassured that by following our advice, your organisation is in safe hands.

We’re available now

Not confident in your ability to manage workforce issues in line with the law? Don’t risk going it alone. Our tailored Employment Law support can help to relieve your people pressures and keep your organisation on the right track.

To talk through your specific needs and find out how Ellis Whittam can become a high-quality extension of your team, call 0345 226 8393 or request a free consultation by clicking the button below.

Quick-fire Employment Law Guides

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An employee wants to withdraw their resignation. Do I have to let them?

It is quite common for employees to quit in the heat of the moment, only to have a change of heart once the dust has settled. In these circumstances, there is no black and white answer. Whether you should allow an employee to retract their resignation will depend on the particular circumstances and the length of time that has passed. 

Crucially, case law has suggested that accepting a resignation at face value, especially in emotionally-charged situations, may constitute unfair dismissal. For this reason, it is always wise to give the employee time to reflect on their decision to reduce the scope for claims.

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Is dismissal the only option in cases of gross misconduct?

No, though employers often believe this to be the case. If an employee’s behaviour destroys the relationship of mutual trust and confidence between to an irreparable extent, dismissal is one of the options available to you, but it is not a foregone conclusion. Other sanctions may be more appropriate, such as a formal written warning or demotion.

What is most reasonable will depend on the severity and nature of the offence and the employee’s disciplinary record. It is important to consider alternatives to dismissal – and follow a fair procedure – or a Tribunal may find the dismissal unfair.

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Should I treat an employee’s mental health issues as a disability?

To qualify as a disability, an employee’s condition must be substantial and long-term. This means it must have a considerable impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities and must have persisted (or be likely to persist) for at least 12 months.

In respect to claims for disability discrimination, a Tribunal has recently ruled that in order for discrimination to be possible, the employee’s condition must have been established as a disability at the relevant time. In other words, if the employee’s impairment had only persisted for six months at the time of the alleged discriminatory acts, discrimination will not have occurred.

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