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.
Need expert guidance on employment issues?
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 for companies. 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.
Ellis Whittam: Your UK 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.
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:
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
I’m looking for an Employment Law specialist near me.
We have Employment Law specialists in Chester and Glasgow, with some of our advisers working remotely throughout the UK. Wherever you’re based, we offer unlimited telephone and email support delivered by dedicated experts, who will take the time to get to know your organisation, your goals and the specific challenges you face so that they can offer highly pragmatic advice tailored to your circumstances and objectives.
Do employees who are self-isolating qualify for statutory sick pay (SSP)?
Normally, employees will only qualify for SSP if they are unfit to work due to mental or physical incapacity. However, during coronavirus, some employees will be entitled to SSP even if they’re not actually too sick to work. This, the government has said, is so that those who are compelled to self-isolate aren’t penalised for doing so. The guidance identifies seven different instances in which employees would be entitled to SSP during coronavirus, as well as a number of scenarios where they would not.
What is the Job Support Scheme?
The Job Support Scheme is a scheme to protect “viable” jobs in businesses where demand will be depressed in the winter months due to COVID-19. It will replace the Job Retention (furlough) Scheme from 1 November 2020.
The premise is to protect employment by allowing employers to keep people on reduced hours. The employer will be responsible for paying the employee for the hours they actually work (which must be at least one-third of their regular hours), while he burden of hours not worked will be split equally between the employer and the government, with the government contribution subject to a cap.
Employees working of 33% of their normal hours would therefore earn 77% of their normal wages.
Do you need an Employment Law specialist for your company?
Employees are your biggest asset, but many employers don’t have the time, resource or expertise to manage employee relations issues effectively and compliantly. This can lead to poor working relationships, grievances from not applying your policies consistently and fairly, and a workforce that isn’t performing to its full potential.
There’s also the added strain on managers, who may not be equipped to handle these scenarios. As well as taking their attention away from other duties, attempting to manage situations without the right support increases the risk of making a mistake, which could result in a claim.
Working with an Employment Law specialist allows you to put all these worries aside and focus on what you do best.
What can Employment Law specialists do for employers?
Different Employment Law specialists offer different things. For example, traditional law firms typically offer pay-by-the-hour legal advice and representation at Employment Tribunals. Employers normally turn to law firms when there’s an immediate situation that needs to be solved.
Ellis Whittam is a different. Our team are not just Employment Law specialists; they are experts in delivering advice in a way that is commercially-minded and jargon-free. What’s more, we’re not just reactive – our service is designed to help you proactively prevent problems before they arise.
We also do much more than just advise. Our fixed-fee service includes document drafting, policy and contract creation, e-Learning and industry-leading HR software, giving you excellent value for money.
Can a specialist Employment Law firm benefit me?
If you find that you’re spending lots of time dealing with employee issues, are often unsure about the best course of action, or have a niggling feeling that your contracts and handbooks aren’t up to scratch, support from a specialist Employment Law firm may be the perfect solution.
Our fixed-fee service gives you access to from your own team of dedicated Employment Law specialists, plus all the software and tools you need to manage employees in line with the law. As well as saving you valuable time, working with us helps to reduce the risk of litigation, ensures your documentation is compliant and fit for purpose, and gives you access to the knowledge and expertise you need to tackle situations confidently and remain compliant.
As well as supporting employers with no internal resource, we can also work alongside your fledgling HR function or established HR team to elevate your current practices, help you become more efficient, and provide an added layer of expert support.