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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
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Head of Practice Area - Employment
Managing your staff
We know that managing your staff is not easy and HR issues can arise out of nowhere. We provide clear and straightforward advice on day-to-day HR issues and strategic business changes that impact on your workforce.
Should you have to discipline an employee, we will advise you on the steps that you should take to follow your own disciplinary procedures and ensure that you comply with the ACAS Code. This includes investigating the issues at the outset, to dismissing the employee if appropriate.
A grievance is a concern, problem or complaint that an employee has about their work or working environment. One of the most common grievances raised is about bullying in the workplace. If an employee raises a grievance, you need to deal with it quickly and fairly. We can help you do that.
Restructure and redundancy
When commercial realities force a business to make changes to its workforce, a process must be designed and followed through. We can support you through this period of change, from providing ad hoc advice to overseeing the entire process and ensuring that everything is done properly. Getting this right really matters because the alternative could be an (or many) expensive tribunal claims – and that’s what we work hard to avoid.
Deciding to end someone’s employment is a big step for any employer to take. In most cases, dismissal should only happen once a statutory procedure has been followed – one which involves meeting with the employee and giving them an opportunity to explain themselves and challenge any allegations against them.
Our team is experienced in all types of dismissal, from those involving employees on long-term sick leave to those caught red-handed in an act of gross misconduct, or even following a restructure. We’re also specialists in cases where an employee alleges constructive dismissal because of something the employer did or didn’t do.
Managing sickness absence/long-term ill health
One of the most challenging issues for employers is how to deal with sickness absence. There is a balance to be struck between supporting employees but also minimising the effect that their absence may be having on your organisation.
We provide practical and commercial advice to help you deal with sickness absence issues. We will advise on your duties under discrimination law to ensure that you are making reasonable adjustments to the roles and working conditions of those employees who are disabled. We’ll help you take steps to reintroduce absent workers to the workplace and we’ll help you manage employees who have high levels of regular sickness absence.
Employment rights – maternity, paternity and flexible working
We will help keep you up to date with the changes that are taking place to family-friendly rights and ensure that your policies and procedures comply with the latest legislation. We will also provide you with advice and assistance on any issues that may arise such as requests to work flexibly, and returning to work after a period of leave.
Discrimination and equal opportunities
Discrimination is one of the most challenging issues that you may face. The law is often changing, you need to know what the law says and how to apply it correctly. Allegations of discrimination often prove costly for employers, not only because compensation awarded by a Tribunal is uncapped but also because of the negative affect it could have on your business. We are clear in the advice that we give you and how you should manage such situations to ensure you don’t foul of complex discrimination laws.
Managing performance and capability issues
Performance management issues often arise in any business. There could be a quick fix: an informal conversation with the employee is sometimes all you need to do, but sometimes they can be tricky to deal with. Sometimes you will need to carefully manage that employee. Offering help and support is a good place to start; monitoring is essential, but sometimes you may need to consider dismissal. We can advise you on practical ways of dealing with incidents of poor performance, whilst balancing fairness to the employee with the needs of your business.
Your workforce may be made up of a diverse range of people, including some who come from outside the UK. If that’s the case then you will need to make sure that you are complying with immigration rules. We can review your workforce and check that you have carried out the appropriate checks on your employees and, for those employees from outside the EEA, that they have the necessary right to work in the UK. We’ll also review your relevant paperwork and work with you to create a suite of documents which demonstrate your compliance and which will stand up to scrutiny. We can also help you with any communications you need to have with the UKVI.
Think of our business audit service as a health check for your organisation. We’ll take a thorough look at everything from your processes and procedures to your staff records and your strategies. We’ll alert you to any risks you may face and we’ll help you minimise any risks identified. At the end of the audit, you will know exactly where your business stands and what action you need to take to bring yourself in line with the latest employment laws.
Training and updating
Anyone dealing with HR issues needs to keep up to date with developments in employment law. We do this by providing you with a regular flow of information on employment law changes, HR best practice and workplace strategies. We run a programme which includes bespoke training for businesses as well as events for groups of people with HR responsibility. As a customer of Brethertons, you will also be able to join in our webinars and receive our factsheets and bulletins which offer clear and straightforward guidance on workplace issues.