Employment Law Advice
The governing of any employer/employee relationship, is covered by employment law, and it spans a hugely diverse range of subjects. However, the common goal is to protect the rights of employees and provide guidelines covering employer’s duties and responsibilities. From the initial vacancy advertised by an employer, to terminating the contract of an employee, employment law plays a role.
Since 2000, Sketchley Solicitors have been offering advice on all matters appertaining to employment relationships, and our team have successfully dealt with hundreds of cases, including:
- Boardroom disputes
- Breaches of contract
- Tupe transfers
- Bullying and harassment
- Discrimination and equal opportunities
- Self employment
- Grievances and disciplinary matters
- Hiring and termination of contracts
- Maternity and paternity rights
- Workplace stress
- Unfair dismissal
Frequently appearing at the Employment Tribunal, either with, or on behalf of, clients, we not only advise but support our clients through the whole process from their initial appointment to the conclusion. Members of our team also specialise in workplace mediation, which can often resolve disputes, allowing the parties involved to move forward with their relationship, and thus avoid going to the Tribunal.
There are strict rules and guidelines governing the employment of staff, and it is essential to understand these in order to avoid any adverse claims. Once recruited, the new staff member must have a contract that sets out the terms and conditions governing their employment, and access to the company handbook.
The handbook should detail the obligations and rights between the employer and employee, and make clear what is required and permissible. This can avoid many problems which may, otherwise, develop between the parties involved.
However, there are problems that occur which can be unavoidable, and for these we recommend seeking legal advice in order to deal with the matter appropriately. Maybe the new employee is not suitable for the role, takes an unacceptably lengthy absence due to sickness, or commits an offense for which disciplinary action is necessary.
Many workplace disputes can be eased, if not solved completely, through mediation, and this is often the recommended course of action, prior to approaching the Employment Tribunal.
Mediation is voluntary and completely confidential, and involves an impartial third party guiding the individuals, or groups, to reach a mutually satisfactory solution. Without making any judgements, or determining the outcome, the mediator will ask questions that seek to uncover the problems, assist the parties understand the issues, and help them to clarify their options for a favourable resolution.
It is advisable that mediation be started as soon as possible, thus avoiding either party’s position becoming entrenched.
The Employment Tribunal
The Employment Tribunal is an independent judicial body established to resolve disputes between employers and employees. Less formal than a court, and open to the public, the Tribunal upholds the various acts relating to employment, including:
- Employment Rights Act 1996
- Equality Act 2010
- Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992
Evidence is given under oath, and there is due procedure to adhere to.
Generally, the case will be presided over by an employment judge, a representative of the employer, and a representative of the employee, and it is these three who, together, make the final judgement.
Making a claim to the Employment Tribunal can seem an incredibly daunting prospect, however with Sketchley’s experts to guide and advise you, it could not be simpler. The majority of cases are successfully resolved before they reach the Tribunal stage.
Through our retainer arrangement, we can check your employment contracts, and the contents of your Company handbook. We also offer a 24 hour telephone helpline, allowing you access to expert advice before you are required to take any action relating to your staff. Retainer clients benefit from a reduction on our hourly rate if we are carrying out work on your behalf. This provides a substantial saving, and with our advice, you are unlikely to go before the Employment Tribunal.
At Sketchley Solicitors we strive to find you the most cost effective solution, and we are always aware of the impact an Employment Tribunal hearing may have on an employer, and their business, and fully discuss this with you before proceeding.
If you would like further details, please contact us.