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  • Overview

    This page gives an overview of our employment services for employees. If you're an employer looking for professional advice on employment law, please visit our for business page.

    Facing a difficult situation regarding your employment such as redundancy or unfair treatment can be frightening and stressful. It can feel as if all the cards are stacked in favour of your employer. It's important to understand that employment legislation exists to protect employees – getting advice on your rights can give you an entirely different picture.

    Our employment solicitors have a proven track record of winning employment tribunal claims and disputes. We achieve great success in negotiating severance packages and assisting in the facilitation of exit strategies.

    Getting advice from our employment solicitors can help you achieve a quick resolution, maximum compensation and an amicable exit.

    How our employment lawyers can help:

    • Legal advice on the Employment Rights Act 1996
    • Spell out the pros and cons of the options open to you
    • Give you a clear idea of the timeframe
    • Define the best strategy
    • Guide you through the process
    • Prepare you for meetings with your employer
    • Draft any communications
    • Represent you at employment tribunal, employment appeal tribunal, high court and court of appeal.
       

    Find out more about:

     

    With offices in two locations based in Kent (Tunbridge Wells and Thames Gateway - Dartford), our employment lawyers are available for face-to-face client meetings and regular calls to update you on your case. Contact our employment solicitors in Kent and Sussex today for further advice.
     

              

  • Related Client Stories

    Acting for an individual sued by his previous employer

    Our client was sued by his previous employer for £277,240 for breach of express and implied terms of his employment contract. In particular, it was alleged that he had breached his duties of faith and fidelity, had taken confidential information and had approached and solicited clients in competition with his previous employer as well as enticing five employees to leave with him.

  • Latest Updates

    The benefits of promoting positive mental health in the workplace

    The management of mental health in the workplace has been hitting headlines in recent months. In October, the Thriving at Work report, commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May, found that up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year, with poor mental health costing the UK economy up to £99billion annually.

    Government announces Social Care Compliance Scheme for underpaid sleep-in shifts

    The government has announced a new Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS) to help care providers who have underpaid workers carrying out sleep-in shifts in the past.

    Workplace Law - October 2017

    The workplace as we know is ever evolving so make sure you are up to date with the latest issues in the workplace by reading this edition where we consider the ECJ ruling on discrimination for Greek police, previous incidents at work being considered in a misconduct dismissal and the taxation position of termination payments from April 2018.

    Segregation in School - The Al-Hijrah case

    The Court of Appeal has found that segregation of pupils by sex at an Islamic faith school in Birmingham was directly discriminatory.

    Holiday pay calculations when an employer is insolvent

    Could you live without a job? For some the answer is ‘of course, as long as I win the lottery!’ But for the majority of us, our employment is our livelihood; it pays for the food on our table, the clothes on our backs to the cars we drive.

    Tattoos - the last Taboo?

    Love them or hate them, tattoos are popular and more and more people have them. From Judi Dench to Harry Styles, an increasing amount of people are choosing to decorate their bodies with ink.

    Caught on Facebook - Monitoring workers' digital communications

    Last year, in Barbulescu v Romania, the European Court of Human Rights decided that employers were able to monitor their workers’ emails where there was a good reason for doing so. Now, in a surprising turn of events, that decision has been reversed on appeal.

    Has the fog cleared on vaping at work?

    E-cigarettes have not been around long but you can find an E-cigarette shop in almost every high street or shopping centre and it is estimated that there are circa 2.8 million E-cigarette users in the UK.

    Why is the take up of shared parental leave so low?

    The conciliatory service ACAS recently published a report focused on workplace attitudes towards supporting parents who take extended leave to care for children. The report, Flexible Working for Parents Returning to Work – Maintaining career development, confirms that while there’s been a big push for employers to encourage women to feel comfortable taking maternity leave without losing their status in the workplace, the same can not be said for their male counterparts.

    Workplace Law - September 2017

    The workplace as we know is ever evolving so make sure you are up to date with the latest issues in the workplace by reading this edition where we consider vaping at work, monitoring employees and the tattoo taboo..

    New guidance published on supporting parents of ill or premature babies

    There are over 95,000 babies born prematurely in the UK every year. Currently there are no enhanced or additional maternity or paternity rights for parents of babies born early.

    Huge hike in compensation payments for hurt and upset employees

    With effect from the 11 September 2017 there will be a very significant rise in compensation awards for injury to feelings or psychiatric injury in discrimination cases.

    Significant court case continues

    On 26 July 2017, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the employment tribunal fees regime, introduced in 2013, was unlawful. The government had already undertaken that if it lost the case it would refund the fees paid over the last four years.

    Workplace Law - August 2017

    There is lots of information in our August edition of Workplace Law, we have split it into three sections. These include: Voluntary overtime - we talk about a new ruling which will be welcomed by employers who are paid overtime. Statutory payments - employers need to alter how they have been calculating various statutory payments. Injuries to feelings in the workplace - a recent case (De Souza v Vinci Construction) resolved questions as to whether civil courts can now apply injuries to feelings.

    Proposal for paid time off for grieving parents

    Just before Parliament broke up for its summer break, the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill was introduced into the House.  The bill proposes that employed parents who have lost a child will, for the first time, get statutory paid leave to grieve.

    We have all been calculating statutory payments incorrectly

    Whilst this decision cannot compete with the recent employment tribunal fees ruling in terms of consequences for employers, it does go against over 20 years of established practice and will come as a shock to most employers.

    Another case shows the limits of TUPE obligations in re-contracting situations

    A recent case involving an NHS trust has demonstrated that, for a group of employees to transfer to a new contractor under TUPE, it is essential that they are organised for the principle purpose of carrying out the end client’s particular work.

    Breathing Space For Social Care As HMRC Stops Pursuit Of Fines For Minimum Wage Failures

    Newsflash - Holiday pay and voluntary overtime

    Employees who regularly work voluntary overtime should have these payments included when calculating their holiday pay, following a landmark decision on overtime and holiday pay at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) last week, in the case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts.

    Workplace Law - July 2017

    In our July edition of Workplace Law we have prepared a summary of the key points raised in the Taylor Review on Modern Working Practices. The Good Work Report makes a series of recommendations some of which if implemented into legislation then will have far reaching consequences for employers and the employment relationship. Please therefore take some time to read this month’s edition.

    Newsflash – Supreme Court abolished employment tribunal fees

    In a ground-breaking decision handed down this morning the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees are unlawful, prevent people having access to justice and the fee regime will be abolished with immediate effect from today.

    National minimum wage for workers on sleep-in shifts

    The recent case of Focus Care Agency Ltd v Mr B Roberts had the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considering whether those working “sleep-in” shifts were entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for just the time they were awake or the whole of their shift, even when they were asleep.  

    The Taylor review of Modern Working Practices

    This summer has seen the release of the eagerly anticipated independent review into modern employment practices following a swathe of high profile challenges to employment status in tribunals up and down the country.

    Legal lowdown: Polygraph testing

    Solicitor, Elizabeth Maxwell from our Employment team speaks to HR Magazine about use of polygraph tests in employment disputes and whether they are admissible in courts and tribunals and the implications of if an employee refuses a test.

    Payroll blunders can be costly

    Earlier this month, John Lewis was forced to make a £36m provision for potential costs of paying the national minimum wage, after discovering that its systems may not comply with regulations.

    Workplace Law - May 2017

    In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at the multifactorial approach when considering National Minimum Wage for sleep-in workers, the potential discriminatory tests following an employer’s test and the MP’s assessment of the gig economy. 

    MPs’ damning assessment on the growing gig economy

    This month MPs came together to address the alleged bogus self-employment practices that have become a major feature of modern working practices. On 1 May 2017 the Work and Pensions Committee published a report after hearing from gig economy companies like Uber, Hermes and Deliveroo and from the drivers who carry out the work for them.

    Multiple choice = multiple problems. Employer’s assessment test deemed discriminatory by the EAT.

    It is more and more common for employers to use aptitude tests in order to select candidates when recruiting. These tests can be particularly useful and relevant in the sifting and selection process.

    Paid for sleeping on the job, a dream come true for employees or a nightmare for employers?

    Understanding exactly what the position in relation to this question is particularly important if you are an employer in the care sector or education sector with boarding facilities or any other organisations that requires people to be on call or required to work “sleep-in” shifts

    Uber announced new insurance to protect drivers, but does it go far enough to protect Uber in court?

    Solicitor, Elizabeth Maxwell from our Employment team speaks to HR Magazine about Uber's new insurance scheme aimed to protect its drivers.

    Workplace Law - April 2017

    In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at dismissing employees who have been on long-term sickness, the apprenticeship levy and provide clarity on the indirect discrimination test.

    Just plain disadvantage, not reasons why? Indirect discrimination test clarified

    The much anticipated judgement in one of the biggest cases for interpreting indirect discrimination was handed down this month.

    The new apprenticeship levy – the basics you need to know

    You may be aware that from 6 April 2017 the government brought in the new apprenticeship levy. But what is this and what does it mean?

    Why pay gap rules may not work

    Partner, Susanna Rynehart and Solicitor Elizabeth Maxwell from our Employment team speak to the Times about why pay gap rules may not work.

    Claimants win appeal against the Home Office on protected characteristics under the Equality Act

    Nick Hobden, a partner in the Employment team at Thomson Snell & Passmore, comments on the news that claimants won thier appeal against the Home Office on protected charateristics under the Equality Act. The case is was brought by workers employed by the Home Office who were required to pass a Core Skills Assessment in order to be eligible for promotion.

    Back to basics on ‘employee’ definition

    In our last few editions of Workplace Law we have covered the 3 big cases of Uber, CitySprint and Pimlico Plumbers - cases which have highlighted the courts new robust approach to looking behind a contract in order to determine whether an individual is an employee or a worker.

    HMRC launch online tax tool

    One of the most recent cases involved drivers engaged by a partnership providing haulage services to construction companies. The partnership argued that these drivers were self employed and therefore responsible for paying their own tax. HMRC took a different stance.  The reality of the working relationship was that the partnership dictated the terms of the relationship and there was no real evidence that the drivers were running their own business.

    Part-time employee’s redundancy dismissal deemed unfair etc by EAT

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has given a verdict which highlights the importance of allowing flexible working hours for employees.

    Uncovering the truth

    Polygraph tests play a major role in investigations in the US and in recent years have started to be used in the UK, but usually in respect of criminal investigations. We think there is a case to say they have a place in the employment sphere too. Particularly in issues relating to dishonesty, deception or stealing confidential information.

    Workplace Law - February 2017

    In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at the Pimlico Plumbers case, the increases to tribunal awards, the online tribunal database, whether gross negligence can constitute gross misconduct and ill-health retirement!

    Can you achieve fairness and cut out name bias in recruiting?

    Senior associate, Ben Stepney from our employment team speaks with Growth Business to explain how to tackle name bias in recruiting to boost diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

    Workplace Law - January 2017

    In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at the continued trend of cases in relation to employment status, the tax position for termination payments, 18 rated films and the gender pay gap.

    When a gift is a gift and not a bribe

    When a gift is a gift and not a bribe.  Elizabeth Maxwell considers the law on giving and receiving gifts in the workplace.

    Latest developments in the “gig” economy – Uber, Deliveroo, City Sprint and the Pimlico plumbers

    Back in October it was announced that the Employment Tribunal had upheld claims for entitlement to the national living wage and holiday pay from a group of Uber drivers. They found in the drivers’ favour and established that they are not self-employed but are workers. Since then, other cases have been decided against companies like City Sprint and Pimlico Plumbers where judges have grappled with the concept of worker status and blurred the lines of the so-called “gig” economy further.

    Workplace Law - December 2016

    We wish our readers all a very merry Christmas and best wishes for 2017.

    Workplace Law - November 2016

    In the November edition of Workplace Law, we would like to introduce you to collaborative employment law a new initiative that has been set up by us with Brachers, Furley Page and Thackrey Williams. We also consider the recent Uber case decision, holiday pay including commission, the tribunal fee report and judicial assessment.

    Social media in the work place

    Social media is unquestionably the new marketing frontier for businesses and the way we all like to share an opinion or have a say about what we think, eat, do and feel with our work colleagues, friends, families and people we barely know.

    A legal decision on the status of Uber drivers is imminent

    Nick Hobden, Partner and Head of Employment speaks to City AM about the potential implications of an employment tribunal that will be a deciding factor to whether Uber drivers will be granted entitlement to benefits such as sick pay and holiday.

    Four Kent law firms team up to launch new initiative to avoid costly employment tribunals

    Nick Hobden speaks to Kent Business about a new process, called Collaborative Employment Law.

    Workplace Law - September 2016

    It is definitely time to review your data protection policies – read why in our September issue of Workplace Law. We also consider the cost consequences of using zero hour contracts incorrectly and try to understand just how much information about a claim an individual needs to give in ACAS early conciliation. There is an interesting update on reasonable adjustments too…

    Law firm network draws on family law to create collaborative approach to employment disputes

    Four law firms have joined forces to launch Collaborative Employment Law (CEL), a group aiming to bring a novel mediated approach to employment disputes as an alternative to litigation, modelled on a technique developed by family lawyers.

    Workplace Law - August 2016

    In this edition of Workplace Law we look at statutory holiday pay and voluntary overtime. We will also update you on the new taxation and NIC regime for termination payments, as well as introducing you to the new member of our team.

    Workplace Law - July 2016

    This month we consider the Uber case, when a philosophical belief is a protected characteristic, the ACAS Code’s application to ill health dismissals and the admissibility of negotiations under S. 111A and ‘without prejudice’ negotiations.

    FAQ: Employment

    Q – I employ a number of EU nationals in my business.  Now that the UK has voted for Brexit, can I continue to employ them?

    Is a discretionary bonus truly discretionary?

    Is your bonus less than you were expecting?  Is there anything you can do about it if the bonus scheme is discretionary?  Susanna Gilmartin, Partner in our Employment Team, provides some guidance that will be useful for both employers and employees.

    Workplace Law - June 2016

    As ever legislation is on the move and case law continues to move the goal posts, challenging HR practitioners. This month we consider whether a discretionary bonus is truly discretionary, the importance of complying with data protection laws, the review of non-compete clauses, the expectation of employees to work long hours being a PCP and the ACAS research paper on early conciliation. But first, Brexit…  

    What will Brexit mean for employment law?

    The Trades Union Congress has commissioned a 66 page report, prepared by Michael Ford QC, reviewing the potential impact of Brexit. The following summarises his findings

    Top 25 UK Law Firm

    We are pleased to receive, for another year, the accolade from eprivateclient of being listed as one of the Top 25 Law Firms in the UK.

    Collaborative Mediation

    Susanna Gilmartin advised a large FE College on a difficult matter that arose involving a fraud and safeguarding investigation against a senior member of staff.

    Workplace Law - May 2016

    Welcome to our May edition as ever legislation is on the move and case law continues to move the goal posts challenging HR and employment practitioners.

    Workplace Law - April 2016

    In this month's edition of Workplace Law we consider what Brexit will mean for employment law, what is meant by a month in ACAS Early Conciliation and the ongoing debate regarding employment tribunal fees.

    Leading South East Law firm hosts another successful mock Employment Tribunal

    Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore held its sixth successful mock Employment Tribunal (ET) in Ashford last week. The event drew a record attendance of nearly 70 people.

    Workplace Law - March 2016

    Make sure you read the March edition of Workplace Law so you know about the increase in maximum weekly pay and compensation on unfair dismissal claims. We also consider whether you can dismiss an employee for “pulling a sickie” and whether childcare vouchers = remuneration.

    Gender pay gap law ‘will lack bite’

    Susanna Gilmartin from our Employment team speaks to The Time’s The Brief and gives her opinions on the new proposed gender pay gap law.

    Workplace Law - January 2016

    We kick off January 2016's Workplace Law by reporting on the new Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hour Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015, the introduction of the National Living Wage and the new ACAS guidance on legal highs in the workplace. There is also a section on a recent case concerning instructions to an employee not to speak her native language and an overview of whether this was discriminatory.  

    Changes affecting staff and employers

    Ben Stepney speaks to Caring UK and outlines changes in employment law and states how this will affect employers and their employees.

    How Christmas bonuses can turn into a festive nightmare

    Nick Hobden speaks to money and lifestyle publication City A.M. about the most common pitfalls associated with the awarding of Christmas bonuses and gives advice on what employers should do to avoid turning Christmas bonuses into a festive disaster.

    How Christmas bonuses can turn into a festive nightmare

    Nick Hobden speaks to money and lifestyle publication City A.M. about the most common pitfalls associated with the awarding of Christmas bonuses and gives advice on what employers should do to avoid turning Christmas bonuses into a festive disaster.

    Former employees to sue charity for redundancy

    Nick Hobden, Head of Employment and Trainee Solicitor Alison Antill speak to leading independent HR news provider HR Review and give their verdict on the collapse of the Kids Company and the effect it has had on the charity’s employees.

    How to negotiate an employment exit package

    An exit/severance offer is usually made with the condition that you enter into a settlement agreement which will require you to give up all your legal rights to pursue your employer for a claim or claims in the Employment Tribunal, including any claim for contractual entitlement to bonus, shares, commission, accrued holiday and unlawful deduction of wages. It is therefore important that you understand exactly what you are entitled to before agreeing an exit package.

    Are you self-employed? The courts may not think so?

    It’s time to dig out your contracts, revisit what they say and scrutinise how you are working or engaging with the people who carry out work for you, who you would describe as self-employed

    Workplace stress: Looking to a brighter future

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) calculates that 11.3m working days were lost in 2013-2014 due to employee stress, depression or anxiety. According to a survey by Unison in 2013, over 70 per cent of local government employees say stress is affecting how well they can do their jobs.

    A look at new sickness pay reform and its impact on SMEs

    Ben Stepney casts his eye over sick pay reform and discusses the challenges SMEs face when trying to juggle employment law rights for their staff and turning a profit.

    Flexible working: How to avoid sex discrimination cases against fathers

    In a recent employment tribunal case, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) were found to have discriminated against a male employee when turning down his request to work flexibly so he could spend more time looking after his daughter.

    Govt guidance on BYOD – what you need to know

    Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) describes the practice and increasingly popular occurrence of staff using their own personal mobile devices such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone for business purposes either while at work or remotely.

    Preparing for shared parental leave

    A new system of shared parental leave (SPL) will apply to parents of babies due from 5 April 2015. This will allow new parents to share childcare responsibility and time off from work.

    Carers asleep on duty were fairly dismissed

    The claimants claimed that their dismissal was unfair as the employer had not complied with its obligations under the Working Time Regulations 1998 in relation to rest breaks.

    Changes to Collective Redundancy Consultation Periods – practical use or waste of time?

    On 23 November last year, Vince Cable made a speech setting out the government’s intention to reform employment relations. Amongst the proposals was a plan to consider the implications of reducing collective redundancy consultation periods, which in its current form has been around since 1992. 

  • Know How

Get in touch

Susanna was clear and efficient in explaining my options when dealing with my employer. At no point was I left confused or unsure of my options. Exactly what I want in a lawyer!

Client

Susanna was the first employment lawyer I've ever had to use. She was great and exceeded my expectations at every stage

Client

I have worked with Susanna on two separate matters, and I find her to be thorough, considered, practical and extremely professional. She takes time to thoroughly understand the issues and gives carefully considered advice. During what was often a very stressful time, Susanna gave me great confidence and appropriate support, helping to ensure we achieved the best solution

Client

At every stage in instructing TS&P (and I have used them for Residential Conveyancing, Family Law and Employment Law) I have always been very impressed with the quality of the people I have dealt with. Keep doing what they are doing and they will keep my business as well as be warmly recommended by me.

Client

Thomson Snell & Passmore's particular strengths are customer care and the speed at which they respond. Often when you are dealing with complicated issues speed is of the essence. I have not seen any weaknesses.

Client

Clear, high quality communication and guidance.

Client

Quick response to questions and successful outcomes due to good advice.

Client

A huge thank you for helping to resolve such a difficult situation.

Client

Realistic, pragmatic, good speed of response. They have built a relationship with us.

Chambers UK 2015

I feel confident in the way forward after speaking or meeting with the firm. They're very open and easy to talk to, with great expertise.

Chambers UK 2015

Thomson Snell & Passmore is 'very professional, and values its clients'. Department head Nick Hobden is praised for his 'professionalism and attention to detail'.

Client

Susanna Gilmartin has extensive experience representing clients before employment tribunals and the High Court regarding post-termination restrictions, breach of fiduciary duties and breach of confidentiality. Clients say she is "sensible, knows her stuff incredibly well and is very realistic in terms of managing expectations."    

Chambers UK 2016

Susanna was extremely competent in her approach and guided me through the process with clarity and professionalism at all times, she was a pleasure to have as my adviser

Client

Head of department Nick Hobden has a strong focus on the healthcare and education sectors. He covers all aspects of employment law, with particular expertise in restructuring matters. 

Chambers UK 2016

Susanna was very professional, full of knowledge but mostly assuring and listened to her client and made sure I understood all the aspects of the process.    

Client

The advice I got was helpful, straightforward and I find Susanna to be very knowledgeable.

Client

Clearly understood the issues, explained to me what I was not really familiar with and confirmed that my understanding of certain aspects was indeed correct.

Client

Clear concise advice and the negotiated removal of a number of unpleasant clauses to my benefit.

Client

Provided high quality advice!

Client

I was able to meet and discuss my situation very soon after contacting TSP, Susanna was easy to contact and turned round review and responses to my employer swiftly, and the matter was dealt with within a relatively short timescale, minimising stress to me.

Client

All the advice given was structured toward the type of business that we are.

Client

Very prompt and responsive both during and after business hours, to successfully progress the case to agreement within a short time period and to schedule

Client

Thank you to Nick Hobden, for the support and advice offered to me during a rather difficult period in my life.

Client

I appreciate the responsiveness of Susanna with regards to my last minute request for help, and believe the advice given was very sound. I also recognise and appreciate the professionalism I have seen at all stages of our engagement.

Client

I came away understanding the background to the advice given, and I am happy that this takes into account my best interests

Client

Fast response to initial enquiry. Fast project cycle time. Fixed and reasonable price

Client

Susanna was amazingly efficient and effective. Responses were clear, concise and timely, and objectives achieved.

Client

Susanna was efficient and effective. Turnaround time was excellent. Susanna was very thorough and ensured I understood the agreement. She was also very personable and I felt very comfortable and confident throughout the process.

Client

Clear explanations, provided options and associated implications. I felt well informed when making decisions.  

Client

Alex has been amazing throughout this case. I definitely would not have got through the trial without him - you should be very proud of your work on this case

Counsel

Nick Hobden was very knowledgeable, approachable, and was able to fit in with my timescales and cost budget.  

Client

The service was accurate, and quick. We have not had a problem with the contract.

Client

Elizabeth has been outstanding and wonderful and very professional. I'm very happy to have found a local law firm that have given me the confidence I need to use for my legal services.

Client

The highly regarded Nick Hobden heads the department and focusses on assisting clients in the education and charity sectors with employment disputes. He is ably supported by Susanna Rynehart, an employment tribunal expert, and senior associate Ben Stepney, who specialists in the social care sector.

The Legal 500 2017

Meet The Team

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