Ben Stepney, Partner in our Employment team recently sat down with Muddy Stilettos to tell us how to take the stress out of employment law issues.
Employment law sounds like a serious and stressful subject – it it really so important?
Handling employment law issues can be a big distraction when you are trying to run a business. From dealing with disputes and defending employment tribunal claims to providing employment contracts and handbooks, there is a lot to consider. Get it wrong and it can tie up lots of management time as well as being very costly. But, when you get it right, it complements the business and keeps you running smoothly.
Why should I worry ?
The fact is that employment law has become much more complicated in recent years. Employment tribunal claims are on the rise as individuals are more willing to litigate. Getting expert advice on a course of action you wish to take could prevent a claim from ever arising.
So where do I start?
The best way to minimise the risk of problems arising in the workplace is to make sure that you have well drafted employment contracts, policies and procedures in place, ensuring both you and your employees know where you stand. There are local legal experts that can support you with this. The key areas to consider are:
- Drafting and reviewing employment contracts, policies and staff handbooks
- Advising you on handling disciplinary and grievance issues
- Drafting bonus, commission and other employee incentive arrangements
- Supporting your business in developing working practices that advance your organisation’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.
Policies to consider can relate to a range of issues, including:
- Discipline & grievances
- Sickness & absence
- Annual leave
- Family friendly policies
- Health & safety
- Equality & diversity
- Discrimination & harassment
- Data protection
- Use of social media and the employer’s email and internet systems.
Sounds like an advice service could help a lot. How does it work?
Many businesses take advantage of our annual fixed price employment advice service, which can cover everything from routine telephone queries to advice on redundancy projects. The advice service runs for a year and is a fixed price for the 12 months. You choose which package you would like; silver, gold or platinum.
What types of advice will the employment advice service cover?
This will vary but as far as Thomson Snell & Passmore goes, we offer a series of scaled packages which all include routine employment law and HR advice and the provision of template letters/email from our know-how bank.
Reviewing and amending documentation prepared by you such as letters inviting an employee to a disciplinary hearing and outcome letters is provided in the gold and platinum packages only. And commenting on and advising on employment projects that you wish to conduct, e.g. redundancy process – is part of the platinum package only. Further details of every package is available on request, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.