We advise on a wide range of employment law issues for employers. Our clients include retail and investment banks, asset management firms, accountancy firms, solicitors firms, insurance companies, charities and sellers of luxury goods. We know that employment issues are frequently time critical and sensitive and pride ourselves on being responsive, readily available and practical in our advice.
We provide proactive, pragmatic and cost-effective general day-to-day advice on all employment issues, as well as drafting and negotiating agreements and policies.
We are very experienced in acting in all types of litigation, from Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal to High Court employment claims, as well as in mediation.
We advise on all aspects of employment law, including:
We provide employers with day to day advice. This will frequently involve advising on matters being addressed through the employer’s disciplinary or grievance procedures. It is very important to deal with matters fairly and thoroughly. It is in both employers’ and employees’ interests for matters that are in dispute to be resolved at the internal procedure stage and a fair process can help to conclude matters swiftly. If matters are not resolved and proceedings are commenced, then the internal procedures will be scrutinised as part of the case. It is therefore essential to get the best advice as early as possible.
We have many years’ experience advising on internal procedures and investigations and can help you to deal with them effectively and thoroughly.
Employees are protected from being subject to any detriment on the grounds of various protected characteristics (gender, race, nationality or colour, disability, sexual orientation, religious or philosophical belief and age). Discrimination complaints are often difficult claims to deal with as both the employee making the complaint and those that are accused are likely to be upset by the allegations. Further, if matters are not resolved internally, litigation is likely to be of concern to an employer for reputational reasons.
Discrimination complaints carry uncapped compensation awards and can therefore be difficult to settle.
Parker & Co are very experienced in dealing with all types of discrimination complaints and claims and can help you deal with matters fairly, thoroughly and responsibly while trying to minimise reputational risks.
Employers will often choose to enter into a settlement agreement with a departing employee to ensure that no further claim can be brought against it. It is the only form of agreement that can ensure that an employee cannot pursue their statutory rights without involving ACAS.
In any situation where a dispute has been settled and compensation paid or when a company chooses to pay an enhanced termination payment or redundancy payment it is wise to enter into a settlement agreement with the departing employee.
We have a great deal of experience of drafting settlement agreements to cover various situations and will conduct negotiations with the departing employee or their solicitor to ensure protection for the employer and a swift resolution to the matter.
Dismissals arise in many different situations and may occur following a long procedure, for example a capability dismissal or a dismissal for persistent misconduct issues. Other dismissals may need to be effected swiftly following serious misconduct or a necessitated change of control or direction of the employer. A dismissal situation is difficult for both the affected employee and those having to take the decision. We are able to advise you on a procedure to follow to dismiss an employee fairly and with a view to minimising risk of litigation. If litigation does follow, we can advise you on the best way to defend the claim or seek an acceptable resolution.
If an employee is in breach of contract, the areas of breach of most concern to an employer post-termination are likely to be obligations of confidentiality, intellectual property and non-solicitation or competition clauses. If the employee is in breach whilst employed, the employer is likely to wish to take disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. An employer may also have a potential claim for damages arising from any breach. Areas of particular sensitivity for employers involve breach of fiduciary duties. Breach of contract issues can range from the major to the minor and an employer needs to be able to respond appropriately. Of particular concern are breaches of confidentiality and non-compete provisions. Where such breaches occur, an employer needs to respond swiftly to prevent a catastrophic impact to their business. Remedies available may include injunctive relief to ensure that the employee’s activities in breach of contract can be halted to allow the employer to protect and retain its business.
Injunctive relief is available to an employer if it can show that damages are not an adequate remedy following an employee’s breach of contract. It is essential to act without delay on the discovery of a breach of restrictive covenants or a breach of the obligation of confidentiality. We are experienced in obtaining and defending injunctive relief applications and know the steps that need to be taken and have the necessary resources to protect employers in situations where their business may be threatened.
We are always available to answer the questions that employers will have on a day to day basis on such matters as sick leave, maternity and paternity rights and flexible working. These areas of the law can give rise to claims if they are mishandled. It is important to ensure that you take advice on the handling of any requests particularly if you are likely to decline a request for flexible working or if you have any doubt as to the employee’s statutory entitlements.
We can provide employers with all types of contracts of employment from basic terms and conditions of employment to complicated service agreements for senior employees and directors to ensure that your contracts of employment are drafted to suit your particular requirements and provide you with the best protection for your business.
Employers require policies and procedures to cover various aspects of their operation and to comply with legislation and regulation. We can advise you on what policies and procedures are necessary and either draft policies themselves or review policies that you have produced. We will ensure that policies and procedures are fit for your business needs.
We are based in the City of London and are experienced with dealing with the movement of teams of employees. We act for employers in seeking to prevent the departures of teams of employees through the use of restrictive covenants and garden leave, if necessary seeking injunctive relief. We also act for employers seeking to recruit teams of employees and advise them on the best way to achieve this without inducing breaches of contract, exposing themselves to the risk of litigation.
Advising on the Reorganisation of Businesses, Redundancies and Collective Industrial Relations Issues
Most employers will, at some point, need to reorganise their businesses. This may involve the need for redundancies, the transfer of part of the business or a re-allocation of duties or changes to terms and conditions of employment. Employers need to ensure that, when taking these steps, they comply with their statutory and contractual obligations to their employees in order to avoid unnecessary claims and the financial risk of having to pay compensation. We advise on collective consultation requirements for group redundancies and Transfers of Undertakings, how to achieve an effective change in the terms and conditions of employment and the best way to handle these issues in order to avoid potential claims, the unwanted loss of employees and potential industrial action.
Many employers will be subject to the application of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 on outsourcing aspects of their business to external service providers or in acquiring part of a business from another operation. In many cases, the commercial aspects of the change will be subject to terms and conditions under which the employment situation may be covered by the provision of warranties and indemnities. We can advise on the drafting of such provisions and the need to collectively consult and provide information to employees. We also advise on the impact of the Regulations where there is a need to effect dismissals. There is particular sensitivity in this area given that dismissals connected to the transfer will be automatically unfair unless they are for an economic technical organisational reason entailing changes in the workforce. This area is one that is complicated and frequently subject to change, it is therefore essential that employers are aware of a TUPE situation when it arises and take the necessary advice.