Employment Compliance

Legal compliance issues are the very basis on which any and all employment relationships are based.

I also believe that good people don’t want to work for employers who really don’t care about or adhere to the law. (Cue the Psychological Contract.)

Examples of the type of work I undertake in this area include: –

Drafting Terms and Conditions of Employment (in simple and understandable language) and in support of specific business requirements

Producing Grievance, Disciplinary and Capability Procedures

Writing Staff / Employee Handbooks

Managing Disciplinary and Grievance procedures

Designing Redundancy processes

Supporting TUPE transfers, whether for the Transferor or the Transferee

All employees have to be provided with a Written Statement of Terms of Employment or a Contract of Employment within 8 weeks of commencing employment. It is easy enough to obtain the basic details to be legally compliant, e.g. www.gov.uk/employment-contracts-and-conditions/overview

Where you may wish to develop a more robust set of terms, I draft documents to be more directly fit for purpose.

Employers must also provide both Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures to staff. These are often issued along with the Statement of Terms & Conditions of Employment. It’s important that these reflect an employer’s particular business and I can advise you on these matters.

Firstly, and to dispel an urban myth – these are not a legal requirement! However, when well drafted they provide a clear and consistent guide for everyone on what are a business’s policies etc. Everyone wants to be treated fairly and consistently at work and a well drafted and relevant Handbook helps facilitate this.

You can easily find a number of documents by ‘Googling’ Staff Handbook which will provide some pointers as to what you may wish to cover.

However, if you’d like to develop a Staff Handbook that relates directly and specifically to your business and its values, and actually means something to your staff, I can make this easy for you.

Contrary to urban mythology, redundancy is not the simplest way of just letting someone go!

It’s important to get it right for a number of good reasons including:
• Its impact on non-affected staff may be negative – and they’ll remember how you behaved during the
exercise.
• You may lose the very expertise you really wish to keep!
• Tribunal claims for Unfair Dismissal and / or Discrimination can be time consuming and expensive.

When there’s no alternative to redundancy (and I’ll help clients find alternatives wherever possible), I help clients by:
• Designing robust and transparent processes and selection criteria
• Identifying the relevant ‘pool’ of ‘at risk’ employees
• Running ‘hands on’, or advising on the redundancy programme and consultation as appropriate
• Providing the required communication processes along with documentation

Examples of the work that I have done include:

Brief
To design and deliver a redundancy programme for the UK based employees of a large US organisation
Result
All redundancies effected within the agreed time-frame and with no subsequent Tribunal claims

Brief
To guide an organisation through a redundancy appeal process and avoid Unfair Dismissal and Discrimination claims.
Result
Reinstatement offered to employee, resulting in realistic negotiation and amicable settlement.

Brief
To design a full consultative process to affect a significant reduction in headcount whilst minimising potential legal exposure.
Result
Helped identify opportunities for redeployment, voluntary redundancy and job share / part time working leading to reduced redundancies and no subsequent Tribunal claims.

My focus will be twofold – to protect the business against potential Tribunal claims and to implement a process which demonstrates both integrity and fairness to all. I know that the internal and external PR impacts of getting it wrong are huge.

My clients rarely want to undertake this exercise. They approach it because they have to.

Think you need to make such cuts? I’m happy to chat your situation through with you – beginning with how this may be avoided if possible, or minimised if not.

Feel free to give me a call for an initial confidential no obligation chat.

TUPE exercises can occur when a business or piece of business is transferred from one employer to another. The legislation provides protection for the affected employees.

TUPE exercises can be relatively straightforward or extremely complicated. If you need any guidance in working through such a process, or in managing the after effects of such an exercise, I can give you all the support and expertise you need.

Consultative processes can be a key element in seeking to make changes in any business. For example, perhaps the business can no longer sustain its current salary levels and believes that it has to reduce salaries and wages. Or maybe the working hours no longer reflect the operating needs of the business.

Whatever the issue, these things will be key in obtaining a positive resolution.
• Firstly – communicate effectively the reason why such measures are being proposed with as much information as possible.
• Secondly – follow a consultative process.
• Thirdly – communicate and continue to communicate until the process is complete

Two way communications, instead of just providing the information, will give you a greater chance of achieving staff ‘buy in’. You will need to consult with an open mind and negotiate when required. Don’t just implement the change that you want. Remember, you will need the goodwill of the staff over the long term – long after this exercise.

I work in designing such complex processes based on open and full communication and consultation as required on each occasion.