Managing your most valuable asset

Employees are the most valuable asset of any business, and having the legal resources needed to manage them effectively can go a long way in ensuring long-term commercial success.

If you employ staff as part of your business, you will need specialist employment lawyers in your corner. At Smith Partnership, we offer a wide range of employment law services suited to businesses of all shapes and sizes – whether they be small independent businesses or major multinationals.

Our employment solicitors can help your business navigate the complex and ever-changing world of employment law. We use our legal know-how and friendly approach to build close relationships with our clients, acting as a trusted adviser to our many business partners. Working across a variety of business sectors, we’re proud to deliver a comprehensive legal service that offers crucial support to businesses across the UK.

Our employment law services

Our solicitors each have significant experience in all areas of HR / employment law. We provide a partner-led service which is cost-effective, personal, clear and commercially minded. The range of services offered by our employment team includes:

  • Employment law compliance: essential employment law / HR documentation, contracts of employment, post-termination restrictions, employee handbooks, GDPR compliance, subject access requests, employment law policies
  • People management: performance management, absence management, redundancies and restructuring, disciplinaries, grievances, whistleblowing, workplace investigations, family-friendly leave, flexible working, employee relations, transfer of employees under TUPE, termination of employment
  • Employment Tribunal representation: legal representation and advice in cases where employment-related disputes are to be settled before an employment tribunal
  • Settlement Agreements: legal advice and representation relating to settlement agreements negotiated between you and an employee
  • Employment law training: in-depth training on employment law in all its aspects
  • HR consultancy service: help with recruitment, restructuring, pay and benefits, dispute resolution, disciplinary and grievance hearings, coaching, mentoring, training and development 
  • HRLAW24: an online HR document database that offers employers easy access to more than 300 guidance notes, HR contracts, policies, forms and letters
  • Fixed cost services: including a health check which assess whether employment documents meet current UK employment law, restrictive covenants, settlement agreements and new document drafts, such as bespoke contracts, handbooks, senior executive/director service agreements, policies and procedures and consultancy agreements

If your business requires legal assistance in any of the areas set out above, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.

HRLAW24

As part of our commitment to meeting the legal needs of your business, the team at Smith Partnership operates its very own HR document database – HRLAW24. Providing access to a range of HR contracts, policies and other types of useful documentation, the service plays an important role in making HR and employment law more accessible.

Provided on a subscription basis that costs just £365 plus VAT per annum, HRLAW24 represents a cost-effective way for businesses to address weaknesses in their current HR capabilities. In addition, the package also includes thirty minutes of expert advice from a member of our employment law team.

Settlement agreements

Many businesses use settlement agreements to settle workplace disputes with an employee, and the Smith Partnership team offers expert employment solicitors for businesses looking to get the most out of the settlement agreement process.

The decision to offer an employee a settlement agreement is often taken on the part of the employer with the purposes of avoiding proceedings through an employment tribunal. Building upon a track record of success in negotiating settlement agreements on behalf of employers, our team offers the legal guidance you need to ensure your business interests are fully protected throughout the process.

Employment Tribunal representation

If you find yourself unable to resolve an employment dispute with an employee, the case may proceed to an employment tribunal. This may be the case if an employee makes a claim regarding unfair dismissal, discrimination or the unlawful deduction of wages.

Our team offers extensive experience acting on behalf of employers who are looking to defend their position before an employment tribunal. The preparation of these cases can be complex, so it’s important to enlist the help of a legal professional in building a robust defence.

HR consultancy

We have partnered with a number of HR consultants in order to offer clients access to a wide range of HR services. This includes help and guidance with: 

  • Recruitment 
  • Restructuring 
  • Pay and benefits 
  • Dispute resolution 
  • Disciplinary and grievance hearings 
  • Coaching and mentoring 
  • Training and development 

This service can be provided locally and nationally and every HR consultant is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. 

Prices start from as little as £70p/h and fixed daily and project rates are also available. Contact us for more information.  

What we offer you

As one of the East Midlands’ leading law firms, Smith Partnership offers practical and straight-talking legal advice tailored to the needs of our clients. Our team understands that employment law issues can represent a significant obstacle in achieving your business goals, and our solicitors apply a wealth of experience to ensure challenges are addressed promptly and effectively.

Helping employers to address a diverse range of issues that occur in the workplace, our solicitors work to up-skill our clients’ internal teams. In the long-term, this approach provides businesses with the confidence they need to deal with whatever employment-related issues come their way.

Whether we act as an extension to an in-house team or advise you on an ad-hoc basis, our legal experts are on hand to offer exceptional and cost-effective support that helps your business operate to its full potential.

We offer employment law advice throughout our network of offices in Derby, Burton Upon Trent, Leicester, Swadlincote and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as advising clients on a remote basis. Furthermore, we offer legal assistance based on hourly rates, fixed fees or as part of our innovative bulk-purchase scheme.

Contact our team today

To find out how our expert team of solicitors can help you, contact us today on 0330 123 1229, send us an email via info@smithpartnership.co.uk or complete our contact form.

FAQs

Statutory Maternity Pay is calculated at 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks. For the remaining 33 weeks, you will receive the lower amount between either the statutory rate (currently £148.68) or 90% of your average weekly earnings.

Paid maternity leave can start anytime from the 11th week before the baby is due. If the baby arrives before you have started your maternity leave, the leave starts the day after the baby's birth.

You are entitled to take up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave.

Statutory redundancy pay is based on your gross (before tax) earnings and is only payable if at the time of your redundancy, you had served two years’ continuous employment with the employer.

For each full year you've worked for your employer, depending on your age at that time, you get:

  • Age 18 to 22 - half a week's pay
  • Age 22 to 40 - 1 week's pay
  • Age 41 and older - 1.5 weeks' pay

Therefore, if you had seven years’ service and were aged 45 at the time of your redundancy, you would get 1.5 weeks’ pay for the service where you were 41 or older, and 1 week’s pay for the service under 41.

Statutory Redundancy pay is limited to a weekly cap set each year. Further, you can only get redundancy pay for a maximum of the last 20 years’ of service and any service length over this will not count.

Some employers operate enhanced redundancy schemes and the above is the statutory minimum scheme.

Normally where an employee is dismissed for whatever reason, they will have a right to raise an internal appeal. This will normally involve a senior manager reviewing the dismissal decision and deciding whether the dismissal should be upheld. If the manager dealing with the appeal decides that the dismissal should be overturned, the manager can reinstate the employee to their original role. The employee will then be entitled to payment for any lost wages between their dismissal and reinstatement.

Also, in an unfair dismissal claim, the Employment Tribunal has the power to order the reinstatement or reengagement by the employer of the employee, although in practice such measures are rare due to the deteriorated relationship by that stage between the employer and the employee.

An unfair dismissal can occur where an employee is dismissed and the employer either has no fair reason to dismiss, follows an unfair procedure when dismissing an employee, or where the decision is overly harsh and is not a reasonable response by the employer.

Normally, an employee needs two years’ service to bring a claim for unfair dismissal, although there are some limited reasons which do not require minimum service such as dismissals connected to whistleblowing, pregnancy or asserting statutory rights.

A disciplinary procedure is normally a written procedure which sets out how an employer will deal with issues of employee misconduct or poor performance. An employer should state in writing what their procedures are and what behaviours would result in disciplinary action.