HR and Employment Law Advice for Employees

The workplace is a place to develop new skills, build relationships and advance your career. Despite this, most people will need advice from a specialist employment solicitor at some stage of their career.

Advice may be needed when starting a new job, when leaving a job or during employment. At all times when employment advice is required, our expert employment lawyers strive to secure the best possible outcome for you.

Smith Partnership offers a team of top employment law solicitors who each have significant experience and knowledge of all areas of HR and employment law. We will familiarise ourselves with your specific issues and objectives from the moment you instruct us, outlining our advice on achieving your desired outcome in clear language.

A comprehensive employment law service

We advise employees working across all sectors on how best to achieve employment law and HR solutions. We regularly advise clients on a diverse range of employment issues, which include:

  • Employment processes: investigations, suspensions, disciplinary proceedings, dismissals, performance management, grievances, redundancy, bullying and harassment, whistleblowing and discrimination
  • Family matters: family leave (maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave, time off for dependents) and flexible working requests
  • Contracts: advice on terms of contracts of employment, including salary, bonuses, share options, employee benefits, confidentiality, intellectual property, restrictive covenants / post-termination restrictions
  • Leaving employment: dismissal, resignation, settlement agreements
  • Transferring employment: advice on rights under the TUPE regulations.
  • Employment claims: ACAS Early Conciliation, mediation, boardroom disputes, Employment Tribunal claims (unfair dismissal, constructive unfair dismissal, breach of contract, discrimination, unlawful deduction from wages) and High Court proceedings (breach of contract, restrictive covenants)

If you require legal assistance regarding any of the areas listed above, or if you’re faced with any other issue relating to your employment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today.

Who do we advise?

We offer clients at all levels of seniority the resources they need to face employment law issues with the utmost confidence. We advise clients at all levels, from manual workers to boardroom executives.

No matter what stage in your career you’re at, we believe that everyone should be able to benefit from legal advice whenever the circumstances call for it. For this reason, our team is on hand to help advise you on virtually every employment challenge imaginable.

Settlement agreements

Settlement agreements are commonly used by employers to reach an agreement with an employee in the case of a workplace dispute. The terms set out in these agreements can have significant consequences for the parties involved, and employees are legally obligated to seek legal advice prior to signing the agreement.

Our employment team regularly helps employees better understand the legal implications of these settlements as well as helping them to negotiate terms that are more favourable to them. To learn more about our services in this area, please refer to our dedicated settlement agreement page.

Employment Tribunal representation

In cases where employment disputes cannot be resolved at an earlier stage, we offer the expertise required to argue employees’ cases before an Employment Tribunal.

Employment disputes will normally only be heard by an Employment Tribunal. In most cases, you must have already attempted to settle the dispute via ACAS Early Conciliation and have made your claim within three months of the specific incident or the end of your employment.

Given the complexities involved with preparing employment cases for hearing in a Tribunal, our team offers a dedicated Employment Tribunal representation service designed to offer you expert legal support in making a successful claim.

Employment law advice that works for you

The way in which you deal with challenges in the workplace can have a significant impact on both your current and future employment. Whether you’re looking to protect your financial interests, safeguard your reputation or anything in between, getting the right legal expert in your corner can make all the difference in protecting your future career.

If you are involved in any negotiation or dispute with your employer, our solicitors can offer you trusted legal advice that works in your best interests. Our employment team provides practical and highly professional legal representation, ensuring you benefit from expert guidance during each stage of the process.

Why choose us?

As one of the leading law firms in the East Midlands, we pride ourselves on making expert legal advice accessible to all those who need it.

Drawing on our substantial experience of dealing with all aspects of employment law, our workplace solicitors offer legal advice at each of our offices in Derby, Burton-on-Trent, Leicester, Stoke-on-Trent and Swadlincote. We also offer legal advice remotely, ensuring you get the advice you need at a time and place that suits you.

We provide employment advice based on hourly rates, fixed fees, legal expense insurance and as part of No Win No Fee arrangements, depending on the case. Adopting a straight-talking approach at all times, we’re proud to offer a wide range of jargon-free legal services centred around your needs.


The team is proud to have been recognised by the Legal 500, which states: 

James Johnson provides a personable service, has always delivered and turned around responses and documentation in a timely fashion. His knowledge and support with the cases we present and his advice accordingly provides a great deal of comfort and confidence.

The Legal 500, 2023

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 or complete our contact form.


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.