Many of nplaw’s clients are major public sector employers and rely on us for advice on all stages of employment law. We do not act for individual employees.
Our specialist employment lawyers regularly advise on employment contracts and statements of terms. They are familiar with the local government “Green Book”, the fire fighters’ “Grey Book”, the teachers’ “Burgundy Book” and the NHS’s “Agenda for Change”. We can advise on fixed term contracts, agency staff, part-time and flexible working. Employment law is constantly developing and changing as a result of new legislation and case law and it is essential that staff policies and handbooks are kept up—to—date. Our employment lawyers are happy to review these on our clients’ behalf.
nplaw is able to advise on all issues that may arise during employment including:
- payment of wages, the national minimum/living wage, equal pay and holiday pay;
- working hours and holidays;
- health and safety;
- human rights;
- maternity and paternity rights.
We have particular expertise in the areas of discrimination and protected disclosure, popularly known as “whistleblowing”.
We advise on all types of discrimination claim whether the discrimination is due to age, gender, race, disability, religion or beliefs, marital status, sexual orientation or pregnancy. Recent cases include successful defences of claims for race and gender discrimination and negotiating the satisfactory settlement of a disability discrimination claim. We also advise on discrimination issues arising in respect of housing tenancies and “blue badge” assessments.
Employees are often the first to recognise that an employer’s actions are in breach of civil or criminal law or have environmental or health and safety concerns. Employees need to feel safe enough to report anything that is untoward, and it is the duty of all employers to have an appropriate policy and structure in place that will allow staff to “blow the whistle”. Our employment lawyers advise our clients whenever allegations are made, for example allegations relating to recruitment irregularities, financial fraud and corruption. We also prepare and review whistleblowing policies and guidance on behalf of our clients.
We are also frequently asked about issues that involve both employment law and information law such as:
- employees’ use of the internet, mobile phones and social media whilst at work; and
- subject access and freedom of information requests received from employees.
We recommend that our clients adopt policies dealing with such matters and are happy to advise on these.
Trade union rights
Trade unions play an important part in protecting workers’ rights and our clients’ relationships with trade unions are often of critical importance. We are able to advise on all aspects of trade union law including consultation, collective bargaining and strike action.
Termination of employment
Unfair and wrongful dismissal
We do our best to help our clients avoid claims of unfair or wrongful dismissal but it’s a fortunate employer who can avoid these altogether. We understand that defending such claims can be a stressful time for managers and HR staff and do our best to remove the burden. We advise our clients on the prospects of successfully defending a claim and on appropriate strategy. We undertake settlement negotiations, draft compromise agreements and liaise with ACAS. Our employment lawyers include trained mediators who are skilled in helping parties in dispute to reach agreement without resorting to proceedings. Where a settlement cannot be agreed, we will advise on tribunal procedure, prepare our client’s defence and represent our clients at tribunal hearings. Having an employment lawyer who is also an experienced advocate can be a significant advantage for a client in these circumstances, as the advocate will already be familiar with the facts and arguments of the case.
The need to make employees redundant can arise as a result of cost—saving initiatives or reorganisations. Nplaw can advise on legal requirements including correct procedures so as to ensure that affected employees are treated as fairly as possible and in full compliance with the law.
Transfers and outsourcing
Reorganisations can also result in employees being treated as having had their contracts of employment transferred to a new employer under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, popularly known as “TUPE”. This can be a particularly complicated area of negotiations. It is important that all employees understand their rights against and the obligations to them of both the new employer and the old employer. Our employment lawyers have considerable experience of advising on TUPE.
For further information, please contact Andrew Brett at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01603 223101.