The charity and social business team's employment specialists provide solutions to help you manage your workforce, from advice on contracts and handbooks or on best practice and process to defending claims.
We advise on:
- general day to day advisory work - We can provide 'helpline' advice or agree retainers for telephone and email advice on staffing issues.
- employment status, contracts and policies - It is vital to identify employment status correctly as employment rights and potential liabilities will flow from this. We draft employment contracts, consultancy agreements for self-employed staff, casual contracts, volunteering agreements, staff handbooks, and review and draft appropriate policies.
- maternity and parental rights - We advise on family rights including the new right to Shared Parental Leave and the pitfalls you may face as an employer.
- performance, capability, disciplinary and grievance procedures - We advise on disciplinary and grievance procedures, performance management and sickness absence procedures. We can attend hearings in an advisory capacity or provide staff to chair meetings.
- managing change: restructuring, redundancy and TUPE - We advise on the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 in relation to business transfers, mergers and changes of service provision. We also advise on restructuring and redundancy both large and small scale and the process to be followed in order to avoid the risk of claims.
- employment disputes - We advise on the law and, if necessary, can negotiate with employee representatives to arrive at a mutually acceptable conclusion. Where agreement cannot be reached we advise on all pre-action steps. We regularly defend clients in the Employment Tribunal. We have expertise in defending unfair dismissal, discrimination for sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion and age and whistleblowing claims.
- settlement agreements - We are happy to draft and negotiate settlement agreements.
- contractual disputes - We regularly advise employers on the enforceability of their restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements.
- union matters - We can review and advise on re-negotiating union agreements.
- volunteers and interns - Volunteers are the mainstay of the charitable sector. We advise on appropriate arrangements and policies regulating the relationship with voluntary workers and give advice when disputes arise.
We also advise on data protection, safeguarding and health and safety.
- HR support - We also provide HR support whether for a one-off project or because the organisation does not have in-house HR support including:
- HR audits
- overseeing a change programme such as redundancy or TUPE consultation
- independent disciplinary and grievance investigations
- chairing disciplinary panels
We will offer cost effective solutions to deal with your staffing issues. We will discuss your needs with you and agree the most cost effective solutions.
Our team and approach
We provide candid, practical and cost effective advice to our clients. Although we adopt a conciliatory approach wherever possible, we will defend employers robustly in the Tribunal if necessary.
We regularly deliver in-house training to organisations across the voluntary sector to update employers on changing rules and practice, and to help prevent disputes before they arise. These can be tailored for individual organisations. We regularly contribute to publications in the charity press such as Charity Finance magazine and Charity Finance Yearbook, and to People Count, a survey of HR practice in the voluntary sector.
Our clients range from well-known national charities to highly specialised local organisations. Examples of our experience include:
- undertaking HR due diligence in relation to the merger of two national charities providing services to blind people
- successfully defending a higher education institution against whistleblowing claims, claims of detriment linked to union activity, unfair dismissal and sex discrimination
- successfully defending a religious discrimination claim under the Equality Act 2010
- advising on the restructuring of the training and development function of a large religious organisation