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When Do You Need Employment Law Advice?

Employment law covers a vast range of issues and can help you in any stage of your career, whether you are an employee or an employer. Many people may come across situations during their lifetime that warrants employment law advice, whether you choose to use it or not. If you are an employee who feels they have been unfairly dismissed or an employer tackling redundancy for their staff, it can be challenging to know how to deal with the issue. Employment law companies will have trained solicitors who specialise in providing this kind of advice.

Here we will outline some of the many reasons you may seek employment law advice.

Employment solicitors for businesses

There is a lot of responsibility when running a business, so finding ‘employment lawyers near me’ when you need them will be a great help.

Starting a business

It can be daunting starting a new business, so using an employment law specialist to guide you in the right direction will ensure you don’t make any errors in the first year of your launch. Here are some things employment law companies can help you with:

  • Contracts of employment – A solicitor can assist you in creating contracts of employment, an imperative document of agreement between an employer and employee outlining the terms of the contract and things such as pay, holiday and working hours.
  • Employee handbooks – Solicitors can also provide an employee handbook writing service which will provide you with a draft that ensures all policies are fair and within the law. This handbook will contain information about company policies and procedures such as company rules, holiday entitlement and disciplinary and grievance procedures.
  • Health and safety – If you employ more than five people, you must have a written statement of the company’s health and safety policy, as a requirement of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
  • Self-employed – If you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for paying your own tax and national insurance and you will need to keep business records and details of your income so that you can fill in an annual self-assessment tax return. An employment solicitor will be well-experienced in dealing with all of this, so you don’t have to do it all yourself.

Changing contracts

A solicitor can help you if you need to change an employment contract. You can make changes to a contract under the following circumstances; if there’s something in the contract that allows the change, the employee agrees to the change or the employee’s representatives agree to the change. If this is the case, an employment law solicitor will be able to talk you through:

  • Whether you can make a change to an employment contract
  • The steps in the process
  • What is a legal requirement and what is good practice
  • What support is available for your staff.

Redundancy

If you don’t carry out a fair redundancy process, it could lead to your employees taking legal action, claiming unfair dismissal or discrimination. To avoid this costly risk to your business, it’s important to find employment law companies that can provide you with the advice to deal with redundancy appropriately. Solicitors will give you clear advice for what is a fair selection of employees for redundancy, which employees are entitled to statutory redundancy pay, giving appropriate notice and redundancy consultation as you go through the process.

An employment lawyer will assist you with every step of the proceeding, ensuring you understand the legal obligations so that you can be confident you are treating your employees fairly and protecting your business.

Employment law legal advice for employees

Being employed by a company means you put trust in them to run a lawful business and treat you fairly. If you believe your employer isn’t acting justly, an employment solicitor can guide you through any discrepancies and help you take legal action against your employer. As an employee, you may have never had to deal with any legal action so it can be daunting to find a solicitor to help you. However, employment law companies will have your best interests in mind and seek the best outcome for you.

Issues at work

If you are facing any issues at work, you can get legal advice to help you deal with the situation. These issues may include:

  • Discrimination in the workplace – It can be extremely distressing to deal with discrimination in a place you are meant to feel safe. You may have experienced discrimination based on your age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion or disability. There are laws in place to protect employees from bullying and discrimination in the workplace and it’s important to know you aren’t alone. Speaking to an employment lawyer can advise you of your rights and assist you in making a claim.
  • Harassment – No one should have to work in a place where they are experiencing harassment, it can be detrimental to your health, well-being and performance at work. It can also be difficult to talk to anyone about these problems, particularly if the individuals involved in the harassment are in senior positions. This is when an employment solicitor will come in, to help you with your case and help you report the problem.

Disciplinary hearings

If you have been called to a disciplinary hearing or a dismissal meeting, you’ll need to appropriately prepare. There are criteria in place for when your employer calls a disciplinary meeting and you will want to check they are following the disciplinary procedure laid out in the handbook. A solicitor can help determine whether or not they are doing the process correctly. This will include asking for your employer’s evidence to prepare your case, preparing a statement of what you will say and finding others to give evidence for you. It’s also worth finding someone to accompany you to the disciplinary hearing, such as a friend or colleague. Seeking out an employment solicitor will help you be aware of whether or not your employer is doing everything by the book and help you further down the line if you think you have been unfairly dismissed.

Settlement agreements

A settlement agreement is a legally binding agreement between you and your employer which usually provides a severance payment from the employer in return for your agreement not to pursue any claims in a Tribunal or a Court. This agreement means you waive your rights to bring an employment claim and can only be recognised if a solicitor or certified trade union or advisor signs it off, An employment law company will provide a solicitor to help advise you on the merits of your claim and help you determine how much money you would like to receive at an employment tribunal. It is also helpful to hire a solicitor in this instance because they may be able to identify any discrimination against you that you may not have been aware of.

Practical advice during Coronavirus

As we live in unprecedented times, it’s important that both employers and employees know what to do in the workplace. An employment law company will be able to give you practical guidance on how to treat these matters such as how to keep your staff informed and ensure everyone in your company is aware of dealing with isolation and hygiene matters. As an employee, it’s also helpful to know about your rights during coronavirus such as statutory sick pay, unfair dismissal and absence due to concern about exposure.

Swan Craig Employment Solicitors provides employment law legal advice for employers and employees

We have 15 years experience as an employment law company, providing legal advice for a range of matters for both employers and employees. Our team of solicitors are professional and friendly and we can provide legal services at a competitive rate. Whether you’re facing a disciplinary hearing or attempting to change contracts of employment, we can give you the guidance you need to navigate the situation fairly. We are also able to provide practical advice as well as legalities, so whatever you need, we can help. If you’re looking for ‘employment lawyers near me’ choose Swan Craig for any employment advice you may need in Bristol. Get in touch with our friendly team of experts today or visit our website for more information.

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