Whatever care you take to protect your business and employees, employment related disputes can still occur.
When disciplinary or grievance issues arise, professional legal support is invaluable and can prevent costs and damage to your business escalating. Our employment solicitors have many years’ experience in a range of disputes and can provide commercial and cost-effective advice to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible. We can also advise on taking steps to protect your business’s reputation in the media, should the claim be high profile.
When working with you, we will take time to understand your employment dispute and guide your internal procedures. Our experience means we will be able to provide you with a clear and considered view on whether you will be able to successfully defend or bring a claim. Where commercial factors for your business dictate a settlement is the preferred option, we seek to resolve that settlement swiftly using mediation where appropriate.
If a case goes to an employment tribunal, we work with a range of barristers to represent our clients. We also have our own highly experienced in-house advocate.
How our employment solicitors can support you
Employment tribunals & High Court claims
If a dispute goes to an employment tribunal, the judge will scrutinise the procedure followed by the employer and all the paperwork prepared. Often cases are lost (or large settlements paid) because the employer did not get the process right from the beginning. Involving our employment solicitors at an early stage could, in the long run, save thousands of pounds.
Our solicitors regularly advise employers on defending claims at employment tribunals or in the High Court. We understand that the process can be stressful for all concerned and that the commercial impact can be significant. Our experienced team will guide you through the process as cost-effectively as possible, giving you all the information you need to make informed decisions.
Breach of restrictive covenants (seeking/defending High Court injunctions)
If a former employee or consultant has breached a restrictive covenant, acting with speed is essential to protect your business. Our experienced solicitors understand this and will work quickly, seeking (or defending) an injunction application to minimise the damage to your company and revenue streams.
If a former employee makes a claim for unfair dismissal or discrimination, it is important that you are able to demonstrate your approach was lawful and your decisions can be substantiated. Our solicitors can help you put your best foot forward to defend any such claims.
Workplace investigations & whistleblowing
A workplace investigation is a key part of following a fair procedure if one of your employees is being disciplined, brings a grievance or ‘blows the whistle’ (makes a ‘protected disclosure’). It is also an important step in managing a complaint to avoid it becoming a significant dispute.
We can advise you on how to conduct an investigation, review the material collected (including witness testimony) and advise on your legal position, in confidence. We can also conduct investigations on your behalf.
Individual and group grievances
By law, all employees should have a grievance policy in place that must be followed when employee complaints arise. We can work with your business to ensure that every step of the grievance process is documented and your investigation is handled correctly.
The law requires that all employers have a disciplinary policy so that staff and management know the expected standards of conduct and the penalties that might apply if those standards are not met. Having the right disciplinary process in place is crucial for an employer to meet their legal obligations and ACAS requirements.
Our solicitors will advise you on the disciplinary procedure to follow to minimise your legal risks. We can provide guidance from the point of investigation, through the disciplinary process and up to appeal and beyond, ensuring your business is best protected against the risk of legal challenge by an employee.
Contact an employment solicitor
If you would like to learn more about how we can support your business, please contact a member of our Employment & HR team below or call 0800 652 8025.
Clarke Willmott has offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton. We provide employment law and HR advice to businesses in the UK and internationally.