Real Employment Law Advice

Employers

Services for Employers

Below you’ll find the list of services we offer for employers, as well as transparency around the costs and terms which we operate on. If you’d like to discuss these further please book a callback with one of our solicitors. If you require a more comprehensive service, visit our HR Harbour page.

Legal Disputes

We can represent you if you find that you have to defend an Employment Tribunal or Court claim from an employee. We can advise and support you throughout the process, from the initial ACAS Early Conciliation process and receipt of the ET1 Claim Form through to the final Tribunal hearing.

This is a claim that employees may be able to make in the Employment Tribunal if they resign because of something they allege you have done. It is a claim that employees can make in a similar way to unfair dismissal but instead of you dismissing them they resign on the basis that your behaviour left them no choice. We can advise you and/or represent you in respect of defending a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

We provide help, support and advice on what you can do if you find yourself defending a claim for discrimination. We can discuss your legal options and provide practical advice on the steps you can take to defend or resolve the issue. We can represent you in the Employment Tribunal if you are defending a discrimination claim.

When there is a disagreement between you and your employee or between employees, we can assist in reaching an agreement through mediation. We will provide a neutral and impartial person and can be there to help both parties find a solution that all the parties agree to which will prevent it from escalating into formal litigation and avoiding further disruption to your business. Alison Colley is an ACAS trained workplace mediator and has experience in resolving a variety of internal disputes.

(Formerly known as Compromise Agreements)

We can provide advice, support, and guidance on how to propose and negotiate an effective settlement agreement to end the employment of an employee. We regularly draft settlement agreements tailored to employers, requirements in order to ensure that any claims the employee may have against you are effectively resolved.

This is a claim that employees may be able to make in the Employment Tribunal if they are dismissed and you have not followed a fair process or have a fair reason for the dismissal. We can advise you and/or represent you in respect of defending a claim for unfair dismissal.

Paperwork & Contracts

We can prepare bespoke contract for employees and workers which will provide protection for your business and guidance for your employees and managers. We will also ensure that your documents are legally complaint with up to date legislation.

Drafting bespoke contracts that support and protect your Business.

If you are engaging a consultant in your business then we can prepare the contract to ensure that the relationship between you is set out clearly and is legally compliant.

If you work with contractors in your business then it is important that you have a contract in place to set out how things will work and to reduce problems should a dispute arise. We can prepare a contract for you that fits with your business requirements and is legally compliant.

We can draft bespoke and enforceable covenants that protect your business interests into the future; and prove advice and guidance on the scope and application of the covenants. We can also help you enforce any restrictions should it become necessary and advise you on their application in the particular circumstances.

Policies & Procedures

Having a comprehensive Handbook and set of policies is crucial to having a successful business and to resolving disputes or issues that arise. We can advise you on what your Handbook should include and prepare the policies to fit your business.

We can help with every stage of the process from conducting a full investigation through to holding the disciplinary hearing for one of your Employees. We can also provide support and guidance as you navigate your way through the process.

We can get you started a bespoke equality and diversity policy and  training for your team as well as detailed guidance on how you can ensure that equality and diversity and best practice are being followed in your business/organisation.

The decisions you make when recruiting staff are crucial to the success of your business. There are the issues about the suitability and skills of the candidates, getting your interviews right and ensuring that you comply with the law. We can assist you every step of the way and work with local recruitment specialists who can help you to advertise and find the right candidates.

We can assist with all aspect of the redundancy process. Regardless of your budget we have an option for you. We can do anything from run the full process on your behalf through to providing guidance and template documents to do it yourself.

Dealing with sickness absence can be stressful and high risk. We can give you reassurance and confidence in dealing with the issue, providing guidance and support on best practice procedures to manage sickness absence; long-term sickness absence; and incapacity or intermittent sickness absence. We can also provide advice and guidance on how to obtain medical evidence or effectively use and access Occupational Health. Where appropriate we can also help you manager the issue to ill health dismissal.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to suspend employees if you are undertaking an investigation into a grievance or disciplinary issue or if you need to suspend for medical reasons. We can provide guidance and advice on when you can or should suspend an employee to ensure any suspension is fair and justified. We will also provide the letters and documents needed to communicate with the employee.

Other Services

Managing people is something that many business owners find tricky or time consuming and often for small and medium sized businesses there is no internal HR department or dedicated person for HR. This is where we can step in and provide your out-sourced HR function. We can offer a variety of levels of service for HR support from on off advice or projects through to full HR support. Whatever level of HR support you choose you have the confidence to know that not only are you getting expert HR advice but legal support at the same time.

We provide advice and guidance on the scope of family friendly rights both from a legal perspective and practical application. We can provide advice and support on best practice procedures to help you create a family friendly workplace offering a good work life balance for your staff, while balancing and protecting the needs of your business.

When issues arise with employees it can be time consuming, stressful and ultimately takes you away from working on your business. We can help with all aspects of the process from providing an impartial investigation process to assisting with the outcome and implementing any actions.

If you are transferring your business or part of your business to another organisation or transferring into your business there is a minimum legal process that needs to be followed with regards to transferring employees.

Book a Callback

Book a callback with a member of the Real Employment Law Advice Team to discuss our services for employers – we’d love to help.

Other Useful Pages

Do It Yourself

We have compiled a variety of DIY Documents which you can purchase and use for your business, whilst this is not bespoke for your business it can be helpful for smaller organisations.

Employers

Full Breakdown of Costs & Process

Below you’ll find transparent information on the costs and processes involved around working with Real Employment Law Advice.

Range of Costs

At REAL Employment Law Advice, we pride ourselves on being completely transparent, honest and open when discussing our fees.

Each of our Solicitors charges £198 per hour which includes VAT. This is the hourly rate that will be charged when we undertake work for you on a time basis.

We also offer a range of fixed-fee arrangements to suit individual cases.

In addition, we have developed a bespoke package of pay-monthly services for employers that is known as our HR Harbour service.

Free Initial Discussion

We offer a free telephone discussion usually up to 30 minutes with all clients to answer initial questions and provide basic advice on next steps.

During this initial telephone call, we can normally also give general ideas about costs and estimated costs.

For our business clients, we normally recommend an initial free coffee meeting, in order to fully understand your business and discuss a service which is right for you. This will allow us to produce a bespoke plan, including costs, to suit your business needs.

Insurance

During our initial discussions, whether by telephone or in person we can explore the funding options which may be available, such as cover under an insurance policy or any free local advice services.

Hourly Rates

All Solicitors at REAL Employment Law Advice are experienced in employment law and HR matters and are specialists in their field. Our hourly pay as you go rate is £198 which includes VAT.

When we work for you on a time basis the charges are broken down into units of one tenth of an hour, and routine emails, letters and telephone calls will be charged as one unit, everything else will be charged on the basis of the amount of time taken.

Fixed Fee

For certain matters, we can work with you to arrange a fixed fee. This will ensure that you are always in control of your costs.

 

Cost Limits

If you have a particular budget in mind or maximum spend on a monthly or weekly basis then we can normally agree to this with you in advance.

Payment

You will be incurring charges as soon as you agree to our terms of business and we open a file for you.

We will usually send bills to you at monthly intervals for work carried out in the previous month, or sooner where the value of work amounts to £500 or more or if you request us to bill you at more frequent intervals.

We require payment from the date of the invoice and will temporarily stop work if invoices remain unpaid. We will, of course, inform you of this at the time and give you the opportunity to rectify the situation.

Fee Transparency

In Employment Law matters it is always difficult to estimate how many hours work is required to complete a matter without having the full facts and details of the case at hand. It can also depend on how the other party behaves and the demands of the Employment Tribunal.

There may also be evidence or circumstances that develop the complexity of your case as the case proceeds.

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

In the majority of cases a settlement or conclusion can be reached without the need of the Employment Tribunal hearing.

We will work closely with you to achieve a speedy resolution that is right for your circumstances.

Unfortunately, sometimes a matter will need to go to the Employment Tribunal for a decision.
If a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal does have to be pursued or defended in the Employment Tribunal the fees are likely to be as follows:

Simple case: £6,000-£8,400 (includes VAT)

Medium complexity case: £8,400-£18,000 (includes VAT)

High complexity case: £18,000-£24,000 (includes VAT)

Factors that could make a case more complex:

If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim;
Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person, i.e. if an employee makes a claim without representation;
Making or defending a costs application;
Complex preliminary issues such as whether the employee is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
The number of witnesses and documents;
If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if an employee is dismissed after blowing the whistle on their employer;
Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing and we normally advise that we arrange for a Barrister to represent you at the Hearing. In any event the charges for attending and representation at the Employment Tribunal hearing will be as follows:

1-2 day hearing: £2,500 – £3,500 (includes VAT)
2-4 day hearing: £3,500 – £5,000 (includes VAT)
5-7 day hearing: £5,000 – £7,500(includes VAT)

The number of days required for the hearing will depend on the complexity of your claims, the volume of evidence and the number of witnesses you and the other party have.

Key stages in an Employment Tribunal case

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

1. Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change);
2. Entering into pre-claim conciliation via ACAS where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
3. Preparing claim or response forms for the Tribunal;
4. Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party;
5. Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
6. Preparing or considering a schedule of loss;
7. Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing which could be in person or by telephone;
8. Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;
9. Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
10. Preparing a bundle of documents;
11. Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
12. Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list – these are documents that the Tribunal may order us to prepare or which we may decide to prepare to assist your case;
13. Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to a Barrister.

The stages set out above are an indication of generally what happens in the process. Some of stages above may not be required in which case the fee may also be reduced.

You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

Additionally, if any other claims arise during discussions, such as discrimination, this can also increase the time spent on a matter and the overall cost. We will of course discuss this with you in advance so you fully understand the likely costs.

Expenses and other costs – commonly referred to as Disbursements
Disbursements are additional payments required such as, Barrister’s fees, expert witness fees and specific search fees. We will obtain your approval before incurring any disbursements.

It will be your responsibility to pay for these costs. If you have insurance cover and your insurer agrees the costs in advance they will normally cover them.

Expenses and other costs – commonly referred to as Disbursements

Disbursements are additional payments required such as, Barrister’s fees, expert witness fees and specific search fees. We will obtain your approval before incurring any disbursements.

It will be your responsibility to pay for these costs. If you have insurance cover and your insurer agrees the costs in advance they will normally cover them.

Barrister’s Fees

We endeavour to find the right Barrister in both experience and cost relevant to your case and budget.

We will obtain quotes from several Barrister’s in order to find the right person for you.

Barrister’s fees will depend on their experience level and are typically between £100 – £300 per hour plus VAT.
They also will need time to prepare and read through your documents which could incur additional costs.

 

Costs Recovery

In most Employment Tribunal cases, each side will have to pay their own legal costs and they are generally not recoverable from the losing party.

Generally, the tribunal would not order one of the parties to pay the other side’s legal costs unless it believed that they had behaved unreasonably in the way it conducted the claim or defence (e.g. it considers that the claim was so weak that it should never have been presented).

Whilst costs orders by the Tribunal are increasing in frequency they are still very rare and therefore you should always keep in mind the costs v’s benefit of pursuing or defending a claim.

For example you would need to consider carefully making an unfair dismissal claim with a value of £10,000 when the costs could exceed £10,000, meaning you would come out of the case with nothing and potentially if your case is more complex paying more in costs.

Our Solicitors will of course discuss this with you from the outset and ensure that you are fully aware of the costs and the potential benefits. We also revisit this with you on a regular basis.

How long will my case take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved.

If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 4- 12 weeks.

If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take up to a year.

This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

You should note that at the time of writing this (December 2018) the Employment Tribunals are experiencing significant delays due to the volume of cases and lack of judicial resources and therefore it is possible that even a simple case could take over a year to conclude.

How long will my case take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved.

If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 4- 12 weeks.

If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take up to a year.

This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

You should note that at the time of writing this (December 2018) the Employment Tribunals are experiencing significant delays due to the volume of cases and lack of judicial resources and therefore it is possible that even a simple case could take over a year to conclude.