Managing people is never straightforward. Dealing with HR issues can involve difficult meetings, confrontation and it requires patience.
Personalities clash, and small issues can generate a lot of heat. As an employer, it is also essential to make sure that the way you deal with your employees complies with all relevant UK employment law.
In these situations, a second opinion can be highly valuable for an employer. Working with a specialist employment lawyer can give you access to in-depth legal expertise that can help your organisation to avoid potential problems and allow you to find fast solutions that protect you and your business if you run into an employment dispute.
At Wolferstans, our employment law solicitors deliver pragmatic advice to employers daily. When you employ people, addressing legal matters can be a prominent part of your business life. These can be often complex and difficult to handle. But you can count on our experienced specialist solicitors to guide you past the pitfalls.
Whether you need help with a specific employment issue or ongoing support for your business, Wolferstans have the answer. We work with employers across a range of sectors in Plymouth, across the South West and nationwide.
Our employment lawyers can assist employers with matters including:
- Employment contracts & policies
- Disciplinary procedures
- Grievance procedures
- Data protection
- Performance management
- Absence management
- Restrictive covenants
- Employment disputes
- Settlement agreements
- Acas early conciliation
- Employment tribunal claims
As an employer, when you use Wolferstans’ employment law services, you can expect:
- A free initial telephone consultation
- A range of pricing options to include fixed fees
- Specialist advice
Book your free initial consultation with our employment lawyers in Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall
Our employment law expertise
At Wolferstans, we appreciate how sensitive employment law matters can be, with the potential for serious consequences if the wrong approach is taken. We also understand the personal and commercial reputations which are at stake. You can trust our employment solicitors to represent your organisation as you would like to see it portrayed.
We know that the cost of legal advice can be a worry. Getting hours and hours of professional advice can be an expensive business. That’s why we have put so much effort into charging fixed fees for our legal services for employers. Plus, we do so at a surprisingly affordable price. For more information about our costs, please visit our Pursuing or Defending Employment Tribunal Claims page.
For ongoing legal help, you might wish to consider our Employment Support Package. This comprehensive package will grant your business access to our team of specialist employment lawyers for an affordable fixed monthly fee. It can also be combined with our HR Cover. This service includes insurance cover to protect against any compensation and legal costs connected with employment tribunal claims. This gives you complete confidence that your budget for employment advice and against the risk of claims is covered. Please see below for details of our Employment Support Package and HR Cover Package.
Whether you choose one of our packages, or just contact us when the need arises, you can expect the same expertise and professional service. Our team offers you a complete one-stop service for all your employment law needs.
To read some of the success stories and testimonials from our clients, please click here.
How we can help you with employment law for employees
Employment support package
Signing up to our Employment Support Package will grant your business access to our team of highly specialised lawyers who will be available for immediate telephone advice and face to face consultations as and when required.
The Package will provide peace of mind in that you will know personnel matters are in safe hands.
We are firm believers in personal relationships and getting to know our clients. Your business will be allocated an individual solicitor who will visit your premises, gain an understanding of your organisation, its ethos, your attitude and tailor the advice accordingly. This will ensure the advice is consistent and in tune with your values. The advice we offer is pragmatic. We put ourselves in your shoes and offer advice that is the best for the business as a whole, not just to comply with legal obligations.
We want to build a long standing relationship with your business and, in these circumstances, it will only be on very rare occasions that a particular issue falls outside of the scope of the Package. The only areas specifically excluded from the Package are:
- Employment Tribunal claims
- Redundancy Exercises involving 20 or more employees
- Significant TUPE advice
The Package includes unlimited access (telephone, e-mail and meetings in person) during working hours to our specialist employment lawyers. Our Employment Team has years of experience of advising a range of local businesses from sole traders and small partnerships to the largest employers in Plymouth including the University.
We are familiar with dealing with the types of issue that you are likely to face, including handling long term absence, underperforming staff, complaints and grievances and requests for flexible working. The Team are on hand to support you from the time the issue arises until it is concluded for a fixed monthly fee.
You may prefer to combine our Package with a policy of insurance that will cover the cost of going to Employment Tribunals and any award. Our HR Cover service provides your organisation with a fixed-price comprehensive employment advice service giving you complete confidence that your budget for employment advice and the risk of claims is covered.
Dealing with individual employment matters
We can provide tailored legal guidance for any employment law issues your organisation needs to deal with, including:
- Bullying and harassment
- Families & Pregnancy
- Flexible working
- Confidential Information and Restrictive Covenants
Employment dispute resolution
Many employment disputes can be avoided or quickly resolved using a settlement agreement. This is a written agreement in which an employee will agree not to bring an employment tribunal claim for a specific matter, usually in exchange for a one-off payment.
Settlement agreements can be a fast, cost-effective way of dealing with employment disputes. They can save you time and money, as well as allowing you to avoid the stress and potential for negative publicity associated with a tribunal hearing.
Our employment lawyers in Plymouth can assist with negotiating and drafting settlement agreements, protecting your business while helping you achieve an early resolution to a potential claim. We can also advise to employees on settlement agreements, which is a legal requirement for the agreement to be valid.
Acas early conciliation:
Before an employee can take an employment dispute to a tribunal, they will normally need to refer the matter to Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) for early conciliation.
If an employee or former employee refers a matter to Acas for early conciliation, Acas will contact you to give your side of the story. An Acas conciliator will then liaise with both parties to find a voluntary solution to the dispute where possible.
Should you be able to reach an agreement, this will be recorded in a COT3 settlement form. Once you have agreed through early conciliation, it will be binding on both parties.
If you are unable to reach an agreement through early conciliation, the employee may then potentially refer the matter to an employment tribunal to deal with.
Where an employment dispute cannot be resolved amicably, it may be necessary to defend yourself and your business at an employment tribunal. This will involve attending a hearing, which will typically last 1-5 days, at which you or your representative will need to present your case.
Having the right legal representation can make all the difference to the outcome at an employment tribunal hearing as you will need to make sure all the correct evidence is gathered, that your case is built effectively, and that it is presented effectively to the tribunal panel.
If you are involved in one, the case will usually be decided in the tribunal nearest the workplace. The main one locally is in Exeter but occasionally hearings are held in Plymouth, Taunton, Truro or Liskeard.
The panel consists of three people. The chair of the panel is a solicitor or barrister of at least five years’ standing. This is the Employment Judge. As well as the Judge, there are two lay members. One of them has a background from the employer / personnel side of industry, and one of them has a background from the employee / trade union side of industry. They are all, of course, required to be neutral, but this arrangement helps to ensure balance.
An employment tribunal is like a court, but it is a little less formal. Everyone sits down at tables, with some rows of chairs at the back. The tribunal panel sits on a slightly raised platform and there are no wigs and gowns. An employment tribunal has some formal procedures. Witnesses must take the oath or promise to tell the truth. There are formal rules about the order of events and who can speak.
The original intention was that employment tribunals – or industrial tribunals as they then were – would be informal hearings, at which a disgruntled employee could have his complaint heard without fuss or formality, and certainly without lawyers. For that reason, legal costs could only be recovered in the rarest of cases, and this is still true today.
But with every passing year the amount of employment legislation has grown, and now it is very difficult for an individual to present his or her case at a hearing, particularly when it comes to cross-examining their former boss. The widespread use of lawyers at employment tribunals reflects this degree of complexity, and shows that it is generally cost-effective for both parties to get legal help.
Our employment law advice for employers pricing
Fixed fee employment law advice
Some of our services can be offered on a fixed fee basis, meaning you will know exactly how much it will cost in advance to deal with a specific matter.
Hourly rates for employment law services
For some more complex matters and ongoing employment law advice, we will typically charge according to an hourly rate dependent on the level of expertise required to deal effectively with your matter.
Employment tribunal representation pricing
We regularly represent employers facing employment tribunal proceedings. The costs involved will depend on the length of the hearing and the level of expertise required, but will typically range from around £4,000 to £15,000.
Book a consultation with our employment solicitors in Plymouth
We are happy to have a conversation about how we can help. Call Wolferstans on 01752 663295 in Plymouth now for clear, effective guidance for your business.
Wolferstans LLP is a limited liability partnership, registered in England and Wales (registered number OC433921) which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with number 811913. (Plymstock Office SRA number 819159; Plympton Office SRA number 819160). The SRA’s Standards and Regulations can be viewed here. A list of the members of Wolferstans LLP, and of their professional qualifications, is available for inspection at our registered office: 60/66 North Hill Plymouth Devon PL4 8EP. We use the word `partner` to refer to a member of the LLP or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications. Data Protection Register Entry Number ZB009475 with an expiry date of 14 March 2022.VAT Registration Number 144043893.