Employment

Employment

For HR managers, compliance officers and employers, staying on top of Britain’s ever-changing employment laws can be an organisational nightmare.
 
At Nalders Solicitors, we have an experienced, commercially astute employment law team who will partner with you over the long-term; constantly striving to understand your business and your commercial ambitions.
 
Our employment team can assist you with the following legal matters:

  • Employment contracts and handbooks
  • Equality Act 2010 obligations
  • Employee discipline and disputes
  • TUPE

 
Smart, sensible and business-minded, employers across the West Country have trusted us for generations to advise them on employment matters.
 
To find out more about how we can advise you on employment law for employers, please fill in our contact form, or phone our Truro office on 01872 241414.

Employment Contract Negotiation

Contracts are meant to be negotiated and employment contracts are no exception; especially if you are taking on a position of significant responsibility such as a CEO or CFO.
 
At Nalders, we will look over your employment contract and advise you on points that are ripe for negotiation.  We believe it is imperative that employees ask for what they want before they accept the position.  If you are concerned that having clear objectives for your remuneration package could cause your prospective employer to offer the position to someone else, remember these wise words from a seasoned HR professional, “Whenever we get someone cheap, we think how lucky we are”.
 
Prime areas for negotiation in an employment contract
 
There are a number of areas that can be negotiated in an employment law contract.  If you cannot get the company to move on salary, ask for benefits to be added to your package instead.  Examples include:

  • Travel vouchers
  • Gym membership
  • Health insurance
  • Annual bonuses based on mutually negotiated KPIs

 
Negotiating flexible working time
 
These days, one of the key areas for negotiation is working hours and locations.  The internet has afforded many people the ability to work from home, which not only allows for more family time, but can save considerable money on commuting costs.
 
Working hours can also be negotiated.  Maybe you want to spread your hours over four days so you can have a three-day weekend.  Or work mainly school hours and make up additional time in the evening when the little ones are in bed.
 
Whatever arrangements you are looking for, the best time to ask is before you sign your employment contract.  Our employment law solicitors have years of experience in negotiating employment law contracts and can negotiate on your behalf, or provide you with the knowledge and confidence to ask for what you want.
 
Restrictive covenants in employment contracts
 
Restrictive covenants are clauses in an employment contract which prohibits an employee from competing with his or her ex-employer for a certain period after they have resigned or prevents the ex-employee from soliciting or dealing with customers of the business by using any knowledge of those customers gained during his or her prior employment.
 
Restrictive covenants (sometimes known as Restraints of Trade) are technically void as they go against public policy; however, if the employer can prove that the covenant is designed to protect their legitimate business interests and go no further than is reasonably necessary to protect those interests, the court may uphold them.
 
It is therefore crucial that you negotiate a Restrictive Covenant robustly before you agree to an employment contract, lest your options be constrained regarding how you earn a living if you resign at some point in the future.
 
To make an appointment with one of our employment law team please fill in our contact form, or phone our Truro office on 01872 241414.

 

Settlement Agreements

There are times when employment, despite all efforts to seek a resolution to ongoing acrimony, does not work-out.  A settlement agreement (formally known as a compromise agreement) provides an employer and employee with the opportunity to sever ties amicably.  Our employment law team have the commercial acumen, legal knowledge and negotiation skills needed to ensure you receive a fair, financially viable settlement agreement.
 
You can rely on us to check the offer your employer has made diligently and set out your options regarding how you can ask for more if you so desire.
 
What is a settlement agreement?
 
A settlement agreement is a legally binding contract between an employer and employee setting out the terms by which the employment has come to an end.  Generally, the employer will offer the employee a financial settlement to resign in exchange for the employee agreeing not to pursue any unfair dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal.
 
More than money
 
If your employer is unprepared to negotiate on the financial settlement, there are other benefits you could request, such as access to a career coach (fully paid for a set period), or to have your CV rewritten by a professional.
 
If you have been offered a settlement agreement, we can help you think creatively about extra benefits you can ask for on top of any financial pay-out.  Our solicitors are innovative and stay away from ‘off-the-shelf’ advice, instead focusing on benefits that could make a substantial impact on your own life and career.
 
Deciding not to sign
 
You are fully within your rights to refuse to sign a settlement agreement.  If you decide the settlement agreement you have been offered is not enough, we can advise you on the best steps to take going forward.
 
Nalders Solicitors comprises some of the Southwest’s foremost employment law experts.  By instructing us to negotiate your settlement agreement, you can be confident that your interests will be protected and we will work to ensure you receive the best deal possible.
 
To make an appointment with one of our employment law team please fill in our contact form, or phone our Truro office on 01872 241414.

Employee Discipline and Disputes

If you ask any employer what the most stressful part of their job is, and the chances are that the answer will relate to the disciplining of staff members, or having an employee dispute brought by a current or former staff member.
 
Having advised employers in Cornwall and beyond for over 200 years, Nalders Solicitors understands the loss of productivity, frustration and sleepless nights that difficult employees and employee disputes can cause.
 
Fortunately, by instructing us, we will work with you to:

  1. Manage a disciplinary hearing correctly, so there are no grounds for a dispute; and
  2. Expertly represent your interests robustly if a dispute claim is launched in the Employment Tribunal, giving you the best chance of success

 
Unfair dismissal – a common reason for employee disputes
 
Working with an employment solicitor during disciplinary proceedings guarantees that the process is carried out in the correct manner, ensuring the guidelines set by the Discipline and Grievances at Work: The ACAS Guide, are followed, and proper appeal opportunities are provided to the employee.  Not only will this reduce your chances of a claim being brought against you in the Employment Tribunal, but if the Tribunal finds in favour of the employee, the damages awarded may be mitigated if you have followed the procedure set out in the ACAS guide.
 
Settlement agreements
 
A settlement agreement (formally compromise agreements) can provide a good solution for an employer who wishes to let go of an employee without the risk of a claim being brought against them.  However, they must be handled correctly, and a proper process followed when negotiating them.
 
We have handled hundreds of settlement agreements for employers in the West Country and beyond, ensuring a win/win situation is achieved for both parties.
 
To find out more about how we can advise you on employee discipline and disputes for employers, please fill in our contact form, or phone our Truro office on 01872 241414.

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