Employment / HR

WE ARE FUSION LAW

Richard Branson once said…

Richard Branson once said ‘Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients’. We can help you take care of your employees for you and manage your entire HR process.

It costs businesses around £50,000 per year. Whatever employment law challenges you’re facing, we can help. We understand the sector you operate in, and our employment law consultants work closely with you to understand your objectives and deliver solutions – on time and on budget.

We can be your outsourced HR department.

Disciplines

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Employment Contracts

An Employment Contract is a statutory requirement for businesses to record the key terms governing the employment relationship between the employer and the employee. We are able to conduct a gap analysis on your current agreements and draft Employment Contracts (including full time, part time and zero hours contracts) for not only your junior members of staff but also Executive Service Agreements for your more senior staff.
We are aware that often your employment contracts with senior members of staff are negotiated on a commercial level and may incorporate other documents including, but not limited to, Terms and Conditions and Share Incentive Plans which we are also able to draft for you.
We are able to advise you on the important clauses you need in your Employment Contracts to ensure your business is protected including restrictive covenant clauses, garden leave clauses and clauses relating to employee’s obligations within the business.
We are also able to assist with drafting IR35 compliant consultancy contracts/ self- employed contracts. See our section on Drafting Self-Employed IR35 Contracts

Settlement Agreements

In the event of a dispute with an employee or worker or the termination of their employment, it may be strategically advisable to settle the matter with the employee in which case you will be required to enter into a Settlement Agreement. In order to be valid, Settlement Agreements must contain specific requirements by law, therefore, it is important that your Settlement Agreement is drafted correctly.
We can help you both reach a settlement with the employee and draft the corresponding Settlement Agreement.

Restructuring

Changes to the market and trading conditions may lead you to reconsider the size, growth or structure of your business and workforce. We can offer expert and practical advice before, during and after the restructuring process including any employment law implications and assist with any redundancies that are required as a result of such restructuring. See our Redundancies section to find out more details on advising on redundancies.

We are able to provide you with assistance on reviewing your terms and conditions, reviewing your restructuring proposals and advising you of your legal requirements and entitlements.

Disciplinaries

Managing performances of employees and workers, conducting disciplinary action, handling grievances and terminating employment are the most common processes of a business but they can also be the most challenging and risky processes if not carried out properly. Failure to follow a proper process could potentially leave an employer exposed to numerous Employment Tribunal claims including Unfair Dismissal and Discrimination. When dealing with disciplinary matters we can help employers to identify what action may be appropriate, and the form it should take to avoid such risks of claims by an employee.

As an employee, it is crucial that you are aware of your rights to ensure that you and any representations are fairly considered by your employer during any disciplinary processes. In addition, employees have the right not to be unfair dismissed, wrongly dismissed or constructively dismissed (forced to resign by the employer’s actions or omissions). We are able to review the processes taken by your employer in relation to any disciplinary matter or termination of your employment and advise you of your right to any remedies at the Employment Tribunal.

Chairing Grievance Meetings

Ensuring that you carry out the grievance processes properly is crucial in avoiding any Employment Tribunal Claims by an employee. See our section on Advising on Grievances. It is important to have an impartial party to hear the grievance of an employee to avoid bias and mitigate any risks of a claim for Unfair Dismissal or Constructive Unfair Dismissal.

We are able to act as an independent and impartial chair to govern any grievance meetings between an employer and employee. In addition, we are able to ensure that matters raised during the disciplinary meeting do not raise any legal issues which may leave your company at risk.

Full HR Management

We believe when considering the importance and value of your employees, efficient HR processes are one of the most important aspects of your business.
We understand that you will not only want to ensure that your employees are performing efficiently and productively but that your employees are also happy and there are no potential risks to your business.
Whether you are a start- up business with only a few employees or well- established business with a large employee workforce you will require some level of HR Management function. We are able to provide you with end to end full outsourced HR Management services including dealing with disciplinary and grievance matters, health and safety matters, drafting letters to your employees in relation to Sickness Absences, Performance Improvement Plans (PIP’s), Job Offer Letters, Termination Letters. We are also able to assist you with dealing with lateness and persistent absences.
With our legal knowledge we are able to provide HR Management services with knowledge of all legal, strategic and practical issues arising out of the employment or engagement of employees, workers, directors, consultants and contractors to further protect your business. Our HR full outsourced management services means we are able to assist you with your employees recruitment, terms and conditions, retention and performance management, disciplinary and grievance handling, dismissal, redundancy and retirement.

Self-Employed IR35 Contracts/ Consultancy Contract

If you employ self- employed contractors, you will be required to have an IR35 compliant consultancy contract in place. This is very different to an Employment Contract with an employee. It is very important that your IR35 consultancy contracts with your self- employed contractors are drafted properly to ensure that your contract or practices do not create an employment relationship. This is because, employees are granted greater employment rights under the law. We are aware of the clauses and requirements that a business requires to ensure that there a genuine self-employed relationship is maintained.
We also work closely with our in-house tax experts to ensure that our contracts are IR35 compliant and up- to- date with any relevant changes in the law.
If you are an employee, it is crucial to ensure that your consultancy contract has been drafted correctly by your employer and that it is IR35 compliant. This is so that you can take advantage of the IR35 tax benefits. Our in- house tax experts can also further advise you on potential tax benefits you may be entitled to as a self- employed person. If you are newly starting as a self- employed worker and you wish to set up a new limited company, we are also able to assist you with this. See our
Advising on Company Set-Up [SC1] sectionfor further information on this topic.

TUPE Regulations

If your business is going through or considering going through a merger, acquisition, takeover or service provision change you will need to ensure you comply with the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (the ‘TUPE Regulations’). The TUPE Regulations place an employer under certain obligations to ensure that it’s employees are properly consulted about the proposed changes to the business and that the employee’s employment conditions are kept the same.

If you are an employee who is employed by a company going through a merger, acquisition or service provision change process, we are able to advise and assist you on ensuring your rights are protected and/or objecting to a proposed TUPE transaction.

Grievances

Grievances are concerns, problems or complaints raised by a staff member with senior members of staff or management. An employee is able to raise a concern about their working conditions or working relationships at any time. As an employer, if you fail to correct address a grievance raised by an employee you could be liable to a claim in the Employment Tribunal for which you could be required to pay compensation to an employee.

If you are an employee and you have or wish to raise a grievance we are able to assist you with drafting this. We are also able to advise you on whether you have a potential claim against your employer for failing to adequately and properly deal with a grievance you have made.

Chairing Disciplinary Meetings

Ensuring that you carry out the disciplinary processes properly is crucial in avoiding any Employment Tribunal Claims by an employee. See our section on Advising on Disciplinaries. As such, it is important to ensure that an independent view is taken at the disciplinary meetings to illustrate that a fair decision has been reached.

We are able to act as an independent and impartial chair to govern the meeting and ensure that a fair decision has indeed been reached. In addition, we are able to ensure that matters raised during the disciplinary meeting do not raise any legal issues which may leave your company at risk.

Staff Handbook and Policies

We are able to draft a Staff Handbook, also called an Employee Handbook or Company Manual, which contains the businesses policies, procedures and also statements on your company culture and ethics.
Your Staff Handbook should contain your policies and procedures in relation to Whistleblowing and Grievance and Disciplinary procedures. The Staff Handbook will ensure the standards expected of your employees are clear and may assist you in the event of a dispute with your employee.
We believe that following the correct processes and procedures in relation to your business and employees will protect your business from potential future Employment Tribunal claims.

HR Letters (Sickness, Absence and Performance Letters)

We are able to draft letters for any aspect of your HR related matters including, but not limited to, Sickness Absence Letters, Performance Improvement Plans (PIP’s), Job Offer Letters. Termination Letters, Grievance and Disciplinary Letters, forms for conducting Reviews and Appraisals and all other HR matters.

Redundancies

If you are considering restructuring or adapting your business, you may find that you are required to make certain employees redundant. We are able to advise you on the difference between terminating an employee and making an employee redundant. The law is very specific in what amounts to a ‘true redundancy’ situation. Managing the process in the right way is essential to protect your business from the risk of unfair dismissal claims.

If you are an employee who is at risk of being made redundant we are able to advise you on whether the correct process has been followed in relation to your redundancy and whether you have any potential claims against your employer in the Employment Tribunal and the strength of such claims.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)

We believe that your employees, workers and consultants are one of the biggest parts of your business and ensuring the success of your business. We understand the need to ensure that your business is efficient and relevant. Therefore, we are able to assist you with creating Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). KPI’s allow you to set measurable targets for you and your employees to reach thereby increasing the efficiency, productivity, longevity and success within your business.

Performance Improvement Plans (PIP’s)

Managing employees, workers and consultants can be a challenging part of your business. Whether you wish to monitor an employee’s performance within your business for a promotion or if you are thinking about terminating an employee’s employment, we are able to draft a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) for you.

A PIP records the employees current performance within a certain area and documents the areas in which they need to improve or reach certain goals. If an employee is underachieving you may wish to also invoke your disciplinary procedure. See our section on Advising on Disciplinaries.

How can we help?

If you want to find out how we can help you, or if you have any enquiries, contact us and we'll be in touch

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*We are not a regulated legal practice under the SRA or otherwise. We are not a firm of Solicitors. For this reason, we do not currently offer regulated legal services under the Legal Services Act 2007 and therefore any services provided will always be un-reserved activities.

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