General Employment Law Support
From recruitment to retirement, dealing with workplace disputes, managing absenteeism, conducting disciplinary hearings and dismissing staff are just some of the employment related issues which arise daily.
What happens when employers suspect misconduct by a member of staff? How should one investigate allegations properly, clearly setting out any subsequent charges, and thereafter conducting a fair disciplinary hearing? Are disciplinary findings well thought out, and do they bear a close relationship to the allegations themselves?
Recruitment advertisements need to be non-discriminatory, so too must job application forms and other employee screening tools. In conducting both immigration and DBS checks employers need to understand what evidence is required in order to establish a right to work in the UK, and how spent convictions operate as this all forms part of the recruitment mix. At interview stage managers need an awareness of their interviewing techniques so as to avoid discriminatory questions and innuendo.
In what circumstances should employers make job offers subject to certain conditions such as the receipt of satisfactory references, the right to work in the UK and the provision of medical reports?
What are the “must have” clauses of a contract of employment and, by the same token, what other provisions are better left for a staff handbook? In what circumstances can an employer change contracts of employment, and what then happens if some employees won’t agree to any changes?
Are restrictive covenants really necessary – if so, what company activities need to be protected and for how long? How does one draft a restrictive covenant which has a reasonable chance of being enforceable?
How does one manage the employee who is persistently having bouts of short-term sick absence; or the individual returning from a long-term illness and claiming they are disabled? What are “reasonable adjustments” and how far does one have to go in order to satisfy any statutory duty in respect of accomodating a disabled employee?
Then there are the more routine matters – understanding the rights and obligations of maternity, paternity and other types of statutory leave. These rights are all enshrined in detailed and sometimes quite pithy regulations.
Sometimes the right approach may be relatively straightforward. More often than not, however, because individuals all respond differently there will usually be a range of options, each one having different consequences.