At Three Graces Legal we offer a partnership with your business.
Sometimes the assistance of a specialist employment law solicitor is unavoidable for businesses of all sizes and we have fully qualified Solicitors with many years of experience in this field. We take the time to get to know you and your business so that we are able to provide legal advice and assistance which is tailored to the requirements of your organisation, no matter how large or small.
The traditional way of providing legal services to business can be very expensive. Most firms of solicitors still bill their clients on an hourly basis which means that costs can quickly spiral out of control. This is bad for business. This is why our costs are extremely flexible and why we have created a unique package that enables you pay either a monthly fee, or a ‘one-off’ fixed fee for a piece of legal work. This means that you will know exactly what our service will cost at the outset in order to allow you to control costs and to get on with running your business.
Unlike other similar packages you are not tied in to a contract and so you are able to exercise complete control over your legal budget. You can have the peace of mind that no matter what your employment law problem we will deal with it for you and you won’t have to worry about costs.
We will review and update your contracts of employment, Employee Handbook, and all other employment related documentation, to ensure that they are all legally compliant.
We will be on hand to deal with all of your ‘everyday’ employment law issues. You can send us an email query, or pick up the telephone, any time of the day, for instant access to a qualified employment law solicitor.
If you are faced with an Employment Tribunal claim, our solicitors will vigorously defend your organisation. We can manage the process from responding to the initial claim, all the way to representing you at the final hearing. We will advise you of the costs, risks and benefits of defending the claim and, if appropriate, conduct any negotiations with ACAS in order to find an amicable solution out of court.
If the claim goes all the way to an Employment Tribunal hearing, we can assist in interviewing any staff connected with the claim, drafting all of your witness statements, preparing the case for hearing and providing you with full support throughout the entire process. We can also deal with any Employment Tribunal hearings or, if appropriate, arrange representation by calling upon our preferred specialist Counsel.
Disciplinary and grievance hearings
When conducting a disciplinary or grievance procedure it is very important that you follow the correct process. This will ensure that you reduce the risk of an employee bringing a successful claim at the Employment Tribunal.
We are experts in ensuring that you follow the correct procedure and we are on hand at all times to guide you through the process and protect your business.
Poor performance may be a fair reason to terminate employment, but the dismissal will only be fair if a fair procedure is followed. We will help to ensure that you follow a fair procedure. We will also help to ensure that any action you take is not discriminatory.
Before dismissing n employee it is vital to take the necessary steps to avoid claim for unfair dismissal and/or discrimination claims. We can guide you through a fair investigation procedure, put in place a robust system which ensures that employees are given the opportunity to explain their performance and are provided with the opportunity to improve.
If dismissal is inevitable then we will work with you to ensure that the risk of any claims against your organisation are minimised.
Absenteeism generally falls into 2 categories:
- Intermittent absences – this is where one of your employees is having too much time off.
- Long term absences – where an employee has been off sick for a long time, with no sign of a return.
It is important that you deal with these issues efficiently and effectively in order to ensure that your organisation does not suffer and that staff morale is maintained.
Both of the above categories need to be dealt with differently. You must not follow the same procedure when dealing with an employee on long term sickness who is genuinely ill as you would for an employee who is off sick, often, for short periods of time. Indeed the more appropriate action in respect of the latter may be disciplinary action for misconduct, see above. You also need to be particularly careful that any action in relation to an employee on long term sickness is not discriminatory of the grounds of his or her disability.
In relation to both intermittent absences and long terms absences can ensure that you have a robust system in place to ensure that your organisation is not vulnerable to claims for unfair dismissal or discrimination.
From the very minute that you consider redundancy, we can provide you with advice and assistance.
In order to dismiss an employee for redundancy fairly you must follow the correct procedure:
- You must establish a genuine need for redundancy.
Broadly a redundancy is when the employer has ceased, or intends to cease continuing the business, or the requirements for employees to perform work of a specific type or to conduct it at the location in which they are employed has ceased or diminished. The most common reason for a redundancy is a financial one.
- You must consult with your employee
Consultation must be on an individual basis, and a failure to consult with your employee can lead to a claim for unfair dismissal (unfair selection for redundancy)
If you are making more than 20 employees redundant you must either consult with a recognised trade union official, or if there is no recognised trade union, a suitably elected representative. Failure to do this can result in a claim by your employee for a Protective Award allowing them to be compensated for up to 12 weeks depending on the severity of the breach.
- You must utilise a fair selection procedure
You should establish a fair pool for selection for redundancy and ensure that any criteria used as part of the selection process is fair and subjective. If your employee are subject to a competitive interview you need to ensure that neither candidate is given an unfair advantage.
- You must ensure that you consider any suitable alternative vacancies that might be available for an employee at risk of redundancy
If there are suitable vacancies then your employee should be redeployed in order to avoid a redundancy.