Solicitors in Essex, Colchester, Chelmsford, London – Fisher Jones Greenwood
Services for business

Our commercial solicitors are able to offer legal advice over a wide range of corporate and commercial areas and issues. From our network of offices across Essex and London we are able to help organisations of all sizes and industries, making sure we always put the client first.

Employment

Employment Law

Whether you are a business or an individual, our employment lawyers can guide you through the complexities of employment law regulations and help you avoid expensive and time consuming disputes. The employment department is part of our Commercial Team so we can also refer you to other specialists as and when necessary. Our employment lawyers are based in Chelmsford and can be contacted on 01245 584515 or by email at [email protected]. We also have offices in Central London, Colchester, Billericay, Clacton-on-Sea and Holland-on-Sea and appointments are available at these offices.

Employment Law Services for Employers

  • Unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal
  • Settlement agreements
  • Equal pay and equal opportunities
  • Employment Tribunal work
  • Redundancy (including collective redundancies)
  • All types of discrimination (including sex)
  • Transfers of undertakings
  • Restraint of trade and confidentiality
  • Vicarious liability of employers
  • Maternity and paternity rights
  • Breach of contract and contractual disputes
  • Retirement and age discrimination issues

Employment Law Services for Employees

  • Unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal
  • Settlement agreements
  • Equal pay and equal opportunities
  • Employment Tribunal work
  • Redundancy (including collective redundancies)
  • All types of discrimination (including sex)
  • Transfers of undertakings
  • Restraint of trade and confidentiality
  • Maternity and paternity rights
  • Breach of contract and contractual disputes
  • Retirement and age discrimination issues

Employer and Employee Disputes

  • Disputes between employer and employee
  • Grievances
  • Appeal procedures

Employment Links

www.colbea.co.uk

Colbea is a non-profit making organisation designed to help new businesses get off the ground and small entrepreneurs develop their ideas into successful ventures.

Pricing

Our advice is charged at competitive rates which will be agreed with you at the outset. Detailed estimates will be provided in most circumstances and for non–contentious work, such as drafting contracts and policies, where possible we will give you a quote. Our policy is to provide an open and transparent pricing of our work.

FJG Employ – Employment Support Package

Employment support package including legal, HR and health and safety consultancy services.

Comments by our clients

“Excellent service from the outset.”

“Your advice over the last two years has proved invaluable.”

“I thank you again from the bottom of my heart and will recommend you and your firm to all my friends and family.”

At FJG we have assembled a unique menu of services for businesses who want to take the worry out of their Human Resources Management and Health and Safety compliance.

Many companies now offer outsourced HR services. These arrangements usually involve committing to long term contracts with often substantial monthly sums being committed for periods of up to three years. If a business wants to outsource its human resource function these arrangements can work well. However, not all businesses want to do this, but they do need occasional support for particular HR projects or in relation to their health and safety issues.

Our service is different. Fundamentally the difference is that YOU ONLY PAY FOR WHAT YOU USE. We can give you access to the whole range of business support services in relation to your business, your employees, and your health and safety issues at hourly rates which are discounted from our normal rates for these services.

In most cases there will be a fixed fee for the initial work to “set you up” with all the necessary policies and contracts, and you then decide what you want us to do in addition, whether that be health and safety advice and support, (including audits) general human resources advice, or legal advice with regard to specific employees or problems. For ongoing legal support we can provide a helpline service, and if the helpline is not used then fees paid can be used towards other legal services to support your business. You may be involved in taking a lease of commercial premises, you may want a shareholders agreement, or you might want us to advise on a contract you are entering into. You can pick from the whole range of legal services which we offer to support businesses. Why pay out money for services you hardly ever use? With FJG Employ, you pay for what you get, and you get what you pay for. Now that is something different in the world of employment support packages.

 Key Benefits

  • Discounted hourly rates for the work done;
  • Access to expert advice at all times during office hours, with the peace of mind that brings; and
  • You only pay for what you get. With helpline services any balance left at the end of the year is returned to you or used in relation to any other legal services you might need

FJG Employ Services

The services available to employers include initial “start up” health and safety and employment manuals, together with standard contracts of employment. Thereafter full advisory services are available as follows:

Legal Services

Employment Law

All areas of employment law including:

  • Unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal
  • Compromise agreements
  • Equal pay and equal opportunities
  • Employment Tribunal work
  • Redundancy (including collective redundancies)
  • All types of discrimination (including age)
  • Transfers of undertakings
  • Restraint of trade and confidentiality
  • Vicarious liability of employers
  • Maternity/paternity rights
  • Breach of contract/contractual disputes
  • Retirement and age discrimination issues

Employment Documentation

  • Contracts of employment
  • Handbooks
  • Policies and Procedures to deal with all employment issues

Employment Disputes

  • Disputes between employer and employee
  • Grievances
  • Appeal procedures

In addition we can help you to deal with employee issues internally as part of our human resources services below.

Human Resources Services

Recruitment

  • Writing of job descriptions
  • Development of interview guides
  • Selection interviewing
  • Psychometric assessments and selection centre design and management

Staff Communication

  • Development of employee communication strategies
  • Wording of especially sensitive communications
  • Development and management of staff opinion surveys

Training

  • Interviewing skills
  • Handling disciplinary investigations and hearings
  • Appraisal skills

Performance Management and Development

  • Development and implementation of appraisal schemes
  • Working with managers to develop performance improvement plans for individuals whose performance is not of required level
  • Development of business succession plans
  • Development of training and development plans

Employment relations

  • Supporting line managers through disciplinary and grievance proceedings
  • Tailoring template handbooks and contracts to meet business requirements
  • Conducting disciplinary and grievance investigations
  • Management of redundancy exercises
  • Management of consultation processes for redundancy or TUPE

Health and Safety Advisory and Support Services

  • Site visits to your places of work
  • Advice on the basic steps you need to take to stay within the law
  • Up to date information on changes in legislation
  • H&S assessments including an appraisal of what needs to be done
  • Sensible cost-effective solutions, including occupational, H&S assessments and audits of the workplace, (noise, manual handling, COSHH, fire, display screen equipment, machinery safety and general risk assessments) to meet employer liabilities and premises for insurance purposes
  • Practical advice on preparing an H&S policy
  • Conventional and interactive Health & Safety training packages tailored to your business and environment
  • CDM (Construction, Design, Management) support and the provision of an appointed CDM Coordinator for your construction projects
  • Fire safety and fire assessments, disaster planning and recovery, major accident prevention policy, writing accident and incident investigation reports

New ACAS guidelines – what you need to know about suspending employees from work

Suspension should not be a knee jerk reaction for an employer when dealing with a potential disciplinary matter. ACAS has published new guidance in relation to suspending employees. It is not binding but should be adhered to as a matter of good practice. Alternatives should be considered where possible. These include:

  1. Moving an employee to a different area of the workplace;
  2. Allowing an employee to work from home;
  3. Changing their working hours;
  4. Placing an employee on restricted duties; and
  5. Working under supervision.

The ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance must be followed when dealing with a disciplinary situation. Where suspension with pay is necessary, the period should be (1) as brief as possible and (2) kept under review (failure to do so could amount to a breach of an implied term of mutual trust and confidence and could be grounds for constructive dismissal).

What are the main points in the new ACAS guidelines?

  1. Suspension must not be used as a disciplinary sanction and an employee should receive full pay during any period of suspension.
  2. Suspension should be used when there is a serious allegation of misconduct; when there are medical grounds requiring this or there is a new workplace risk to an employee who is a new or an expectant mother.
  3. There should be no assumption of guilt.
  4. The suspension and the reason for it should be kept confidential. It may be necessary to discuss with the employee how their absence from the workplace could be explained to their colleagues or customers.
  5. The guidance outlines the information that should be included in a suspension letter.
  6. The employee should receive full pay during any period of suspension.
  7. The suspension should only be for as long as it is still necessary.
  8. Employers should keep in touch with employees and they should be supported during this time. They should have a point of contact at the work place to discuss any concerns.
  9. A return to work meeting is recommended for the employee’s first day back after suspension.

The guidance can be found here. If you feel that you need some advice before you suspend an employee, please contact Neemah Ahamed on [email protected].