Employment Contracts

 

Employers are legally obliged to put in writing the most important terms of employment of an employee. Since this is the case, they often add to what is obligatory and produce one contract with all the information in it. 

 

We are able to vet employment contracts on behalf of employees. We understand you may have been asked to sign a contract which isn’t clear or you may have concerns regarding your employer making changes to an existing contract. 

 

 

 

 

Settlement Agreements

 

When employees are made redundant or when there is some other parting of the ways between and employer and an employee, frequently a Settlement Agreement is put together. 

 

Settlement Agreements not only set out the terms of the basis upon which the employee’s employment is terminated but also contain certain statutory provisions which will prevent an employee subsequently taking an employer to an Employment Tribunal. 

 

Employees must appoint a solicitor (or someone similar) to advise them in relation to Settlement Agreements. It is usual for the employer to pay the employee’s legal fees. 

 

 

 

Consultancy Agreements 

 

Sometimes a business will use consultants to help them with specific issues or to provide an external perspective. 

 

As Consultants are not employees of a company. Frequently they do not work all hours for one company. They either work part time or work as Consultants for other companies. 

 

Consultants are also taxed in a different way to employees. It is important that not only are there correct provisions to ensure that the Consultant is taxed correctly but that all other basic terms of hours and obligations are included. 

 

 

Redundancy 

 

Sadly from time to time companies find themselves with too many employees and too little work for them to do. This being the case it is necessary for the company to make employees redundant. 

 

There are strict laws about redundancy. These ensure that employers do not try and dismiss someone on the grounds of redundancy when in actual fact their job is not redundant. 

 

We can advise clients on the laws of redundancy and ensure that they are being properly applied to any set of circumstances. 

 

 

 

 

Dismissals 

 

Employees who have worked for a certain period of time receive the statutory right not to be unfairly dismissed. For an employer to dismiss someone fairly, they do not only have to have the appropriate grounds but also have to follow separate procedures. 

 

If an employee has been unfairly dismissed then they are entitled to take their case to an Employment Tribunal and if successful will receive compensation. 

 

Employees who have been dismissed need to check that the dismissal is fair and in these situations we can advise and guide you in the right direction. 

 

 

Employment Tribunal 

 

Most disputes between employers and employees, if they cannot be settled between the parties, will proceed to an Employment Tribunal. This is a specialist court dealing solely with employment matters. 

 

We are familiar with the procedures and strategies and in particular advising clients on evidence and attending at hearings.  

 

 

 

 

Holiday, Maternity and Sick Pay 

 

There are many complex laws nowadays regarding the ability of employees to claim salary when they are not working for the employer whether they be on holiday, maternity leave or are sick. We advise clients in relation to their rights to ensure that they are properly receiving what is due to them. 

 

Restrictions following Termination 

 

It is quite often the case that employees have a clause in their contract of employment which restricts what they can do when they leave. In particular they will be forbidden from approaching customers or trying to persuade other employees to leave as well. If these clauses are unfair then they will be unenforceable.  The wording of the clauses and the circumstances of the individual will decide whether or not they are unfair. We can advise employees on the impact of these clauses either before or after their employment comes to an end. 

 

Discrimination

 

Discrimination in the work place nowadays takes the form of not only racial but sexual, disability and age discrimination. 

 

Discrimination is governed by laws and if an employee suffers discrimination then they can take an employer to an Employment Tribunal and if successful obtain compensation. 

 

Claims for discrimination are complex and a full understanding of the law and the options available are necessary.

 

 

 

 

Cotterhill Hitchman Solicitors is a trading name of Cotterhill Hitchman Solicitors LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales Registration Number: OC301080, registered office: Atlas House, 4-6 Belwell Lane, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4AB,  VAT number 655 0359 36.

 

Cotterhill Hitchman Solicitors LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority ref no: 353376.
 

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