Minimise your legal risk

Employment law mistakes are expensive

So, this is where we scare you with a rather blunt ‘stick’ argument. Legal mistakes can be expensive. Very expensive. Mess it up and you’re going to be financially punished. It’s a simple as that. The amount of money you save by not getting proper HR and employment law advice will pale into insignificance when things go wrong. Which they inevitably will at some point.

Employment law is increasingly complex

As a business owner you have many legal obligations to your workforce. And it’s only becoming more complicated. Every year sees the UK implement new European Union directives relating to employment legislation, as well as new domestic legislation, and new interpretations of existing legislation arising from tribunals and test cases. So, it’s crucial that your policies, procedures, and HR documentation are legally compliant not only at the point when you set them up, but also that they remain legally compliant in the future. Ignorance of the law is no defence.

And don’t think Brexit will help you. All this EU legislation has already become part of UK employment law, and so is unlikely to be rolled back.

Employment law is constantly changing

Think you know what you’re doing with HR and employment law?
It’s all just common sense, right?

But are you sure you fully understand the implications of recent employment law cases?

  • Lock v British Gas (2014)
  • Bear Scotland v Fulton (2014)
  • Federacion de Servicios Privados v Tyco Integrated Security (2015)

Or how your business will be affected by newly introduced employment law?

  • Pensions Act 2008
  • Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2016

And what about the 2018’s looming implementation of the latest EU regulations?

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018

Do you know your legal obligations, the consequences of non-compliance, and how to mitigate against these risks?

Employment tribunals are expensive

You may already be aware of the recently announced Supreme Court decision that tribunal fees for employees are to be scrapped with immediate effect. The removal of this barrier is expected to result in a large increase in the number of employment tribunal cases that employers will need to defend. Should you face a tribunal claim from a disgruntled employee, you are guaranteed to incur both significant legal advice costs and wasted working time, even in the event of a successful defence. Instructing an emplyment lawyer to sort things out for you will cost around £200 per hour. On top of that, there will be numerous less tangible costs resulting from wasted time, missed deadlines, lost opportunities, brand damage, decreased workplace morale, and so on. And should you lose, some types of claim, such as those based on any of the nine grounds for discrimination, can result in unlimited damages being awarded against you. So, the consequences of getting these things wrong can have an absolutely catastrophic impact on your business.

Employment law: Feeling lucky?

Of course, your cheapest option, at least initially, is to put your head in the sand, do absolutely nothing with regards to HR and employment law, and hope for the best. It all depends on your attitude to risk.

But doing nothing is a bit like not buying insurance, or not visiting the dentist. Whilst you’ll save some money in the short term, problems will inevitably catch up with you, sooner or later. And when they do, everything will be so much more painful in terms of time and money to sort out.

Presumably though, you’re visiting our website because you’ve sensibly decided take some preventative action before things all goes horribly wrong, which is a great first step in managing your employment law related financial risk.

Free HR document templates

Now, maybe you arrived here because you Googled ‘free HR document templates’. Sure, you could save a bit of money by using those downloadable HR document templates you found somewhere on the internet. But the chances are they’re out of date. Or not even based on UK employment law. Or completely made up. We’ve just audited a random selection of downloadable HR document templates from an HR support provider widely used within the East Midlands business community, and found 1 in 3 of them to contain significant errors that would affect the validity or enforceability of your HR polices and procedures. So, what state do you think free HR document templates from a dubious online source will be in? Clearly, there are enormous risks in taking your HR and employment law advice from Mr Internet. Are you prepared to take that gamble with the future of your business?

HR is a people business

Some other HR support providers do indeed base their business model on paid-for access to a database of downloadable HR document templates. But even if you do manage to find a reputable source of generic HR document templates that are well-written, accurate, and up to date, do you know which ones you actually require? Or the extent to which they’re applicable to your specific business? Or what you practically need to do with them to resolve your particular workforce issue?

And although downloadable HR document templates may well be sufficient for some basic day-to-day operational HR task, many more complex employee relations issues, such as disciplinary or grievance investigations, simply have to be carried out in person. After all, HR is a people business isn’t it? So, don’t you think it’s likely that it will require face-to-face people interaction at some point? In our experience, successful HR is as much about being able to maintain personal relationships, establish rapport, and find common ground, as it is about having employment law expertise.

So, whilst a database of downloadable HR documents might seem like an efficient and cost effective way of meeting your HR needs, it’s simply unrealistic to expect it to provide everything you require in practice. That’s like thinking you’ll be able to learn to drive a car by just reading the manual. You can only become good at HR by actually doing it. Do you really want to teach yourself HR by experimenting on your own employees?

Employment law isn’t black & white

The thing is, HR and employment law can be a lot less black and white than you might expect. It’s often very much open to interpretation or dependent on context. Even something as apparently simple as deciding whether your staff member is actually an employee, as opposed to some other type of worker, isn’t clear cut and straightforward. Which means that the best thing to do in any particular case is often not simply decided by technical knowledge, but also by personal experience.

Ensuring employment law compliance

And this is where we come in.

We’ll ensure that you meet all current and future employment law obligations to your workforce. And what’s more, we’ll do it in a sensible, pragmatic, business focussed way. We can guarantee that your HR policies, procedure, and documentation will be created by qualified and experienced HR experts who know what they are doing, and so be both bang up to date and tailored to your specific business needs. If a workforce issue does arise, we’ll tell you exactly what needs to be done to quickly resolve it in a legally compliant manner that nonetheless meets your business objectives. We’ll not only provide advice and support, but also actual face-to-face on-site presence should that be required to most effectively resolve the situation.

We’ve handled plenty of employment tribunals in previous careers, so are fully equipped to deal with them if necessary. But by helping you identify and deal with HR issues early on, we can pretty much guarantee that you will never have to attend one. During the entire lifetime of our company, not a single client who has followed our advice has ended up facing an employment tribunal.

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