Corporate & Business
Areas of Experience
- Business Transfers (TUPE)
- Civil Employment Disputes
- Confidential Information and Database rights
- Garden Leave
- Injunctions and other interim remedies
- Restrictive Covenants
- Unfair Dismissal
Our barristers specialising in employment law have extensive advisory and advocacy experience. We represent all forms of business and corporations involved in disputes with employees, either through referrals from solicitors or via the Direct Public Access scheme. For clients who wish to work with us directly without a solicitor, we have a business focused website at www.36employmentlaw.com.
A Team of Experts
Simon Harding is the author of the Employment Guides to Procedures (Jordan Publishing 2015), a leading textbook specifically designed for small businesses. Reviewers described Simon’s book in these terms:
“An excellent prime statement for the modern entrepreneur who needs to understand current employment law and procedures.” -An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
A core part of all successful businesses is its staff. We believe good corporate governance towards staff saves money, makes for happy and productive employees and plays a pivotal role in the success of a business.
Members of 36 Employment represent a variety of businesses in courts and tribunals, from sole traders and small family businesses with one or two staff members only at one end of the scale to major UK supermarkets, large companies and local government authorities at the other end.
We can particularly assist businesses with work relating to:
- Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures
We provide advice and representation with regards to all the necessary documentation, policies, contracts and template letters that businesses may require to function efficiently.
We advise clients on systems and procedures, that is, on the steps that should be taken in a certain order, and the documents that should be kept and retained to achieve their goals.
We also advise clients who are already operating systems on what to do when their systems go wrong. The most successful businesses tend to operate on the basis of the old proverb that: “a stitch in time saves nine”.
Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures
We work collaboratively with businesses, both directly and through solicitors’ referrals, in offering advice and outsourced assistance on disciplinaryand grievance procedures.
Many businesses do not have the time or the senior staff available to undertake fair and impartial internal investigations into grievances and disciplinary matters.
In a small organisation there is the added difficulty of achieving completeimpartiality, given that the senior staff are often themselves directly involvedin matters leading up to a disciplinary hearing.
For these reasons, a well run smaller to medium sized firm will often find it helpful to outsource their disciplinary and grievance processes so as to demonstrate fairness both to their employees, and to a tribunal or court where the matter becomes litigious.
Our team members have assisted businesses by conducting the internal disciplinary interviews and hearings, preparing reports and conducting disciplinary meetings, including those leading to dismissal and/or any subsequent internal appeals.
Our business clients find this to be a cost-effective and pragmatic solution, which also helps them get their procedures and systems in order. Our knowledge of appropriate internal systems has been gained both from our work withinbusiness organisations and in relation to the many hundreds of Employment Tribunal hearings our members collectively have conducted over the years.
In his book Employment Guides to Procedures, Simon Harding (a member of36 Employment) explains that with the explosion of the internet and free information there is a huge amount of information available to employers and employees, but that: “A lot of the content, written by lawyers, is written for other lawyers and is therefore often impenetrable to the man on the street (and sometimes to other lawyers as well)”!
Our members provide clear, straightforward advice in ordinary language. We aim always to give our business clients an objective evaluation of the legal position arising out of any action taken (or being considered) against their employees or former employees, or any claims brought or threatened by employees or former employees.
We advise on all aspects of employment law. We have barristers of varying experience, and so can offer a cost-effective advice to suit the business client’s budget.
Many of our members have developed high level trial advocacy skills in other legal areas, including criminal law. We believe that complementary experience of this kind helps make our barristers that much more effective as trial and tribunal advocates.
As part of our traditional barrister role, we have represented many employers before the Employment Tribunals in claims of harassment, whistleblowing, discrimination, victimisation, unlawful deduction of wages and unfair dismissal brought against them.
Equally, we represent employers as claimants in claims brought against employees for injunctive relief and for damages for breach of restrictive covenants and for the dissemination of confidential information
36 Employment barristers provide advice and representation on the employment aspects of business sales and outsourcing transactions. Members of the practice group have considerable experience in arguing complicated points of law.
In particular, the TUPE Regulations 2006 are a trap for the unwary imposing, for example, far reaching employee consultation obligations, backed by punitive sanctions, on every purchaser of a business - no matter how small it may be.
The reach of the Regulations and the obligations imposed on businesses extend far beyond straightforward business sales, and affects even the transfer of service contracts (outsourcing arrangements).
Our members have also developed considerable expertise in dealing with business reorganisations and handling redundancy matters and business transfers. We have direct hands-on experience in helping companies restructure, and in representing them in the Employment Tribunals.
Should the need arise, members of 36 Employment are ready to help you navigate the turbulent waters sometimes associated with business transfers.
Civil Employment Disputes
Civil Employment Disputes relate to disputes between businesses and their employees concerning matters such as confidential information database rights, garden leave, restrictive covenants, injunctions and other interim remedies, and damages for breach of contract.
36 Employment team members are regularly instructed in disputes of this kind to advise and represent parties in court proceedings, which normally commence in the High Court of the County Court.
We provide reliable, practical advice within a time frame tailored to suit the client’s needs.
One of our barristers recently appeared in a seminal case in the Court of Appeal on the post-termination obligations of statutory Directors.
Workers are permitted by law to report certain types of wrongdoing in the public interest. Sometimes difficult questions arise as to whether a worker’s report was in the public interest; or whether the worker has lost a job unfairly, because they ‘blew the whistle’ or for other reasons. Some complaints amount to ‘whistleblowing’, but some do not. We can assist business clients with such issues.
We have been involved in some prominent and hard-fought whistleblowing cases in recent years.
In his book, one of our barristers, Simon Harding explains that employment tribunal cases are often won and lost during a Respondent’s internal processes.
We specialise in advising clients on how to maximise their position during early stages of a disciplinary process.
As a result of the experience our members have acquired in evaluating internal systems and procedures, we are well placed to provide clients with balanced and informed advice on their prospects in any claims brought for unfair dismissal.
Discrimination law, now consolidated in Equality Act 2010, is an area of law that employers need to address proactively.
We have extensive experience in the field, and can lend valuable assistance to litigants.
When a dispute or complaint results in litigation, non-lawyers often find the forensic process complicated and lengthy.
In indirect discrimination cases, for instance, the law is both technical and complex.
Disability discrimination is a particular speciality of Richard O’Dair, Head of Employment. Richard is also an expert on age discrimination and appeared in the Supreme Court in Seldon v CWJ  IRLR 476, generally regarded as the defining case on age discrimination.
Another one of our memebers, a former part-time judge of the Employment Tribunals, has more than 25 years experience in race discrimination cases.