Investigations, claims, disciplinary and grievances
Disciplinary and grievances
As an employer you are required by law to ensure your employees have access to a fair and reasonable process for raising grievances and that you manage disciplinary issues. Our experts can work with to you develop fair and robust procedures to also ensure that your employees understand what is expected of them. We can manage grievances when they arise to help you maintain relationships and minimise the risk of a costly exit and Employment Tribunal claim.
We know that being faced with an Employment Tribunal claim can be stressful, distracting and a time-consuming task. Whether you are faced with a straightforward claim for unfair dismissal or something more complex, we can support and guide you through every stage of the process.
As experts in managing Employment Tribunal claims we will always provide you early on with a realistic assessment of the case and the prospects of success. We’ll combine this with commercial and strategic advice to ensure the best possible outcome for your business.
Managing investigations and inquiries
Our employee investigation and inquiry expertise means that we can either be appointed to carry out an investigation, ensuring independent scrutiny, or we can guide you through how to handle internal investigations and project reviews. We can also use our expertise to review investigations completed by others in a Court or Tribunal setting. Every investigation is different, and we can provide a bespoke service based on your business needs.
Protecting your business and your data
Contracts and service agreements
Having the right contractual documents in place is a vital part of protecting your business, and there are specific obligations that you have as an employer. We can work with you to create bespoke contracts of employment or Service Agreements which satisfy these obligations whilst protecting your business.
We can develop a range of contracts, including Executive Service Agreements, contracts of employments, fixed term contracts, casual worker agreements and zero hour contracts. If you need trainee or apprenticeship agreements or consultancy agreements, we can help with them too.
Our agreements can help you manage risks and will be designed to protect your business with tailored restrictive covenants, confidentiality clauses, intellectual property clauses, and defamatory comments, social media, and flexibility and mobility clauses.
Data protection and GDPR
Are you compliant with data protection legislation? We can work with you to audit your HR, Marketing and IT data collection, processing and storage to assess your compliance with GDPR, and provide you with guidance on how to manage the data protection risks to your business. We can also provide training to your staff so they understand the role they play in protecting the information your business holds.
Data subject access requests (DSARs)
The receipt of a Data Subject Access Request (DSA) from an employee or ex-employee can provide significant challenges for any business. With only one month to meet your legal obligations to evaluate a potentially enormous quantity of emails and other digital records, it’s not uncommon for an organisation to feel somewhat overwhelmed.
With our expertise in data protection law, we can also minimise your costs and legalities. This ensures that the handling of your DSAR request is not just fully compliant, but also cost effective.
Employment contracts, policies and handbooks
Clear and fair documentation underpins all employment relationships. We can work with you to develop the ideal contracts and agreements for your staff, as well as the policies and procedures you need to comply with your obligations as an employer. Your policies and handbook will help your staff understand what is expected of them and help you ensure your business runs smoothly.
We can also review your existing documentation to ensure it is fit for purpose and provide recommendations on how you could improve it.
The employment status of your staff determines their legal rights and entitlements, and your obligations as an employer. If you’re unsure about the correct status of your staff, we can review the relationship and ensure your contracts and agreements accurately reflect the reality of your relationship. We’ll help you determine whether your staff are employees, workers, office holders or self-employed. We can also provide strategic advice and guidance on the different types of status.
Post termination restrictive covenants and confidentiality
Post termination restrictive covenants are contractual clauses which aim to restrict a former employee’s ability to join a competitor, or set up in competition with you, after leaving your employment. Typical restrictive covenants will also extend to prevent your former employees from contacting your customers to take business or approaching your staff to poach them.
We can work with you to develop the right clauses for your business, ensuring they adequately protect your interests and are enforceable, if needed, by the Courts.
We can help you with effective absence management to minimise the impact absences can have on your business. We’ll ensure you have effective processes and policies in place and can manage staff absences.
The types of absence we can help you with include:
- Sickness and disability
- Unauthorised absence
- Compassionate leave or public service duties
- Maternity, Paternity or Adoption leave
We can provide you with the tools to effectively manage your staff so you can minimise the risk of poor performance. If you have concerns around the ability of your staff we can assist you in implementing a Performance Management process, help create development plans and identify appropriate monitoring and assessments. Our experts can also assist provide advice and guidance on exiting an employee so you can minimise the risk and cost to your business.
The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to discriminate against any worker on the grounds of a disability. The Act places the responsibility on an employer to consider and make reasonable adjustments for employees, helping them to overcome disadvantages that result from their disability. A failure to do so could expose your business to discrimination claims.
By understanding your legal obligations and how to address the needs of disabled members of staff, you can help protect your business whilst also creating a fairer and more productive work environment for everyone.
Flexible working requests
Loch Employment Law can help you navigate the ACAS code of handling flexible working requests, minimising the risk of claims. Beyond helping your organisation define a standardised process for dealing with flexible working requests, Loch Employment Law can assist you with individual cases, helping to provide pragmatic advice as to the commercial viability of any request.
Equality and discrimination
We can provide you with expert advice and guidance on all forms of discrimination and how to avoid claims against your business. We can provide clear policies and procedures and deliver training to your staff to help prevent discrimination. If you do get a claim, we can provide advice on how to deal with it. We’re also experienced at successfully defending discrimination claims at Employment Tribunal.
Equality impact assessments
We can help you meet your obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty by conducting an Equality Impact Assessment for your organisation. The Assessment will help you to identify any issues concerning discrimination when implementing policies. It will assist you in eliminating any unlawful discrimination or conduct prohibited by the Equality Act, ensure equal opportunities exist within your organisation and demonstrate your commitment to equality.
Working time regulations
Our team of expert employment lawyers can work with you to identify what activities constitute ‘working time’ within a given role, before drafting employment contracts that minimise the risk of ambiguity and subsequent disputes. Employers can also benefit from our assistance in navigating due process in each case where staff wish to ‘opt out’ of WTRs.
Equal pay and wages
Family and pregnancy
The law on family friendly policies, maternity and paternity leave and flexible working is constantly evolving. We are able to guide you through the legislation and provide practical and useful advice to help you meet your duties as an employer, whilst minimising any potential disruption to your business. We can advise you on how to manage flexible working requests, maternity and shared parental leave as well as employee’s rights, for example when receiving IVF treatment. We can create the policies you need to manage your business effectively.
Restructuring and Exits
Managing and negotiating employee exits
Employment may end for a variety of reasons, and we are experts in negotiating the exit of employees whilst minimising the cost to your business. We can advise on the correct process to follow to reduce the risk of claims, develop strategies for exiting difficult employees and mediate your negotiations to reach an agreement. Where there is a risk of claims to your business, we will provide advice and guidance on managing this risk and help defend your position if a claim ends up at Employment Tribunal.
Redundancy and business restructuring
A Settlement Agreement is a legally binding agreement that sets out the exit terms agreed between an employer and an employee. Our experts can help you with the negotiation and drafting of Settlement Agreements, as well as facilitating a confidential, amicable and speedy exit, whilst minimising disruption to your business.
(Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations)
TUPE applies to the purchase, sale or merger of a business, or if there is as transfer of a contract to a new service provider. We can provide guidance on your obligations under TUPE Regulations as well as strategic advice on the implications to your business. We can also help you manage consultations or due diligence processes and review employee contracts and terms and conditions.