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Hewitts > Services > Employment Law

Employment Law

Employers have to comply with a wide range of legislation, not just UK law but EU requirements as well. If you have a problem relating to employment, we are ready to help.

We offer advice on a wide range of employment issues including recruitment and contracts, employment disputes and redundancy procedures.

Hewitts’ employment specialists are experts in disciplinary matters, dismissals and representation at employment tribunal claims. We will prepare the strongest possible case and act on your behalf in negotiations.

We can also help with health and safety, absence due to sickness, maternity rights and advice concerning Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment), known generally as TUPE.

– Workplace disputes, employment rights and health and safety
– Unfair dismissal, employment tribunals and dispute resolution
– Working time regulations, grievance and sickness absence
– Advice concerning TUPE

There are a wide range of funding options available depending upon the nature of your case. To read more about the options available please click below

Employment Law Funding Options

Whether you are an employer or employee and you would like legal advice or representation in respect of an employment matter, there are a number of ways in which that can be funded.

Free initial telephone consultation.

We will always endeavour to assist you at the outset by way of an initial telephone conversation. We use this as an opportunity to understand the issues that you are facing and so that we can advise you of the options that may be available to you going forward. We can advise you as to the likely costs involved and explore funding options that might be available to you and your circumstances.

Hourly rates

We offer competitive hourly rates if you would prefer to pay for advice or representation as you go. At the outset of the matter we will provide you with an estimate of costs and as your case progresses we will provide you with regular updates on costs so that you are always kept up to date.
You may wish to pay for advice and representation on an hourly rate basis but with a particular budget in mind. We often agree with clients that we will undertake work on their behalf with a “fee ceiling” and we agree that we will not exceed their budget.

Fixed fees

Depending upon the advice or assistance that you require, we can in many situations offer you a fixed fee package whereby we will agree to undertake work on your behalf for a set fee. Below are some examples of work that we can often undertake on a fixed fee basis:
Drafting employment contracts
Drafting grievance/disciplinary policies
Advising on dismissals (both employers and employees)

Damages Based Agreements

In exceptional cases we can offer employees Damages Based Agreements if upon an initial assessment of a case we believe that it is likely to win and if it has sufficient value. These agreements are more commonly known as “no-win no-fee” agreements whereby we will agree to defer payment of our fees until the successful conclusion of your case. Our fees will be an agreed percentage of any compensation that you recover, of up to 35% including VAT. If your case is unsuccessful, you will have nothing to pay. However, if in order to assess the viability of us acting under a DBA we are required to spend time reviewing documents or discussing matters with you in detail we may charge a fee for doing so, which we will agree with you before any work is undertaken.

Insurance

Employers and employees may have insurance policies which carry with them legal expenses insurance. You should always check whether your insurance policies would cover the legal costs of your particular employment issue and we may be able to agree with your insurer that they pay us an hourly rate for work that we carry out on your behalf.

Settlement agreements

We regularly advise employers and employees in relation to settlement agreements. Settlement agreements are a valid way of terminating an individual’s employment and they can provide benefits for both parties. For employees, your employer will usually bear the cost of you obtaining advice upon the terms and effect of the document (up to a predetermined limit). For employers, we can offer fixed fees for drafting and advising upon settlement agreements.

Unfair / Wrongful Dismissal Claim Funding

We offer advice and representation in relation to bringing and defending claims within the Employment Tribunals for unfair and wrongful dismissal. Funding options including private funding, and funding under a Damages Based Agreement (see above).
The below information is based on typical claims brought for unfair or wrongful dismissal where the matter is privately funded. These estimates are intended to be used as guidance and are not intended to be fixed. Each potential claim will be assessed on its own merits, and an overall estimate of costs and disbursements given at the outset of any claim
Simple case: £5,000-£9,000 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £9,000 – £18,000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £18,000 + (excluding VAT)

Factors that could make a case more complex:
 If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further
information about an existing claim
 Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
 Making or defending a costs application
 Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by
the parties)
 The number of witnesses and documents
 If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle
on your employer
 Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

Disbursements
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Counsels fees estimated between £1,000 to £2,500 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation)

Key stages
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
 Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely
compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
 Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
 Preparing claim or response
 Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
 Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
 Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
 Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing
 Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
 Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
 Preparing bundle of documents
 Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
 Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
 Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee may be reduced. Similarly if additional stages are required, the fee may increase.

Team Members
Please click here to be directed to our Employment Law Team page. All members of our Employment law team have experienced of a wide range of Employment Law areas including dealing with Settlement Agreements, representing clients in bringing and defending Employment Tribunal claims including for unfair and wrongful dismissal and cases involving discrimination and victimisation.

How long will my matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take up to around 4 months. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6-12 months. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Testimonial

Trevor Alley is the former CEO of South West Durham Training.

South West Durham Training was founded in 1967 to provide training for local manufacturing and engineering companies.

Chief executive Trevor Alley turned to Hewitts when the company had to make redundancies.
Trevor, who has since left the business, said: “It was important to us to offer a generous voluntary redundancy package because we did not want to make anyone compulsorily redundant.
“Hewitts advised our staff on the terms of the package and were on hand to answer any questions they had.

“I found Hewitts to be flexible and accommodating to the needs of the business and the staff at a difficult time.

“They were able to hold on-site meetings with staff whenever required and their clear answers to any questions were very helpful.”