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Growing Your Business

Whether you're looking to sell online, need help with acquiring a new business, looking for larger premises or want support with recruitment or staff issues, our lawyers will give you commercially sound legal advice.

Dealing with staff

How do I ensure I have the best staff

Your business success depends on the people you employ to carry out the day to day work. For this reason, it is essential that you have the best and most effective workforce on board.

A clear, concise recruitment policy will help you to attract the right people.  Solid induction processes will ensure that employees become effective in the shortest possible time.  Attractive incentive packages will also help attract talent.

Organisations should be aware however that they have a legal responsibility not to discriminate in their recruitment and selection process on the ground of race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation and religion or belief, pregnancy, maternity, marriage and civil partnership and also gender reassignment.

Our Employment team can provide advice and help you put together robust recruitment policies. Get in touch to find out more.

Developing staff

Well thought through and carefully implemented development plans for individual staff are a key part of any successful business.  Not only can they help staff achieve goals (which could lead to additional financial comensation) but they also reduce staff turnover and aid promotion of talent in yor business.

We can help you devise and implement development plans tailored to your business.

Incentivising and rewarding staff

Many employers incentivise staff in order to reduce turnover and improve productivity.  Incentivisation is not just about salary.  It could include more holiday, a flexible benefits package or performance bonuses. 

If you are introducing bonuses into your business, you need to make sure they are properly drafted. A poorly drafted bonus clause in a contract of employment or side agreement, could be challenged by disgruntled employees. You could end up paying more than you intended or lose your discretion when to pay bonuses.

Alternatively, it might be appropriate to put in place a share option scheme (some of which are highly tax efficient).

We can help you introduce properly thought through and implemented incentive and reward schemes in your business.

Consulting with staff

If you are considering making changes to your business that will affect the jobs your staff do, you must nearly always consult with them about the changes before they are implemented. This type of change normally include changes to terms and conditions of employment, reorganisations, redundancies, the sale of a business and the transfer of a service provision.

The type of change to be implemented will dictate exactly what type of consultation is undertaken and how that consultation should be handled. Broadly speaking however, the consultation should be started with the intention of seeking ways to minimise the affect of the changes planned or to avoid them altogether. This consultation may need you to consult with unions if any staff are union members.

If you don't  consult properly, your business is exposed to Employment Tribunal claims of unfair dismissal and/or failure to follow proper consultation procedures. The financial liability for your business can be significant, especially if there are a lot of staff involved.

Acquiring a new business and inheriting staff

Generally speaking, you will acquire a business either by an asset purchase or a share sale.

If you acquire a business by a share sale, the legal entity which employs staff does not change. Because of this, there will be very little change to the employer/employee relationship.

If you acquire a business by an asset purchase, it is likely that the Transfer of Undertakings (the Protection of the Employment) 2006 applies. This means that you normally step into the shoes of the purchaser and that you inherit most obligations and liabilities from the seller. In this situation, you are generally very limited as to what you can do in terms of changing the terms and conditions of employment of those staff which you have acquired (with a limited number of exceptions).

If you have won a new contract, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 are likely to apply also. Again, you are likely to acquire those staff employed on the contract you have won on the same terms and conditions of employment and you will have limited ability to change those terms. You will also acquire any obligations and liabilities from the business that has lost the contract automatically by law (with a limited number of exceptions).

If you are acquiring a business, you would be advised to seek help in relation to warranties and indemnities. You should think about protecting yourself against any liability that you may inherit from the seller or the business that has lost a contract to you.

Managing employee or industrial relations

Good industrial relations in unionsed work environments can often be key to the smooth running of a business.

Trade union legislation is complex. We have experience in managing day to day relations with trade unions as well as dealing with trade union disputes and negotiating trade union collective agreements. Please call us if you would like assistance in any of these areas.

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