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Category Archives: Ch ch ch changes
Wonderful London start up. Seasonal flowers, delivered straight from the field to your door, in the evening after work. http://www.bloomon.co.uk/how-it-works
A short introduction to UK employment law for SME’s
Employers in England and Wales are required to give employees whose employment is to continue for more than one month a “written statement of particulars of their employment”. This information is commonly included in an employment contract. The clauses which are required pursuant to the Employment Rights Act 1996 include:
- The level of pay (or the method of calculating it) and the intervals at which the employee will receive payment;
- The hours the employee will be required to work;
- Holiday entitlement and holiday pay;
- The employee’s job title, or a brief description of the work;
- The length of notice which the employee is obliged to give and entitled to receive to terminate the employment;
- The employee’s place of work;
- Information relating to pensions and pension schemes; and,
- Information on disciplinary and grievance procedures.We recommend that our clients include additional clauses in their contracts of employment to further protect their business. Examples of such clauses include:
- Additional protection
- Intellectual Property – Provisions for the rights to anyintellectual property created by an employee to be the property of the Employer;
- Confidential Information – Clauses restraining an employee, both during and upon termination of their employment, from divulging confidential and commercially sensitive information to any person, company or organisation unless expressly permitted to do so by the employer.
- Restrictive covenants – clauses restraining an employee, following the termination of their employment, from enticing clients and/or employees away from their ex-employer, or working for a company which is competition with their ex-employer for a specified period, (ordinarily between 3-6 months).
- If seeking to enforce such provisions employers have to be able to show a legitimate proprietary interest that is appropriate to protect, and show that the protection sought is no more than is reasonable having regard to the interests of the parties and the public interest.
- Garden Leave clause – Such a clause is commonly invoked when an employee has tendered their resignation. The employee who has tendered his or her resignation remains an employee for their notice period and are paid in the usual way; but they are not required to carry out work, unless specifically instructed to do so by their employer. “Garden leave” describes the traditional view that during this period senior employees would be tending their garden at home.
- The aim of garden leave is to keep employees out of the market place long enough for any information they have to go out of date, or to enable that employee’s successor to establish themselves, particularly with customers.
- Warranty confirming eligibility to work in the UK – A clause containing a warranty from the employee that they are eligible and entitled to work in the UK.
- Reasonable changes – Although an employment contract is legally binding between employer and employee, a clause may be included which permits the employer to make “reasonable” changes to the terms of the contract (such as minor administrative matters which will not fundamentally alter the terms of the contract) without the employee’s specific consent.Employment law services from DKLM LLPIf an employee raises a claim against your business we can advise you on the most commercial and cost effective way of resolving that dispute.Call us today on 020 7549 7872We look forward to working with you.Philip Henson, Partner and Head of Employment LawTelephone: 020 7549 7872 DKLM LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. ©DKLM LLP.www.dklm.co.uk
- Disclaimer: This update is published by DKLM LLP. Please note that the information and any commentary on the law contained in this update is provided free of charge for information purposes only. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. DKLM LLP accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this update. Further specialist advice should be taken before relying on the contents of this summary. No part of this summary may be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the prior permission of DKLM LLP.
Please call us today to discuss how we can help with any employment law related issues.
We develop a tailored strategy to defend proceedings in the Employment Tribunals, or Court, or by negotiation or mediation.
We provide a partner led commercial and confidential service for employers. We guide you through the best HR practice from grievance and discipline procedures, performance management, redundancy processes and TUPE transfers to preparing settlement agreements (formerly known as compromise agreements).
Call us now on 020 7549 7872 for a FREE no obligation initial discussion
Our specialist employment lawyers have considerable experience of providing confidential independent legal advice to employees whether you are a manager in a medium sized business, a city worker, or an executive at a FTSE 250 company.
We offer a quick and efficient settlement agreement advice service.
Call us now on 020 7549 7872 for a FREE no obligation initial discussion or email email@example.com to request a call back at a time that is convenient for you
Q&A Settlement Agreements (formerly known as compromise agreements)
What is a settlement agreement?
A settlement agreement is a contract, regulated by statute, between an employer and an employee (or ex-employee) to settle a claims or a potential claims and/or to prevent the employee from instituting or continuing with employment proceedings in an Employment Tribunal (and other jurisdictions, such as the civil courts).
Why have I been asked to sign a settlement agreement?
It is increasingly common for employers to want all employees – regardless of seniority – to enter into a settlement agreement. Your employer will offer a financial sum to you in return for an effective waiver of all claims (these are often listed in a separate annex) against your employer arising out of your employment and its termination.
Settlement agreements are commonly provided to employees where the employer wishes to avoid the publicity and costs of litigation attached to terminating an individual’s employment.
Why do I need independent legal advice?
For a settlement agreement to be valid and legally binding it must meet the following criteria:
- It must be in writing,
- It must relate to a “particular complaint” or “particular proceedings” and
- the employee must have received legal advice from a relevant independent adviser on the terms and effect of the proposed agreement and its effect on the employee’s ability to pursue any rights before an Employment Tribunal,
What does an independent legal advisor do?
As your independent legal adviser, we will advise on the terms and effect of the settlement agreement, and in particular, its effect on your ability to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal under the relevant legislation.
We can also provide you with the details of an indpendent financial adviser who may be able to assist you.
What can employees do to make the process quicker?
To make the process quicker, it would be helpful if you could put together a bundle of papers including which we will need to see.
- A copy of the settlement agreement.
- A copy of any relevant correspondence (including emails) that you have received from your employer about the settlement agreement
- A copy of your contract of employment
- A copy of any relevant company policies or procedures – these are often included in a staff handbook.
- Details of any benefits/share schemes.
Your employment history
We also need to know details of your employment history including:
- Your start date and the reasons for any breaks in the contract (to calculate statutory period of continuous employment);
- Your date of birth (so as to calculate any statutory entitlements);
- Any disciplinary record and performance appraisals, and if any warnings have been given;
- Details of any grievances, formal or informal, (if applicable).
Clients are often keen to come to an agreement with their employer on the terms of a settlement agreement as quickly as possible. To assist you in the planning stage we set out below a list of the initial administrative steps that all solicitors will need to carry out:
1. We need to carry out a conflict check to ensure that there would not be a conflict of interest in representing you.
2. We will send you a client care letter, and our terms and conditions of business.
3. We will also need to ask to see and take copies of relevant identification documents to verify your identity, such as a copy of your passport or a photo driving licence, and also a recent utility bill sent to your home address.
4. We will then review the draft settlement agreement, and discuss the background to the matter with you, and discuss the claims that you may have and settlement tactics.
Call us now on 020 7549 7872 for a FREE no obligation initial discussion or email Philip Henson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Employment Law Update – what to expect in 2014
This employment law update features a Q&A on the proposed changes to the right to request flexible working; accommodating breastfeeding in the workplace; an overview of the new mandatory pre-claim conciliation procedure (which comes into force in April), and proposals to make zero hour contracts unlawful.
1. Q&A – Proposed changes to the right to request flexible working
The House of Commons has agreed a revised target date of 21 March 2014 for the Children and Families Bill to receive Royal Assent, with a proposed implementation date of 6 April 2014. However, the implementation date may be pushed back further. The Q&A below explains some of the proposed changes.
Who will be able to request flexible working?
The amendments will remove the current requirement that an employee must qualify as a parent or carer to request changes to their hours or place of work. All employees with the necessary period of service (currently 26 weeks) will therefore have the right to request flexible working.
Will employers have to follow a specific procedure when dealing with such a request?
Employers will no longer need to follow the specific statutory procedure contained in the Flexible Working (Procedural Requirements) Regulations 2002. Employers will be able to bring such requests within the framework of their current HR procedures. The base requirement is that the request must be dealt with “in a reasonable manner”. Acas has published a new guide on handling requests for flexible working in a reasonable manner. A copy of the guidance can be found here.
How quickly must a request for flexible working be dealt with?
The employer must notify any employee who makes a request for flexible of a decision within three months of the date of the request. The employer will be entitled to request that the employee attend meetings to discuss the request, and if the employee misses more than two consecutive meetings without good reason, the employer will be entitled to treat any request for flexible working as withdrawn. If the employer wrongly treats the request as withdrawn, or fails to make a decision within the time period and there is no agreed extension, the employee may bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal. Under the new regime it will be imperative to consider a request for flexible working carefully and timeously.
2. New Acas guidance on breastfeeding in the work place
Acas has recently published a guide on accommodating breastfeeding employees in the workplace. The aim of the guidance is to identify the employer’s legal requirements when responding to employee requests for facilities to express and store milk. It also offers some good practice suggestions on how to facilitate the return of the employees back to work. A copy of the guidance can be found here
3. Mandatory Pre-Claim Acas Conciliation
From 6 April 2014, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 will impose a duty on theprospective parties to any claim and Acas to undertake pre-claim conciliation of most potential Employment Tribunal claims. Claimants will be required to include their unique Early Conciliation (EC) reference number given by ACAS on their ET1 to demonstrate that they have satisfied the EC requirement. The proposed steps are as follows:
Step 1: The prospective claimant must send “prescribed information” in the “prescribed manner” (a new form “EC”) to Acas either by submitting the online version on the ACAS website, or by post. This will contain the prospective claimant’s name, address, contact numbers andemail address and the prospective respondent’s name, address and telephone number.
Step 2: An early conciliation support officer (ECSO) will then make reasonable attempts to contact the prospective claimant and, only with the prospective claimant’s consent, then try and contact the prospective respondent.
Step 3: Where the prospective claimant wishes to conciliate, the ESCO will pass the file to a conciliator. The conciliator will make reasonable attempts to contact the prospective respondent. If the conciliator makes contact with the prospective respondent but they decline early conciliation then the conciliator will notify the prospective claimant and issue an EC certificate.
Step 4: If a settlement is not reached, either because the conciliation officer considers that settlement is not possible, or because the prescribed period expires, Acas will issue an EC certificate.
4. Zero Hours Contracts Bill 2013-2014
The Zero Hours Contracts Bill was presented to Parliament on 24 June 2013. The draft law seeks to make it unlawful to issue a zero hour’s contract, and that any such contract would be void. Whilst the draft legislation is a private members’ bill (and thus unlikely to become law in its current form) employers can expect to hear a crescendo of political cries for zero hour contracts to be greatly reduced.
Philip Henson, Partner and Head of Employment Law
Direct line: 020 7549 7872
Disclaimer: This update is published by DKLM LLP. Please note that the information and any commentary on the law contained in this update is provided free of charge for information purposes only. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. DKLM LLP accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this update. Further specialist advice should be taken before relying on the contents of this summary. No part of this summary may be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the prior permission of DKLM LLP.
DKLM LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. © DKLM LLP. www.dklm.co.uk
DKLM LLP appoints David Semmens as Partner and Head of Private Client
London, 3 February 2014
DKLM LLP is delighted to announce the appointment of David Semmens as a Partner and the Head of our new Private Client department.
David was previously the head of private client at a prominent law firm in the West End of London. He advises on all aspects of private client work including trusts, estate planning, wills, on and offshore tax planning, and the administration of estates and property. David qualified as a solicitor in 1979, and has significant experience of working with high net worth individuals, family offices, and entrepreneurs.
Alan Dixon, Managing Partner of DKLM LLP says: “I am delighted to welcome David to DKLM as a Partner and Head of our new Private Client department. David’s appointment is yet another milestone for DKLM as we continue to expand to new areas of practice to meet the needs of our clients. David brings a wealth of experience having built a substantial reputation as a trusted private client lawyer in the UK, and internationally – most notably with his professional client based in Switzerland.
David will provide bespoke and confidential advice on wills, trusts, estate, and tax planning to our high net worth and celebrity clients; and he will work closely with our corporate, residential and commercial property teams in London, and our associated offices in China.”
Notes for Editors:
DKLM is a commercial London law firm with an international focus. Since the firm was founded in 2004 DKLM has built two additional floors at their Tech City office to meet the demand for their services. The firm has doubled in size in five years, and as DKLM enters its 10th year of successful business it continues to expand by opening a new Private Client department.
DKLM has a strong expertise in the following areas of practice: commercial property law, corporate law, dispute resolution, employment law, immigration, private client and residential conveyancing.
Strategic Association with Zhonglun W&D Law Firm – In 2012 DKLM entered into a strategic association with one of mainland China’s largest, and most highly regarded, law Firms (Zhonglun W&D Law Firm). The alliance provides our clients and professional contacts with access to over 400 lawyers in 11 associated offices across China and associated offices in Hong Kong, Riyadh, Lyon, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg.
Contact: Alan Dixon
T: Tel: 0207 549 7895