Employers

employers - legal advice from Schofield & Associates Employment Lawyers

Employment Law and HR Services

We are specialists in providing employment law and HR services to all types of businesses nationwide. We can provide our HR services at a fixed cost, on a retainer basis to enable you to manage your finances or as and when required on an agreed hourly charge out rate.

If you are a proprietor, employer or manager of a business you will be aware of the minefield that is employment law and the need to be fully compliant. We can be your partners, available at any time on the end of a telephone line, offering expert advice on minor or major aspects of employment law and your rights and obligations as an employer.

We offer a personal and confidential service tailored to your needs either on a retained or ad-hoc basis for all employment law and HR advice.

Helping to avoid employment disputes

Many employment disputes arise because important areas have never been clearly documented in a properly-drafted contract.

We can provide bespoke documents for the following:

  • Contracts of employment including restrictive covenant clauses
  • Staff handbooks outlining company procedures such as disciplinary and grievance, maternity, paternity and parental leave, equal opportunities, sickness and absence, holidays, data protection, use of internet, email, confidentiality
  • Consultancy agreements
  • Directors service agreements
  • Settlement agreements

For more details on how we can assist your business with employment law, contact us here 

Costs in employment tribunal claims 

We advise individuals and employers in respect of either making a claim in the tribunal or defending a claim in an employment tribunal.

We are required by the SRA to provide details of the costs you will incur when instructing Schofield & Associates to represent you at an employment tribunal.

How much will an employment tribunal cost?

Not every claim made at tribunal will end up at a contested hearing. There is every chance that the claim will settle without the need to go to tribunal and this can be facilitated through ACAS resulting an agreement signed by the parties to resolve issues connected to the claim.

Even if the matter does not go to a contested hearing costs will be incurred. There is usually a significant amount of work to be completed at each stage to ensure that the matter is fully prepared for hearing, this preparatory work must be undertaken within the deadlines set by the employment tribunal and as a result costs will be incurred at all stages of a claim.

The cost rules in the employment tribunal mean that even if you win your claim, your opponent may not have to make any payment towards your costs.

As a guide, for both employers and employees, the typical range of costs for a routine claim that proceeds to a contested one-day final hearing is likely to start at £4,000 + VAT. The final costs are difficult to predict but could be as high as £10,000 +VAT or more.

These costs should be treated as a guide as it is difficult to assess precise costs as each case is different and when we know the exact circumstances of your claim we will be able to define the costs more accurately.

How we charge for this work

We usually work on an hourly rate basis, our fees range from £100 per hour to £300 per hour

Legal Expenses Cover

Many of us have legal expenses cover as part of our home contents or car insurance. You should check your polies to see if you are covered for employment advise, insurance companies have very specific criteria which you must comply with before you can access your legal expenses cover for example most insurance companies require you to lodge a claim with your insurer within 90 days of the incident arising.  There are other obligations which you should check, failing to meet the deadlines may mean that you are prevented from using your legal expenses insurance.

Companies, legal expenses and employment tribunal awards may be covered by “Directors & Officers” insurance or other insurance policies. If you are unsure whether you have this cover,  you should speak to your insurance broker and comply with any conditions of cover.

Other fee arrangements

We do not offer conditional fee agreements, damages based agreements or  “no win no fee” agreements for this work.

We do not undertake any legal aid work however in certain circumstances legal aid may be available for some employment tribunal claims.

If you are a member of a trade union or staff association you may be able to access legal advice and representation free of charge through that body.

 

 

Services that are included

Typical key stages of an employment tribunal

  • 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 a pre-claim conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing a claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim or response presented by the 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 a bundle of documents
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing on a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Preparing instructions to Counsel and attending a conference with Counsel if required,

Our fee estimates will include the above stages. If any of the stages are not required, the fee will be reduced accordingly.

Factors that could make a case more complex

More complex cases may lead to increased costs, although again this depends on the stage at which the case is concluded. Factors which could make a case more complex include:

  • where there will be more than three witnesses in total
  • where the final hearing is scheduled to be heard over two or more days
  • cases about whistleblowing, discrimination, equal pay, TUPE or large scale redundancy situations
  • cases where the subject matter extends over a significant period of time
  • points of law that have to be determined before the full hearing
  • high value, business critical or high profile cases that carry a significant reputational risk

 

 

Disbursements:

In most employment tribunal cases, we will instruct a barrister to advise on your case or represent you at a hearing. The costs can depend on the seniority of the barrister, the location of any hearing and the length and complexity of the hearing.

The typical range of costs for a barrister in a case that proceeds to a one day contested hearing is likely to start at £1,500 + VAT.