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Employment Law


Litigation: Employment Law

Employment law is always changing. Contact us for expert advice to support your management team.

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In recent years, European and government legislation, decisions of the European court and hundreds of employment tribunal decisions have created new rights and obligations for employers and their employees.

By supporting your business and examining your employment practices we can save you time and money, and prevent damage to your reputation. We can, in effect, provide your business with a cost-effective extension to its management team.

We can advise you on all the latest developments in employment law, in areas such as:

  • Unfair dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Transfer of undertakings
  • Sickness and sick pay
  • Discrimination on grounds of sex or race
  • Equal pay
  • Health and safety
  • Termination of employment
  • Contracts of employment
  • Maternity rights

Employment law can be a potential minefield. Speaking to an employment law specialist can save you time and money in the long run.

At Storrar Cowdry, our experienced Employment Law Solicitor is Geoff Cogan.  He is one of our senior solicitors and is an expert in his field with a wealth of experience dealing with Employment Law advice.

He can help to protect your business and your reputation as a fair employer  by clearly setting out all of your options, so that you’re in the best position to make an informed commercial decision.

You can contact Geoff for a no-obligation discussion to find out if he can help with your Employment Law needs.

Our Dedicated and Knowledgeable Solicitors

If you wish to discuss your situation further with an expert solicitor please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can we impose a change of terms and conditions upon our employees?

The general rule is that a contract may only be amended in accordance with its terms or by agreement between the parties.  Some contracts of employment do provide for limited variations to be made by the employer.  These clauses are usually very narrowly interpreted by the court and it is vital to proceed cautiously and with advice in these circumstances.  If the proposed changes are not authorised by the contract of employment there are three ways in which the employer may vary the contract of employment as follows:

a) Obtaining the express permission of the employee/s.
b) Unilaterally imposing a change and relying on the employee’s conduct to establish implied agreement to the change.
c) Terminating the contract of the employee and offering re-employment on new terms.

The risks of mishandling are significant and can lead to claims for constructive dismissal or unfair dismissal.  We can help you to plan and to proceed in such a way as to minimise the risk.

We have an employee taking frequent sickness absences, what can we do?

The employer should have a robust sickness and reporting policy, followed by back to work interviews.  Such a policy should be respected and applied across the board and be consistently applied to each and every employee to avoid claims of favouritism or discrimination.  We can help in that regard.  The employer should establish:

a) The reason for absence and whether it is genuine (this may require a medical report).
b) Whether the incapacity has been caused by workplace factors such as stress, bullying or an accident.
c) Whether the absence is due to a disability and whether any reasonable adjustments may need to be made.
d) Whether the employee qualifies for ill-health retirement.
e) Whether dismissal is appropriate and if so ensuring a fair process is followed.

This is an issue faced by most employers from time to time.  Mishandling the situation can lead to claims for discrimination and/or unfair dismissal.  We can assist you through the process accordingly.

Can we enforce post-termination restrictive covenants?

In any such case the court must consider the doctrine of restraint of trade.  An employer must demonstrate:

a) A legitimate proprietary interest that it is appropriate to protect.
b) The protection sought is no more than is reasonable having regard to the interests of the parties and the public interest.

In order to be reasonable, covenants should be tailored to specific employees.  An employer should look at each employee and decide what level of protection is reasonably necessary in each case.  Senior employees usually have more knowledge and involvement in the affairs of the employer than a junior member of staff.  The burden of proving reasonableness always falls upon the employer.  It is always important to ensure careful and proper drafting at the outset and to obtain the agreement of the employee of the proposed restrictions.  We can help in that regard.



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