We are a boutique employment law firm based in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.
Sadly, it is not uncommon to hear an appointment with a solicitor being compared to unpleasant experiences such as going to the dentist, or visiting your GP - but at Barnard & Co Employment Law Solutions we want to change that!
Dealing with issues at work can be stressful and emotionally draining. Generally speaking, we spend more time at work than we do with our friends or family, so when something isn’t right, it can quickly become all-consuming. We understand this and promise to treat you like a person, not just a fee.
Of course, things don’t need to be going wrong for you to require employment law advice - maybe you have secured a big promotion, been offered your dream job, or you might even be branching out on your own. Whatever your reasons are for requiring the services of an employment solicitor, Barnard & Co Employment Law Solutions are on hand to provide you with the expert advice, guidance and support you need at every step of the way.
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A Settlement Agreement (formerly known as a compromise agreement) is a legally binding contract that deals with the termination of your employment on agreed terms. By signing a Settlement Agreement you are agreeing not to pursue any employment related claims that you may have against your employer in return for compensation.
For the agreement to be legally binding, there is a requirement for you to seek independent legal advice on the terms, and usually the cost of obtaining this advice is covered by your employer.
At Barnard & Co Employment Law Solutions, we will take the time necessary to fully understand the background to your matter so we can advise in detail on any claims that you may have. We will make sure that you understand all the terms of the Settlement Agreement, and will ensure that it is in your best interests to enter into the agreement. Where necessary, we can also help you negotiate the terms of the agreement with a view to securing you the best deal possible.
Employment related contracts come in a variety of forms, including contracts of employment, consultancy agreements and directors’ service agreements. Whilst starting a new job or project can be an exciting time, it is prudent to take the time to review the terms of your new contract carefully from the outset. Disputes can often arise further down the line when the interpretation of a contract is not clear.
We can review your contract, provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the relevant clauses, and where necessary help you negotiate the best terms for you.
We can also assist in circumstances where there is a contractual dispute or if your employer is seeking to vary your existing terms and conditions of employment.
A claim for unfair dismissal arises if an employer has no fair reason for the dismissal and / or does not follow a fair procedure. Generally speaking, an employee has to have 2 years continuous service before they are eligible to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal (although there are some very limited exceptions to this).
If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed, it is important to seek advice as soon as possible as there are strict time limits for pursuing a claim.
We will consider your employer’s reasons for dismissing you and the process that has been followed in order to advise you of your legal rights, and the merits and value of any potential unfair dismissal claim. We will advise you how to challenge your dismissal whether via the appeal process, correspondence, ACAS Early Conciliation or at an Employment Tribunal, and will provide you with support at every step of the way.
Constructive dismissal occurs where an employee resigns as a result of their employer’s fundamental breach of contract. Examples of fundamental breaches of contract can include:- bullying / harassment, a unilateral variation of terms and conditions, a lack of support, failure to pay sums contractually owed, unwarranted disciplinary action…etc. The breach may be a serious stand-alone breach of contract, or alternatively could be a series of smaller breaches culminating in a final “last straw” incident. Generally speaking, an employee has to have 2 years continuous service before they are eligible to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal (although there are some very limited exceptions to this).
If you believe that you have a claim for constructive dismissal, we would urge you to seek advice at an early stage, and ideally before you resign. To maximise your chances of winning a constructive dismissal claim, there are a number of things that you should do whilst you are still employed ie. raising a formal grievance. We can advise you in detail as to the merits of any claim, the likely level of compensation, and how best to pursue matters.
Discrimination at work on the grounds of a protected characteristic (age, disability, rage, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership or gender reassignment) is unlawful, and should not be tolerated.
If you believe you that you have been discriminated against at work, we would urge you to get advice sooner rather than later, as discrimination claims can be complex. We can advise you of your legal rights and talk through the various options available with you. We understand that such matters can be distressing, and will ensure that we deal with your case as sensitively as possible.
Formal disciplinary or capability procedures may be used by your employer in a variety of scenarios including alleged misconduct, poor performance or as a result of ill health.
Being invited to a disciplinary or capability hearing at work can be worrying. If you find yourself in such a situation and you believe that the process is unfounded, or if you just require advice as to your rights and some support, we are on hand to assist. We can analyse your case, advise you how to respond and help you prepare for the hearing. We can also assist you with any appeal process or related claim such as unfair / constructive dismissal or discrimination. In situations where you feel it is no longer tenable to stay, we can help you negotiate an amicable exit.
A genuine redundancy situation arises where the requirement for you to carry out your role has either “ceased” or “diminished”. For a redundancy dismissal to be fair, your employer must follow due process, which entails adequate consultation, fair selection, and the provision of any opportunities for suitable alternative employment.
We know that being placed at risk of redundancy can be distressing. Seeking early advice so you are aware of your rights and the procedure that should be followed can help place you in the strongest position possible when facing redundancy. Barnard & Co Employment Law Solutions can help guide you through the process. Where appropriate we can also assist you in challenging your selection for redundancy and any failings in the process, with a view to either protecting your position or maximising your redundancy payment.
If the business you work for is changing ownership, or if the work you do is being outsourced elsewhere, your employment may be protected under the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE). Generally, if TUPE applies, your employment should automatically transfer to the new owner or contractor on your existing terms and conditions. Your continuity of service should also be preserved.
TUPE is a complex area of law. We can advise you whether TUPE is likely to apply to your situation or not, and make sure you understand your rights. We can also help you if your new employer is seeking to change your terms and conditions following a TUPE transfer.
Restrictive covenants can be included in contracts by employers to prevent their employees from competing with or damaging the business once they have left. However, restrictive covenants are only legally enforceable if they go no further than is necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests.
If you believe that you have restrictive covenants in your contract that place you at a disadvantage in the market place, or if you have been accused of breaching your restrictive covenants – we can help. We will assess whether the relevant clauses are likely to be enforceable and from there can advise you how best to proceed.
We do not want to see your access to justice restricted due the cost of obtaining sound legal advice and representation. We therefore offer a variety of funding options to suit your individual needs, including hourly rates, fixed fees, and in some circumstances may even be able to represent you on a “no win no fee” basis.
For your convenience, we offer evening and weekend appointments upon request, and are also happy to facilitate home visits where appropriate.
Please contact us if you require any further information.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Call: 01442 531021
– Services for Employees –
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