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Employment Law for Businesses

Leading Employment Advice for Businesses

Susie Al-Qassab
Susie Al‑Qassab
Partner
Homa Wilson
Homa Wilson
Partner
Neil Emery
Partner

Why being an ethical employer is good for your business?

Our behaviour and its impact on society, as well as the environment, is high on most people’s agenda. Increasingly people expect companies to be able to demonstrate commitment to people and purpose not just profit. This includes treating their staff well. Millenials in particular, who by 2025 will make up the majority of the workforce, want to work for companies who are having a positive impact on society. They want their work to be purposeful – and this is more important to them than the salary they will earn.

At HJA we believe it is not enough just to be good employment lawyers. It is also important that the advice we give reflects the best ethical standards and ensures the business upholds its principles and does the right thing by its people, as well as achieving its commercial goals. This not only protects against the perils of employment litigation, but also helps employees to be happier and more productive and means the business will attract and retain good people.

Who are we?

Hodge Jones & Allen (HJA) has offered dedicated, supportive and accessible legal services for more than four decades to fight injustice wherever we find it. The firm remains committed to providing first-class legal help to individuals and organisations alike, based on a strong set of ethical values that permeate throughout HJA. These strong values, including the work we undertake, define us, and sit at the heart of what we do.

"THANK YOU FOR RESOLVING SO QUICKLY AND FOR KEEPING ME INFORMED OF ANY UPDATES."

What does it mean to be an ethical employer?

Being an ethical employer means putting your purpose and your people at the heart of everything you to. You still need to make a profit, and sometimes make difficult decisions, but you can do so in such a way that upholds your principles and does the right thing by your people.

What does it mean to be an adviser to an ethical employer?

We believe that it is not enough just to be good lawyers; it is also important that the advice we give reflects the best ethical standards. We know that helping our employer clients to go over and above their legal obligations not only protects them against the perils of litigation, but it can also help their employees to be happier and more productive, too.

What we can do for you?

We advise organisations on how to deal with employment processes and issues legally but also ethically. Specifically:

  • Ensuring your contracts of employment, policies, handbooks etc. include ethical extras which create a workplace where your staff feel their welfare and the work environment are dominant considerations for the company;
  • How to manage restructures and redundancies in a sensitive yet effective manner to ensure staff are treated fairly so that morale and productively are not negatively impacted;
  • Providing training to managers to identify red flags and help avoid bad practices and a negative work culture;
  • Advising on day-to-day HR and people issues and procedures (grievances, disciplinaries etc.) procedures with ethical plating – focused on achieving positive outcomes for all parties.
  • Assisting with early/informal resolutions of disputes to avoid escalation and ensure a healthy and productive working relationship.

When an employee raises a complaint, responding in a defensive and adversarial way is often counterproductive and can lead to a breakdown in the relationship, resulting in the employer having to engage in a protected conversation process and costly litigation. Our experience shows that adopting an ethical approach, one where the employee feels heard and respected, often results in a resolution which is mutually beneficial. This helps ensures staff loyalty and increases productivity.

"She [my solicitor] went through every single clause and after her precious advice we could change few clauses to make sure I was fully protected. "

Why work with us?

As a firm that puts its employees firmly at the heart of everything we do, we believe that good employment law advice should also put people first, and we want to work with like-minded organisations that are committed to purpose and people not just profit.

The employment team at HJA has had great success advising and representing both businesses and individuals, giving us the ability to see things from both sides, quickly identify issues as they arise, and take the heat out of situations before they get out of hand. We help employers and employees find the best resolution and outcome with as little stress and cost as possible.

As an Employee Owned Trust (EOT), our employees sit front and centre in terms of decision making and, ultimately, our staff are the beneficiaries of our own hard work. We recently voted for an employee committee to improve involvement, engagement and empowerment within the firm

We actively promote equality and diversity with our recruitment procedures; recognising the benefits of having a diverse workforce. You can read more on our approach and our key statistics here. We are also a signatory of the Race at Work Charter committed to improving equality of opportunity in the workplace.

As we firm we are a leading provider of criminal and civil legal aid but we also try to give back as much as we can.

Charities and organisations we currently support include:

  • Age UK
  • AvMA
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Brake
  • Child Brain Injury Trust
  • INQUEST
  • Headway
  • Narcolepsy UK
  • North London Cares
  • Solace
  • Southall Black Sisters
  • Sudden Bereavement Helpline
  • Z2K

As an employment team we also give our time to Camden Citizens Advice Bureau to help their clients with employment issues.

If you would be interested in working with us or would just like more information, please call
or request a call back.

Featured cases

Successfully defended claims for discrimination and unfair dismissal

The claim was brought by an employee who felt aggrieved after being dismissed by a start-up company. We were able to persuasively present the case which demonstrated that the dismissal was neither discriminatory, nor unfair. Had the claims succeeded, the business could have gone into administration and so the result was extremely well received by the business.

Achieving a commercial resolution in the face of a complex TUPE situation

We advised a sub-contractor on their TUPE obligations when their contract was taken back in-house on short notice by the main contractor, particularly in relation to dealing with employees where there was a dispute as to whether they were assigned to the service being taken back in-house. We helped our client achieve a commercial resolution.

Successfully negotiated mutual termination for client

Following the long-term absence of an employee, the business sought to remove the employee on the grounds that he was no longer capable of doing his role. The client sought advice after it had received a lengthy grievance from the employee alleging disability discrimination and potential unfair dismissal. We assisted our client in investigating the grievance, ensuring the business would be able to justify its position. Obtained medical evidence, which was helpful to our client and negotiated a mutual termination which was cost effective and favourable to our client.

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