Our team of employment lawyers can advise you on all employment law related issues including:
We understand that employers can perceive the cost of instructing a solicitor to be daunting, particularly if faced with the cost of defending an Employment Tribunal claim. To assist our clients, we have developed flexible fee arrangements to give our clients access to instant legal advice whilst offering financial peace of mind regarding their legal spend. We can provide:
Respected employment team, noted for its strong reputation in the local market, which acts for both employees and employers and has significant experience in acting on both sides of senior-level exits. Represents clients in employment tribunals and restrictive covenant actions as well as aiding companies with employment training programmes. Regularly advises clients from the education and transport sectors.
“They are very professional and responsive,” according to a client, who goes on to say: “We get a very good service from them.”
Notable Practitioners :
Claire Merritt is sought out by clients for her ability to advise on both contentious and non-contentious matters. She regularly works with clients on defence strategies in the Employment Tribunal, GDPR issues and ongoing training.
Clive Dobbin leads the firm’s employment practice. He regularly advises on senior-level exits, contractual issues and TUPE matters.
David Roath is an experienced employment lawyer and mediator who acts for corporate clients as well as senior employees.
Paris Smith LLP’s employment practice is regularly instructed by a range of clients in the Hampshire region. The team is particularly adept at handling restrictive covenant actions and senior level exits, most notably on behalf of local authorities, transportation companies, and sixth form colleges and private schools. Practice head Clive Dobbin is a seasoned Employment Tribunal advocate, who has experience of complex discrimination and whistleblowing cases, and TUPE matters. Claire Merritt is the lead for the firm’s education-sector offering, and has recently been engaged on various Covid-19 response mandates. David Roath is recommended for his experience with protective awards regarding collective redundancies, and shareholder exits. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.
The Employment Tribunal: What happens on the day – Part 2
Welcome to part two of our two-part series on Employment Tribunals. In this podcast Employment experts Clive Dobbin, David Roath and Tabytha Cunningham answer your key questions about what happens on the day of a Tribunal. They chat through everything from how to give a witness statement to what to wear.
For more information on how our team can help you: https://parissmith.co.uk/your-business/employment-law/tribunal-representation/
What is the set up for a typical Employment hearing?
David talks about how processes been pushed forward by the pandemic and what are the options for a virtual hearing. Do you get a choice which option you can have?
What should you know before the hearing to prepare? Tabytha explains what technology you should test if you are remote and some tips for making this process seamless.
If you have an in-person hearing, what happens when you arrive and who will be there? Be prepared for lots of waiting around.
What preliminary matters will there be on the day? Tabytha talks through how this works and what is common.
Who decides the outcome of a case? This depends totally on the claim. Simple cases like unfair dismissal will be heard by one Judge In more complex cases like discrimination, there will be a panel of three people. Our experts explain how to they work together to decide and who has the final say.
Giving evidence – how is this done and how should you address the Judge?
Our experts also explain how are different people are addressed and the common terms you might hear such as ‘claimant’, what you should wear, what to bring with you, where to stand when giving evidence and what swearing an oath means in practice.
What happens at cross examination? This is when the other side will ask questions about your witness statement. Our experts give some tips about what to expect and how to answer.
Our Employment team give top tips for preparing to be a witness and discuss the importance of the witness statements.
The key is that you should remind yourself what is said in the statement before the hearing as they often written a long time before the hearing.
Submitting additional documents – what is the process when you want to submit extra information?
Cross examination can be nerve-wracking. Our team give tips for giving evidence and cross examination, and cover the importance of preparation and overcoming nerves
Coming to a decision – what is the process and how long does this take?
What happens if you are unhappy with the decision and what are the grounds for appeal?
The Employment Tribunal process – What you need to know – Part 1
Welcome to the first episode of our two-part series on employment tribunals. In this podcast Employment experts Clive Dobbin, Claire Merritt and Andrew Willshire cover the key steps in presenting a tribunal claim, and what employers should do in response to a claim.
What is ACAS early consiliation and what do you need to do? We chat through how this process can help you address issues early and how ACAS can mediate.
More information: www.acas.org.uk/early-conciliation
What is our advice for employers about ACAS early consiliation? Should you engage and what are the benefits?
Are ACAS overburdened and what are the implications?
We cover how an employee presents a claim to the tribunal and what documents are required.
Access an ET1 form: www.gov.uk/government/publicat…t-tribunal-form-et1
We discuss what makes a claim acceptable
How much detail should an employee include in the claim? They must be concise and clear.
Should you attach documents in your initial claim submission?
What happens when you receive a claim as an employer? There are strict deadlines in this process, so explain the importance of this.
Our experts guide you through submitting an ET3 form, verifying the information that the employee has submitted, and when you have your opportunity to submit your version of numbers, dates etc.
When should you be instructing a solicitor and information gathering and submitting your response?
So the claim and response have been submitted – what happens now? We also discuss when a preliminary hearing is necessary.
Who attends a preliminary hearing?
What evidence do you need to defend a claim? We also discuss the process of ‘disclosure’ – what is this and how long does it take?
Our experts talk through the role of witness evidence
What should you do if you feel there are documents missing in the disclosure?
Employment tribunal costs – can you reclaim costs if you are successful in defending your claim?
Reaching a settlement – our lawyers answer key questions such as what options are there for settlement once a claim has been presented? Are settlements always done through ACAS?
The role of mediation – how does it work through the employment tribunal process, and how successful is judicial mediation?
How has COVID-19 affected the employment tribunal process? We know the employment tribunal is struggling to cope at the moment, so how does this affect when a final hearing can happen?
Performance management process: getting it right in your business
In our latest employment law podcast, where employment law experts Claire Merritt and Tabytha Cunningham dive into the complex topic of performance management. They explore and advise on how to manage poor performance, why its so important, the key components of a good performance management process and how to address concerns.
Why is performance management important? Good performance management leads to better productivity, open communication and allows managers to identify, and more importantly resolve issues.
How has performance management been affected by the pandemic? Good performance management is difficult at the best of times, and the pandemic had led many businesses to be in survival mode which means performance management slips off the radar.
What are the key components of performance management processes? The important things to remember are to be continuous, and have structure.
Claire and Tabytha discuss the importance of tailoring targets and performance criteria for individuals.
How do you set up a performance management process? Its not plain sailing! There is no ‘one size fits all’ but employers should focus on making it realistic, and investing in managers is key.
Claire and Tabytha discuss how important it is to set goals and targets that are appropriate.
How to use your system to manage those poorly performing – remember the aim is always improvement, not dismissal.
How to identify the reasons for poor performance. This could be anything from training requirements to personal issues. Managing this is an important part of good performance management.
Claire and Tabytha discuss how formal and informal performance management processes can be used together, and how they can serve different purposes.
What happens when an employee’s performance does not improve, despite a robust procedure?
Claire and Tabytha tackle a common question: how long do you set targets for?
Managing Mental Health at Work
Employment experts Tabytha Cunningham and Claire Merritt answer the common questions managers have managing mental health at work. The pandemic has made it even more difficult to spot the signs of poor mental health, so how can we make sure we are being proactive as employers?
01:55 What do we mean by managing mental ill health at work?
03:56 When are employers liable for work related stress? What are the risk factors and where do employers stand?
07:00 What proactive steps can managers take to improve mental health of staff?
11:03 What does it mean to be a mental health first aider?
12:05 When is poor mental health classed as a disability?
16:26 If someone is disabled, what adjustments should you make?
18:42 What should potential triggers or warning signs should managers look out for?
24:08 What should a manager do when an employee discloses a mental health problem?
26:20 How best to manage poor performance related to mental ill health
Managing and supporting mental health at work with Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-your-staff/useful-resources/
A Guide To Settlement Agreements
Employment Solicitor Sarah Hayes takes us through a guide to settlement agreements. Why are they beneficial? What should you need to know and what are the practical steps that need to be taken for them to be legally binding?
00:28 What is a settlement agreement? Sarah defines what it means
00:48 What is the purpose of a settlement agreement and what will include
01:15 There are various benefits of having a settlement agreement – Sarah talks through what these are
02:00 How long does it take to agree the terms of a settlement agreement?
02:40 It is important to see a solicitor if you are issued with a settlement agreement – Sarah talks about how this works in practice
04:06 What happens if you want to negotiate the terms of your agreement and do you have to sign the agreement? Sarah explains in detail and what the implications are for you.
04:45 How do you know if you’re getting a fair deal?
05:30 What is the typical time frame for payments being made?