Employment Law for Business - MLP Law

Expert Employment Law Services for your Business

Welcome to mlplaw, where exceptional service is our commitment.

Employing people presents incredibly complex challenges for businesses and the financial and reputational risks of getting things wrong can be significant.

That’s why you need our highly experienced experts on your side, guiding you through the minefield and protecting your interests every step of the way.

We are jargon-free and commercial. We understand the challenges you face and provide specialist practical and pro-active support.

Email our
Employment Team

Call Us

0161 926 9969

Our expertise in the following areas

Business Protection

It’s important to protect your business from unfair competition.

We can help you with:

  • Preparing bespoke “business protection” clauses, including post-termination restrictions (non-compete, non-solicitation etc) and confidentiality restrictions; and
  • Enforcing restrictions through injunction applications and claims for damages
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Defending Employment Tribunal Claims

At some stage, all employers are likely to receive an Employment Tribunal claim.

We understand you will need experienced litigators to help with:

  • Drafting and submitting your Response to the claim;
  • Collection and disclosure of evidence;
  • Witness statement preparation
  • Full representation by one of our Employment Law experts at all Preliminary and Final Hearings;
  • Expert guidance through the Employment Tribunal process, from start to finish;
  • Representation in the ACAS Early Conciliation process and in commercial settlement discussions.
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Employment Law Training

Our expert Employment Law solicitors are experienced and engaging trainers who provide bespoke training on all Employment Law matters including:

  • Conducting fair disciplinary and dismissal processes;
  • Hearing employee grievances
  • Handling poor performance
  • Managing sickness absence
  • Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harassment; and
  • Employment Law Updates.
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Family Rights

We advise employers on their employees’ family friendly rights, including:

  • Preparing bespoke “family friendly” policies, including maternity and paternity;
  • Helping employers deal with employees taking time off for family reasons;
  • Ensuring employers avoid discriminatory decisions or breaches of employee rights; and
  • Handling business changes, such as redundancies, which arise whilst employees are exercising their rights.
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Sickness and Absence Management

Our Employment Law solicitors are experts at assisting employers to proactively manage difficult sickness issues whilst minimising the risks to the business.

We can help with:

  • Creating bespoke Sickness Absence Policies, setting out expectations for reporting sickness absence and how such absences will be managed.
  • Guiding employers through important sickness absence management meetings, including Return to Work Meetings, Welfare Meetings and Capability Meetings
  • Obtaining medical information and occupational health advice to inform and assist with making key decisions.
  • Minimising the risk of unfair dismissal and discrimination claims arising from capability dismissals or sickness absence management
  • Advising on making reasonable adjustments for disabled employees; and
  • Providing bespoke training to managers conducting sickness management processes
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Settlement Agreements and Protected Conversations

We prepare bespoke Settlement Agreements to ensure your business has maximum protection and complies with the specific statutory requirements for such agreements.

  • Drafting bespoke Settlement Agreements;
  • Providing you with scripts, and related letters, enabling you to conduct effective protected conversations; and
  • Providing bespoke training to managers conducting protected conversations.
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Holidays

Calculating holiday entitlements and holiday pay is a notoriously tricky business. Our experts can ensure you comply with the latest legal developments and best practice to avoid thorny holiday pay claims.

Discrimination

Your workers and job applicants are protected against discrimination because of a protected characteristic and, as an employer, you can even be held for the discriminatory actions of your employees.  

It is therefore crucial that you promote a working environment which promotes equality and prevents discrimination.

We can help you achieve this by: 

  • Advising you on your obligations as an employer;
  • Training your managers and key decision makers on how to ensure they make fair decisions and avoid allegations of discrimination;
  • Preparing bespoke workplace policies which demonstrate your commitment to equality and zero-tolerance of discrimination and harassment of any kind; and
  • Providing our practical and legal support in fostering a positive workplace culture which promotes equality, diversity and inclusion;
  • Responding to grievances alleging discrimination and taking disciplinary action against employees who discriminate against others; and
  • Representation in defending Employment Tribunal claims.
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Contracts of Employment

The ever changing nature of Employment Law makes it essential to keep your Contracts of Employment fully up to date.

We can help you with:

  • Preparing bespoke Employment Contracts and Directors’ Service Agreements which ensure you meet your legal obligations under the Employment Rights Act 1996;
  • Designing tailored clauses to protect your business, including confidentiality restrictions and post-termination restrictions; and
  • Drafting complex bonus and remuneration schemes.
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Employee Handbooks and Workplace Policies

Employee Handbooks are invaluable tools. We design bespoke Handbooks which add practical value and promote your culture.

We can help you with:

  • Designing bespoke Employee Handbooks and Workplace Policies;
  • Advising on implementing and applying internal policies and procedures;
  • Providing regular updates and reviews to ensure your Employee Handbook is always fit for purposes and keeping pace with Employment Law changes.
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Employment Status and Consultancy

Many businesses engage independent contractors, or “consultants”, rather than employees. Before doing so, it is vital to ensure it would be lawful and appropriate to do so.

We can help you with:

  • Advising you on the appropriate employment status for the people working for you;
  • Preparing bespoke contracts that are consistent with the applicable status, including Consultancy Agreements, Contracts of Employment and Zero Hours Contracts; and
  • Advising you on the implications of IR35.
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Handling disciplinaries, poor performance and grievances

Our experienced Employment Law experts are on hand to guide you through these complex processes and ensure you have the support you need at every stage.

We can help with:

  • Advising on investigations into misconduct, poor performance or grievances;
  • Providing all correspondence required, including invitation letters and outcome letters
  • Ensuring compliance with fair procedures, including the ACAS Code;
  • Providing scripts for meetings and hearings;
  • Designing bespoke policies and procedures on disciplinary, performance and grievance matters
  • Helping you deal with sensitive issues such as bullying, whistleblowing and discrimination; and
  • Training you and your managers on conducting fair and effective disciplinary, performance and grievance procedures.
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Redundancy and Restructure

We guide employers through effective redundancy exercises, including where collective consultation obligations apply, and minimise the risk of Employment Tribunal claims by assisting with:

  • Preparing all the supporting documents needed to conduct a fair redundancy process, including invitation and outcome letters, meeting scripts, scoring matrixes
  • Designing fair scoring criteria and selection processes;
  • Liaising with trade unions and representatives; and
  • Providing bespoke training to managers conducting redundancy consultation processes.
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Transfers of Undertakings (TUPE)

We help you navigate the complexities of the TUPE process, providing expert guidance and advice every step of the way and minimising the risks to your business, we can offer advice on:

  • Advising on obligations to inform and consult with affected employees;
  • Ensuring compliance with obligations to provide employer liability information;
  • Guiding employers through the steps required to affect any post-transfer changes; and
  • Avoiding costly Employment Tribunal claims and substantial penalties for TUPE breaches.
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Flexible Working

We ensure employers comply with their obligations in respect of flexible working requests, including dealing with requests which clash with business needs.

Reasonable Adjustments

If any of your employees have a disability, you may be required to make reasonable adjustments to remove the disadvantages they suffer because of their disability. This may include changes to their hours of work, their place of work or their working environment. The changes must be reasonable, taking into account the resources available to you as an employer. 

We can help with: 

  • Advice on your obligations to make reasonable adjustments as an employer;
  • Understanding which adjustments are reasonable and which are not;
  • Responding to grievances alleging you have failed to make reasonable adjustments; and
  • Representation in defending Employment Tribunal claims.
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Our Team

Gareth Matthews

Partner - Employment

Julie Sabba

Associate Solicitor - Employment (Qualified in Scotland)

Deborah Scales

Partner - Employment Law

Gareth Matthews

Partner - Employment

Gareth is a Partner in MLP Law’s Employment team and for over 10 years has specialised in employment law, primarily advising businesses and senior individuals. Gareth has significant litigation experience, including experience as an advocate in the Employment Tribunal. Gareth also has considerable experience in advising on the employment issues in corporate mergers and acquisition, including the complexities which arise in TUPE transfers.

Gareth’s sector experience is wide ranging, encompassing advice to clients in the hospitality, retail, construction, healthcare, recruitment and manufacturing industries.

Gareth provides training to clients and organisations on a variety of key employment topics, such as absence management, disciplinary and grievance processes and employment law updates. Gareth also acts as a guest lecturer in employment law at Liverpool Hope University.

Gareth has been described by Legal 500 as someone who is ‘very reassuring and does a great job’ and was named Legal Personality of the Year by Downtown in Business. Gareth has also been quoted as an employment law expert in the Manchester Evening News and The Times and is known for his pragmatic and commercial advice, as well as his ability to quickly understand his clients’ business objectives and tailor his advice accordingly.

Prior to joining MLP Law, Gareth spent a number of years working in the employment teams at two international law firms in Manchester.

Away from work Gareth is a passionate cricket and football fan and enjoys discovering new music. Gareth is also a keen traveller but has had to put his plans to become fluent in a foreign language on hold in favour of spending time with family, particularly his two young sons of whom he is incredibly proud.

Phone: 0161 926 1583

Julie Sabba

Associate Solicitor - Employment (Qualified in Scotland)

Julie is an Associate at MLP Law in its Employment team. Julie qualified in Scotland and has developed a broad range of experience, having specialised in employment law since 2003.

Julie principally advises employer clients in a wide variety of sectors, including retail, hospitality, food production, manufacturing and social care. She has extensive experience advising on disciplinary and grievance matters, capability and conduct dismissals and managing both short and long term ill health absences.

Julie also provides her expertise to employers in relation to reorganisations, redundancies and the application of the TUPE regulations.

She has significant experience in negotiating and drafting employment contracts, settlement agreements and HR policy documentation.

In addition, Julie provides advice to senior employees in relation to navigating internal processes and negotiating exit packages.

With a wealth of litigation experience, Julie often appears in the Employment Tribunal, initiating and defending a variety of claims, including unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing.

Having practiced in Glasgow in a leading commercial law firm for most of her career, Julie moved to Manchester in 2017. In her spare time she also enjoys relaxing with her family and cooking, but with 3 children finding a spare moment is quite rare!

Phone: 0161 926 1582

Deborah Scales

Partner - Employment Law

Deborah is an experienced Employment and Discrimination lawyer who has had a mixed practice representing both businesses and individuals. She believes this gives her the edge when negotiating with ‘the other side’. Areas of expertise include discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing, restraints of trade, TUPE, collective redundancies, employment status and IR35 issues, managing employee conflict, grievance and disciplinary investigations, and negotiating severance packages (on both sides of the fence). With the explosion in remote working, Deborah has been advising businesses on the risks and opportunities of employing workers living in overseas jurisdictions.

Deborah was Called to the Bar in 2007 and cross-qualified as a solicitor in 2011. She has sat on advisory panels including the EHRC’s panel on Religion & Belief and the Federation of Small Businesses’ Employment Law Policy Committee. She is a member of Lincoln’s Inn Denning Society after being awarded a scholarship in 2005. She joins mlpplus as an Employment Law Partner.

Outside of work, she enjoys following her local pub bands and catching up with her three adult daughters – when they are all in the same country.

Phone: 0161 926 1520

Why choose us

1. Unparalleled Expertise and Experience

We are vastly experienced, Legal-500 recommended
legal experts who live and breathe Employment Law. We provide no-nonsense, commercial advice, achieving
successful outcomes for employers.

2. Your business, your service

Your business is unique, as are the challenges it faces.
That’s why our approach is always as unique as
your business itself.

We don’t like one-size-fits-all strategies. We’re all about crafting tailored strategies that fit
your specific needs.

Communication is key. We’re fluent in plain language
and have no time for legal jargon. We believe in complete transparency and proactivity, providing you with a clear path and fixed fees so you’re never caught off guard.

3. We are proactive and keep your options open

Most businesses only call their lawyers when things go wrong. By then, it may be too late.

We know that prevention is always better than the cure. We work with you proactively to identify vulnerabilities, mitigate risks and ensure successful outcomes before problems arise. We save you time, money and the stress that comes with handling legal issues.

Testimonials

“Always on top of the latest changes and challenges facing businesses, providing simple and effective advice. We have peace of mind knowing that we have the back up and support of a trusted team.”

-Simon Kane, National Administration Manager, GKR Karate Admin Services LLP

“Constantly high-quality assistance in a wide-range of HR and Employment Law issues, including major projects like a redundancy process, disciplinaries and Employment Tribunal claims, down to quick small enquiries. The replies are always clear and thorough, in easy-to-understand language.”

-Simon Yates, Finance Director and Company Secretary, Rota Limited

“The experience has been fantastic, and head and shoulders above our experience with other professional service firms. They are responsive, professional, understanding of our business needs and patient with us as a client.”

-Rob Sandbach, Managing Director, Indiespring

“I thought Julie’s advocacy at the remote Employment Tribunal hearing was excellent, as was her clear advice on the process throughout. She championed our case professionally and achieved a successful outcome, whilst maintaining a commercial approach.”

– Hospitality sector client, following our
successful defence of a claim of unfair dismissal

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