Group employment disputes can be highly complex both legally and from a claims management perspective.
We understand that for employers there are also serious issues to address around commercial relationships, reputation and employee relations.
Such matters require a thoughtful and bespoke approach. We follow basic principles of excellent know-how, attention to detail, client focus and a personal, tailored service.
- How to Avoid Employment Group Disputes
- How to Manage Employment Group Disputes
- Settlement Agreements
- Our Experience of Group Actions
How to Avoid Employment Group Disputes
Timely planning and careful management of change affecting the workforce can avoid collective or group employment disputes, disputes with unions, unnecessary damage to reputation and employee relations as well as unnecessary cost.
In addition to providing employers with strategic and planning advice, we are able to provide hands on practical guidance in relation to documentation and employee communications to ensure that both legal and employee relations issues are managed with commercial and practical considerations in mind when facing group employment disputes.
Our specialist employment group dispute lawyers have extensive experience in:
- How to plan and manage collective redundancies or mass redundancies
- How to plan and manage change through reorganisation and restructuring
- How to change terms and conditions of employment including shift arrangements, bonus and commission schemes and pension arrangements
- How to introduce lay-off, short-time working and redundancy
- How to manage business transfers and outsourcing arrangements
- How to manage disputes, relations and communications with Trade Unions in the context of business change, redundancy, restructuring, reorganisation, changes to terms and conditions of employment, TUPE disputes, threatened strike and other industrial action
- Training managers, human resources professionals and employee representatives, providing knowledge and skills to enable them to manage collective and employee relations issues confidently and effectively
Our approach is straightforward and commercially focused to ensure that we find the right strategy and solution to achieve client specified business objectives.
How to Manage Employment Group Disputes
It is a fact of life that disputes cannot always be avoided.
We have a wealth of experience in resolving group employment disputes and defending highly complex, multi-party and group Employment Tribunal actions.
The UK’s employment law and Employment Tribunal regime provides plenty of scope for dispute and legal action arising out of technical and procedural breaches of employment protection rights, particularly in the area of collective employment law rights. Any employment related claim can become a Group Action if a group of workers or employees have been treated in the same way. Accordingly, Group Actions can include claims for:
- Unpaid remuneration and bonuses
- Unfair dismissal following a restructure or mass redundancy exercise
- Breach of contract claims after any employer changes terms and conditions
- Claims of discrimination against particular groups of employees, for example, part-time workers, fixed term workers or workers sharing a particular ‘protected characteristic’ (e.g. sex, race, disability or age)
Alternatively, Group Actions can arise out of collective rights. Common group claims include:
- Equal Pay Claims
- Claims made under TUPE (the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006), particularly in relation to the failure to inform and consult in connection with a TUPE transfer
- Claims for failure to inform and consult in relation to collective redundancies (under S.188 Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992)
Early intervention in relation to potential disputes can avoid or minimise unnecessary litigation (and costs), industrial action, damage to relations with unions and other employee bodies as well as an employer’s reputation and commercial relationships.
Our specialist employment solicitors are skilled and experienced in:
- How to avoid Collective Employment Disputes
- Resolving collective disputes with Trade Unions and other employee representative groups, avoiding escalation of disputes and costly litigation
- Resolving disputes in relation to TUPE, its application and effect with both unions, employee representative bodies, service providers and other third parties, often requiring a robust and commercial approach
- Resolving disputes around Trade Union recognition and collective bargaining rights, threatened industrial action and strikes
We represent both employers and groups of employees (Claimants) as well as employers, and so have a deep understanding of the dynamics of employment group claims which often provides a tactical advantage.
Our Experience of Group Actions
Examples of our experience working with employers in employment group actions include:
- Hands on involvement in a high profile manufacturing site closure, including collective redundancy consultation affecting several hundred employees
- Providing strategic and hands on advice in relation to a contentious restructuring programme for a high profile national organisation involving collective redundancies. This involved successfully managing a dispute between the employer and its recognised unions that would otherwise have stopped the restructure
- Planning, designing and implementing for a major manufacturing client a process to manage the transfer and relocation of part of its business in a unionised environment
- Managing, in accordance with our established process, a group exercise advising 600 employees on settlement agreements in a collective redundancy exercise
- Training the executive board and employee representatives (both unionised and not) of a high profile organisation in relation to TUPE and obligations to inform and consult
- Conducting Employment Tribunal proceedings on behalf of a group of over 40 claimants arising out of the insolvent collapse of an IT provider. This involved claims of unpaid wages, breach of contract, unfair dismissal and failure to consult in relation to both collective redundancies and TUPE and resulted in significant compensation by way of tribunal awards and settlement monies
- Acting for an airline in respect of various Employment Tribunal claims brought by ex-pilots and cabin crew involving unfair dismissal and TUPE
- Acting for an international manufacturing company in respect of claims brought by ex-employees following a collective redundancy exercise
- Acting for a large motorway forecourt operator in relation to claims arising out of a TUPE transfer and reorganisation
For further details, please contact a member of our employment team.
How We Can Help
A member of our specialist team will be happy to help.
To discuss Employment Group Actions issues, please either use the contact form on the right, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us today on +44(0)161 941 4000 to speak to a member of our team.