Tag Archive: employment

Can I Afford to Not Work With Employment Law Consultants?

For any small to mid-sized business in the 21st century, there are certain things that you simply can not do business without. These are the essential “supplies” of business. Technology is one. Like it or not you will not run your business without technology. Accounting is another; sure you could do your own payroll. But you won’t, you will hire accountancy.

Missed Chances

Well, like most important things you need for your business, employment law consultancy is often missed. Most small business owners are under so much pressure to survive, things such as insurance and consultancies are generally ignored until there’s no choice. The reason is universal, “I can’t afford it!” You know that you will not run your business without technology. You may be one of those who dislike technology, you may even grouse under the need to pay anything for it. However, you will. You will because you know that your business will suffer if you don’t. The same goes for accountancy, whether or not you like accountants, you will still pay one to come out once a quarter to make sure that your books are straight.

Well, you should not be doing the right things for your business for the wrong reasons, although it is good that you are doing the right thing. Once you accept the idea, you may even find that you are more profitable and more stable as a result. You may feel that you can’t afford these things but you can. More’s the point, you can’t afford not to.

Why You Must Use Them

So can you afford to not retain an employment law consultancy? Well, no you cannot. The reasons are a little complex but clear enough once you understand them. Even for a small business with just a few employees you will ultimately find that this is an essential service and in much the same way as accountancy is as well. Yes, you are theoretically able perform your own accounting. Moreover, you do so from day to day. After all, isn’t money your business? However, once a month or a quarter or more frequently, depending on your business size, you will pay an accountant to come out and insure that you’ve done it right, yes? In the case of an employment law consultancy the need is even more important. Employment law is just as complex and as important as accounting law. One of the problems is that while you are confronted with accounting on a regular basis, employment law is never on your mind. Generally, you hire people, worry about affording the payroll and hope for the best hires at the best rate. But what if there was a program that might have gotten you some advantage or a better tax position? What if you have violated a law regarding hiring practices without even knowing it?

With more and more globalization employment law has become complex and involved and is changing on a daily basis. You have little hope of keeping up with it in the same way that you don’t keep up with accounting law. But you might just be living in a past where the law was far simpler. Don’t make that mistake.

Job Search Efforts Key to Your Employment Case

In Ontario if you have lost your job several factors in your legal claim against the employer can decide whether your damages are awarded in full or reduced. We examine the subject of mitigation when it comes to your job search efforts and how they can strenghten or weaken your case.

You’ve been terminated and have engaged a lawyer to handle your case. You may still be dealing with the emotional effects of losing your job, and the last thing you are thinking about is looking forward and securing new employment.

Your lawyer advises you to begin your job search and to keep details of your efforts. This is because the law references the principle of mitigation that requires dismissed employees to make a concerted effort to find similar employment. In fact, many strong cases have been derailed because the employee has either not made these efforts, or has not kept detailed documentation of their search efforts. In these instances, the damages you can claim may be substantially reduced. Here are some suggestions on how to manage your job search:

1. Keep a hard copy file – you should begin by keeping a detailed file of all the job applications you send out as well as the cold calls or introductory calls you make to prospective employers. Keep a record of dates the applications were sent or the calls were made and the names of the contacts at the companies. The more relevant documentary evidence you can gather, the stronger your case becomes.

2. Track your expenses – you are allowed to claim reasonable expenses you incur in the process of looking for another job. Document and keep all your receipts for expenses such as office supplies, photocopies, transportation, and other relevant expenses.

3. Search often – it’s important to demonstrate that your job search efforts are consistent and regular.

4. Build a professional resum� – your resum� and cover letters will become evidence that is used in your case. A clearly inadequate resum� may be referenced as a reason that you have been unsuccessful with your job search efforts.

5. Apply for a number of positions – if you are finding it difficult to find similar positions within your specific area of expertise, you need to broaden your search to include jobs that may be outside of your specialty but might otherwise be acceptable.

6. Follow up – once you’ve applied for a position or have had an interview, you should follow up with the prospective employer and again, be sure to document the results of your follow-up contact.

7. Outplacement counselling – an outplacement counsellor can assist you in focusing your attention on transitioning into new employment. You should make use of this service, primarily for developing your resum�, polishing your interview skills, and helping you to tap into the hidden job market.

Preparing Witnesses for Employment Tribunal

During an employment law workshop recently, we discussed the role of witnesses. If you have dismissed an employee or dealt with the appeal and there’s a subsequent employment tribunal claim, you’re probably going to have to give evidence. It can be quite daunting, so I thought I’d put together some notes to help witnesses prepare for what to expect and how to deal with being a witness.

A tribunal is a public hearing, so members of the public or journalists may be present during the hearing.

Before giving evidence you will be required to stand while you either take the oath or affirm. An oath can be taken on a holy book which the tribunal will have. The alternative is an affirmation which is a solemn civil promise which is not linked to a religious belief.

Witness evidence will be given, either by the witness reading his statement out loud. Alternatively, the tribunal may take the statements “as read”, in which case it will not be necessary for you to read it out loud.

The employer’s legal representative may ask additional questions to expand on or clarify the evidence you have given. The claimant’s representative will then have the opportunity to question you closely about issues referred to in the witness statement and associated issues. This is referred to as “cross-examination”. The members of the panel may also have some questions. At the end of these questions you will be able to stand down.

If there is a break in the hearing whilst you are giving evidence, for example over lunch or overnight, you will be unable to discuss the matter with anyone because you will continue to be under oath.

The vast majority of tribunal claims (80%) settle or are withdrawn. With tribunal claims increasing and the cost of preparing and defending a claim running at about 8,000 to win, it pays to be prepared. If you can do some of the preparatory work, you can save a substantial amount. Find out what to do and how to do it in our practical workshop From E1T to Tribunal. The next workshop is on 13th October.

Russell HR Consulting provides expert knowledge in the practical application of employment law as well as providing employment law training and HR support services. For more information, visit our website at or call a member of the team on 0845 644 8955.

Russell HR Consulting offers HR services to businesses nationwide, including Buckinghamshire (covering Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Banbury, Northampton, Towcester and surrounding areas), Nottinghamshire (covering Chesterfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, Sheffield, Worksop and surrounding areas) and Hampshire (covering Aldershot, Basingstoke, Reading, Farnborough, Fareham, Portsmouth, Southampton and surrounding areas). You are free to copy and distribute this Article provided you agree with the terms and conditions of the web site and/or Article-website-Publisher whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.