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Charity Employment Law

Charity Employment Law

There are around 760,000 paid employees in the charity sector, and numerous more volunteers. Employees need to be carefully managed and there is a myriad of employment legislation to be aware of and not fall foul of. Operating often in the public eye and having to provide a public benefit, it is vitally important charities treat their employees in the correct manner. IBB Solicitors will be here to assist charities in ensuring that the employment relationship goes smoothly from start to finish and will be here to help when, unfortunately, it doesn’t.

The employment department can assist charities in their day-to-day dealings with their employees, throughout the employer/employee relationship, all the way from job advertisements, interviews, offers and contracts, through the life of the employment relationship and to its eventual termination.

In particular, the specialist expertise and advice we offer can include:

Employment Contracts 

It is a legal requirement that employers provide their employees with certain contractual information. We recommended that every employment relationship contains an employment contract which contains details which go beyond this legal minimum. Employment contracts are critical in setting out what is expected of both the employee and employer in their roles and will be referenced if those expectations are not met and a dispute arises. IBB are happy to either draft bespoke contracts for new charity employees or undertake an ‘audit’ of current contracts in place to advise on the possible issues that may need to be addressed iIn light of the charities aims and culture.

In addition to contracts, charities should have in place a number of policies and procedures which outline how the day-to-day relationship between employee and employer will work in practice; but these should not form part of the employment contract. These documents are commonly called Employment Handbooks. Please ask for further information if you would like IBB so assess or provide advice on Employment Handbooks.

Day-To-Day Specialist HR Advice And Training

Whether your charity only has a few employees, and their employment is overseen by a trustee, or you employ thousands and have a full HR team, sometimes a specific employment issue will  require further guidance or advice.

IBB Solicitors has been a trusted adviser to a large variety of charities over the years and are only a phone-call away to provide quick and specialist advice on the best resolution to a problem.  Whether you need guidance and support throughout an issue, and would like IBB to draft any relevant legal documents or correspondence, or would just like an initial discussion on the next best steps to take, we can help you.

In addition we are happy to provide in-house training on a wide variety of employment matters, whether to the HR team or the whole workforce, including training on workplace equality and how to avoid discrimination and unfair dismissal claims.

Redundancies and Re-Organisations

Sometimes charities need to cut staff to increase efficiency, manage a change of location or change focus and strategy. Unfortunately, this may often necessitate workplace redundancies. 

It is important that redundancies are dealt with appropriately, not only to avoid falling foul of the law, but also to maintain the charity's reputation and the morale of  the remaining staff. IBB advises charities on all stages of redundancy procedures, both in the early stages of decision-making and once the decision is made, to ensure that the whole redundancy procedure progresses smoothly and to an agreeable conclusion for all those involved.

TUPE Transfers

The Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”) apply when a charity merger or is acquired and in some other circumstances, including when a service is outsourced or brought in-house.

When TUPE applies there are a large number of implications and requirements, including the transfer of obligations and liabilities associated with individuals’ employment. We can assist in complying correctly with TUPE and reducing the impact on your charity.

Dispute Resolution and Employment Tribunal Claims

There are a number of possible claims employees can bring against employers, including, but not limited to:

  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Discrimination
  • Breach of Contract
  • Whistleblowing and
  • Equal Pay

Not only can a claim, being heard in the Employment Tribunal, lead to a financial penalty to a charity, but more importantly, it can sometimes result in significant reputational damage and therefore a drop in donations or grants.  

In light of this, it is important to deal with disputes pro-actively before they result in an employment tribunal claim. IBB can assist in the strategy and responses to grievances and complaints to prevent possible exposure to employment tribunal claims.  However, when that becomes impossible we will provide advice and representation on the charity’s behalf throughout the life of a claim. Our charity law experts will keep you aware of all issues as they develop to allow you to make informed and timely decisions as to how to resolve the dispute as it progresses.

Contact our charity law experts today

 For more information on  how we can support your charity, social enterprise or other organisation, please contact one of our charity solicitors today on 01895 207862  or email charities@ibblaw.co.uk. Alternatively please visit www.ibblaw.co.uk/service/charities

Paul Ridout

Paul Ridout

Partner paul.ridout@ibblaw.co.uk 01895 207862