Employment & Pensions

United Kingdom

For your business to be successful, you must manage your employees and their benefits as well as your employee representatives such as works councils and unions. Employers with occupational pension schemes also need to work with scheme trustees to manage liabilities, risk and member expectations.

Employment and pension law in the UK is complex, and our team of award-winning employment and pensions specialists can help you navigate the maze of regulations, new law, policy documents, pension fund structures and other legal complexities you must contend with on a daily basis.

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    Employee Incentives

    As an organisation building and operating employee incentive schemes, you need advice from a law firm with market-leading experience in structuring these schemes in a variety of situations, both domestically and internationally, in a private or quoted environment, or at times of corporate change.

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    No business can be successful without effective management of its workforce. However, the handling of executive contracts, equal opportunities, restructurings and restrictive covenants within the framework of constantly evolving employment law is challenging. If your business crosses borders, you will be faced with additional legal hurdles.

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    Our award-winning pensions team is experienced in advising trustees and employers on all aspects of defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes. We also have considerable experience advising on group pensions, self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs), insurance products (including buy-in and buy-out arrangements), longevity products and other structures. Unlike other pension law practices, we also work on litigation, as this enables us to brief clients in full on any potentially contentious issues and provides a balanced approach to our advice.

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    Workplace Mediation

    Conflict at work can be extremely time consuming and frustrating. It can also be expensive, particularly if it leads to absence and litigation. Many HR managers tell us that wish they could turn to an in-house mediation team and ask for help, but they don’t have the resources available.

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    Law-Now: Employment
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    Law-Now: Pensions
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    20 March 2017
    CMS advises Patron Capital on sale of Generator Ho...
    Dismissal following long term absence
    What factors should be taken into account before dismissing an employee following long-term sickness absence? In O’Brien v Bolton St Catherine’s Academy the Court of Appeal provides guidance on a number of issues to consider in long-term sickness absence cases.
    Construction firm fined £400,000 after fall from height
    A major construction company has been fined £400,000 by Westminster Magistrates’ Court after failing to control work at height. The company pleaded guilty to breaching section 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 after a worker fell nearly four metres.
    Environment: £20 million fine and costs
    On 2 February 2017 Thames Water Utilities Limited (“Thames Water”) was warned by a Crown Court Judge, when considering sentencing for water related environment offences that “The fine is going to be very substantial and the shareholders have got to get the.
    Contractor fined £600,000 after worker receives electric shock
    A contractor has been fined £600,000 after a worker struck a live cable during drilling operations. The contractor was instructed by Gloucestershire County Council to oversee the installation of a new set of traffic lights in the city centre.
    Headscarves and discrimination in the workplace
    Contrary to the headlines, the ECJ did not rule that employers are able to ban headscarves at work. Rather, the judgement explains that a headscarf ban at work - which was part of a wider policy on religious neutrality - did not constitute direct discrimination.
    Employment tax aspects of the Spring 2017 Budget
    Every year, a controversial aspect of the Budget emerges. This year’s battleground seems to be the increase in NIC rate for the self-employed from April 2018. Although not directly related to employment tax, it is another sign of a likely trend over the next.
    Caught in the crosshairs: CMA has the construction sector in its...
    On 28 February, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced an investigation into suspected anti-competitive behaviour in the provision of supplies to the construction industry.   This is now one of two Competition Act cases the CMA is investigating.
    Employee incentives - Budget announcements
    In this week’s Budget, the main news for employee incentives is that the Government has confirmed that it is proposing to continue with the Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) scheme. EMI EMI share options can be granted by SMEs over up to £250,000 of.
    Budget - rules on overseas pension transfers change tomorrow!
    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has issued his first Budget. Although there had been speculation about further restrictions on pensions tax relief, these changes have not materialised. However, the Chancellor, as part of a wider crackdown on.
    A Striking Change? Main Provisions of Trade Union Act 2016 come i...
    From 1 March 2017 the landscape of industrial action in the UK will change, as the main provisions of the Trade Union Act 2016 (the TU Act) come into force. Stemming from a government manifesto commitment, the changes are designed to prevent unions taking strike.
    Major furniture company fined £1 million by Magistrates’ Court
    A national furniture retailer and manufacturer has been fined £1 million after safety failings at one of its sites resulted in one worker being knocked unconscious. The employee had been unloading unsecured furniture from a vehicle when he was struck by a wooden.
    Two large fines following worker fatalities
    Two companies have received large fines within days of each other after the death of two workers in separate incidents. These sentences form the latest in a growing trend of high fines catalysed by the Health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and.
    DB Pensions Green Paper seeks to get the balance right
    The Government has issued its eagerly awaited Green Paper, “Security and Sustainability in Defined Benefit Pension Schemes”. This follows informal consultation with stakeholders in 2016 as well as a report on DB regulation produced by the influential Work &.
    Gender Pay Gap Reporting and Employee Share Plans
    As companies prepare to take their first snapshot on Gender Pay Gap Reporting, companies are now increasingly looking at the detail of what they need to include. This Law-Now looks at how remuneration received through employee share plans should be included.
    Court of Appeal rules on Pimlico Plumbers worker status claim
    The Court of Appeal has upheld the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision that one of Pimlico Plumbers’ operatives was a worker rather than self-employed.   This is the highest court decision in a recent stream of cases involving similar claims from individuals.
    Judicial review of HSE’s FFI dispute process dropped
    A judicial review challenge over the disputes process of an HSE scheme has been dropped after agreement was reached between the applicant and the HSE. Since 1 October 2012, the HSE’s Fees for Intervention (“FFI”) scheme has enabled the HSE to charge for some.
    Health and Safety in the Construction industry: a recent case rou...
    Figures from the HSE’s Health and safety at work: summary statistics for Great Britain 2016 have revealed that work-related ill-health in the construction industry has increased by around 9%, returning to rates last seen in 2008-2009.