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
    Visit Law-Now for legal know-how and commentary


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    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.
    Reminder: Don’t forget your modern slavery and human trafficking...
    It is now over a year since section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 came into force. Many large organisations have already published their annual modern slavery and human trafficking statement. Organisations that had their financial year-end falling between.
    Trustee Knowledge Update - February 2017
    Trustees of occupational pension schemes now have a statutory duty to ensure that they have an adequate knowledge and understanding of the legal issues relevant to their scheme.   They must also ensure that they are up to date with relevant changes in the law,.
    New rules on regulatory references come into force in one month....
    The new rules in relation to regulatory references, which form part of the senior managers and certification regime, come into force in one month’s time on 7 March 2017. The new rules will apply to banks, building societies, credit unions and PRA-designated.
    Gender balance in Scottish Public Boards
    In a symbolic move, the Scottish Government recently published the draft Gender Representation on Public Boards Bill aimed at achieving 50% female representation on public boards. Despite the press reporting that public bodies will be “forced” to have equal.
    What 2017 'may contain' and the labelling health halo
    We anticipate that in 2017 consumers will continue to focus on the health and nutrition benefits of what they eat. For food business operators (FBO’s) this means that food labelling must be both accurate and effective.
    National bakery fined £2 million following two metre fall
    A major bread maker has been fined £2 million after a worker slipped and fell from an industrial mixing machine. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was handed a £2 million fine for failing to control.
    SFO concludes Deferred Prosecution Agreement with Rolls-Royce
    Summary On 17 January 2017, Sir Brian Leveson QC approved a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) between the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and two Rolls-Royce entities. The UK multi-national faced 12 counts of conspiracy to corrupt, false accounting and failure.
    Pensions Ombudsman Update – Jan 2017
    Welcome to the latest quarterly Pensions Ombudsman Update from the CMS Pensions Team. The Pensions Ombudsman resolves hundreds of cases every year which are not only important for the parties concerned but influence wider industry practice.
    CMA fines company for attending cartel meeting, despite refusing...
    The CMA has fined a company for exchanging information at a single meeting in July 2012, at which it was invited to join a cartel arrangement.   At a meeting that was secretly recorded by the CMA, Balmoral Tanks Ltd.
    HMRC issues guidance on bonus clawback payments by employees
    Over the last few years, quoted companies and companies in the financial sector have come under pressure from investors and regulators to introduce provisions requiring senior executives to lose or repay bonuses where there has been misconduct, risk failings.
    Trustee Training - 21 February 2017
    Note:  Our next trustee training course will take place on 21 February 2017, not 17 February as previously advertised. Trustee training is essential for all occupational pension scheme trustees and forms an important part of helping trustees to comply with.
    Increased prosecutions over CSCS card fraud
    Since mid-2015 the Construction Industry Training Board (“CITB”) has made significant changes to its Construction Skills Certification Scheme (“CSCS”). The scheme was set up as a means of enabling those who attend construction sites to demonstrate that they.
    EMIR Pension Scheme Exemption: Update
    On 20 December 2016 the European Commission extended by one year to August 2018 the exemption for pension funds from clearing OTC derivative transactions. The European Market Infrastructure Regulation (“EMIR”) introduced, amongst other things, the requirement.
    Trustee Training - 21 February 2017
    Trustee training is essential for all occupational pension scheme trustees and forms an important part of helping trustees to comply with the trustee knowledge and understanding requirements in the Pensions Act 2004.