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.

Read more Read less

Choose area

    Employee Incentives

    CMS has the largest number of partners dedicated to employee share plans in a City law firm. With over forty years’ combined experience as partners in their field, our team also stands out for the range of work it does. We each advise FTSE100 and multinational companies on their share plans and the public company M&A work that goes with that, but also advise start-ups, particularly in the tech and life sciences sectors and other companies which are private equity owned. We will work together with you to maximise the opportunities to reward employees in as tax-effective a way as possible and deliver their rewards cost-effectively.

    Read more


    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.

    Read more


    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.

    Read more

    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.

    Read more
    Law-Now: Employment
    Visit Law-Now for legal know-how and commentary
    Law-Now: Pensions
    Visit Law-Now for legal know-how and commentary


    Show only
    CMS On your radar - June 2017
    Key employment issues across Europe and beyond
    Pensions Clarity Guide: DC Governance – June 2017
    The governance requirements for pension schemes providing money purchase (DC) benefits have increased significantly in recent years. Some of the requirements apply only to arrangements used to comply with auto-enrolment requirements whilst others have a wider.
    20 March 2017
    CMS advises Patron Capital on sale of Generator Ho...
    Enhanced shared parental pay
    Two recent employment tribunal cases have reached different conclusions on whether the failure to pay fathers an enhanced rate during a period of shared parental leave (SPL)  amounted to discrimination, in circumstances where mothers taking maternity leave.
    Fatal Accident Inquiries: A new Act
    Changes modernising the system of Fatal Accident Inquiries (“FAIs”) come into force in Scotland this week. Inquiries into Fatal Accident and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016 The Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc.
    Employment tribunal fees challenge – Supreme Court’s judgment awa...
    R (UNISON) v Lord Chancellor Since 29 July 2013, fees have been payable by a claimant or appellant bringing a claim in the employment tribunal or an appeal in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) unless they are entitled to a remission on account of limited.
    Manifesto commitments and employment law
    With a Conservative Manifesto that promises ‘a Britain in which work pays, with a higher national living wage and proper rights and protections at work’, a Labour one which sets out a ’20-point plan on workers’ rights’, and a proposal by the Liberal Democrats.
    HSE consultation on changes to the Ionising Radiation Regulation...
    The HSE has consulted on changes to the Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999 (“IRR 1999”) brought in by the implementation of Directive 2013/59/EURATOM. This EU Basic Safety Standards Directive (the “Directive”) lays down basic safety standards for protection.
    TUC advocates gender-specific assessment
    The TUC has published a guide advocating a gender-specific approach to risk assessment. Gender in occupational health and safety notes that “men and women have physical, physiological and psychological differences that can determine how risks affect them”.
    New draft ISO 45001 published
    In our January 2017 Newsletter, we reported on the progress of the world’s first occupational health and safety international standard. The International Organisation for Standardisation ("ISO") is developing a new health and safety standard aimed at reducing.
    BSI publishes new PAS standard for traffic management and safety...
    The British Standards Institution (“BSI”) has licensed the production of a new safety standard for traffic management and safety barriers in the workplace. The Publicly Available Specification 13, Code of practice for safety barriers used in traffic management.
    HSE updates and widens asbestos focus group
    The HSE’s Asbestos Liaison Group (“ALG”) is a forum of key stakeholders, working together to promote best standards and practice in relation to control and work with asbestos. The Group reflects tripartite representation from employers, unions and the HSE.
    HSE business plan 2017/18
    The HSE has published its Business Plan for the year ahead, outlining what it intends to deliver in 2017/2018. The Plan is pitched against the background of UKCS as “one of the safest places in the world to work”, but with an acknowledgement that “health and.
    Conservative manifesto - executive pay and employees on boards
    The Conservative manifesto includes the following proposals: “The next Conservative government will legislate to make executive pay packages subject to strict annual votes by shareholders and listed companies will have to publish the ratio of executive pay.
    British Airways pension trustees successful in High Court
    The High Court has today ruled that the trustees of the Airways Pension Scheme (“APS”) acted properly in amending their scheme to allow discretionary pension increases to be paid to members, and in subsequently awarding increases.
    Technology at the Workplace – A European Overview of Employment L...
    We can no longer imagine our professional life without modern information and communication technology. As a rule, employers provide their employees with technical aids, such as smartphones or notebooks.
    Updated remuneration guidance from the PRA and FCA
    Over the last month, both the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority have produced final versions of updated guidance on remuneration. This follows the form of the FCA’s draft guidance published for consultation last year and the PRA’s.
    Trustee Knowledge Update - May 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,.