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

    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.

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    No business can succeed without an effectively managed workforce. However, handling executive contracts, workplace grievances and disputes, reorganisations and restructurings, and employee competition within a constantly evolving legal framework 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
    Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary
    Law-Now: Pen­sions
    Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary


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    CMS On your radar
    Key em­ploy­ment is­sues across Europe and bey­ond
    “We’re com­ing for you”: new powers for The Pen­sions Reg­u­lat­or
    The Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced an ex­tens­ive pack­age of meas­ures to strengthen the powers of The Pen­sions Reg­u­lat­or (TPR). TPR’s new powers may con­cen­trate the minds of busi­nesses with defined be­ne­fit schemes who are in­volved in cor­por­ate activ­ity.
    CMS On your radar - Septem­ber 2017
    Key em­ploy­ment is­sues world­wide
    Good Work Plan – what does it mean for busi­ness?
    At the end of last year we re­por­ted on the pub­lic­a­tion of the Good Work Plan in Decem­ber 2018. This is the gov­ern­ment’s vis­ion for the fu­ture of the la­bour mar­ket and the ac­tion it will take to im­ple­ment the re­com­mend­a­tions made in the Taylor Re­view, launched.
    CMS On your radar - June 2017
    Key em­ploy­ment is­sues across Europe and bey­ond
    GDPR bites­ize: shar­ing staff in­form­a­tion in a cor­por­ate trans­ac­tion
    Most or­gan­isa­tions have moved on from the im­ple­ment­a­tion phase of their GDPR pro­ject to deal with “busi­ness as usu­al” quer­ies.   In this, our second “GDPR bites­ize” series, we dis­cuss a num­ber of com­mon ques­tions on the im­pact of the Gen­er­al Data Pro­tec­tion.
    20 March 2017
    CMS ad­vises Pat­ron Cap­it­al on sale of Gen­er­at­or Hos­tels
    Gov­ern­ment con­sulta­tion launched on ex­tend­ing re­dund­ancy pro­tec­tion...
    The Gov­ern­ment is con­sult­ing on ex­tend­ing the pro­tec­tion cur­rently af­forded to em­ploy­ees se­lec­ted for re­dund­ancy who are on stat­utory ma­ter­nity leave to those who (i) are preg­nant (ii) are on fam­ily leave or (iii) have re­cently re­turned from fam­ily leave.
    Trust­ee Know­ledge Up­date Feb­ru­ary 2019
    Trust­ees of oc­cu­pa­tion­al pen­sion schemes 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 which,.
    Em­ploy­ment rights in a no deal Brexit scen­ario
    The policy of both the EU Com­mis­sion and the UK gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to be that the UK should leave the EU via a with­draw­al agree­ment on the sched­uled exit date of 29 March 2019. However, the UK par­lia­ment has not rat­i­fied the with­draw­al agree­ment ne­go­ti­ated.
    En­tre­pren­eurs’ Re­lief: good news at last
    In an at­tempt to con­tin­ue the sea­son­al spir­it, we have some good news in re­la­tion to En­tre­pren­eurs’ Re­lief (“ER”). There has been ma­jor con­cern that a lot of man­age­ment and em­ploy­ee share­hold­ers might lose their en­ti­tle­ment to ER since it was an­nounced in.
    ‘Happy’ New Year of new cor­por­ate gov­ernance re­quire­ments for private...
    The Com­pan­ies (Mis­cel­laneous Re­port­ing) Reg­u­la­tions 2018 came in­to force on 1 Janu­ary 2019. For the first time in the UK, some un­quoted com­pan­ies need to form­al­ise their cor­por­ate gov­ernance ar­range­ments and make ad­di­tion­al dis­clos­ures in their an­nu­al re­ports.