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 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
    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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    2 May 2017
    New pen­sions head and new part­ner for CMS an­nounced...
    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.
    1 May 2017
    CMS, Nabarro and Olswang com­plete largest ever mer­ger...
    Cre­at­ing a new fu­ture-fa­cing firm
    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.
    20 March 2017
    CMS ad­vises Pat­ron Cap­it­al on sale of Gen­er­at­or Hos­tels
    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.
    23 February 2017
    Olswang ad­vises on­line gam­ing com­pany 32Red on Kindred...
    Em­ploy­ment tribunal fees chal­lenge – Su­preme Court’s judg­ment awaited
    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.
    16 February 2017
    Olswang leads in ad­vising Tim Hincks and Peter Fin­cham...
    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.
    9 February 2017
    What your busi­ness needs to know about gender pay gap...
    CBI-CMS guide to gender pay
    HSE con­sulta­tion on changes to the Ion­ising Ra­di­ation Reg­u­la­tion 1999
    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.
    12 January 2017
    Olswang ad­vises Hubert Burda Me­dia on ac­quis­i­tion of...
    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”.
    13 December 2016
    CMS, Nabarro and Olswang con­firm Prac­tice and Sec­tor...
    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.
    11 November 2016
    12 Olswang part­ners re­cog­nised as Band 1 in Cham­bers...
    BSI pub­lishes new PAS stand­ard for traffic man­age­ment and safety bar­ri­ers...
    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.