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
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    Law-Now: Pensions
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    20 March 2017
    CMS advises Patron Capital on sale of Generator Ho...
    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,.
    Trustee Training - 13 June 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.
    Recoding the Rights of Telecoms Operators
    A new “Digital Economy Bill” is currently going through the Westminster Parliament. It’s anticipated to come into force later this year. A new Electronic Communications Code is part of the Bill – and is generating lots of interest among property owners.
    How long is a piece of string? Statistics shed some light
    The time taken to determine a planning application will depend on the particular circumstances of each application and its location.   It can therefore be tempting to ask “how long is a piece of string?” when asked how long it will take for a planning application.
    Water treatment facility fined nearly £2 million after death by d...
    An Exeter-based water treatment firm has been fined £1. 8 million after a lone worker drowned at one of its plants. The catchment operator had been carrying out a routine maintenance task when he slipped and fell into a 6.
    Redundancy and competing for new roles
    In the recent case of Green v London Borough of Barking & Dagenham the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that the application of s. 98(4) Employment Rights Act 1996 (regarding the fairness of an employer’s reason for the dismissal of an employee) is not.
    Council fined £1 million after tractor strikes member of the publ...
    A Council has been fined £1 million after unsafe work in a public place led to the serious injury of a disabled pensioner. Nottinghamshire County Council pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 following.
    Pensions Ombudsman Update - April 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.
    The end of LTIPs and bringing employees onto remuneration committ...
    While there is still some time to wait before the Government publishes its own proposals on directors’ pay in quoted companies, the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee achieved headlines last week with its own proposals on the.
    Supreme court delivers judgment in important indirect discriminat...
    Yesterday the Supreme Court delivered its judgment in the combined cases of Essop v Home Office and Naeem v Secretary of State for Justice. The judgment deals with important issues in relation to the legal test for indirect discrimination and whether a claimant.
    Gender Pay Gap Reporting: Tricky Issues
    Today is the first “snapshot date” for the data gathering requirement under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 (the Regulations). We thought it would be helpful to share some of the tricky issues we have encountered, as we all.
    Employment changes in April 2017
    With Brexit dominating the political agenda, it is perhaps understandable that we are not seeing the same amount of legal developments this year as we have done in previous years. Although the main changes in April involve gender pay gap reporting and the apprenticeship.
    Construction firm fined £800,000 following worker fatality
    An international construction firm has been fined £800,000 after inadequate site supervision was found to have led to the death of a worker at Heathrow airport. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management).