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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    12 January 2018
    CMS ad­vises on sale of on­line casino busi­ness to Swedish...
    23 Jan 18
    We­bin­ar: Work smart, not hard
    Leg­al chal­lenges of the mod­ern work­place
    GDPR HR audit - map­ping out pro­ject suc­cess
    The first step in any GDPR ac­tion plan should in­volve an audit of per­son­al data col­lec­ted and held by an or­gan­isa­tion, to map out how per­son­al data flows through their or­gan­isa­tion and sys­tems. Giv­en the sig­ni­fic­ant volume of per­son­al data held by an HR de­part­ment,.
    2 November 2017
    Data pri­vacy shake up: is HR ready?
    01 Feb 18
    Spot­light Series: GDPR: the im­pact on HR - are you...
    Con­sulta­tion on civil sanc­tions for off­shore en­vir­on­ment­al law breaches
    The De­part­ment for Busi­ness, En­ergy and In­dus­tri­al Strategy (BEIS) is con­duct­ing an in­form­al con­sulta­tion on the Off­shore Pet­ro­leum Reg­u­lat­or for En­vir­on­ment & De­com­mis­sion­ing’s (OPRED) pro­pos­al to in­tro­duce The Off­shore En­vir­on­ment­al Civil Sanc­tions Reg­u­la­tions.
    CMS On your radar - Septem­ber 2017
    Key em­ploy­ment is­sues world­wide
    15 Mar 18
    Spot­light Series: Meet­ing GDPR re­quire­ments
    In­di­an Gov­ern­ment re­moves more red tape on For­eign Dir­ect In­vest­ment...
    On 10 Janu­ary 2018, the Uni­on Cab­in­et chaired by Prime Min­is­ter Modi ap­proved a num­ber of amend­ments to In­dia’s FDI policy. While the amend­ments re­move some red tape by mak­ing more FDI sub­ject to the auto­mat­ic ap­prov­al route, they also re­main true to the “Make.
    2 May 2017
    New pen­sions head and new part­ner for CMS an­nounced...
    22 Mar 18
    Spot­light Series: Con­tracts 2018 - What you need to...
    Trust­ee Train­ing - 21 Feb­ru­ary 2018
    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.
    1 May 2017
    CMS, Nabarro and Olswang com­plete largest ever mer­ger...
    Cre­at­ing a new fu­ture-fa­cing firm
    Thriv­ing at Work: The Steven­son/Farm­er re­view of men­tal health and...
    On 26 Oc­to­ber 2017 the gov­ern­ment pub­lished the long awaited men­tal health re­view, “Thriv­ing at Work”. It looks in­to how em­ploy­ers can sup­port em­ploy­ees to thrive at work even when burdened by men­tal ill health or poor well-be­ing.
    Alison Woods
    3 April 2017
    Glob­al lead­ers in em­ploy­ment law
    The smart choice for your em­ploy­ment law needs
    New no­ti­fic­a­tion pro­cess for work with ion­ising ra­di­ation
    The new Ion­ising Ra­di­ation Reg­u­la­tions 2017 (IRR17) came in­to force on 1 Janu­ary 2018. They re­placed the ex­ist­ing IRR99 reg­u­la­tions, due to the im­ple­ment­a­tion of the EU Ba­sic Safety Stand­ards Dir­ect­ive (BSSD).
    20 March 2017
    CMS ad­vises Pat­ron Cap­it­al on sale of Gen­er­at­or Hos­tels
    Gambling Com­mis­sion in­vest­ig­ates on­line casi­nos
    The UK Gambling Com­mis­sion (the “Com­mis­sion”) an­nounced last week that it has writ­ten to all on­line casino op­er­at­ors which it reg­u­lates rais­ing con­cerns about the op­er­at­ors’ ap­proach to anti-money laun­der­ing and so­cial re­spons­ib­il­ity.