Having a good relationship with trade unions and employee representatives can have a positive impact on any workplace. Our employment solicitors will work with you to manage these relationships and resolve any disputes quickly to limit disruption to your organisation.

Unfortunately, relationships with trade unions can sometimes become strained, especially if your business is changing structure or ownership, freezing pay or having to lose staff. In these situations, it’s helpful to have an industrial relations strategy in place for resolving disputes.

Our team can help you with all collective employment law issues, from trade union recognition, to collective bargaining and avoiding threats of industrial action.

What common employee and industrial relations issues do employers face?

Industrial relations issues can vary depending on your type of business, employment arrangements and if you have a trade union in place or not. Common issues our lawyers can help you with include:

  • Developing an industrial relations strategy
  • Trade union recognition and de-recognition
  • Applications to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) for compulsory recognition
  • Collective bargaining and negotiating with trade unions
  • Rights of trade union members and officials- including time off for union activities
  • Ballots and industrial action
  • Transfer of union recognition and collective agreements under TUPE
  • Collective consultation for TUPE transfers and collective redundancies
  • European Works Councils (EWC).

What do employers need to think about when planning redundancies?

Making employees redundant is never easy. There are many legal obligations you need to consider as an employer. Our team can guide you through the process and help the process run smoothly.

If you need to make redundancies you’ll need to consider:

  • How many people do you need to lose?
  • Are there any alternatives to redundancy?
  • How will you select people for redundancy? Will you ask for volunteers before starting a compulsory redundancy process?
  • What process will you follow? Do you have an existing redundancy procedure in place?
  • When will the redundancies take place?
  • Will you need to carry out collective consultation? If so, who will you consult with?
  • Do you need to file an HR1 form with the relevant government department?
  • How will you consult with individuals?
  • What will you pay staff? Statutory redundancy or an enhanced payment? Will they work their notice or be paid in lieu?
  • Communication strategy: when will you tell staff and who will you tell?
  • Can you find alternative work for employees at risk of redundancy?

Read more detailed information on redundancy issues and how our redundancy solicitors can help you through the process.

How can Irwin Mitchell help?

We support employers of all sizes. Our national team can help with:

  • Developing a tailored industrial relations strategy for your business
  • Navigating trade union recognition processes and collective bargaining
  • Lawfully rejecting trade union recognition claims
  • Drafting recognition or collective bargaining agreements
  • Negotiations with trade unions threatening to take industrial action
  • Devising contingency plans in case of industrial action
  • Electing, training and consulting with employee representatives if you don’t have a trade union
  • Planning and implementing collective consultations relating to TUPE and other redundancies
  • Drafting communications to trade unions, employee representatives and staff
  • Dealing with European Works Councils.

Our team has worked on complex cases involving threats of high-profile and disruptive industrial action. With our in-depth knowledge of labour law, we can resolve your issues quickly with the least amount of disruption to your business.

Contact our lawyers today on 0808 271 2602 or online to discuss your situation and how we can help.

Why choose Irwin Mitchell?

Our friendly, approachable and pragmatic approach to delivering advice that enables you to achieve the solutions that best meets your needs.

We offer a flexible fee structure from retainer arrangements, bank of hours or fixed hourly rates. We’ll update you throughout so you won’t get any unwelcome surprises.

We understand that the trade union issues you face are unique to your industry and how you operate your business. Our employment lawyers have the sector expertise to give you practical advice and strategies to help you avoid major disruption and continue a positive relationship with your unions.

Contact us

Our specialist employment solicitors can help your business to form a positive and practical relationship with trade unions. Give our friendly team a call on 0808 271 2602 or get in touch online.

Find one of our solicitors near you

We have offices in major cities throughout the UK and our lawyers can arrange to visit you or your business in person if necessary. We also have international capability, with global links to other legal specialists.

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