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Business owners - Is your HR function legally compliant?

View profile for Martin Cornforth
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Navigating the complexity of employment can be challenging for organisations of all shapes and sizes. Ensuing compliance with employment law when making decisions that impact staff is always important.

There are a number of basic legal requirements, for example:

Contract of employment

In theory, a contract reflects the agreement between the parties. However, numerous legal principles, mandate that certain matters must be covered in a contract of employment

For example, courts have recognised the importance of the relationship between employer and employee, establishing that a term of mutual trust and confidence is implied in every contract of employment. If an employer seriously breaches trust and confidence by treating the employee unreasonably, the employee may be entitled to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal.

The Employment Rights Act 1996 mandates that key details of employment must be sent to the employee in writing from the outset of employment. In practice this information would usually be included in the contract of employment. The key information includes details of remuneration, hours of work, holiday entitlement, sick leave, in addition to many other categories.

Company policies

To ensure compliance with employment law most employers will issue key policies to staff, covering for example:

  • Disciplinary procedures
  • Grievances
  • Sickness absences
  • Equality and diversity
  • Redundancy
  • Data protection
  • Health & Safety

It is important that contracts of employment and policies are drafted by employment law experts to ensure that they cover the relevant legal considerations.


A recent survey conducted by ACAS has found that 30% of employers intend to consider redundancies in the next 10 months. If a redundancy situation cannot be avoided, employment law requires consultation with staff and a fair selection procedure. Employers must also consider any opportunities for redeployment as an alternative to redundancy.

At Chattertons we guide our clients through the complexity of employment law, by identifying optimal solutions so that your business can flourish, without the distractions arising from workplace disputes.


If you need guidance on any of the above matters, we are here to help.  Please do not hesitate to contact Martin Cornforth on 01636 558343, or email: