Employer Law - Employer Advice

With the recent outbreak of COVID-19 alot of companies will be concerned about the impact this is having on their business.

Overheads and staff costs are the main concerns our company lawyers have had raised. Although the government have stepped in with the furlough scheme paying 80% of the employees’ wages this due to end in October. 

Making Employee Redundant 

Therefore, it is wise for businesses to start considering making possible redundancies now, so contracts can be paid out during the furlough scheme. As part of our overall business law department Attwells Solicitors support business owners from SMEs to corporations with practical employer advice. 

If you are thinking about making employees redundant or need support with HR issues Attwells can help. Likewise, we can support your business with finance agreements, shareholder, partnership agreements, mergers and joint acquisitions. 

Request A Call Back

Below is a list of employment law services we offer:

To discuss your business law or employment law matter please click on the green button to request a call back. One of our employer advice experts will call you back for a free initial chat.

Request A Call Back

Employer Consultation and Letter of Advice

Price: £300.00 plus VAT

What is included in the price:

  • Initial telephone conversation and email correspondence
  • Review of documentation in advance of drafting letter of advice (subject to reasonable number of documents)
  • Meeting at our office or using a secure online facility with a specialist employment lawyer
  • Letter of advice setting out the legal position, our advice and the best options are available to you
  • Answering any questions subsequent to letter of advice

Request A Call Back

What is excluded from the price:

  • Meeting at your business premises (can be arranged at additional cost)
  • Tax advice
  • Legal advice outside of the service requested

How long will it take?

2-3 working days from instruction.

When will I pay?

Attwells Solicitors will ask you for money on account in advance. In the event that the meeting is cancelled more than 24 hours in advance, a refund can be made to you.

Request A Call Back

Request A Call Back

Employer Employment Tribunal Representation

The table below provides clear and transparent fixed fee costings for the legal work on your potential claim and provides different costings depending upon whether your claim relates to unfair/constructive dismissal or discrimination.

The reason for this is that discrimination claims are more time consuming, generally require greater attendance at Tribunal hearing and therefore require a greater amount of resource. Unlike our competitors, we do not differentiate our costs on the rather opaque grounds of ‘complex’ and ‘simple’ claims.

All email and telephone correspondence between each step is included free of charge.

Around 80% of our client’s Employment Tribunal Claims settle before the final hearing and therefore, we have broken down the key steps in an Employment Tribunal claim, what is included within each step and the price applicable to the same.

All prices shown are exclusive of VAT.

Step

What’s included?  

Dismissal

Discrimination

Initial assessment of prospects

We take your initial instructions, review all relevant correspondence / documentation (not exceeding 200 pages), the prospects of the potential claim from the employee and the likely compensation they would receive, if successful.

£600.00

£750.00

ACAS Early Conciliation

Before an employee can bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal, they must go through early conciliation. We will act on your behalf in discussing the employee’s claim with ACAS, advise on settlement and at what sum (where in your best interests), represent you in all discussions with ACAS (4-6 weeks in duration), setting out your position clearly and effectively and where settlement is reached, ensuring that the terms of the COT3 agreement are favourable to you.

£500.00

£700.00

Receiving Claim

We receive, review and advise you upon the employee’s claim and propose a defence strategy

£250.00

£350.00

Issuing Defence with Employment Tribunal

                        

We prepare, draft and submit your response to the Employment Tribunal so as to ensure that the relevant deadline is met.

£750.00

£900.00

Preliminary Hearing

Where ordered, we draft, agree with your employee’s solicitor and submit a preliminary hearing agenda to the Employment Tribunal seeking further clarification of the Employee’s claim and proposing dates for the claim timetable and attend the preliminary hearing to represent your interests.

£750.00

£900.00

Schedule of loss

We receive and advise you upon the Claimant’s schedule of loss and draft a counter schedule of loss aimed at reducing the amount that can be rightly claimed by the employee

£500.00

£650.00

Your disclosure

We collect from you all documentation relevant to your defence, produce copies, prepare a list and send to the employer. 

£500.00

£600.00

Your employee’s disclosure

We receive the employee’s disclosure, review and discuss our findings with you.

£400.00

£500.00

Hearing bundle

We agree with the employee a bundle of documents that the Employment Tribunal will refer to at the final hearing and review upon receipt.

£350.00

£450.00

List of issues

We draft and negotiate with the employee a list of issues, chronology and cast list for the Employment Tribunal hearing (where ordered)

£400.00

£500.00

Witness statement(s)

We take a witness statement from you and your staff, draft the statement and agree with you its final content, ready for use at the Employment Tribunal Hearing (30% discount on any additional statements).

£750.00

£850.00

Exchange of witness statement

We undertake simultaneous exchange of witness statements with your employer and review each witness statement received and discuss the same with you.

£250.00

£400.00

Instruction of barrister

Where required, we instruct a barrister to represent you at the hearing and take all steps to ensure the Barrister is fully briefed on your claim.

£250.00

£400.00

Representation at Employment Tribunal (where no barrister instructed)

We attend the Employment Tribunal hearing and represent your interests (per day).

£850.00

£1,250.00

Attend Employment Tribunal

We attend the Employment Tribunal hearing with your barrister (per day).

£600.00

£700.00

Employment Tribunal Judgement

We receive the Employment Tribunal’s judgment and advise you on the findings.

£300,00

£400.00

Total

 

£7,250

£9,900

Request A Call Back

* Our fixed fees do not include disbursements incurred by Attwells on behalf of client’s and will be added to our charges, including (but without limitation) barrister fees, expert witness fee, mileage (payable at £0.45 p/mile), accommodation or subsistence costs, bank charges and other administration charges.

* A Barrister will usually be required where a claim reaches a final hearing. The fees chargeable by a Barrister depends on their level, experience and location and also upon the complexity and time your claim will take. We will discuss and agree your budget for Barrister’ fees well in advance and always seek to obtain the best possible prices for our clients, taking advantage of the good relationships we have fostered with local chambers.

* Our fixed fees are based on a standard employment tribunal claim. We may, however, charge an additional amount if, for example, members of staff have to work outside normal working hours, or if your case is particularly complex.  In all circumstances we will not incur costs beyond the above figures without your prior approval. Examples of factors that can make your defence more complex defending claim brought by litigants in person, a high number of witnesses and documents and bringing and defending preliminary applications.

Request A Call Back

What is included in the price:

  • See each step above
  • Telephone and email advice throughout each step (subject to reasonable usage)
  • Meeting at your local office with a specialist employment lawyer (where appropriate)

What is excluded from the price:

  • Disbursements
  • Attendance at any additional hearings
  • Any appeal
  • Advice on the terms of any settlement agreement (payable by the employer in any event)
  • Legal advice or services outside of the specific service(s) requested

Disbursements:

  • Mileage (in attending any meetings with yourself or Tribunal Hearings, for instance) is payable at £0.45 p/mile.
  • Travel Costs (where public transport is used) by the cheapest means possible.
  • Barrister’s fees for representation at any case management or final hearing. These costs range from £500-£1,500 per day dependent upon their experience and location.
  • As stated above, in all circumstances we will not incur costs beyond the above figures without your prior approval.
  • Unlike some firms, we do not charge for copying or standard postal costs. 

How long will it take?

Generally speaking, an Employment Tribunal claim can take anywhere between 6-12 months, sometimes more, from the inception of the ACAS Early Conciliation process to the receipt of the Employment Tribunal judgment. Timescales are ultimately dependant on the complexity of the claim, the number of witnesses and their availability and the Tribunal’s listing diary. 

How long do I have to respond to an Employment Tribunal Claim?

Not long. Any ET3 Response must be received by the Employment Tribunal within 28 days of the date that the Employment Tribunal sends you a letter notifying you of the claim.

Request A Call Back

Can I just instruct you to do some but not all of the above steps?

Yes, of course. Clients can instruct us at any time throughout the Tribunal process. We can undertake any of the steps above and you are not obliged to use our services for the whole of the claim, or indeed at any time after we are instructed on one or several steps in isolation.

What if I pay for a step but my case settles before that step is finalised?

Where the step in question is not a hearing, you will not be charged unless the work is already in progress. Where possible, we will seek to charge you a fee proportionate to the amount of work undertaken at the time of settlement for that step e.g. if only half a witness statement has been drafted, we will only charge you 50% of the fee for that step.

Where the step in question is a hearing, so long as your case settles no later than 72 hours before the hearing is due to start, we will refund you the price paid for representation at that hearing (on the basis a Solicitor/Barrister will usually prepare for a hearing no less than two-three days beforehand). Where the case settles at any time thereafter, you will be liable to pay at least 50% of the price.

When will I pay?

Attwells Solicitors will ask you for money on account in advance of work on each step beginning.

Request A Call Back

Employer Assist Service

The personal nature of this service means you can come and meet your Employment lawyer face to face, that you will meet the same person each time and therefore get to build up a business relationship and trust.  The advice provided will also be clear, bespoke and tailored to your business and outcome.

Our approach to employment problems is dispute resolution and cost effectiveness and the Head of Employment Law at Attwells is a trained workplace mediator.

Included within the competitive monthly subscription is:

  • All the up to date employment documentation a business requires;
  • Access to 24 hours per year employment advice from an expert employment lawyer;
  • 20 letters a year at no further charge;
  • Monthly employment law updates;
  • 20% reduction on any of any employment fixed fee packages.

Reduced rates are available for charities and social enterprises.

Request A Call Back

Contract of Employment (Junior Employee)

  • A basic contract containing the required statutory particulars under relevant legislation.

£350 plus VAT

Request A Call Back

Contract of Employment / Director Service Agreement (Senior Employee or Director) 

A contract containing the required particulars under the relevant legislation plus further provisions including but not limited to:-

  • Garden leave provisions
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Non-solicitation covenants
  • Non-dealing covenants
  • Non-compete covenants

£500 plus VAT

Request A Call Back

Staff Handbook (Short Form)

A basic staff handbook which contains an employer’s non-contractual policies and procedures.

Contains basic policies and those which are required by law (if not covered in contract of employment) including but not limited to:-

  • Disciplinary procedures and rules
  • Grievance procedures
  • Pensions
  • Health and safety
  • Whistleblowing

Recommended for small businesses

£450 plus VAT

Request A Call Back

Staff Handbook (Long Form)

A more detailed version handbook setting out the full breadth of an employer’s workplace policies and procedures

Contains all policies from staff handbook short form plus suggested policies which assist in avoid civil or criminal liability including but not limited to:

  • Bribery
  • Equal opportunities
  • Data protection (GDPR compliance)
  • Social media

Recommended for large and medium businesses

£600 plus VAT

Request A Call Back

Settlement Agreements

What is a Settlement Agreement?

Settlement agreements (formerly called compromise agreements) are legally binding agreements that set out the full terms of an agreement between an employer and employee, whereby an employee agrees to sign away their rights to bring a claim against their employer in return for a cash sum.

Settlement or Compromise Agreements are generally offered to employees when a dispute in the workplace arises, a redundancy process is being undertaken or when employee misconduct is alleged.  They can also be used when settling potential or actual Employment Tribunal Claims.

What are the common terms of a Settlement Agreement?

A well written Settlement or Compromise Agreement will include:

  • A tax free compensation sum payable to the employee (up to a maximum of £30,000)
  • Confidentiality
  • Signing away of employment rights by the employee
  • A financial contribution towards the employee’s legal fees in obtaining advice on the agreement
  • The requirement for an independent Solicitor to sign the agreement confirming that they have advised the employee on the terms of the agreement.

How much does it cost?

An employer routinely contributes towards an employees’ legal costs in obtaining advice on a Settlement or Compromise Agreement and therefore with our fixed fee prices starting from as little as £250 plus VAT, we are able to offer most employee clients a completely free service.

This means that as an employee, you will receive free, independent and impartial legal advice that doesn’t cost you a penny.  We send our invoice directly to the employer.

Only if substantial negotiations on sums and/or terms are required will an employee potentially be required to contribute towards their legal fees, but we will always first try and increase an employer’s contribution towards an employee’s legal fees where this is required.  Where it is not possible to obtain such an increase, we will offer you a reasonable fixed fee for any such work, taking into account your personal circumstances.

Request A Call Back

Price: £175.00 plus VAT

What is included in the price:

  • Initial telephone conversation
  • Brief review of documentation in advance of meeting (subject to reasonable number)
  • Meeting at your local office with a specialist employment lawyer
  • Summary of advice at conclusion of meeting setting out the legal position

What is excluded from the price:

  • Subsequent letter of advice
  • Tax advice
  • Advice on benefits
  • Legal advice outside of the service requested

Disbursements: 

None anticiputed

How long will it take? 

The meeting itself will last around 1 hour and, subject to your availability, we would aim to hold the meeting with you, within 48 hours of your initial call or earlier if required. Same day appointments can be made. 

What can we cover in the meeting?

We can provide advice to you on all areas of employment law and HR, including but not limited to:

  • Contracts of employment, policies and procedures and other employment documentation
  • Self-employed contracts including IR35
  • Director’s service agreements
  • Settlement negotiations
  • Settlement agreements
  • Restructuring, re-organisation and redundancy exercises
  • TUPE, business transfers and outsourcing
  • Disciplinary, dismissal and grievance issues
  • Performance management issues
  • Poor health, absence management and dismissals
  • Employment disputes
  • Restrictive covenant and breach of contract disputes
  • Discrimination issues
  • Directors and shareholder disputes and exit planning

When will I pay?

Attwells Solicitors will ask you for money on account in advance of the meeting so that work can get underway on your matter. In the event that the meeting is cancelled more than 24 hours in advance, a refund of money on account can be made to you.

Request A Call Back

Drafting of Short Form Settlement Agreement

  • A simple agreement between an employer and employee to terminate an employee’s contract, as well as compromise the employee’s contractual and statutory claims
  • We can provide advice on settlement agreements to employees too. See our page covering this service here

£500 plus VAT

Request A Call Back

Drafting of Long Form Settlement Agreement 

A comprehensive agreement between an employer and employee to terminate an employee’s contract as well as compromise the employee’s contractual and statutory claims.

Recommended when dealing with a Manager/Senior Employee/Director, dealing with issues such as :

  • Restrictive covenants
  • Garden leave provisions
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Resignation of Directorship
  • Return of Company car

£600 plus VAT

Request A Call Back

What is included in the price:

  • Initial telephone conversation
  • Brief review and assessment of your current employment documents (where necessary)
  • Tailored advice depending on your business needs, sector and circumstances
  • Drafting your requested document(s)
  • Sending you a draft of the document for approval
  • Implanting any requested amendments

What is excluded from the price:

  • Meeting at your local office with a specialist employment lawyer (can be arranged at additional cost)
  • Meeting at your business premises (can be arranged at additional cost)
  • Tax advice
  • Legal advice outside of the service requested

Disbursements: 

None anticipated 

How long will it take? 

We aim to have a draft document to you within 2-3 working days from instruction.

What employment documents can we offer? 

We can draft all employment documents, including but not limited to:

  • Employment contracts for junior employee
  • Employment contracts for senior employee to include restrictive covenants

Staff handbook short form to include basic policies such as:-

  • Holidays
  • Health and safety
  • Sickness absence
  • Expenses

Staff handbook long form to include all policies from short form and more detailed policies such as:-

  • Disciplinary
  • Grievance
  • Maternity
  • Social media
  • Homeworking
  • Redundancy
  • Apprenticeship agreements
  • Daily average hours agreements (care sector)
  • Settlement agreements
  • Partnership agreements
  • Director service agreement
  • Zero hours contract

Can you advise me what documents I need? 

Yes, of course. When we take initial instructions from you we will advise on the recommended documents you should consider having drafted, taking into account your business needs and workforce. We will also separate out those documents which we consider to be necessary and those which are desirable, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether to go ahead with certain documents.

When will I pay? 

Attwells Solicitors will ask you for money on account in advance of any document being drafted.

Request A Call Back

GDPR

New data protection laws will be in place from 25th May 2018, with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into law in the UK.

GDPR will apply to any organisation, regardless of whether that organisation is located inside the EU – the determining factor will be whether that organisation handles EU citizens’ data. ​GDPR will apply to the UK despite our decision to leave the EU and introduces some fundamental changes to the regulation of personal data. 

Key Terms 

The terminology in the GDPR is broadly the same as under the existing Data Protection Act 1998 e.g. ‘personal data’, ‘processing’, data subject’ etc. The first step in understanding the GDPR is to make yourself familiar with these key terms:- 

  1. ‘Data Controller’ means a person/organisation who (either alone or jointly) determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed. 
  2. ‘Data Processor’ means a person/organisation (other than an employee of the data controller) which processes personal data on behalf of a data controller.
  3. ‘Data Subject’ means the identified or identifiable living individual to whom personal data relates. 
  4. ‘Personal Data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable living individual. This extended definition under the GDPR means that, for the first time, online identifier’s such as an IP address can constitute personal data. 
  5. ‘Processing’ means an operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data, or on sets of personal data, including but not limited to the collection, recording, organisation, storage, alteration or transmission of personal data. 

What are the aims of GDPR?

The current Data Protection Act 1998 is evidently outdated. The Act was drafted at a time when the internet was still in its infancy, social media was not the all-consuming mammoth it is now and iPhones were not the only means by which most people interacted with one another

As such, GDPR can rightly be seen as a response to the exponential growth in the communication of personal data, requiring a stronger and more coherent framework. Indeed, the EU Directive which culminated in the UK introducing the Data Protection 1998 only required EU member states to enact their own legislation based upon the EU’s recommendations. In contracts, the GDPR is a regulation, meaning it will not any require further action from member states and will become immediately enforceable upon its introduction. GDPR will supersede all existing data privacy and protection laws currently upheld by members of the EU with the intention of harmonising data protection rules throughout all 28 member states. 

Request A Call Back

What changes does GDPR bring about and why should I be concerned? 

The introduction of GDPR will change the dynamic of the data protection landscape, with the most important changes being:- 

  • Enhanced right of erasure – data subjects will be able to request that their personal data is deleted where it is no longer necessary, the employer has no other ground for processing or the data subject objects to processing or there is no compelling grounds that overrides their interest.  However, in certain circumstances data subjects can be denied this right. In short, data controllers can deny requests if the data being processed is exercising the right of freedom of expression and information or to comply with a legal obligation for the performance of a public interest task. At present, a data subject right ‘to be forgotten’ can only be exercised where the personal data in question is causing unwarranted and substantial damage or distress. Under the GDPR, this threshold is not present. Data subjects also have a right of rectification 
  • Increased notice obligations – data processors (e.g. employers) will need to review and update privacy notice so as to ensure that they meet the GDPR’s expanded definition of personal data, set out the personal data they hold relating to them and explain how data subjects can expect their personal data to be used and for what purposes. Furthermore, the notice should explain to the data subject the lawful basis for collecting personal data, the period of time they intend to hold the data and provide details of the data subject’s right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) if they believe their data is being processed illegitimately.
  • Consent - GDPR revises the general consent definition to require a "freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous" indication of the data subject's wishes. Consent must be documented and therefore records kept so as to demonstrate when and how a data subject provided their consent. Data subjects will also be given continuous choice and control over how their data is used. Consent can no longer assumed or obtained via pre-ticked boxes. Importantly, data subjects must be able to withdraw their consent as straightforward and conveniently as it was to give it, at any time. 

For that reason, organisations will need to review the way in which they have acquired consent. If existing consent has been established illegitimately and lacks the GDPR standard then organisations will need to refresh consent. For example, sending an email to active data subjects explaining if they still wish to receive emails from the organisation they will need to give their consent again, such email setting out specifically the purposes for which personal data will be used. Organisations would wish to avoid the tactics employed by both Honda and Flybe, who used historical data to distribute service messages to active and inactive users asking them to opt in. They were fined £83k in total by the ICO and serve as a useful reminder that organisations can still fall foul of data protection laws even where, such as here, an attempt to act in accordance with data protection law ultimately resulted in them breaking them. 

Subject Access Requests - The current fee of £10 will no longer be chargeable and the current 40 day turnaround time is removed and replaced with an obligations to comply “without undue delay” and at the latest within one month of the request. 

Data Breaches - Organisations must ensure they have the right procedure in place in regards to any data breach, whether potential or substantial and the steps to take in order to remain compliant with GDPR. Under GDPR data breaches must be reported to the ICO within 72 hours of the breach. At present there is no express obligation to report breaches. 

Giving more control to individuals - Organisations need to ensure all procedures are in agreement with those rights. For example, data subjects will have the right to obtain confirmation from the controller (organisation) as to whether or not personal data concerning them is being processed and for what purpose. 

Increased non-compliance risk - All organisations who process personal data must comply with the GDPR before its introduction in May. Organisations who fail to make the requisite transition could face fines from regulators of up to €20m (£17.7m) or 4% of their global turnover for the most negligent of offenders. The current limit under the Data Protection Act 1998 is £500k. This increased risk can most clearly be seen by reference to a recent case involving TalkTalk. In 2016, TalkTalk received a record £400k fined for security failings which led to the theft of personal data of almost 157,000 costumers. Under the GDPR this fine would have been astonishing £72m….a 18,000% increase. Such stark figures serve as just one example of the needs for business to get GDPR compliant sooner rather than later. A further point worth considering is the fact that the ICO is not government funded. As such, some commentators have suggested that as a result it has a greater incentive to fine the higher amounts where applicable and ICO fines can be expected to become more regular from May 2018 onwards. 

Request A Call Back

IR35

IR35 was first introduced by HMRC on 6th April 2000 to combat tax avoidance by Workers supplying their services via a limited company (‘Personal Service Company/PSC’), who, but for the PSC, would be considered an Employee (and pay increased levels of Income Tax and NIC’s as a result). IR35 is now 20 years old and continues to grow and grow in terms of its notoriety. 

Effectively, such Workers were ‘disguised Employees’ and benefited from a net saving in tax of up to 25% when compared to a directly employed individual, including the ability to claim a number of tax-deductible expenses not ordinarily available to an Employee. The engaging organisation also benefits from significant savings as they do not have to pay employer NIC’s, nor do they have to offer any employment rights or benefits.

What factors determine IR35 status?

IR35 is determined by reference to the contract in place and the Working Practices. You cannot avoid IR35. HMRC use a number of factors when deciding if a Contractor falls within IR35, including: -

  • Control – does the End Client tell you how, when and where your services must be performed?
  • Personal service – do you have to personally provide the services or can you send a Substitute in your place?
  • Financial Risk – if your work is unsatisfactory, are you obliged to correct it in your own time for no additional reward?  Is there an opportunity to make a profit/loss?
  • Length of Engagement – Have you worked for the same End Client on a long-term basis? Have you worked for other clients?

Request A Call Back

What if HMRC decides IR35 applies?

If a Contractor is deemed to be Inside IR35 (and therefore labelled by HMRC as a ‘disguised Employee’), the Contractor will have to pay income tax and NIC’s as if their contracting fee income was employment income and the PSC will face a financial penalty. Therefore, the potential liabilities for a PSC are huge. It is very important that they have a clear understanding of IR35 so as to ensure that they do not fall foul of it. However, this is by no means an easy task given that ever since its introduction, IR35 has been criticised as being highly complex and confusing.

An arrangement is likely to be caught by IR35 if, amongst other things, an individual provides their service to the End Client (or is obliged to do so); those services are provided under arrangements involving a PSC; and the circumstances of the arrangement are such that if they had been made directly between the End Client and the individual, the individual would have been held to be an Employee.

HMRC CHANGES

A number of important changes have been outlined in recent budgets, aimed at further removing the advantages of such relationships. In summary, the Government has put in place the following provisions:

From 2016-2017, the £2,000 National Insurance Contribution ‘Employment Allowance’ no longer applied to companies whose sole Employee is also the shareholder/director of the Company.

With effect from April 2016, tax credits on dividends ceased to be paid and dividends were made taxable at the rates of 7.5%, 32.5% and 38.1% for basic rate, higher rate and additional rate taxpayers respectively. The first £5,000 of dividends was made exempt from taxation.

Furthermore, the PSC would be liable to deduct income tax and NICs from travel expenses claimed for travel to and from any assignment where the individual is subject to direction, supervision or control by the Client.

The more recent introduction of the public sector IR35 rules also signalled a new found intent by the Government to close down what they allege to be widespread tax avoidance by those operating PSC’s, rules which, rather predictably, will now be extended to the private sector with effect from 6 April 2020, ensuring that the burden of responsibility for determining IR35 status and the risk of non-compliance moves away from the Contractor/PSC to the End Client. 

Please click here to see our Complete Guide to the IR35 Private Client Sector Reforms. This comes into effect on 6th April 2020.

As such, it is more prudent than ever to ensure that any agreements in place contain the requisite precautions to avoid being caught Inside IR35 and incurring hefty interest and fines, in addition to the back payment of tax and NIC. Generally, the agreement between the parties will be the first place HMRC look to establish whether the arrangement leans towards an employment relationship rather than one of self-employment – it is the substance of the contract and the Working Practices which are of importance, not just whether the contract declares the individual to be self-employed.

At Attwells Solicitors, we are able to provide expert advice and documentation to Contractors so as to properly reflect their self-employed status, on a fixed fee basis. We offer real value for money and can review the agreements already in place and provide you with an assessment of such documents, as well as suggestions on any improvements which could be made. We are experienced in drafting new agreements for future use also, ensuring you and your business are protected as best as possible from the hefty financial penalties that can come from IR35 non-compliance. 

Request A Call Back

How can Attwells assist you with your IR35 requirements?

We can offer expert advice and, in particular, offer the following services:

  • Consultation meeting and letter of advice– we can meet with you, take your instructions and review your current working conditions and then provide you with a letter of advice setting out what steps to take going forward to best protect your business from IR35.
  • Reviewing existing contracts and assessing status – Unlike our competitors, we do not just tell you the result of our review (i.e. whether you are inside/outside IR35), but also give the reasons for this determination, risk areas and what steps can be taken to strengthen (and possibly change) your position.
  • Drafting new contracts – We will draft fresh contractors for your PSC, recruitment business or Contractors including all the relevant safeguards needed to protect your business. We will also provide advice around what mechanisms you can put in place, within the current day to day Working Practices, to further reduce the risk of IR35 applying.

How much will it cost?

Attwells Solicitors have particular expertise in relation to IR35 and employment law more generally, we will always offer you a quote based on the work you require. Our hourly rate is £250.00 plus VAT. However, we offer value for money fixed fees for standalone projects, in addition to cost effective retainers where long-term support is needed.

Retainer IR35 Legal Package

Price: From £400+VAT per month, subject to a minimum 12 month term.

What is included in the price:

  • 1-2-1 support from our IR35 legal experts
  • Unlimited telephone and email support, including all matters relating to IR35 and strategies on how to mitigate IR35 risks, including those relating to the incoming IR35 private sector reforms
  • Bespoke IR35 contracts and documentation including but not limited to consultancy/self employed contracts, supply of workers terms and condition and sub-contractor agreements, in addition to all further employment and HR documentation (e.g. contracts of employment, staff handbooks, self-certification forms, appraisal forms etc.)
  • Annual review of contracts and documentation so as to ensure ongoing compliance
  • Face to face meetings, as and when required
  • Bespoke letters covering SDS decisions and appeals, IR35 disputes and HR matters such as disciplinary/grievance investigations, hearings, appeals, dismissals etc.
  • Management and mitigation of legal risks by designing and tailoring company policies and procedures

Retainer IR35 + Employment Tribunal Defence Package 

Price: £100 +VAT extra per month, subject to a minimum 12 month term.

What is included in the price:

All of the above PLUS...

  • Attwells' legal fees in defending any Employment Tribunal claims your business may receive
  • Full legal representation at an Employment Tribunal
  • Representation during ACAS​ Early Conciliation, helping you to secure a quick, commercial settlement at an early stage and avoiding the need for Employment Tribunal proceedings (where appropriate). 

Request A Call Back