Have you ever been put off using an employment solicitor because you think it’s expensive?
To be fair, lawyers have earned themselves a reputation over the years for charging over the odds for their services, hence jokes like these!
But not all lawyers charge excessively.
Choosing the right law firm can in fact be an excellent investment for you or your business. So, here are a few reason why using a solicitor makes good financial sense.
1. A stitch in time saves nine
I’ve often known employers to adopt a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ approach to staff management.
I was recently approached by a small employer that had received a claim for unfair dismissal. They’d fired someone for gross misconduct – theft, fraud, falsifying accounts. The police had got involved and given the employee a caution. To be fair, she was clearly guilty and she knew it.
The trouble was that the employer had not followed a fair procedure or conducted any reasonable investigation. As a result, the dishonest employee was able to claim compensation in an employment tribunal. It cost the employer nearly £10,000 in the end.
It would have cost a fraction of that amount to ask for advice before taking any disciplinary action. An employment solicitor would have guided the employer through some troubled water, including
- Suspending the employee
- Conducting a full investigation
- Inviting her to a disciplinary hearing
- Giving her the chance to appeal.
This would have guarded the company against a tribunal claim. They would have saved thousands.
2. Employment solicitors nearly always offer a free initial consultation
Why not use your solicitor as a sounding board?
Have an initial discussion about the problem and it may be that it doesn’t need to go any further. The advice is brief but it doesn’t cost you a penny.
It may be that you do need more detailed advice. You solicitor will advise you of the cost in the course of the consultation. You can then decide whether or not you want to go ahead.
3. Sometimes, someone else will pay your legal costs for you
When an employer offers an employee a settlement agreement, the document almost always includes a clause whereby the employee’s legal costs will be paid in full by the employer. Many solicitors will agree to limit their fee to what the employer is contributing, which means that the employee doesn’t have to pay anything for the legal advice.
Some people have legal expenses insurance, perhaps as part of a house insurance policy or a business insurance policy. If you’re insured, your insurers will pay the costs of your legal advice without you having to pay a penny. Be careful though – many insurers will insist that you use a law firm of their choice rather than your choice. This may not be the best firm for you and you’re entitled to object.
4. ‘All you can eat’ advice for a one-off fee
Many law firms (including Mason Bullock Solicitors) offer businesses a subscription service. You pay an annual fee (payable in 12 monthly instalments) and you have access to as much employment law advice as you need.
Find out more . . .
If you’d like to know more about the employment law services we offer, please feel free to get in touch.