Increasing Number of SMEs Need Advice on Employment Law

Almost two thirds (63%) of small and medium sized businesses seeking legal advice in the UK are concerned about terminating the employment of under-performing employees, according to a survey of 400 solicitors around the country. This particular issue topped the scale of most problematic legal challenges currently experienced by SME’s. (Source: Craig Holt, QualitySolicitors)

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QualitySolicitors Keith Park

(PRWEB UK) 19 June 2012

Almost two thirds (63%) of small and medium sized businesses seeking legal advice in the UK are concerned about terminating the employment of under-performing employees, according to a survey of 400 solicitors around the country. This particular issue topped the scale of most problematic legal challenges currently experienced by SME’s. (Source: QualitySolicitors/SurveyShack)

The second most prolific legal issue for such businesses is making redundancies when restructuring their companies, with almost half of solicitors (45%) finding it one of the top three legal challenges business owners face. Selling their business is also an issue SME owners are concerned about, with 32% of solicitors citing it as an area they’ve advised on. (Source: QualitySolicitors/SurveyShack)

The main reason for SME’s finding these issues challenging, according to the research, is that in 85% of cases they don’t know or understand what their legal requirements and obligations are and 45% lack awareness of changes in legislation. In addition, 65% of SME’s often leave it too late to seek legal advice on compliance issues, and 45% of them leave insufficient time to resolve legal matters due to other business pressures. (Source: QualitySolicitors/SurveyShack)

Chief Executive of QualitySolicitors Craig Holt says: “As an entrepreneur myself I completely understand why the finer points of employment law may not be front of mind for people when they are starting a business, but failure to comply with legislation or taking cuts in the short term can prove costly to a company, and ultimately the profits, in the long term.”

David Field, Director of Cresta Cars based in Manchester, appointed QualitySolicitors Keith Park to avoid potential employment problems.

"I would highly recommend Nick Hall and his team (and have already done so on many occasions) for assisting in employment legal matters. Whether it is Employee Benefits, Human Resources issues, or whatever else the company faces Nick has always got good results and is very personable, and professional and keeps things in simple terms which is great when legal jargon can be so complicated. The service is excellent and the costs very reasonable."

Craig Holt agrees that taking pre-emptive legal advice is a smart move: “In this challenging economic environment when SME’s need to run efficient and effective businesses in order to survive and grow, it is more important than ever to make sure they have a clean bill of legal health. This means keeping on top of employment law and preparing in advance for difficult situations.”

“As a starting point, SME owners who want to avoid costly legal problems should follow these basic rules;

1.    Consistency. Have consistent policies in place especially in disciplinary, grievance, equal opportunities and sickness. Follow those policies and ensure all key staff are trained on them.
2.    Recruitment. It pays to find the right person so make sure you recruit staff correctly and look after them by having a proper induction process and giving regular feedback on performance.
3.    Procedure. Ensure that the correct procedures are in place. E.g. it is a legal requirement that a new member of staff should have their employment contract within two months of starting.
4.    Training. Good training is essential. A lot of tribunal and personal injury claims relate to inadequate or lack of training so make sure it is provided, recorded and kept up to date.
5.    Communicate. Talk to your staff, keep them informed and ensure that your company stays abreast of changes to employment legislation to avoid claims being made against you.
6.    Advice. If in doubt seek proper legal advice. The right information on how to implement employment legislation could help your business before in gets into trouble and save you money.”

Notes to Editors:
For more information on QualitySolicitors Keith Park please contact nickhall(at)kpsolicitors(dot)com or telephone 01744 636000.

This press release is based on research conducted by QualitySolicitors using SurveyShack, an online polling programme. Total sample size was 414 solicitors from QS branches. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th - 23rd April 2012. The survey was carried out online.

About QualitySolicitors Keith Park
QualitySolicitors Keith Park has been established in St Helens, Merseyside since 1973 under the name of Keith Park Solicitors.

In November 2010, the firm was re-branded and became QualitySolicitors Keith Park, joining up with a number of other solicitors firms across the UK.

We have expanded our high street presence with a new branch which opened in Knutsford this month which can be located at 77a King Street and is ideally placed to meet the needs of the town and the surrounding areas.

The practice has four partners and specialises in the following areas.

Services
Personal Injury
Family Law
Wills, Probate, Trusts, Power of Attorney
Continuing Healthcare
Conveyancing
Equine Law
Employment Law
Criminal and Prison Law
Driving Offences
Professional Negligence


Contact

  • Jo Bellard

    01744 636000
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