EEA Legal Services
Employing people can be a complex area, and learning about the law and how to deal with disagreements and problems isn't high on most people's to-do lists.
Once in a while, you may require some legal guidance, and as an employer that might be employment law advice.
Employment disputes can be messy, time-consuming and expensive, so let us help you to get things right from the start.
With EEA membership you get 30 minutes of free advice from equestrian and employment law specialists at 5 Essex Court Chambers.
WHO DO I CALL WITH MY ISSUE?
What can I call the EEA for help with?
If you can’t find what you are looking for on the website or would prefer to speak to someone, these are the types of queries (not an exhaustive list) we can help with on the EEA General Enquiries number (0345 163 2130):
- Employment contracts
- Notice periods
- Employing an apprentice or a young worker
- National Minimum Wage rates
- Accommodation offset
- Disciplinary process
- Grievance process
- Sickness absence
- Flexible working
- How to check a person's right to work in the UK
- Holiday rights and other forms of time off/special leave
When is it best to call the legal helpline?
In certain circumstances, it is best to gain legal advice. Here are the types of queries where the legal helpline (020 7410 2000) should be called (not an exhaustive list):
- If you are concerned about being taken to an employment tribunal or if you have been threatened with one
- Dismissals outside of the probation period
- Any dismissal on medical grounds
- Cases or dismissals where there is an allegation relating to discrimination of any kind
- Complex disciplinary or grievance cases
- Disputes relating to pay
- Contract variations e.g., you wish to reduce or change an employee’s hours of work
- Employment status e.g., if you are unsure if an individual is an employee, worker, or genuinely self-employed
- If you have concerns that you are employing a person illegally from overseas, how to check this, and what action to take
- Obtaining a sponsorship licence to employ an individual on a visa
HR ISSUES - WHAT is my first step?
Free initial helpline with 5 Essex Court - speak to one of their experienced barristers. (referred to as ‘Counsel’.)
What if I need more advice?
If you need more advice, or if the matter is more complicated than can be dealt with in the original 30 minutes; for instance, the prospect of an HMRC investigation regarding your pay levels.
Because at this stage you are going to be charged for Counsel’s time and you are contracting directly with them, you will need to enter into a “Direct Access Agreement”.
You will be sent a contract to read and sign and then return to Counsel. Within this contract will be a breakdown of the work Counsel will undertake and the cost for that work. What work could this be:
- Written advice on the law relating to your situation
- Written advice on evidence needed to be gathered relating to your situation
- Face to face conference on the above
- Advice on your next steps
- Give outline advice if proceedings have already been started
I am being taken to tribunal
I received an ET1 (Employment Tribunal Claim) or notification of a hearing from HMRC Tribunal relating to National Minimum Wage or Working Time?
Send it to Counsel immediately who, upon receipt will advise you to instruct a Solicitor to work with them.
The Solicitior will undertake the following work:
- Take over the conduct of the case and be your point of contact with the court and the other side’s representatives
- Correspond with interested parties on your behalf
- Organise the process of gathering evidence and relevant paperwork
- Take witness statements
- Put together a bundle for trial
Will I still need a Counsel?
Yes, there will be certain matters that Counsel needs to undertake. Your Solicitor will advise what these are and when this is necessary.
The EEA recommends using our Partners Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors - they will work closely with Counsel to support you best.
Who are 5 essex court?
5 Essex Court is a tier one barrister’s chambers with specialists in employment, tenancy, equine and public law.
difference between a barrister and a solicitor giving me advice?
A barrister, like a solicitor, is a qualified lawyer. In many cases, solicitors will go to barristers for specialist legal advice.
With the Direct Access scheme, clients can now work with barristers directly rather than going via a solicitor which gives clients access to quality advice at a lower cost.
What happens after The first 30 mins?
If after 30 minutes it is felt that further advice is required such as drafting papers or litigation – terms and agreements will be drawn up and fees negotiated.
Is the barrister on my side and sympathetic?
The barrister will give you impartial legal advice but we are your first line of defence and you are our priority.
5 Essex Court discount and services offered
As an EEA member, you will receive a 15% discount from the usual direct access fees with 5 Essex Court.
We can offer advice on Contracts of Employment, National Minimum Wage, Working Time Regulations, accidents at work, grievance and disciplinary, tenancies/employees as tenants.
Victoria von Wachter also has experience in specific equine law. Victoria has acted for the police, private individuals and breed societies in litigation and advisory work involving horses.