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International Employment - United Kingdom

posted 10 months ago

Constantine Law is a specialist employment and regulatory firm. We advise employers and employees with respect to their employment and regulatory affairs: we are a partner-led team advising on the law of work for employers and employees. We also offer a business immigration service to employers. 
 
Constantine Law is a modern agile law firm: we strip out most of the fixed cost of traditional law and pass on the cost savings to clients. We have particular expertise in the field of restrictive covenants, complex business reorganisations (and senior exits) and high-profile claims for individuals. We also help new businesses grow by putting in place the necessary employment contracts and handbooks and assisting with hiring strategies. 

We are constantly busy advising employers and employees on their employment affairs. Right now, we have a big case advising a team of two people who faced a possible injunction because of alleged competitive activity. The employer wanted to injunct the two individuals in the High Court and this may have become financially ruinous for them. We acted quickly to keep the two individuals out of litigation by way of a provision of Undertakings and imaging of devices, as well as other reassurances. 

I believe the UK has the best employment law in the world. It strikes the right balance between affirming the rights of employees vs allowing employers to hire and fire following appropriate rules and procedures. We assist our clients to prosper and grow by eliminating the complexities through taking direct cost-effective advice. 

There has been a significant up-tick in hybrid working as a result of the pandemic. Most employers seem to accept that this is now an unavoidable and permanent change and more employers are comfortable about deploying modern IT solutions to meet employee and client needs. The complexities associated with this change are supervision and accountability and “connectiveness”: how to maintain workplace culture with so many people regularly working from home.

I think the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been on the prevalence of hybrid (or home) working and the fact that most employers have now been forced to offer more flexible working solutions (around working hours) such that employees now have more choice as to how and when they work those hours. The second main trend in the field of employment law post-pandemic has been a greater appreciation for mental health issues and more employees are raising alleged mental disabilities in grievances and dismissal situations. 

We have recently developed an ESG policy and we recognise that the ESG agenda is very important in the modern workplace. In the field of employment law the main issue is aligning actual workplace culture with the values of the employer and the values of an increasingly progressive country. The appalling farrago surrounding the CBI in the UK demonstrates that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” We help our clients align their workplace culture with their lived values. 

We are members of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) and the EELA (European Employment Lawyers Association) and we go to their events regularly. We have a network of firms that we turn to, when we are advising clients who may want advice abroad. Some of these are known to us personally, and we have worked with them on behalf of clients. Some of them we will source through the GLE. We are proud members of the GLE. One of our team is also a regional organiser for BNI and we source referrals and leads through that network.

The main piece of legislation in the UK is the EU Withdrawal Bill in which the UK Government is (still) intending that all EU-derived legislation will be repealed at midnight on 31 December 2023 (following Brexit) unless the Government specifically legislates for a replacement. Potentially, this may result in the automatic repeal of 1000s of separate EU-based legislation. In the field of employment law, this could result in the repeal of TUPE and the Agency Worker Regulations as well as other pieces of equality legislation. Business groups are concerned about such a crude across-the-board position without things being sensibly thought-through. We wait to see whether this EU Withdrawal Bill will actually happen. 

We are ready willing and able to provide GLE member firms, and their associates, with the legal support that they need for their employment affairs in the UK. 

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International Employment - United Kingdom

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