A charity's employees are one of its key assets. And those charities which are capable of mobilising volunteers have an asset which is often just as valuable. Like all assets, the value of employees and volunteers to a charity will depend upon how effectively they are managed; to get the best from them, but also to minimise the risks posed by the often complex legal framework which applies.
We provide a comprehensive range of legal support to charities in relation to their employees and volunteers.
We understand the challenges faced by charities both in managing workplace issues and also keeping up to date with employment legislation and case law changes. Policies and procedures are important in any workplace, to set out the standards of conduct required of employees and also to provide them with a guide on how things are done; and defending employment tribunal proceedings as a result of a failure to apply proper procedures and policies can be time consuming and expensive.
Having to make decisions about redundancies can be challenging for charities, as can business transfers and outsourcing arrangements which trigger complex issues under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE). Our employment lawyers provide specialist support to guide charities through complex legal processes, such as TUPE.
Added to this is the challenge of managing equality and diversity, which spans the whole of the employment relationship. If not tackled early, dealing with discrimination in charities can lead to expensive and time consuming disputes that may also be damaging to staff morale and cause reputational damage to the charity.
Formalising arrangements with charity volunteers can also be challenging. Charities need certainty on a volunteer's commitment, but will not want to formalise legal relations in a way that creates worker or employee status issues or inadvertently confers statutory rights, such as entitlement to the national minimum wage or statutory holiday pay.
More information regarding our employment law expertise.