Human Resources

Outlined below are examples of some of the more interesting (and possibly challenging!) pieces of work we have managed as counsultants.  

TUPE or not TUPE?

Following a major maintenance contract win, our client was faced with 120 potential new employees transferring to them under TUPE from 11 outgoing service providers.  This involved a considerable amount of work in establishing whether these were valid transfers under the TUPE Regulations, identifying instances where the outgoing service providers may be attempting to ‘cherry pick’ which employees were to transfer, consulting with incoming employees, Trade Unions, employee representatives and the senior management of the existing employers and clearly establishing the exact nature of the various contractual terms and conditions of employment involved.   This work needed to be completed to meet an ‘8.00 a.m. on a Monday morning deadline’ when the service provision was to ‘switch’.  This deadline was comfortably met.

Parting is such sweet sorrow …

This was technically complex assignment where we assisted a Partner in a financial investment partnership to extricate herself from both her US partnership position and her UK employment status with the organisation.  The stakes were very high; significantly in excess of US$10m.  This required extensive liaison with and the co-ordination of the efforts of law firms in the US and UK, facilitating negotiations between our client and the managing partner of the firm.  A negotiated settlement was agreed which included a US$350k uplift to the settlement amount with just 10 minutes to spare before the agreed ‘cut-off’ deadline.

 It's a fair cop ...

On face value this situation should have been clear. Our client’s Financial Controller had, over a number of months, written out cheques to cash which he had then cashed with his employer’s cash office and pocketed the money.  He then entered fake supplier invoices on the purchase ledger system and allocated the cash amounts he had stolen against these fake invoices.  He stole in excess of £140,000.  Given the serious nature of the complaints, seniority of the employee concerned and the potential severity of the sanction we advised that a thorough investigation into the matter. We also ensured that our client followed the ACAS Code of Practice to the letter.  Following an investigation by our client’s auditors which included a handwriting analysis of the relevant cheque stubs he was summarily dismissed.  He was also arrested by the Police and charged with fraud.  Nonetheless, he submitted a Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal.  Thanks to the thoroughness of the investigation, procedural compliance and the strength of the evidence gathered the claim was ‘struck out’ and a costs award was made in favour of our client.

 Organisational design in practice

This was a hugely rewarding project for a large leisure industry group.  After several years of difficult trading the objective was to drive up business performance through restructuring the management hierarchy and introducing a clear and simple to use performance management system.  The process initially involved identifying and defining the Directors’ vision for the business and the organisational competencies needed to achieve this vision.  This framework was then used together with the outputs from an organisation-wide employee survey to build ‘output’ geared job descriptions with associated behavioural competency requirements for all levels of management.  These were then directly aligned to appraisal and development activities that were both clear and easy to implement.  This process was supported and complemented by a management training programme.  In the year following this intervention the group’s revenue increased by 15% and it returned to profitability.

All in a day’s work …

These examples are representative of some of the incidents and issues we assist with as a matter of routine:

  • The gas engineer who failed to spot a soot blocked gas flue resulting in the ingress of combustion emissions including carbon monoxide to the main living room of a family with young children;
  • The preparatory school teacher who picked on and victimised an autistic child on the grounds that ‘children like that shouldn’t be at this school’;
  • The employee who committed a serious sexual assault on a female colleague;
  • The Sales Director whose work performance was suffering as a result of a temporal lobe lesion on his brain that caused mild epilepsy and dissociative episodes;
  • The rogue trader who misused client funds to trade on his own account resulting in a loss of £1.5 million to his employer.

Just wanted to say a huge thank you for supporting and advising me on this matter and helping to bring it to a swift and satisfactory resolution ...

Private individual