Employment & HR for GPs Team Experience
Our Employment team is led by Catherine Daw and has considerable experience in dealing with GP and healthcare related employment issues including contractual points, pay matters and disciplinary procedures.
Disciplinary Issues and Support for Decision Making
We supported a practice in dealing with a disciplinary issue connected with the inappropriate access of patient and staff records by a member of practice staff. Advice was given concerning the correct process to be followed, the evidence which needed to be obtained and the form this needed to take and guidance was given on the appropriate tests to support safe decision making. We provided wider guidance on data protection risks and steps to provide greater protection for the practice in the future.
Our HR consultancy service is able to support practices in conducting investigations, preparing reports, chairing panels and in providing independent HR advice. Support is available for key practice staff including practice managers via our free training programmes including access to on-line webinars.
We represented a Trust where the claimant brought complaints of sex discrimination, harassment, indirect discrimination, victimisation, equal pay, part-time worker discrimination, constructive unfair dismissal and breach of contract. The claimant’s primary complaint was that she was harassed over a prolonged period by her male colleagues as she was the only woman in the respondent’s IT department.
The claimant alleged considerable harm had been caused by the conduct. The claimant withdrew her claim mid-way through her cross examination. The respondent has been awarded substantial costs based on the Respondent’s application that the claimant’s complaints were misconceived, vexatious and unreasonable. The case attracted considerable press attention and Brachers were able to provide media support and liaised with the press concerning the production of articles.
Mergers and Staff Changes
We are supporting a number of practices who are considering merging by providing guidance and precedent documents to facilitate effective consultation around the transfer of staff to a new practice or a newly created practice. The transfer regulations (TUPE) are complex and we provide our clients with practical guidance notes, precedent documents to enable the election of employee representatives, template letters giving the required information and our HR managers can undertake consultation meetings and oversee the consultation process if desired.
We offer advice, post merger on terms and conditions and changes practices would like to make.
Employment Tribunal Claims
We have represented practices in relation to employment tribunal claims including claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination and pay and contracts issues. We have recently represented a practice in connection with an unlawful deductions claim arising out of a dispute concerning contractual terms. We were able to successfully resolve the issue with the employee and minimise the risk of further claims.
Contracts and Handbooks
The starting point for the majority of employment issues will be individuals’ contracts of employment and a practice’s policies and procedures. These documents need to be regularly reviewed and kept up to date.
We offer a range of options for ensuring documentation meets current requirements from basic compliance reviews to drafting bespoke documentation to support a practice as it develops. Our HR managers undertake HR audits for practices to assess any areas of weakness and can help structure staff development plans, benefits and rewards structures and change management programmes.