Agricultural & rural business employment and HR support

We work closely with organisations to provide seamless support in relation to day to day HR and employment issues.

Your contracts of employment and policies and procedures, whether in a staff handbook, manual or on your intranet, are the most important documents you have to govern your relationship with your employees.

With a diverse workforce and ever-changing business needs, we understand that “one size fits all” approach does not work for all organisations and whether you need full- or part-time employees, fixed term workers, job share arrangements, apprentices or zero hour contracts, we can help.

We understand that when you are buying or selling a land with a business attached to it there are many issues to focus on and we will work with you to find the most commercial and practical ways to meet your obligations under TUPE.

We understand that recruiting the right people for your business is vitally important and often challenging, with many businesses relying on skills and staff from outside of the UK or Europe. However, the rules on business immigration and engaging foreign workers are complex and rapidly changing, with severe penalties and reputational issues for those that get it wrong – we can help you navigate this complex area of law.

You may need advice on live-in staff, seasonal workers, or those with accommodation or transportation tied to their jobs where ‘working time’ and ‘minimum wage’ are difficult to calculate. We can help you with those tricky issues.

Our specialist advisers can assist you on all aspects of employment law and help you to protect your business and your staff. We will work with you to understand and achieve your objectives and offer practical advice throughout the process – whether at an early stage when you are recruiting someone, through to dealing with dispute that arise during employment or ultimately at an Employment Tribunal.

Specialisms

  • Advice on the various types of ‘worker’ or ‘employee’
  • Preparing contracts of employment
  • Preparing consultancy agreements for ‘self employed’ contractors
  • Preparing policies and procedures (such as disciplinary and grievance procedures, or health and safety manuals)
  • Advice on employee performance, conduct or sickness issues
  • Restructuring and redundancies
  • Advice on employment issues arising from buying and selling businesses (or land with businesses attached)
  • Right to Work checks – protecting you from criminal and civil liability
  • EEA nationals – navigating the current right of free movement
  • Advising on termination packages to senior employees

Example cases and matters

  • Advising an animal rescue centre on changing their operating hours to provide 24/7 care for the animals – this involved a major consultation for the 100 employees in changing their terms and conditions, and working hours. The change was quite contentious and involved negotiations with unionised staff.
  • Advising a landscape gardening company on the sickness of one of their employees and the impact of adapting his duties.
  • Advising a wine estate on the holiday pay requirements for seasonal workers.
  • Assisting land owners with issues involving long serving members of staff under service occupancy agreements.
  • Providing day to day HR advice for a wildlife trust.
  • Advising owners of large estates with live-in staff on minimum wage and working time issues.
  • Regular advice to a provider of agricultural equipment and products on all employment and HR matters, including drivers’ working time, and health and safety with the transportation of heavy items.

For more information on the range of Employment and HR support we can offer you for your agricultural or rural business, or if you have any questions, please contact Amy Richardson.