Given our national standing in police-related legal advice, it's no surprise we undertake more employment and governance work for police forces than any other law firm, providing police forces across the country with advice on matters such as Employment Tribunal claims, data protection, freedom of information, working time and HR policies.
The scope of our expertise includes:
Discrimination claims under the Equality Act and whistleblowing claims
We're acutely aware how disruptive discrimination or whistleblowing cases can be, and the damage they can cause. That's why we offer an early assessment of cases, so we can develop an appropriate strategy for dealing with a claim promptly: whether by trying to settle or by gathering the evidence to robustly defend it. Whatever strategy we adopt, we always take a proportionate approach, committing the right level of resources to ensure claims are dealt with in a timely manner and with minimum disruption.
We've regularly advised police authorities, and now assist their successors, police and crime commissioners, on governance matters. This includes helping with the appointment and disqualification of members, as well as advising on members' allowances schemes and drafting policies. In addition, we provide advice on the use of emergency powers, waiving and interpreting standing orders, and schemes of delegation, particularly in relation to police misconduct. Our advice covers access to information, the audit of accounts, and the implications of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act. We've also advised on managing and avoiding potential conflicts of interest.
Over the years, we have advised clients on a variety of regulations that apply specifically to police forces, such as the pay of temporarily promoted officers, the termination of officers on probation, dismissal of officers and terminating officers with 30 or more years' service under Regulation A19.
TUPE and organisational change
Employment law is as big a challenge for police forces as for any other employer; if not more so. We advise on the employment law consequences of restructuring projects. For example, outsourcing building maintenance and travel bookings, collective redundancies in HR departments, large scale contractual changes involving collective consultation, and TUPE/Cabinet Office guidance on transferring functions from a police force to a county council.