Employment and pensions issues

They are very realistic and have an integrity which has won them their reputation and means that they get listened to.

Chambers UK

Recruitment, retention and retirement are critical issues for the education sector where the main currency is the calibre of academic staff. When results and reputation are key to attracting students, investment and sponsorship, establishments are ultimately dependent on the quality of their people.

All aspects of employing staff - from contracts, compliance with employment legislation and pensions to performance, dismissal and retirement - need to be handled with total professionalism and expert legal guidance when the need arises.

Penningtons Manches Cooper's education sector employment team acts for universities, examinations bodies and regulators, HE and FE colleges and schools, particularly where the institution has overseas interests. We specialise in contentious and non-contentious employment issues and regularly act both for and against universities, colleges and schools.

Our education team has particular expertise in disputes involving academics and their terms and conditions, as well as other high profile employment disputes. We also frequently provide guidance on the transfer of staff under TUPE and on reorganisations and redundancies.

We deal with all aspects of tribunal work, including appeals to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, as well as matters of academic freedom. Our lawyers, who are recognised as leaders in their field by both Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession and The Legal 500, for their "in depth knowledge of the academic world” also advise on the management of reorganisations and redundancy, as well as on the use of fixed term contracts when dealing with temporary academic staff.

We offer expert advice on:

  • advocacy in employment tribunals
  • employment rights and contracts
  • unfair dismissal claims
  • redundancy and reorganisations
  • complex discrimination and whistle blowing disputes
  • senior management and academic terminations and negotiated exits
  • use of fixed term and zero hours contracts for temporary academic staff
  • trade union matters
  • TUPE

Recent work highlights

Wrongful termination

Advising a senior member of a university on the wrongful termination of his employment prior to the expiry of his tenure.

Trade union recognition

Defending the application of trade union recognition for a small group of employees employed within a college; negotiating on a more appropriate bargaining unit; and eventually agreeing terms after a successful union ballot result.

Discrimination claim from visiting lecturer

Acting for a private university to defend a claim from a visiting lecturer who alleged that the University had discriminated against him on the basis of his part-time status, as compared to a full time faculty member.

Related expertise

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP