HR Plus – Anderson Strathern’s solution to employers’ legal problems

HR Plus – Anderson Strathern’s solution to employers’ legal problems

Lawyers can be expensive. It’s true. And for many purposes, it’ll be disproportionate to call in the lawyers.

However, employers do need quality legal advice from specialists who are regularly arguing cases in the Employment Tribunal. Taking advice from people who have never actually run an Employment Tribunal case is tantamount to taking driving lessons from someone who has read the Highway Code but has never driven a car. So, a solicitor who genuinely specialises in employment law – rather than someone who just dabbles in employment issues – should be used when employment advice is needed.

But lawyers are too expensive….

This is why we have developed a new service for employers – HR Plus.

HR Plus deploys a range of employer and employment law talent and skills in a bespoke and proportionate way.

Many clients do not have their own in-house HR professional or function, but would like ‘on the ground’ practical support to help them deal with employment issues which arise in the day to day, or where bigger issues suddenly emerge. Other clients may need an investigation to be undertaken by someone who is external to the organisation – for instance, for the purposes of demonstrating independence in the process or because their own managers are reluctant or maybe because their own HR teams are too busy at the time.

But lawyers are too expensive….

We recruited an HR Business Partner, Julie Tannahill to join our Employment Team. By embedding Julie into the employment services we offer, we can deliver an HR consultancy service plus: Julie will have ready access to our team of specialist employment lawyers, as well as to the other specialists in the firm for areas such as GDPR, tax, health and safety and immigration. HR Plus will ensure that Julie delivers a joined up service.

Already Julie has been instructed by clients to attend their sites to investigate alleged misconduct, to investigate grievances and to explore working relationships to identify where failure might be occurring. She has been seconded to a manufacturing client whose managers simply have not had time to conduct return to work interviews or to speak with absentees; which has reduced the number of individuals who are reaching trigger points.

All of this has allowed Julie to be the conduit for legal advice and to translate that advice into practical action points which she can deliver for the organisation; and, most importantly, her presence there has allowed management time to be freed up to run the business. The service is of benefit to employers and employees. Employees see that the employer will not overlook those who are not, perhaps, performing or attending. Where particular support is required, that is identified at an early stage and is delivered. As well as this, Julie’s presence has been welcomed by recognised trade unions.

And it’s not too expensive….

Despite her professional qualifications and her years of experience, Julie is not as expensive as a lawyer. Fixed fee rates for days spent on site or for particular projects allow clients to budget. Producing witness statements or investigation reports can, if preferred, be done from our offices.

And despite sitting in an open plan office among a bunch of lawyers, Julie is a personable individual! She quickly builds confidence with the shop floor and with senior managers. She enjoys travelling to client sites throughout the country and getting her sleeves rolled up. She can do work on an ad hoc or on a regular basis. Our HR Plus service is a key resource to a number of our clients but it’s one which we haven’t crowed about so far. When we were asked to write a piece on Talent and Skills, we immediately thought of Anderson Strathern’s HR Plus service.

Lawyers may be a necessary evil, but they can be used sparingly. Our HR Plus service means practical professional HR support, backed by the lawyers only as and when needed. Meaning it is not too expensive!

We would be happy to have a no obligation conversation about our HR plus service and introduce you to Julie and the lawyers who support her.

Please contact Andrew Brown at or on 0131 270 7938 or 07912 120920 or contact Julie Tannahill at or on 0131 625 8024 or 07770 686238.

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