Employment law for education

All sectors will face the same challenges when it comes to employment law; challenges such as conducting grievance and disciplinary proceedings, managing sickness absence and working to avoid tribunal claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, constructive dismissal…the list goes on!

For some sectors however, the trials they face can be made even more complicated due to their environment, and one of these is the education sector. 

Increasingly governing bodies, including Academy Trusts, have access to their own budgets for legal advice including in relation to HR and employment law issues.  Rather than being bound by Local Authority advice and guidance they can now take their own advice and form a commercial view as to how to manage staff.   Governing bodies need guidance on the extent to which they delegate this ability to seek advice to one person, such as the Headteacher, or one or more governors.  

HR Managers, Directors and Bursars within schools, colleges, universities and academies have different balls to juggle than those in the private sector; as well as managing the teachers as corporate businesses would their employees, consideration also needs to be given to the students, plus any additional rights teachers receive as part of their position.

We can advise, and have experience in the following areas of employment law for the education sector:

  • Data protection
  • Disciplinary issues involving the use of social media and teacher/pupil relations
  • Flexible working rights and return from maternity leave
  • Health and safety issues in science and arts lessons
  • Issues of Head Teachers leadership and performance
  • Major Further Education College on a large scale restructuring exercise involving compulsory redundancies.  We have advised on the legal aspects of the process as well as assisting with consultation with trade union and employee representatives
  • Representing teachers on an individual basis to bring Tribunal claims
  • Shared services arrangements
  • Sick leave entitlement which resets upon their return to work
  • Tackling poor performing teachers while awaiting Ofsted reports
  • Tackling the older workforce and keeping in touch with current teaching methods and pupils
  • Term time only contracts
  • Voluntary redundancy exercises to upskill the workforce
  • Zero hours contracts.

If you are in the education sector and wish to discuss any of these employment law issues, or something we have not listed, then you can contact the team on 023 8071 7717 or email employment@warnergoodman.co.uk.

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