Many solicitors choose a specialism rather than choosing to offer general legal advice. These specialists may work in a law firm which only focuses on one core area of law, or they may work with a team of other specialists who cover a broad spectrum. One of the specialist areas that a solicitor may choose to work on could be employment law.
What is an Employment Solicitor?
An employment solicitor is a trained professional who understands codified law and legal precedent in the area of employment. This may cover the rules and regulations surrounding the ways that companies recruit, retain, train and pay staff. They can provide guidance to companies about what they need to do if they have to fire staff or make them redundant.
When employment laws are changed by the government, employment solicitors are often consulted by companies so that the company can take all of the steps necessary to make sure that they comply with the new laws.
Alternatively, they may support employees/ former employees to make sure that their rights are properly protected. For example, they can help to support people who have been discriminated against in the workplace. If a former employee feels that they have been wrongfully dismissed or issued with a warning unfairly whilst they were still in the workplace, then an employment solicitor can take steps to help them to win compensation or get their job back.
How much does an Employment Solicitor earn?
Trainee employment solicitors are likely to earn between £12,000 and £20,000 per year. Trainees who are working in London or who have secured themselves a training contract with one of the larger law firms in the country are likely to earn towards the higher end of this scale. Once qualified, most employment solicitors will earn between £20,000 and £50,000 per year. Those who are working in larger, private companies are likely to earn more than those who work for public or social organisations. High-ranking employment solicitors who work with multi-national organisations in the United Kingdom can earn six figure sums.
What skills should an Employment Solicitor have?
Employment solicitors must also be flexible and quick to learn new things. Employment laws are regularly updated in the United Kingdom, and therefore these solicitors must be able to keep up-to-date with changing legislation so that they can continue to provide their clients with appropriate advice. At the same time, they must also understand the effects of previous legislation.
All employers and employees are bound by the laws which were in place at the time when an alleged incident took place, which means that previous legislation can play its own part in a case. Strong analytical skills should help them to understand the issues at hand and be able to pick out key points to make a strong case. An employment solicitor should be able be meticulous. They must be able to prepare papers to careful specifications so that they meet the requirements of the law, because even the smallest mistakes can cause issues for create problems for clients.
Employment solicitors must have good communication skills, because they are expected to communicate with people on a variety of different levels, from workers through to tribunal judges. They may also have to address large groups of people at once. As part of their communication skills, they should have strong negotiation skills. Many of the cases which employment solicitors work on can end with two opposing parties attempting to come to a suitable settlement. A good solicitor should be able to use their negotiating skills to help to ensure that their client receives a fair settlement.