Getting pay right can be difficult and getting it wrong can be expensive. Whether you need advice on equal pay, pay reporting, falling foul of the National Wage Minimum (NMW) rules, tripping up on holiday pay calculations or reviewing off payroll working arrangements, our pay experts are here to help. 

Our team of pay experts likes nothing more than rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck into the detail of the, often complex, legislation to advise our clients, pragmatically, on reputationally and financially significant pay issues. 

Individual equal pay claims can be reputationally damaging but mass claims have the potential to be business critical. Gender pay reporting has shone a spotlight on pay fairness and other areas of pay reporting may follow with many organisations already choosing to report voluntarily on ethnicity pay gaps.

HMRC wage audits is another area for focus. The National Minimum Wage legislation is complex so compliance is not always straightforward. HMRC audits can often identify NMW underpayments (albeit unintentional in many cases) triggering penalties and potentially the naming and shaming of the employer.

The off payroll working rules (known as IR35) can be another flashpoint with end users potential liable for employer taxes if the contractor tax status is incorrectly categorised.

Holiday pay is another area where employers have faced very significant claims with misapplication of a complex area of law leading to high-value class actions. 

These are just some of the areas where we can help. You will see additional areas of focus below. We are a very experienced team. This means that not only will you benefit from excellent technical knowhow, our advice will also reflect the latest market practices together with insights on how solutions will work on the ground.

If you have a pay issue that needs to be resolved our experts will identify the routes forward and advise on the best approach. Drawing on their wide-ranging experience, we will explain the options in a straightforward way demystifying what can be very technical issues.

Areas of Focus

Our pay experts:

  • Help employers, who are concerned that they may be in breach of the NMW rules, to identify potential arrears of wages and to rectify the underpayments before any HMRC investigation (known as self-correction)
  • Assist employers who are considering changing their employee value propositions or implementing new benefits (including salary sacrifice) to ensure that they comply with the relevant rules and avoid inadvertent breaches
  • Help employers manage employment pay-related tribunal claims
  • Help employers put safeguards in place to ensure compliance with the off payroll rules including designing compliant on-boarding processes, status determinations, contractor/agent appeals processes
  • Review contractual arrangements with contractors, agents and service providers to ensure that appropriate indemnities and safeguards are in place
  • Audit employers’ pay practices to identify current and historic legal risk
  • Advise on holiday pay calculations for different types of worker and provide strategic advice in the face of further case law developments in this area
  • Advise on the strategies to adopt in corporate and commercial transactions in relation to pay-related liabilities

National Minimum Wage

Advising a well-known national retailer on a range of NMW issues including deductions for uniforms, clothing allowances, clocking times, holiday pay, pay reference periods and flexitime.

Advising a major manufacturer on NMW issues associated with on-boarding and pre-employment activities.

Advising a healthcare provider undertaking an audit of its existing pay practices, including identifying categories of workers and elements of pay relevant for NMW purposes.

Equal pay

Helping employers implement family friendly policies (including enhancement pay) and advising on the treatment of benefits during leave.

Successfully defending equal pay claims made against a major UK manufacturer.

Advising a global outsourced supplier on its UK gender pay reporting obligations including assessing over 500 pay elements for inclusion.

Holiday pay

Carrying out holiday pay audits for a number of employers (including FTSE 100 companies) to identify current and historic legal risk.

Advising a number of FTSE 100 companies on the implications of landmark cases relating to holiday pay.

Conducting a compliance review of all pay practices, including holiday pay, across businesses for a major manufacturer.

IR35/Off payroll working

Advising various public and private sector organisations on the introduction of the new off payroll working regimes in 2017 and 2021 including drafting policy documents and updated contractual documentation to navigate and mitigate potential risks.

Advising a bank on its review of off payroll working arrangements and developing a resourcing strategy to de-risk its arrangements and manage risk in the supply chain.

Meet the team
Luke Bowery

Luke Bowery Partner

  • Employment
  • Restructuring and Redundancy
  • Equality, Diversity and Discrimination
Headshot of Adrian Martin

Adrian Martin Partner

  • Head of Employment
  • TUPE: Business Transfers and Outsourcing
  • Restructuring and Redundancy
Annelise Tracy-Phillips

Annelise Tracy Phillips Senior Associate

  • Employment
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Restructuring and Redundancy

What others say...

The team approaches work in a collaborative and friendly matter, which makes them feel like colleagues. They are both pragmatic and thoughtful in their approach. They work across my team who are at different levels and pitch information and advice appropriately. Invaluable contribution to our team.

Legal 500 2024

Key contact

Annelise Tracy-Phillips

Annelise Tracy Phillips Senior Associate

  • Employment
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Restructuring and Redundancy
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