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HR and employment in higher education


Our national team of experienced employment lawyers and specialist education HR advisors work with higher education institutions (HEIs) on a daily basis. We understand the issues facing your sector and the need to be agile to take account of new opportunities and challenges. HEIs are having to think even more strategically about their future and your HR team has a key role to play.

We are praised for our practical, robust advice and our ability to deal with urgent matters that need an immediate response. We operate very much as part of our clients’ HR teams supporting them in every way we can and, as a result, they really trust us.

What we offer

  • Advice on a comprehensive range of employment law issues including recruitment, contractual and settlement agreements, workplace policies and procedures, equality, diversity and inclusion, governance, remuneration, pensions, trade unions, industrial action and strikes, safeguarding, whistleblowing, organisational change, communication and reputational management matters
  • Advice on immigration issues, including matters relating to inbound international staff, the employment of PhD students and UKVI audits.
  • A practical solutions approach to internal disputes including grievance, disciplinary, ill health and performance related issues
  • Bespoke training – tailored, practical and interactive training to ensure HR teams, academic and professional services staff and senior management are up to date with latest developments
  • A “one team” approach – we act as an extension of your HR team, especially during periods of increased workload, absence or capability
  • Advocacy services – we have a wealth of experience acting for our HEI clients in the employment tribunals, county and high courts.

Why choose Browne Jacobson employment lawyers?

We are a national team of experienced employment lawyers, specialising in employment law for HEIs. For more information, please contact James Tait.

recent experience

  • Carrying out an in-depth review of a university’s current contractual arrangements with all its contractors and freelancers to ensure it is compliant with IR35 legislation

  • Advising a university in relation to the removal of a senior member of staff as result of complex and potentially very damaging whistleblowing allegations

  • Representing a university in relation to a high-profile sex discrimination claim with significant media interest

what the directories say...

My overall impression of the firm is they are the perfect working partner for a business. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.

Chambers 2020

The Browne Jacobson LLP employment team is 'incredibly responsive, knowledgeable and thorough in its approach.'

Legal 500 2020

focus on...

Legal updates

What is a higher education course for the purposes of access to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator’s (OIA) complaints process?

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator’s (OIA) has recently published a reminder of its remit in relation to dealing with complaints, which is a timely reminder as the new academic year begins.


Protecting University IP and safely utilising building capacity during COVID-19

As Universities look to utilise their labs and bring staff and students back to campus, whilst potentially continuing with at home study and research, what are the key IP issues to consider and associated health and safety aspects?


Legal updates

The mental health of higher education staff – duty of care in uncertain times

As we embrace mental health awareness week from 18 May 2020, it is timely to reflect on some of the steps that HEIs can take to discharge their duty of care in uncertain times.


Higher Education procurement and contracting during COVID-19

What can and should universities do to set up contracts for September when there is uncertainty about how education will be delivered, or when staff have been furloughed or otherwise engaged?


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