We’re often asked “What’s the difference between an HR Consultant and an Employment Lawyer and which one is best?
Having got over the upsetting fact the average solicitor earns more than we do 😊 I thought I’d provide a fuller answer…
First thing – if you’re an employer facing a claim for unfair dismissal from a former employee you paid over £120k pa – call me and I’ll give you the details of a good solicitor!
OK, to the more usual state of affairs…
One of the first differences is cost – solicitors tend to have higher costs than HR consultants eg more salubrious premises and their professional indemnity insurance can be 5% of their fees so their costs tend to be higher – before they’ve done any work!
Why Choose an HR Consultant?
An HR Consultant is likely to have spent many years in the thick of it, dealing with employee challenges within organisations – large and small.
They will likely have a proactive approach to managing your people and workforce. We would expect that they translate theory into practice for you (most HR Consultants are CIPD qualified like us), helping you to implement HR best practice and supporting you to respond reactively to issues which arrive.
You can expect that the HR Consultant will undertake continuous professional development such as attending employment law updates and CIPD workshops. They’re unlikely to have a law degree but they should have a working knowledge of the law and how it’s applied in the workplace.
Why choose an Employment Lawyer?
The Employment Lawyer is a specialist, someone who has a law degree. More than just the law degree they know the law. They know how the law is administered and will have spent much time studying the application of law to the workplace.
An Employment Lawyer is the expert you may consult when considering action which may result in litigation. They are the expert that keeps up to date with complex legislation, sometimes conflicting legislation. They will advise on your exposure to risk and how best to reduce your exposure.
The Grey Area
There are areas where HR Consultants and Employment Lawyers can cross over. For example, you’ll find both may prepare contracts of employment, both may advise on disciplinary matters. There are areas where they might work together in a complimentary way. For example, in a recent TUPE situation, our client engaged a solicitor to draw up the transfer agreements and draft correspondence to staff. H2R Selection then supported to hold consultation meetings with the impacted employees.
Ultimately it’s your choice which professional to use. We believe that your professional adviser, whether an HR Consultant or an Employment Lawyer, they should provide you with a cost effective solution, while still mitigating risk and ensuring compliance.
At H2R Selection we want to add value to your business with trust and commitment at the forefront. Building strong relationships with our clients is what we do. We have your business needs at the heart of what we do.