That got us to thinking. Cost is the obvious difference. An Employment Lawyer is possibly more expensive than an HR Consultant. We decided that the differences were probably more detailed than that if you’re an employer trying to make a decision.
Obviously we are likely to be making generalised statements in this blog. We advise that whether engaging an HR Consultant or an Employment Lawyer you check out first their experience of dealing with your kind of issue.
Why Choose an HR Consultant?
An HR Consultant is likely to have spent many years “in the trenches”, dealing with employee challenges within organisations. They may even have been an operational manager and know what it’s like managing people on a day to day basis.
They will likely have a proactive approach to managing your workforce. We would expect that they translate theory into practice for you, helping you to implement HR best practice, helping you to respond reactively to issues which arrive.
You can expect that the HR Consultant will undertake continuous professional development. 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. Metis HR went on site with the Client to hold consultation meetings with affected employees.
Ultimately it’s your choice which professional to use. We believe that your professional adviser, whether an HR Consultant of an Employment Lawyer, they should provide you with a cost effective solution, while still mitigating risk and ensuring due diligence.