HCR Law Events

About me

Employment law is constantly evolving and the issues involved in it are always varied, never more so than in education. I work with a range of both private and public-sector organisations, but I especially support independent schools and academies, helping them find solutions to staffing issues.

When I first meet my clients, I make it my business to really get to know them. It is important to me to become as knowledgeable as I can about how your organisation operates, including your approach to issues and appetite for risk.

I take a real interest in every client, making sure I’ve got to grips with the issues facing you and understand how you work. My focus is on being clear and dependable and I work closely with my clients to make the process as easy as possible, providing considered, commercial and practical advice.

When I’m not in the office, I enjoy spending time with my family, going to the gym, theatre and travelling.

Negotiating the departure of a Headteacher

Rachel Parkin recently helped a school with the smooth exit of two senior members of staff. She negotiated terms for the amicable departure of its Headteacher. She also defended the school and chair of governors against claims threatened by another senior member of staff (who had been dismissed) and ultimately reached a resolution. Rachel’s point of contact at the school said afterwards: “Many thanks for your help with all of this. You are such a good lawyer – apart from the law bit, your mix of professionalism, pragmatism and approachability is so reassuring!”
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Top Tips & FAQs

Discover my top tips

Don’t let things build up – get in touch for some advice as soon as an issue arises.

Document everything, even if it seems trivial or unnecessary.

Communication is key, so keep talking to me and let me know if anything changes.

Read questions I'm frequently asked

How do I dismiss a particular employee fairly?

This depends on the circumstances of the case but typically involves providing a fair reason for the dismissal and following a fair procedure.

In what circumstances can an employment tribunal order one of the parties to pay the legal costs of the other party?

The costs regime is different to that of the civil courts (in which the losing party pays the winning party’s costs). Employment tribunals can make awards for costs where a party, or his or her representative, has acted "vexatiously, abusively, disruptively, or otherwise unreasonably" or if the claim is "misconceived".

Are restrictive covenants enforceable?

As a matter of public policy, the general rule is that restrictive covenants are unenforceable as being in restraint of trade. However, such covenants may be enforceable if they are designed to protect a legitimate business interest, such as customer and client relationships or confidential information; are no wider than reasonably necessary to protect that interest; and are not contrary to the public interest.

Do I have to provide a former employee with a reference?

No, there’s no obligation for an employer to provide a reference providing the reasons for doing so are not discriminatory. If a reference is given, it must be true and accurate.

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