Legal advice for hoteliers
At TWM Solicitors, we work with a number of hotels that are independent or part of a small privately-run group. We understand the pressures involved in successfully managing and running such operations. Problems can often 'flare-up' at short notice and access to quick and pragmatic advice is key. Because we are not an insurance offering, you know our advice has your best interests at its heart. We receive enquiries from hotels whose existing policies may be coming to an end, the experience has not been wholly positive and a value for money alternative is required.
Many of the issues we are called to help with are around people and employment:
- Minimum wage and zero-hours contracts
- Staff churn
- Overseas workers
- Health & safety
- Defending Employment Tribunal claims
- Exiting long-standing senior staff under settlement agreements
- Staff contracts including clauses regarding annualised hours
- Staff handbooks
- Illegal workers and immigration issues
- Working Time Regulations
- Service occupancy issues
Service occupancy is often a disputed area. Technically, it is possible to reduce the minimum wage paid if staff get accommodation. The accommodation provision is covered in the employment contract. However, if the accommodation is a room in a block and not a distinct dwelling, issues over payment for bills, utilities, satellite TV etc. can be problematic if not dealt with effectively at the outset.
We know the exacting standards required of customer-facing staff in this sector and the general pressures everyone is under. Knee-jerk reactions to employment issues arising are unlikely to be in the long term best interests of the employer. The ability to pick up the phone, speak to a solicitor who knows you and your establishment can ensure disputes with staff are managed within the required standards that the law expects.
Outsourcing and contracts
Hotels may chose to outsource certain areas, e.g. housekeeping, and we act on your behalf to negotiate effective commercial contracts.
Once an outsource agreement has expired, it is not uncommon for the service, e.g. gardening, to be brought back in-house and we advise on the transfer (TUPE) of staff from the outsourced provider to the hotel.
Property and land
Many establishments are older in rural settings and, historically, with significant pockets of land. We have helped sell off this land for development, thus providing the hotelier with funds for re-investment.
General business law advice
- Recovery of debts
- Duties of directors and shareholders