The Paralegal profession offers a plethora of options for candidates. It provides flexibility, opportunities, and a great deal of variety when it comes to specialising in a certain practice area. Paralegal jobs are more in demand than ever since the withdrawal of Legal Aid. Covering the responsibilities, requirements and rewards of Employment Paralegal jobs, this guide will help you make informed professional decisions, whether you’re looking to pursue a Paralegal career in the Employment sector.
What is Employment Law?
Employment law governs the relationship between employer and employee, focusing on matters of the workplace, such as benefits, salaries and the legal rights of both employer and employee. It’s a highly varied practice area with regulations, statutes, and best practices adjusting to the ebbs and flows the legal landscape.
The employment cycle runs from the initial hiring through to contract termination, with Employment Law focusing on five key areas, comprising Employment Contracts, Personal Data, Discrimination, Unfair dismissal and Protecting the Interests of the Business.
What is an Employment Paralegal?
The work of an Employment Paralegal is tailored to the realm of Labour and Employment Law. As a Employment Paralegal, you will assist a Solicitor, addressing issues of workplace safety, compensation, layoffs and labour disputes.
Unlike a Solicitor, Legal Executive or Conveyancer, a Paralegal isn’t formally qualified.
What does an Employment Paralegal do?
As an Employment Paralegal, you will focus on the body of Employment law, assisting clients experiencing disputes or legal issues concerning employment. Your job role will differ depending on the clientele that your Solicitor or law firm deals with. For example, if you work for a law firm specialising in Corporate Law, then the labour laws will be directed towards defending large-scale businesses.
Your day-to-day will encompass case management and research; specifically requesting employment records, drafting legal documentation, conducting administrative tasks and researching relevant labour laws.
You will often work closely with partners and solicitors on a variety of tribunal employment cases, as well as:
- Drafting, reviewing, analysing & organising documents in litigation and transactional matters.
- Monitoring on-going matter activity and pending deadlines in litigation and transactional matters.
- Conducting legal research.
The Practice Area Breakdown:
Contracts protect employers, as well as employees by ensuring that both parties adhere to the rule book. The contract will detail the employee’s basic responsibilities including working hours, their basic rights as an employee, and any expectation a company may have.
As an Employment Paralegal, you will often have to consult employment contracts for legal cases, if an employee makes a claim against their employer.
The protection of your personal data falls under Employment law. The use, storage and access to employee’s or customers data are all protected. Your work as a Paralegal will concern the Data Protection Act 2018, detailing that employers must gain consent to utilise and store employees’ data, as well as disclose how they are using employees’ information.
As an Employment Paralegal you will be well versed with the Equality Act of 2010. The act covers employees from the moment they apply to a job, prohibiting discrimination against candidates. The Equality Act covers:
- Sexual orientation
- Gender reassignment
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Marriage and civil partnership
When working on a discrimination case, you will focus on direct or indirect discrimination. Direct discrimination namely covers actions such as harassment, abuse, unfair treatment of bullying. Indirect discrimination deals with the policies, rules or procedures a business has in place that may place a particular group of people at a disadvantage.
In a nutshell, unfair dismissal from a job role refers to when an employee is dismissed for an unreasonable reason, or when the proper dismissal procedure has not been fully followed.
How to Become an Employment Paralegal:
As there are no required qualifications for Paralegals, you’ll often find that employers set their entry requirements. To stand yourself in good stead, you might consider:
A strong educational background, and bachelor's degree in a law or related field.
A CILEx (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) qualification.
An HNC/HND or foundation degree in law, legal studies or paralegal practice.
A Paralegal apprenticeship, certificate, diploma or higher diploma.
Due to the competitive nature of the legal world, it’s advised that you have experience in your desired sector. If you wish to specialise as an Employment Paralegal, you may consider an internship at a law firm that specialises in Employment law.
How Much Does an Employment Paralegal Earn?
Accordingly to our latest Salary Survey, the average Paralegal earns £28,544. Salaries naturally adhere to factors of location, practice area and type of employer.
Employment Paralegals sit in the middle of the average, earning roughly £28,333 per annum. Discover our Paralegal overview, for more information regarding salaries by location and other practice areas.
Looking for a new role? Discover our Employment Paralegal jobs on site, alongside our TotallyLegal blog for more legal industry insights, career guides and CV tips.