Using employment consultants effectively – a case study

We specialise in providing specialist employment consultancy to professional service providers and their clients. We work predominantly with law firms and accountancy practices to support business with employment problems.

In our last blog we introduced the five golden rules to setting a relationship up for success.

  • Be clear who owns the client relationship, and be granular about any limitations you want to impose on direct client contact
  • Communicate effectively with the employment consultant and set clear expectations around how you want the employment consultant to communicate with you
  • Do your homework, there are a lot of employment consultants out there of varying ability, ask to see examples of independent work undertaken and take up references
  • Be clear about any referral arrangements
  • Complete case reviews to ensure lessons are learnt

How does this work in practice?

A client contacts you to say they have an issue with an employee which might end up in dismissal, involves a significant number of senior managers or is particularly complex.

Let’s assume that you have done your homework and you have set up a relationship with Athena to refer work to each other.

You speak to the client to understand the issue and clarify the support needed.

Often it is simply a bit of advice from you that is needed.  Sometimes, however, as you talk to the client you realise that they need more than just advice.  This is where we can come in to help.

Case Study 1

A client approached one of our professional partners having received a letter from a senior manager in the company alleging sexual harassment by the managing director.  The initial advice from the solicitor was to advise on following grievance procedure and how to conduct an investigation into the matter.

However, it quickly became apparent that all of the senior management team were implicated in proceedings either being cited as witnesses to or complicit in the alleged behavior. There was no one of an appropriate level of seniority in the organisation to investigate or hear the grievance.

We were asked to come in to conduct an investigation into the grievance and hold a grievance hearing.  As matters unfolded it became clear that some of the serious allegattions were totally unfounded.  In fact there was significant evidence that the sexual harassment had in fact been from the manager towards the managing director.

We completed a very full investigation report at which point the manager concerned handed in her resignation declining to participate in the hearing or raise any appeal.

On this occasion there were no further proceedings, but if there had been the company had a robust investigation and process conducted by an independent person on which to rely.

If you would like more information about how we can set up a mutually beneficial relationship call us now on 07977 932551 or email on