I am an employment law advisor.
It’s not the only thing I am, but it’s what I do for a living. And it’s probably the reason you are reading this.
No I’m not a lawyer, and I’ve decided not to be one. I have nothing against lawyers. At one point, I considered getting a law degree, to give myself more credibility. I realised, it wouldn’t make me better at what I do. It would only require me to charge more for what I already do! (To pay for the study and to keep up with impressions).
I’m a bit of a street (employment) lawyer, I guess.
So, I decided to stay an Employment Law Advisor. Now I only concentrate on being the best advisor I can be. I believe there is a real need for people with my skills. People who charge a reasonable fee, for genuine advice, and great support.
Lawyers apply the law, ‘clinically’. Even though they are human, they can appear (and be) intimidating. They are certainly expensive, and sometimes out of reach to regular people. Due to their costs, they are more accessible to businesses or people with deeper pockets. I believe it creates a disadvantage for us regular folks.
I don’t do that.
I care about people (you?) caught in difficult situation, which may require knowledge of Employment Law. I know enough about Employment Law (or I know where to find the information I need) to get the most out of the law. I have invested a lot of time (sweat and tears) into my own learning, which now enables me to do my work, with more confidence. I still learn every day.
When dealing with a difficult work situation, you may ask advice from very close friends and family. You may Google, to educate yourself.
Anyone can do this, it just takes time to learn, know and do. And when you are in a tricky situation, you don’t always have time. You can do it yourself, but should you?
If you don’t want to go it alone, I can help you. I do it for you.
When you’re in a foreign country, the locals speak their language. It would be foreign to you. Under these conditions, it can be challenging to make yourself understood, or to get things done. I ‘speak’ enough employment law to be able to guide you to a good result. I help you figure out what you want.
I help translate your story (what happened to you) into words that the ‘system’ can understand. I walk next to you to guide you through a daunting and intimidating process. The employment law ‘machine’ is not that easy to operate. And negotiating with lawyers and their clients (your employer), makes it harder still.
I know how it feels. I’ve been in a situation where I was treated unfairly. At the time it hit me really hard. I didn’t know who to turn to. Luckily, I knew someone. She was an HR specialist, with enough employment relations background to help me see my next best steps. With her help, I managed to stop and think. Breathe. I found some clarity, realised what was happening to me, and put it in perspective. I managed to resolve that issue, without burning bridges and without stalling my career. (This is not always possible in these situations but I was lucky).
Because of this personal experience, I know exactly how it feels to be unfairly treated by a manager. And now, I make it my mission to support my clients in similar situations.
When I say support, I mean that. I care, but at the same time I always maintain my professional boundaries. I’m not the best friend or a family member or a priest or a counsellor, but I care a lot. I aim for balance and professionalism.
My purpose is not to make you feel better (it happens anyway). My purpose is to relieve your stress. I do this by explaining the ‘machine’ and how it all works, for you. The more you know about the process and the system, and your possibilities and options, the better for you.
Then you can speak up for yourself, knowing exactly what you are getting into, and with me backing you all the way. You become confident. I like that.
My work is important to me. It gives meaning to my life.
We don’t like talking about our work problems. Just like we don’t discuss what we earn. Work problems are personal, especially when it involves something negative like bullying, performance management or accusations of poor behaviour. It is embarrassing for us to admit it’s happening to us. And most of us are so surprised by the situation, we become immobilised and overwhelmed.
It is so stressful. Especially if you are dealing with it alone.
Not only do you need to deal with the external onslaught, internally you also suffer. You doubt yourself, you rack your brain for clues on how you arrived …here. You question everything. Some people immediately go on the defensive (which is okay). But most ordinary folks just feel overwhelmed, and consumed by events.
The first thing people tell me is that they stop sleeping. There is nothing worse than lack of sleep. We just don’t function well without it.
Sometimes, the dysfunction creeps up over time. Sometimes it’s a bolt out of the blue!
Yet, still some people don’t speak up. They hope the problem will go away on its own, and magically resolve itself.
It does not. When people don’t speak up or stop the onslaught, it just gives the persecutor more opportunity and less opposition.
They will not stop.
When employers (managers) breach their obligations, they shouldn’t get away with it. If they do get away with it, they will just keep doing it to other people. Right now, your employer could be taking advantage of you. And possibly counting on you to say and do nothing. Worse, they may think they are doing the right thing!
Most people in stressful situations, feel fear. Despite this, they don’t want to rock the boat, because they think they may be able to preserve the relationship. That’s great, if the situation is low level, and if trust has not been broken.
But if trust is broken, why not stand up for yourself? What do you have to lose?
People tell me: It’s not about the money, it is about the principle. They want the employer to see the error of their ways or stop what they are doing.
(Sometimes it’s about money, but only because they are trying to buy some time so they can move on, find another job…forget this ever happened to them.)
I say: it is about both. The lessons…the money…
Employers don’t learn lessons, unless they pay money. So why not get both.
If the employer has treated you unfairly, this is all within your reach.
In a factual and honest way, you can communicate what has happened to you.
The first question I get, after listening to a work story is: Do I have a case?
The second question is: What can I do about it?
You can improve your life, now and in the future. Maybe you can let go and move on, with some money in your pocket. And the boss? The employer can learn a few good lessons too.
I need to earn a living, just like everybody else. I work for myself, so I charge for my time. Nine times out of ten, you can recoup my fee from the employer.
Up front, you invest a flat rate for the process (unless quoted otherwise). You know exactly how much it’s going to be. No blow out, no hidden costs. And when we claim my fee from the employer, I end up being cost neutral.
So, to recap
So, call me for a free chat on the phone. I can give you a quick answer to a quick question.
I can meet you in person or work remotely by phone or email.
Here are some areas I can help:
Do you have a question relating to employment law and HR process?
Call me on the number below or send me an email.
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