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Legal solutions for your human resources outsourcing projects

The outsourcing of more process-based human resources (HR) functions such as managing payroll and sickness records is nothing new, but the outsourcing of the more complex “people” related HR functions is a growing area of interest for many organisations.

Whilst a common driver for HR outsourcing is to allow an organisation to focus on its core business and ultimately save costs, an increasing number of organisations are looking to outsource in order to harness their HR function as a strategic, value-adding asset. Our clients consistently cite the ability to access additional experience and knowledge as one of the key reasons for their decision to outsource their HR function.

What we do for our clients

The key in the current market is extracting value from the relationship. Our focus on the key commercial drivers and the appropriate management of risk (particularly in crucial areas such as service delivery, pricing and ensuring that flexibility is embedded in the relationship) means that our advice always helps deliver that value.

We have a team of outsourcing lawyers who are able to support your business before, during and after the outsourcing process to help ensure the ultimate success of the project. These lawyers will work closely with our HR group to ensure that your business understands the impact of legislation, such as the Agency Workers Regulations, on a transaction, and how responsibilities and risks arising from HR-specific legislation should be best apportioned between the parties.

International footprint – Eversheds Sutherland's international offering across multiple jurisdictions allows us to provide seamless advice in respect of all international aspects of any outsourcing transaction. In addition to our unrivalled network of Eversheds Sutherland offices, we have an extensive further network of “Best Friend” firms with whom we have worked extensively over many years.

Specialist outsourcing team – we know and understand the key legal and commercial issues which are involved in any HR outsourcing. We are experienced in working on large-scale projects, and carefully project-manage our advice to ensure that resources are appropriately allocated.

Employment team – our employment team has unparalleled strength and will be able to support you with any employment issues that arise in a HR outsourcing. More of our employment partners are recognised as leaders in the field by the legal directories than any other firm.

Innovation in our sector

Eversheds Sutherland has developed a series of tools designed to make HR outsourcings more efficient and easier to manage, including:

  • Legal risk paper – we appreciate that HR outsourcings involve risk and that key stakeholders need to be made aware of the risks. We frequently report on the risks and their mitigation prior to signature and, as part of the risk assessment and approval process, can prepare a risk paper for your board to review.
  • Issues log – we provide an issues log to assist with negotiations which allocates responsibilities, flags timelines, tracks negotiating positions and allows the project team to sort issues and keep track of the overall deal.
  • Living the contract – we provide post-contract knowledge transfer to the retained function, including training on how to avoid the regular traps.

Our experience

Our outsourcing team is a unit which forms part of our wider commercial practice. We have an enviable track record having worked on some significant and business critical HR outsourcing deals in recent years, including:

  • advising a FTSE 100 company on its global end-to-end recruitment process outsourcing for its global operations across five continents;
  • advising a local authority and various public sector stakeholders on the multi-million pound centralised procurement of a supplier network to provide permanent and temporary labour on a call-off basis, including the drafting of template contracts for master vendor, vendor neutral and preferred supplier arrangements;
  • advising a US multinational manufacturer on the pan European outsourcing of its payroll function;