Schroders calls on Eversheds for launch of employee forum

Eversheds has helped Schroders Investment Management to launch an employee forum, which can be consulted on policy and initiatives affecting staff.

It is understood that Schroders is the first City institution to create such a forum. The launch coincides with the implementation of the EC Directive on Informing and Consulting Employees.

Under the new rules, which came into force on 6 April, organisations with 150 employees or more will be required to launch works councils to enable staff to be informed and consulted on a regular basis about issues in the organisation they work for. The requirements only kick in if an employee request is made by at least 10 per cent of employees in the organisation.

Schroders’ head of legal services Sandie Okoro said the company did not see the new rules as a threat, but as an opportunity. She added that the creation of the employee forum was principally about improving communication between the fund manager and its employees.

Eversheds beat off competition from Linklaters and Berwin Leighton Paisner to advise Schroders on the legal work arising out of the launch of the forum.

Employment partner Elaine Aarons, who led the Eversheds team, said the firm won the work because it has extensive experience in advising other clients, including OfCom and Virgin Money, on similar matters. Aarons was supported by Robbie Gilbert, one of Eversheds’ 17 HR consultants.

Schroders’ employee forum comprises eight elected employee representatives and four alternate employee representatives and can be consulted on matters including training, diversity, discipline and grievance.