Two-thirds of UK businesses are family owned. As you would expect, working with family can have many advantages and also some disadvantages! When it comes to hiring family as employees or running a business that comprises of both family members and employees outside of the family, it can be a bit of a minefield!


Family businesses often fail to adapt to growth, HR aspects of the business are usually allocated to someone without any knowledge or skill in the area and they in turn generally either try to ‘muddle through’ or are left at the mercy of using generic help lines. This is where regular or ad-hoc guidance from an employment lawyer who knows and understands your business can be beneficial to ensure that you are following all the correct procedures in accordance with both HMRC and UK Employment Law.


Some common pitfalls when it comes to family owned business include;

• Lack of procedures and policies

• Employment status and associated rights

• Inconsistency in treatment, favouritism, or bias

• Pay and benefits

• Access to promotion opportunities

• Managing performance


Ensuring that your contracts, policies, procedures and handbooks are up to scratch will help minimise the risks associated with employing family members and / or a mixture of different employees. It is also important not to bury your head in the sand if employment issues do arise, tackling problems head on will be much easier to resolve in the long run and if you need additional support or expertise then our Employment Law Team are on hand.


Our Employment Team have a track record of advising family run businesses ranging from small, two director start-ups, through to large, established UK businesses.


For more information or to discuss an employment law issue then please call Karen Bristow, Head of Employment Law on 01256 844888 or email karen.bristow@lambbrooks.com

"Global Service Group relies on Lamb Brooks not just for faultless legal advice but also because of their commercial understanding of our business. In particular, their Employment and Litigation teams' excellent support has not only given us a significant financial advantage but also enabled us to bid on complex contracts with confidence. I have no hesitation recommending Lamb Brooks as a trusted business partner."

Rob Berringer

Key Contacts

Hannah Lockyer

Associate Solicitor

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