Skip to main content

Retail & Leisure

Weightmans provides a complete range of commercial legal services to some of the best-known brands in hospitality, retail, and leisure.

Our HR Rely Team acts for a broad range of retailers from multi-national high-street names with thousands of units, to high-end fashion outlets and independents.

In the leisure world, we have an impressive track record of advising clients across the sector, from large multi-national hotel chains and restaurants, to health clubs, amusement parks and pub chains. Our clients include FTSE-100 listed companies, several well-known restaurant chains, and the largest pub chain in the UK.

Our team

Our experienced HR Rely advisors are alive to the unique hurdles facing retail and leisure employers in these challenging times. We appreciate how difficult it can be to maintain adequate staffing levels through peaks and troughs of activity, manage staff sickness absence and performance, and deal with complex pay and shift-working issues, all against the background of supply chain problems and a difficult economic environment.

Our service

We deliver a high-quality personal service to your managers and HR professionals, ensuring we give practically focused, strategic advice. This can include advice on managing relationships with unions and handling your public communications.

Your Client Relationship Owner (CRO) will ensure total continuity of service. They will work to understand your key strategic aims, and tailor our approach to meet your needs. Your CRO will focus on supporting your business to achieve your objectives within costs agreed with you.

Our HR Rely team is flexible, available and supports our clients to address their issues confidently and quickly. Our service is demand-led to meet significant peaks and troughs of activity.

Employment tribunals

Whilst we work with you closely to avoid employment tribunal claims, they will inevitably, occasionally arise. You can be assured that, at the outset of each case, we will review the claim and advise on the legal issues and the relevant evidence that needs to be collated, as well as identifying the witnesses. As early as is reasonably practicable, we provide an initial assessment of the merits and potential quantum of compensation as well as giving advice about other relevant factors such as potential reputational damage, policy, and strategic implications.


We operate a dedicated HR helpline service to answer any day-to-day queries that arise. We find that the majority of issues fall with the scope of the retainer and that our early advice helps to mitigate against bigger issues down the line. Our advisers will act as a ‘sounding board’ to your in-house HR specialists, to confirm that your business is on the right track, or to provide a crucial steer when needed.

You can choose whether you want your HR team to liaise with us every time, or whether you would prefer to free-up valuable HR time by asking us to support your managers directly. Either way, our advisors will be on the lookout for any recurring issues and provide upskilling tips to help you grow.

Examples of complex work for retail and leisure clients

  • Design and review of employment contracts, policies, and procedures.
  • Supporting employers to manage short and long-term sickness absences to maintain staffing levels and excellent customer service.
  • Supporting the efficient recruitment and onboarding of staff, where turnover may be high.
  • COVID advice: Testing, vaccination, return to work, and maintaining a healthy and safe working environment.
  • Advising on the use of zero-hours contracts, part-time and flexible working arrangements.
  • Pay advice around the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and living wage, tipping and service charges.
  • Modern slavery policies and statements, and messaging around these issues.
  • Wholesale restructure, re-organisation and collective redundancies and change management

Our three-tier menu offering enables you to choose the right support package that works for best for your business. Your CRO will be able to help guide you through the process.

Adele  Shortman
Principal Associate

Adele Shortman

  • +44 (0)161 214 0596

What our clients say

Matthew Scott People Director, White Stuff
We have been working with Weightmans for many years using their HR Rely service and have always felt it offered outstanding value and service, and all our day-to-day queries are handled effectively and quickly. It goes without saying that the legal advice we are given is always of excellent quality, and always pragmatic and commercially appropriate for a high street retailer. Additionally the scope of the service is very generous, so it is very rare that we have to go outside of the agreement to commission additional support. Every year at budget time we do our due diligence and look at the wider market to see if HR Rely can be bettered, but we always come back to it as the best value for us which is why we have stayed for so long.

Essential Reading