The Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) is an apolitical organisation representing the views and interests of just over 6,000 specialist, qualified employment lawyers in the UK. Since its inception in 1992, ELA has become the voice of authority in employment law. ELA’s uniqueness rests in the depth and wealth of knowledge of its diverse membership, and its neutrality on political issues.
Who Are We?
Our members are drawn from all branches of the legal profession and include barristers and solicitors who act for employers and employees, trade unions, the voluntary sector, industry and the judiciary.
ELA cannot give legal advice. You can find a specialist employment lawyer by searching the membership directory.
ELA’s fundamental aims are:
- to promote the best practice of employment law; and
- to support the work and represent the interests of UK employment lawyers
ELA provides its members with
- Updates and commentary on employment law developments, though the membership journal ELA Briefing and its email bulletin provided by IDS
- High quality, low cost training, including free webinars on a range of employment law topics
- A co-ordinated channel through which to contribute to responses to government and other bodies’ consultations
- Opportunities to undertake pro bono work
- Opportunities to hear the views of eminent figures in employment
- Opportunties to network and socialise with fellow members, both through the free social events we organise and through ELA's LinkedIn Group and tweets
The Employment Lawyers Association offers a range of services to its members, organised through its 5 committees.
At the helm of ELA is the Management Committee, elected from the membership by the members annually. The Management Committee steers the policy and direction of ELA and its membership services.
Informed comment on employment law changes, as they occur
ELA’s membership magazine, ELA Briefing, published 10 times a year, is our members’ primary recourse for commentary on employment law. Overseen by the Editorial Committee add link], it contains news, case reports, commentary and analysis on recent decisions and in-depth articles on issues of current concern, as well as providing a platform for all ELA members to air their views. Fully searchable back issues of ELA Briefing are available to members here. Members can also download full back editions in pdf.
ELA also publishes regular updates on employment law changes, provided by IDS delivered as they occur by email to all its members. The IDS employment law bulletin archive is available and fully searchable here.
Shaping future employment legislation
ELA has an important role in shaping and influencing employment legislation. Through the Legislative & Policy Committee, ELA, as well as responding to all Government consultations in the employment field, is regularly consulted about legislative proposals at the pre-consultation stages. It is because we have no political agenda that our views are so highly respected. ELA comments on the issues from the perspectives of both claimants and respondents. Our focus is not on what is helpful for employees or employers, but on law that works.
Training ELA members
As a not-for-profit organisation, ELA offers high quality training to its members at rates which are well below those of commercial training organisations. Some of our training, for example, our evening lectures which are run around the country, are free to members working in the voluntary and public sectors and barristers within their first two years of practice.
Our training is carefully tailored to the needs of practising employment lawyers by the ELA Training Committee. We often work in collaboration with the employment law network of professional support lawyers (PEN) to ensure that our training offers added practical value and to research and update our training materials.
Our comprehensive training programme offers basic level training for newcomers to the field, through to expert standard ‘brainstorming’ sessions on topical areas of concern to practitioners. Training is run on every aspect of employment law, for example, trade union law and industrial action, TUPE and corporate transactions, all aspects of discrimination law, dispute resolution, as well as training in employment tribunal litigation and advocacy.
Many of the lecture notes from past ELA training are available to members.
Work in the community
One of the aims of ELA is to serve the wider community. Many members are willing to give their time without charge to help those who would otherwise have no access to justice. ELA’s Pro Bono Committee has forged strong links with pro bono organisations through which ELA members have many opportunities to work on cases on a pro bono basis.
The International Committee works to build on the profile and influence of ELA abroad. Representatives from the committee regularly visit the European institutions in Brussels in order to report back to members with developments in EU law and its effect on employment law in this country.