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James Sage


T: 01225 730 231 (DDI)
T: 01225 730 100

James is a Partner in the Employment Team and specialises in advising businesses and individuals on a broad range of HR and employment law issues, including:

  • grievances and disciplinaries
  • performance and sickness absence management
  • complex discrimination issues
  • whistleblowing, with particular expertise in the Health & Social care, education and charity sectors
  • Employment Tribunal claims
  • senior executive exits and settlement agreements
  • large-scale redundancy and re-organisations
  • TUPE transfers
  • Employment aspects of business sales, acquisitions and mergers

James also co-heads the firm’s Health & Social Care Team, and has a thorough understanding of the regulatory and statutory obligations of care providers, dental practices, GPs and pharmacies.  He also has substantial experience advising charity and education sector clients.

He has many years’ experience advising on sector specific staffing issues, particularly where there are competing employment law and regulatory obligations and helps navigate clients through these complex issues in a practical and straightforward manner.

James often provides HR and employment law training for clients and is regularly asked to speak at regional and national conferences. He also provides commentary for the sector press.

What other people say

James’ work has been recognised by the Legal 500 (the clients’ guide to the best law firms) as “excellent” and his team has been recognized for providing “an excellent overall service” and for being “very responsive”.

“he is calm and relaxed in his approach with extensive knowledge around subject matters, particularly Employment Law in the context of the Social Care Market”,

Riki Moody, Gloucestershire Care Providers Association

“As an organisation, we are highly satisfied that James has an understanding of our business and the key managers that work within the service as this is reflected in the advice that is provided to us.”

RWK charity sector client

“We always get great advice and service from the team”

Erica Lockhart, Surrey Care Association

“I just wanted to say thank you to you and your team for the excellent service that we have received since we have taken out our employment services with you.

The information that has been provide has been concise, in plain English (jargon free), and the instructions that you and your team have been thorough, and crystal clear.

In addition to this, we always receive a prompt response, and you and your staff always go the extra mile to deliver great advice.

It is a pleasure dealing with you and your team, and we look forward to collaboratively enhancing the great partnership we are developing over the next few years.”

Director, Littlecombe Park Limited

“We have had very good, timely and detailed advice from them which has helped us considerably in resolving issues in a pragmatic manner and in the process avoided expensive escalation of issues.  We have worked with several law firms in the past, but our experience with Royds Withy King has been far superior to these other firms especially in their specialist knowledge of the care industry and its everyday common place type issue. This has given us peace of mind and we will highly recommend them without any hesitation.”

Director, Supreme Care Services

Recent work highlights

  • Advising a care provider disciplinary action, a whistleblowing investigation and safeguarding referrals to the local authority.
  • Advising on a three phase redundancy and restructuring exercise, without any staff appealing the decisions or pursuing Employment Tribunal claims.
  • Acting for a charity on managing a joint grievance by six staff against a senior manager and subsequent disciplinary and dismissal procedures.
  • Supporting a large housing association with disciplinary proceedings and whistleblowing issues arising out of an adult safeguarding issue.
  • Advising a large number of care providers on sleep-in shift compliance and the Social Care Compliance Scheme
  • Defending Employment Tribunal claims for sex, race and disability discrimination
  • Advising numerous senior executives on company exits.

I enjoy helping clients achieve the best possible outcome to their legal issue and always provide practical advice in plain English.

James Sage

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2019 has been a tumultuous year for social care providers, culminating in a heated general election campaign. Care providers will be looking to government for clarity and security in 2020, says the dedicated Social Care team at law firm Royds Withy King.

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Knowledge of disability – is it safe to rely on OH reports?

2 October 2019

When managing staff sickness absence it is essential that you consider whether the worker has a disability. Failing to do so could create significant risk of a disability discrimination claim under the Equality Act 2010.

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Tackling Subject Access Requests from staff – top tips for employers

16 August 2019

Since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018, we have experienced a considerable rise in the number of Subject Access Requests (SAR) made to our employer clients. Requests can be burdensome, time-consuming and costly to deal with but there are some practical ways to minimise these problems.

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Our important employment law update for care providers

28 March 2019

In this important update for care providers we will look at:

• new government guidance on how to calculate holiday pay
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News [4]
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Celebrating the Care Innovation Challenge

22 August 2019

Some of our lawyers at the Care Innovation Challenge final in London. Pictured are James Sage, Nicola Radcliffe, Mei-Ling Huang and Bharti Moore with the winners, Team Orchard (Rachel Smith, Jordan Smith and Subhaan Iqbal).

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Royds Withy King named as founding legal partner for the Care Innovation Hub

3 July 2019

Law firm Royds Withy King, a leading provider of legal services to the social care sector, has been named as founding legal partner for the Care Innovation Hub (CIH).

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Study shows 128,000 new care workers needed every year to avoid crisis

18 March 2019

The social care sector is facing a staffing crisis with an estimate shortage of half a million workers over the next decade, reports a major new study from the trade body Care Association Alliance and law firm Royds Withy King. …

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Court of Appeal tells care providers that ‘sleep-in’ shifts are not subject to the National Minimum Wage

13 July 2018

The Court of Appeal has today delivered care providers a lifeline, saying that they do not have to pay staff the National Minimum Wage when working ‘sleep-in’ shifts. The decision lifts an estimated £400m burden from care providers that would …

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Events [1]
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Annual employment law update for care providers | Gloucester

2 August 2019

Royds Withy King’s Health & Social Care team are delighted to invite you to our annual employment law update which will take place in Gloucester.

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