Marlowe plc unveils WorkNest, a £35m employer support services provider

4 October 2021WorkNest, a powerhouse of Employment Law, HR and Health & Safety support services, has launched today to enable employers to manage their workforce, workplace and workflow effectively, efficiently and compliantly. This comes at a time when employers have never had such complex issues.

The new brand, with a turnover of £35m, brings together the capabilities of fixed-fee employer support firms Ellis Whittam and Law At Work, and associated businesses owned by Marlowe plc, the leaders in business-critical services and software. This includes Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and technology for HR and regulatory compliance.

The launch comes at a time when employers have to navigate a raft of complex issues and operating challenges as the country emerges from COVID-19 and Brexit. These range from managing staff recruitment, retention and performance, to ensuring equality, inclusion and mental health awareness in the workplace, as well as keeping employees and customers safe.

WorkNest is headquartered in Aldford, Chester, with hub offices in Aberdeen, Alloa, Bath, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Glasgow, London, Loughborough and Woking and team members around the UK serving clients nationwide. Its combined client base spans more than 40,000 employers across 45 sectors.

With over 400 team members, including more than 50 qualified employment law solicitors, its purpose is to empower employers with preventative and proactive services. These covering employment law, HR and occupational health, safety and wellbeing. The depth of expertise across the WorkNest team enables clients to manage the most sensitive issues and with the added reassurance of fixed-fee subscription options.

“We understand and anticipate the difficulties of managing people and workplaces better than anyone,” said Gavin Snell, CEO of WorkNest. “We believe that when employers are compliant, confident and risk-aware, and when employees feel safe, supported and encouraged, companies can attract the best people, focus on innovation and drive growth. Our brand name is inspired by how we do business; as WorkNest, we will bring together a broader range of services that will help our clients to further protect and nurture their organisations.”

WorkNest’s roots go back to 2001 with the founding of Law At Work (LAW), created to provide the employment law expertise of a legal firm without the prohibitive pricing. LAW gradually strengthened its offering with the acquisition of Square Circle HR, Empire, Solve HR and Deminos Consulting.

Founded in 2004, Ellis Whittam embarked on an equally revolutionary mission: to provide high-quality employment law, HR, and health and safety services for businesses that add value not cost and are based on fair, fixed fees.

In 2019 and 2020, both became part of Marlowe plc. Since then, the Group has acquired a number of other like-minded businesses:

HRSP, a trusted partner to the third sector, providing bespoke, cost-effective, HR support and strategies.

ESPHR, a new-model employment law firm and employee relations (ER) technology business – strategically focused to help HR professionals transform their ER capabilities.

Youmanage, an operational business tool, helping companies to improve the quality and effectiveness of their HR management processes.

Cater Leydon Millard, a specialist employment law firm offering a ‘partner-led’ service with focus on the public sector.

CQC Compliance, founded to help healthcare companies ensure continuing regulatory compliance.

DeltaNet and Cylix, e-Learning partners to national and global organisations, helping to shape their training programme and embed long-term cultures of compliance.

Bringing these businesses together under the WorkNest brand creates the leading single source of highly-qualified in-person advice and comprehensive digital services, empowering employers to manage all their employment, safety and wellbeing challenges.

Gavin Snell added: “The success through the pandemic of every constituent of WorkNest has demonstrated the value we provide to our clients. We will make WorkNest a diverse, inclusive and welcoming place to work – the natural home for the UK’s most gifted practitioners in people management, health, safety and wellbeing, employment law, professional training and business technology. I’m enormously excited about combining our strengths and the opportunities that this creates when it comes to supporting great British businesses.” 

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