How Can I Afford Legal Advice?
Many employers are facing rock hard choices right now: layoff on shaky legal ground or go bankrupt? Let some employees go, but how to afford termination pay? Offer more than ESA minimums to get a release or risk a claim down the road?
Since early March 2020, we’ve found ourselves regularly telling clients what the technical legal answers are, and then we quickly move to the COVID-19 business reality solution. This new world order is not going away anytime soon and I fully anticipate some new law coming out of this unique moment. Employers cannot afford payroll but employees cannot mitigate their job loss in this job market – so everyone is turning to the pandemic economic crisis as the reason for paying less termination pay or for demanding more of a package. Courts will have to somehow reconcile these competing interests, each of which is based on the same underlying issues caused by COVID-19.
Now is the moment for businesses to get creative, think about what the world will look like in a year, and to consider what people they need on board to get there. Most business owners we’re talking to have already been knee-deep in doing just that. Most business owners have typically already spent hours trying to reconfigure the numbers for a reset before they contact us.
The Free Help
By the time we get the call, the typical client has already read through all the free info available:
- Ministry of Labour Employment Standards Branch
- The termination and layoff sections of the Ontario Employment Standards Act
- How to fill out the ROE
- FAQ from the WSIB about COVID-19 claims
- All the details the federal government has pumped out amazingly fast on COVID-19 business relief options
- Free guides for employers during COVID-19
But many businesses still need legal help for their snowflake issues.
The Self-Serve Option
In this hard cash crunch moment, employers are looking to more affordable options besides the traditional $400+ an hour legal advice. The quarantine has forced the business world to quickly move online and to get a lot more comfortable with online solutions, including legal solutions.
Hearing the demand for quick solutions for savvy business owners who prefer the convenience and speed of accessing legal guides and templates online, we launched Pivot DIY in early April. We sell this offering for $450+HST, intentionally low and affordable for small businesses needing to rightsize their workplace asap.
We see this as the way of the future – accessing legal help online, off-hours, at the user’s convenience. Business owners and entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to self-serve and DIY solutions, confident in their own ability to sort through the main stuff, and picking up the phone or sending an email to their lawyer for the more nuanced questions.
The reality is most businesses have far more legal issues in common that not. If you can get at that broad common info at a very affordable price, you can use your business sense for much of the rest. For the truly unicorn snowflake issues, lawyers are awesome. But there are some great options to consider before the unicorns arrive.
Whether you have unicorns at your door or you want a new way of accessing DIY online legal services, we’re here to help.