Contents tagged with Discrimination

  • Don’t Let Vicarious Liability Hex You This Halloween

    Tags: Discrimination, Vicarious Liability, Harassment, Employment Law, Halloween, UKEmpLaw

    Halloween is upon us, and we here at SCE Solicitors are getting into the spooky spirit by hosting a Halloween Party.  If you are like us, and want to have scare-fest this October, make sure your henchmen know how to behave to ensure you are not held vicariously liable for their dastardly deeds. 

    In simple terms, vicarious liability means being held liable for the acts or omissions of someone else. As an employer, your relationship with your employee is capable of giving rise to vicarious liability.  

    You can be held vicariously liable for acts of discrimination, including harassment, committed by your employees during the course of employment. During the course of employment includes at any parties or events you are holding for your staff. In the case of Chief … more

  • Our All New 5 Step Guide to Reducing Sickness Absence in the Workplace and Preventing Discrimination Claims

    Tags: 5StepGuide, SicknessAbsence, Discrimination, MHFAEngland, EqualityAct2010, Workplace, EmploymentLaw, UKEmpLaw, CommercialLitigation, CommercialDispute

    Managing sickness absence is a pivotal part of the successful running of your business. Letting sickness absence get out of control can mean that be business is not as productive, or efficient, as it could be. However, mismanagement of sickness absence can lead to a disability discrimination claim which could cost your business thousands of pounds. 

    Sickness absence rates have a high cost for businesses. Last year there was 70 million days off for stress and anxiety in the UK, which is estimated to have cost businesses between £70 to £100 billion. 

    Stress is a big contributor to a high staff turnover. MHFA England estimate that 31% of staff confirmed that if the stress level didn’t improve within the next 12 months, they would leave their current position. … more

  • SCE Solicitors Celebrates Manchester Gay Pride

    Tags: ManchesterGayPride, Pride, PrideParty, LGBT, Diversity, Diverse, Workforce, Discrimination, Equality Act 2010, Equal Opportunities, ProtectedCharacteristics

    Having lived in Manchester for a long time, I know that Manchester Pride is a huge event for me and the rest of the Manchester LGBT community.  So, to celebrate the upcoming festivities we here at SCE Solicitors celebrated our own diversity with a ‘pride party’. We pride ourselves on being a diverse team, despite our size, and we encourage others to do the same.

    Having a diverse workforce is a commercial no-brainer. It allows businesses to use people’s different backgrounds, knowledge, skills and expertise to create an environment where employees can learn from each other and produce innovative ideas. Employees will also feel valued and supported, which increases their productivity. Workplace diversity builds a good reputation for any business. Being known for … more

  • Ensuring your Workplace Offers an Inclusive and Supporting Environment for Trans Employees

    Tags: Discrimination, Equality Act 2010, Employment Law

    New research undertaken by ACAS, Supporting Trans Employees in the Workplace, published in August 2017, exposes that employers are failing in their efforts to understand the issues concerning their trans and intersex employees. 

    Whilst transphobia and discrimination are extensively reported, little research has previously been conducted into the experiences of trans or intersex employees in the UK, which has larger implications for both managers and employees in the workplace. 

    Legal obligations as an employer:

    Gender Reassignment is one of nine protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 (EQA). The EQA provisions concerning gender reassignment discrimination, harassment and victimisation in the workplace protect a wide range of individuals during all stages … more

  • Don’t Get Spooked By Employment Law This Halloween

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Halloween, UKEmpLaw, October, Misconduct, Absence Management, Discrimination

    It is no surprise that Halloween is one of the holidays that nearly everyone celebrates. Celebrations range from trick or treating, pumpkin carving contests, adult costume contests to parties with alcohol. 

    For employees’ they all encourage interaction and workplace engagement but for employers’ they all open the door for potential liabilities and concerns. So what are the 5 top legal issues that employers need to be aware of to avoid the scare this Halloween?

    1. Discrimination against Pagans 

    Religion is simply defined by the Equality Act as “any religion”, and does not state the belief has to be a major religion to be protected. Therefore employers must take non-mainstream religions as seriously as they do with the major religions. 

    In … more

  • Calendar women and men; discrimination at work

    Tags: Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Calendars

    When writing this article, it would have been very easy for us to talk about ‘calendar girls’.  When most of us think about risqué calendars in the workplace, we think about scantily clad women.  But a browse through many of the calendar stores, most frequently filling the shopping centres each December, shows there are just as many male-equivalent calendars out there.  

    We’re sure such calendars will have never been a feature in some work places but, for some employers, it’s custom and practice to see such images displayed.  Allowing such images to adorn the walls of your workplace is, undoubtedly, discriminatory but for those who are used to seeing such images, the thought probably never enters one’s mind.  We therefore … more

  • Discrimination claims and uncapped awards

    Tags: Discrimination, Grievance process, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    The recent headlines in relation to the undisclosed settlement figure between Eva Carneiro and Jose Mourinho and Chelsea Football Club may have been unsettling for some business owners. The prime reason for the large settlement (excluding the issue of reputational damages) was the fact that Ms Carneiro brought claims for sex discrimination (being removed from the first team) and harassment (the use of derogatory language relating to her gender). 

    Currently compensatory awards for employees succeeding in an unfair dismissal claim are capped at the lower of, 12 months’ pay or £78,962. This brings some comfort to employers who employ high earners. The position is different for discrimination claims where awards are uncapped and, can lead to the demise of a company.   … more

  • Discriminatory dress codes; just how far can an employer go?

    Tags: Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    Over the last few weeks, a few stories have hit the headlines which have, naturally, sparked the interest of many.  These relate to the dress code and appearance requirements of some employers which are potentially discriminatory.  Here I take a look at the reported stories and offer insight into why the requirements are potentially discriminatory.

    High heels

    The first of the stories to hit the headlines was that of Nicola Thorp who was sent home by a firm for refusing to wear high heels at work.  On her first day as a receptionist, she objected to being required to wear high heels as she would spend the majority of the day on her feet.  Ms Thorp was told to either go and purchase some heels or be sent home without pay.

    So, it is legal to require staff to wear … more

  • Obesity discrimination; is this already covered by the Equality Act?

    Tags: Discrimination, Disability Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    The 2016 Budget confirmed the Government would introduce the Sugar Tax, in a bid to reduce levels of childhood obesity within the UK.  Taxes on ‘fatty foods’ have on the cards for some time but there were mixed reactions.  Some thought the tax punished poorer families, some stated it didn’t go far enough, whilst others praised the idea that the money raised from the tax would go to fund school sports.

    At the present time, discrimination on the grounds of obesity is not a “Protected Characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010.  However, with concerns over the levels of childhood obesity and Public Health England predicting obesity will affect more than 50% of adults by 2050, should it be? There is in fact suggestions that obesity, even … more

  • Things not to say to your employees: Discrimination at work

    Tags: Discrimination, Harassment because of disability, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    In the news last week, a former Specsavers employee won her claim of disability discrimination in the Employment Tribunal after her manager told her to “pull yourself together”.  As an employment law solicitor, I often cringe when I hear stories of “what the boss said” or about ‘so-called’ banter in the workplace.  This case proves just how easy it is to say the wrong thing or make a naïve comment which lands an employer in court.

    In Wickers v Colchester Visionplus Ltd t/a Specsavers Opticians, Ms Wickers had already been on her employer’s radar having received both formal and informal warnings for a dispensing error, lateness and failing to follow the Company’s sickness absence reporting procedure.  Ms Wickers later … more


  • Understanding Your Legal Rights When an Employee Leaves

    Tags: Notice, Garden Leave, Payment, Company Property, Training Costs, Restrictive Covenants, Exit, Resignation, Employer, Employee, Employment Law, UKEmpLaw

    When an employee leaves, the focus is often on their entitlements. But what are your rights as an employer and what practical steps can you take to ensure a smooth exit? 

    Giving Notice 

    When it comes to employees giving notice, there are several key areas to note. Employers do not have to ‘accept’ a resignation – it is a unilateral act. Equally, they do not have to accept a retraction of notice, unless it was given in the heat of the moment, or the employee was unwell.

    Employees must give at least a weeks’ notice once they have been employed for more than a month. However, longer notice is usually set out in the employment contract.

    If the employee starts work for someone else in their notice period, it is possible to obtain an injunction to prevent … more


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