News @SCESolicitors: posted by Samira Cakali (formerly Ali) aka Legal Eye Sam

I try and bring all interesting case law and all changes in legislation to your attention in a simplistic form. I hope you enjoy reading my posts and please do leave your comments. If you would like to get our monthly newsletter please email me on samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk. Please note that the information in these blogs is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with us or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

  • 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

  • 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

  • Litigants in Person: Do They Have the Upper Hand?

    Tags: Court, Commercial Litigation, Litigants in Person, Civil Procedure Rules, Practice Direction 6A, Barton v Wright Hassall LLP

    We often hear from commercial clients that when they are involved in a case where their opponent is a litigant in person that the Court almost bends over backwards to help the litigant in person, and sometimes they feel that they are at a disadvantage.

    Whilst it is usually the case that the Court will take time to explain procedure to a litigant tin person, the case of Barton -v- Wright Hassall LLP [2018] UKSC 12 illustrates that the Court do not apply special rules for litigants in person.

    In this day and age the majority of us use email on a daily basis. Electronic communication is prevalent in the legal profession but the Civil Procedure Rules (‘CPR’) are strict when it comes to the service of issued claims and documents.

    Practice Direction 6A of the CPR sets out the … more

  • Clearing the Air on Commercial Disputes

    Tags: Commercial Litigation, Commercial Disputes, Contract, Time Limits, Breach of Contract, Court, Remedies, Damages, Specific Performance, Rescission

    Navigating your way through a commercial dispute can be time consuming and stressful. Disruption caused to your business and the impact on managerial time can be costly.

    Commercial disputes are becoming increasingly commonplace, and therefore it is essential that businesses obtain strategic advice as soon as possible in any dispute so that they can minimise the impact on the business.

    Generally speaking, the law takes the view that a contract is formed between parties when one party makes an offer to another who accepts the offer. The parties have to be certain as to the terms of the contract, there has to be an intention to create a contract and there has to be ‘consideration’ i.e. there has to be some value.

    A contract does not need to be in writing or signed for it to … more

  • The Legal Risks Around Mismanagement of Mental Health Issues

    Tags: WorldMentalHealthDay, MentalHealth, HealthandSafety, DisabilityDiscrimination, PersonalInjuryClaims, UnfairDismissal, ConstructiveDismissal, Bullying, Harassment, Workplace, EmploymentLaw, UKEmpLaw, CommercialLitigation, CommercialDispute

    Wednesday was World Mental Health Day, a good time for employers to look at their legal obligations towards staff who are suffering with mental health issues.

    In this article we bring you up to speed with some of the issues which surround mental health in the workplace and provide you with a broad outline of some of the potential claims that might arise if you mismanage an employee who is suffering with mental health issues.

    Why is Mental Health a Workplace Issue?

    It appears that as a society, mental health issues are on the rise. This has an obvious impact on the workplace, and places demands on employers to understand and manage issues related to mental health.

    Stress, depression and anxiety are all examples of mental health disorders which may impact on someone in the workplace. … more

  • Is Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting Next?

    Tags: Pay Gap, Ethnicity, Ethnicity Pay Gay, Gender, Gender Pay Gap, Race Disparity Audit, Government, Theresa May, Diversity

    Companies may be forced to reveal their ethnicity pay gap under plans unveiled by the Prime Minister to help ethnic minority employees at work.

    A consultation on mandatory pay reporting is among a number of measures announced by Theresa May.

    The consultation will run until January 2019 to allow businesses to share views on what information should be published. 

    The move follows a Race Disparity Audit last year which revealed significant disparities in pay and promotion opportunities of different groups.

    Despite the audit, the number of firms publishing data on ethnicity and pay "remains low".

    The Government has said that this move should hopefully allow for action to be taken, while at the same time avoiding undue burdens on businesses. 

    This decision comes after the … more

  • Dismissal Unfair Despite Calling a Colleague a "Knob-Head"

    Tags: UKEmpLaw, Employment Law, ACAS, Code of Conduct, Dismissed, Dismissal, Gross Misconduct, Disciplinary, Union Representative, Employment Tribunal, Judgement, Case Law

    This recent case highlights the importance of following the ACAS code of conduct when dealing with disciplinary matters correctly, before dismissing an employee.

    The employee, Mrs Smith, was dismissed for gross misconduct for emailing a colleague referring to another colleague as a “knob-head”.  Her first disciplinary hearing was postponed when she was ill, but her employer refused to postpone the re-arranged meeting when her union representative was unable to attend. The Employment Tribunal rendered the dismissal “unfair procedurally and fatally flawed”. 

    Mrs Smith was found to have been unfairly dismissed and awarded over £20,000. 

    Read the full judgement here

    If you need any help and advice in relation to a disciplinary matter, please … 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

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Guide to Mediation

    Tags: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, Settlement, Employment Law, HR, ukemplaw, Commercial Litigation, Dispute Resolution

    There are several Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes, but mediation is overwhelmingly the most common and frequently used process. 

    What is Mediation?

    Mediation is a confidential where an independent and neutral mediator is appointed by the parties to assist them to reach a settlement of their dispute. The process can take place prior to the commencement of legal proceedings or alongside formal proceedings.

    The objective of mediation is to reach a settlement that brings the dispute to an end on terms acceptable to both parties – mediation is not intended to determine the correct legal position of the parties. The mediator does not act as a Judge and does not make decisions – he or she explores options for settlement with the parties.

    The Advantages of … more

  • Back to Basics: 7 Tips to Help You Write Better Job Descriptions

    Tags: HR, ukemplaw, EmploymentLaw, SpringClean, BacktoBasics, JobDescription, TopTips

    As we enter September and move into ‘back to school’ month it is the perfect time of year for a bit of a #SpringClean. This month we will be continuing our ‘back to basics’ series which we began last year when we covered, holidays, the probation period and the employment contract. This week we are looking at job descriptions.  

    As the war for talent intensifies, the most important challenge these days is to attract more candidates to your job page and, most importantly, make them apply for the position. By carefully thinking about how to write the job description, you’ll have a better chance to attract more quality candidates. To write more successful job descriptions, have a look at the following tips:

    An Easy-to-Read Job Title

    First of all, … more

    

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