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 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.

  • Dealing with employees returning from Additional Maternity Leave (AML)

    Tags: Discrimination, Maternity Leave, Additional Maternity Leave, Ordinary Maternity Leave, Employment Law, Maternity and Paternity etc Regulations 1999

    I have noticed that many employers find it difficult dealing with employees returning from AML. The reasons I am given range from (a) they think that the replacement performed better than the returnee employee (b) they are undergoing a redundancy consultation process or (c) it’s simply not reasonably practical for the returnee employee to remain in the same role as prior to their maternity leave.

    Generally the rule is where an employee is able to return to the same role (with the same terms and conditions) as that prior to their maternity leave then they should be allowed to do so, even if the temporary replacement seems to be performing a lot better than the returning employee.

    Most employers are aware that pregnancy and maternity discrimination does not require comparators. So … more

  • Consultation on charging fees in the employment tribunal

    Tags: Employment Tribunal Reforms, Employment Law

    The Ministry of Justice has published its response to the consultation on charging fees to bring and continue claims in the employment tribunal. The response sets out that the Government intends to introduce fees in the second half of 2013.

    Fees will be charged in two stages; the first at the issue of the claim, and the second prior to the hearing. There will still be provisions in place for low income families to be excused from the fees; these provisions will be very similar to the current county court system. Also tribunals will be given a discretionary power to order the losing party to pay any costs of the successful party incurred by way of fees.The proposed fee structure envisages two levels of fee at the employment tribunal stage. Level 1 claims which are straightforward claims … more

  • Are Associate Dentists employees?

    Tags: Discrimination, Associate Dentists, Employment Status, Whistleblowing, The Equality Act 2010, Employment Law

    Are you a practice owner who employ’s associate dentists or an associate dentist who has ever wondered about your employment status? If so keep reading.

    The agreement

    A contract of employment or services defines most contractual relationships and that is why most practice owners provide associate dentists with a contract for services and mistakenly deem that to define the relationship as one of self-employment; however in reality this may not be the case.

    The following clauses (though please note that this list is not exhaustive) will assist an employer to distinguish an employed dentist from an associate:

    - the associate dentist’s ability to ‘substitute’ their services with another professional;

    - allowing the associate dentist to treat their own private … more

  • Dealing with employee resignations

    Tags: Restrictive Covenants, Compromise Agreement, Employee Management, Employee Resignations, Exit Interviews, Garden Leave, Employment Law

    Clients frequently ring me up and ask me how they should handle an outgoing employee, particularly if it is a member of their management team. Here are some simple tips in respect to dealing with exiting employees while protecting your business:

    1. Exit interview: Arrange a meeting with the outgoing employee to ascertain why your employee is leaving, sometimes it will have nothing to do with how you run your business but everything to do with salary. Having said that sometimes an employee (as they will have nothing to lose) may provide you with constructive criticism which may help you retain employees in the future (providing you implement their recommendations).

    2. Garden leave: you can only place an employee on garden leave if there is a provision for it in their employment contract. … more

  • Drafting a service agreement

    Tags: Service Agreements

    Many freelancers and small business owners, start a business with very little money therefore the last thing on their agenda is to pay a legal professional to draft up a service agreement. However many, if not all, businesses consumers  expect a contract of some form to be in place when they engage in professional services.

    Using myself as an example I have recently engaged in the professional services of a marketing expert however when finalising the details of the engagement I requested to see a draft service agreement. My supplier, a freelancer, seemed somewhat taken aback. I patiently explained that being a solicitor, I frequently see relationships deteriorate because the parties have not clearly set out the terms of the arrangement at the outset. He then cobbled a service … more

  • New timetable for automatic enrolment (of pensions) starting date

    Tags: Pension, Automatic Enrolement

    Here is the new timetable (announced in January 2012) for automatic enrolment duty.

    Employer size (by PAYE scheme size) or other description

    Automatic Enrolment duty date



    250 or more members

    1 October 2012

    1 February 2014

    50 to 249 members

    1 April 2014

    1 April 2015

    Test tranche for less than 30 members

    1 June 2015

    30 June 2015

    30 to 49 members

    1 August 2015

    1 October 2015

    Less than 30 members

    1 January 2016

    1 April 2017

    Employers without PAYE schemes

    1 April 2017

    - - -

    New employers Apr 2012 to Mar 2013

    1 May 2017

    - - -

    New employers Apr 2013 to Mar 2014

    1 July 2017

    - - -

    New employers Apr 2014 … more

  • Employment law proposals to help economic growth: update

    Tags: ACAS, Employment Law Reforms, The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, The Beecroft Report, Employment Law

    For those of you following my blog and/or keeping up with the rapid employment law proposals which are ultimately to assist business growth in today’s challenging economic conditions, may find this round up of this week’s events useful.

    The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

    The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which was mentioned in the Queens speech this year, was laid out before parliament on the 23 May. It is essential for employers to keep up with the bill as it sets out a number of amendments to the current legislation.

    The Bill sets out the following amendments:

    1. A mandatory period of ACAS conciliation before presenting claims to an employment tribunal (guidance on this will be published in due course). I think this may help employment disputes to be … more

  • Are documents prepared by HR Consultants “privileged”?

    Tags: Employment Tribunals, HR Consultancies, Legal Professional Privilege, Legal Advice Privilege, Employment Law

    No, says the High Court in Water Lilly & Co Ltd –v- Mackay (1) DMW Developments Ltd [2012] EWHC 649 (TCC). The claimant in this case applied for an order against the second Defendant (D) to disclose, correspondence and relevant documentation, created by D’s retained claims consultancy (K).

    D argued that the documentation requested attained legal professional or legal advice privilege as the parties working for the claims consultancy were qualified barristers and solicitors. However the court held that this was not enough.

    The first thing the court explored was the relationship between D and K. The court noted that the retainer between D and K was for “contractual and adjudication advice”, there were no rates offered for the services of solicitors or … more

  • Leeds Half Marathon 13 May 2012

    Tags: Leeds Half Marathon, 13 May 2012

    I am pleased to announce that I completed the Leeds Half Marathon in 2 hours 13 minutes.

    Donations for CANdlighters, a Yorkshire based charity which assists children (and their families) with cancer, are still being collected so please dig deep into your pockets for this worthwhile cause.

    Donations can be made at:

    Thanks in advance.

    Warmest regards, Samira Ali more

  • The Queens Speech 2012: the effects on employment law

    Tags: Employment Law Reforms, Flexible Working, The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, The Queens Speech 2012, The Public Service Pensions Bill, The Defamation Bill, Employment Law

    The Queens speech earlier this week was focused on economic and financial reforms intended to boast the UK economy out of dare I say it what the media had termed “a double dip recession”.

    The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill introduces the following changes employers should be aware of:

    1. Reforms the employment tribunal system by providing more options for the early resolution of disputes through ACAS.

    2. Allows father’s flexible working patterns to enable them to share parenting responsibilities with their partners. Unfortunately for employers no guidance has been provided as to how this will work in practice.

    3. Strengthens the framework for setting directors’ pay and shareholder power so they can hold companies to account.

    4. Repeals unnecessary … more


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