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.

  • How To Manage Workplace Relationships

    Tags: Sex Discrimination, Victimisation, Sexual Harassment, Employment Law, Human Resources, Valentine's Day, Workplace Relationships, Romantic Relationships

    With Valentine’s Day making February the month for romance, this month we take a look at some of the potential risks to employers when romance blossoms amongst employees and the steps that can be taken to address these.

    Why Should An Employer Be Concerned About Its Employees Forming Romantic Relationships In The Workplace?

    Romantic relationships between employees in the same organisation can expose the employer to a number of legal risks. These are most likely to arise when one employee is pursuing another to start a relationship or, even more so, when the relationship breaks down. The most obvious legal risks are as follows:

    Sexual Harassment

    This occurs where one employee engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect either of violating … more

  • 3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (14 February 2019)

    Tags: ACAS, Employment Status, Age Discrimination, Employment Law, Human Resources, Guidance

    NHS Secretary Becomes Oldest Person To Win Age Discrimination Case

    An 88-year-old NHS secretary who was dismissed from her job over “frailty” claims has become the oldest person to win an age discrimination case.

    Eileen Jolly was fired from her role at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading in January 2017. She was 86 years old at the time.

    Her age came under scrutiny after she allegedly failed to upload details of cancer patients into a new electronic database, which meant that 14 women had to wait more than a year for non-urgent surgery.

    The error prompted Jolly’s colleagues to inform her boss that they were concerned her age was affecting her performance.

    Jolly, who had been working at the hospital for 25 years, felt “humiliated” and “ … more

  • 3 Dangers Of Non-compliance With The Pre-action Protocol

    Tags: Dispute Resolution, Civil Procedure Rules, Pre-action Protocols

    The pre-action protocols are an important part of the Civil Procedure Rules. Their aim is to prompt and encourage correspondence between the parties prior to any action being taken. This could ultimately lead to some agreements being made about facts or a compromise being settled before litigation is considered. In addition, the protocol aims to encourage an exchange of information at an earlier stage in proceedings. A crucial document could be exchanged which could prompt a settlement or compliance with the contract. It will also encourage better investigation into the facts as alleged by both sides in order to correspond with each other. Ultimately, the aim is to try and settle before litigation is required, but if it is required, it can enable the litigation proceedings to run to the … more

  • 3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (7 February 2019)

    Tags: Government, Consultation, Maternity Leave, Redundancy, Brexit, Discrimination, Court of Appeal, Equal Pay, Equality Act, Modern Slavery, Modern Slavery Act 2015, Annual Report

    Consultation On Extending Redundancy Protection For New Parents

    A recent study by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy found that one in nine returning to work after maternity leave were fired, made redundant, or treated in a manner which forced them to leave their job. The study also found that as many as 54,000 women per year are losing their jobs as a result of their pregnancy or maternity leave.

    With Brexit fast approaching, Theresa May is said to be "determined to do even more as we leave the EU", including by building on the current EU requirements on maternity and paternity leave protection.

    The government is now seeking views on plans to help protect new mums returning to work from the risk of redundancy. Currently, new mothers have additional … more

  • What Does Dismissal For “Some Other Substantial Reason” Mean?

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Dismissal, Employment Law, Some Other Substantial Reason, Employment Rights Act 1996, Section 94

    Under section 94 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, an employee has the right not to be unfairly dismissed. If an employer wants to dismiss an employee with the necessary length of service, the employer needs to be able to show that they had a good reason to take that action and that they did so in a fair manner. 

    If an employee started work with the employer after 6 April 2013, they need to have built up two years’ continuous service before they’re protected by the law. Those who started work before that date need to only have one year’s continuous service to achieve the same protection. 

    If an employee enjoys protection under the law, the employer needs to be wary when considering dismissal.

    There are five potentially fair reasons for dismissing an … more

  • 3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (31 January 2019)

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Discrimination, Sexuality, Sexual Orientation, Unfair Dismissal, Gross Misconduct, Disability, Reasonable Adjustments

    Employee Was Not Unfairly Dismissed Over Offensive Facebook Posts About Director

    An employee’s “extremely derogatory” social media posts about his boss’s generosity in awarding a Christmas bonus did not justify the employer’s failure to give him notice pay when he was dismissed, the Manchester Employment Tribunal has ruled.

    Benson’s Vending dismissed Darren Atherton for gross misconduct without notice after a string of social media posts in which he told his manager to stick his Christmas gift “where the sun doesn’t shine”.

    Atherton had been employed by the vending machine company from April 2012. The ET heard managing director Ken Haselden had a practice of giving a discretionary Christmas bonus gift to employees. These gifts … more

  • A Guide To Professional Negligence Claims

    Tags: Dispute Resolution, Mitigation, Professional Negligence, Breach Of Contract, Duty Of Care, Contributory Negligence

    When you seek professional advice from a qualified solicitor, architect, financial advisor, surveyor or insurance broker, you expect their expert guidance to be consistent with the best practice for their particular sector. Unfortunately, in some cases, this advice is misleading or inaccurate – and you may incur a substantial financial loss as a result.

    All professionals, whatever their area of expertise, have a duty of care to their clients. If this duty of care is breached, and the breach directly results in any form of financial loss or damage to the client, it may be possible to make a professional negligence claim.

    This guide is intended to be a brief overview of some of the important considerations and procedures when embarking upon a professional negligence claim.  … more

  • 3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (24 January 2019)

    Tags: Employment Tribunal, Race Discrimination, Jess Varnish, British Cycling, Olympics, UK Sport, Sex Discrimination, Wrongful Dismissal, Harassment, Equality Commission, Rainbow Theatre Productions, Sexual Harassment, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Equality Act 2010

    Tribunal Awards NHS Manager £1m In Racial Discrimination Case

    A former NHS trust manager who was unfairly dismissed and suffered racial discrimination has been awarded a reported £1 million by London South Employment Tribunal.

    Richard Hastings, an IT manager at King's College NHS Foundation Trust, was dismissed for gross misconduct in October 2015 after he was accused of assault following a dispute with a van driver in his workplace car park.

    The ET ruled the investigation into the incident was “fundamentally flawed” due to unconscious racial bias.

    It found that opportunities to collect further evidence to support Hastings’ claims of innocence were repeatedly missed and that Hastings – who was of African Caribbean origin – was treated less … more

  • The Do's and Don'ts When Handling A Bullying Grievance

    Tags: Equality Act 2010, Harassment, Employment Law, Bullying, UKEmpLaw, Grievance, ACAS Code Of Practice

    Allegations of workplace bullying are difficult for an employer to deal with because bullying can be hard to recognise and define. In this article we look at how employers can best handle a bullying grievance.

    What does someone mean when they say they are “being bullied”? It’s something which is very much in the eye of the beholder – one person’s robust management style is another’s bullying, and the employer faces the unenviable task of adjudicating where the line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour lies. While most people will agree what constitutes bullying in extreme cases, there is a grey area in the middle which may cause more debate.

    It’s an easy word for an employee to throw out in the heat of the moment, “she’s … more

  • 3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (17 January 2019)

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Disability Discrimination, Reasonable Adjustments, Colour Blindness, Equality Act 2010, Disability, Flexibility Working, CIPD, Report

    Disabled Shop Worker Wins Tribunal Award From M&S Over Lift Key

    An Employment Tribunal (ET) has made an award of £1,000 against Marks and Spencer after a delay in providing a disabled shop worker with a lift key to allow him to reach the toilets more easily. 

    In Mitchell v Marks and Spencer plc, the ET held that the employer breached its duties under section 20 and section 21 of the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments for disabled workers. 

    Mr Mitchell has a disability that requires him to go to the toilet frequently. He reached the second-floor staff toilets using the goods lift, the stairs, or a combination of the escalator and the stairs.

    An operation meant that Mr Mitchell anticipated more frequent toilet visits. He said that both before and … more

    

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