Archives / 2014 / August
  • Tattoos and Discrimination

    Tags: Employment Law, Discrimination because of Religion and Belief, Employment Tribunal, Tattoos

    The increasing prevalence of tattoos among the workforce of modern Britain has led to both employers and employees asking the highly pertinent question of where the line can be drawn when it comes to body art.

    We get fairly regular enquiries from employers regarding front of house or customer facing staff with visible tattoos. Their concern is that customers may be taken aback by being confronted with a heavily tattooed employee. By contrast employees are often confused as to where employer boundaries lie on the issue and so are concerned for the loss of their role, or more often whether their tattoo(s) may prevent them from obtaining employment in the first place.

    The only reason these questions arise is because of the ingrained conscious and subconscious associations John and … more

  • Dealing with badly drafted restrictive covenants and final closure on Seldon?

    Tags: Restrictive Covenants, Age Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    Here are a few updates on previously reported cases:

    Courts rewriting restrictive covenants

    Some of you may recall that earlier this year in the case of Prophet plc v Huggett, the High Court held that courts could re-write badly drafted restrictive covenants in order to bring them in line with common sense. However, this decision has been overturned by the Court of Appeal.

    In Huggett it was held that the restrictive covenants should be rewritten to give effect to the intention of the parties which prevented Mr Huggett selling software which was similar to Prophets software.

    In summary the Court of Appeal judge pointed out that although a purposive approach could be taken when a restrictive covenant was ambiguous, this was not the case here, and the clause was simply badly drafted. … more

  • What are the tribunal rules for admission of covert recordings?

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Grievance Hearings, Disciplinary Hearings, Covert Recordings

    Recently we have seen an increasing number of cases involving covert recordings and their admissibility in tribunal proceedings, so what does the law say in this area? 

    The Tribunal Rules give judges a wide discretion when considering evidence. The general understanding is that tribunals should hear all the evidence that is relevant even in instances where an employee has made covert recordings of internal hearings. However, if an employee somehow managed to obtain a covert recording of a closed session, i.e. private conversations between the decision panels making a decision, the recording will likely be inadmissible.

    Here are a few simple steps to help you avoid an argument for admission of covert records: 

    Implement a policy which either expressly allows or forbids an … more

  • Avoiding maternity/pregnancy discrimination

    Tags: Pregnancy Discrimination, Maternity Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    Most employers are familiar with the fact that maternity and pregnancy discrimination are deemed to be ‘protected characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010 (“EQA”) and surprisingly a recent survey of 500 managers (conducted by Slater and Gordon) highlighted a third of managers would rather employ a man in his 20s or 30s over a woman of the same age for fear of footing the maternity leave bill the woman to have a child – or worse, children.

    Furthermore, 40% admitted they are wary of hiring a woman of childbearing age or hiring a woman with a child for junior or senior roles. 44% of respondents also cited concerns over the financial burden to their businesses of maternity leave.

    The above position may of course change once shared parental leave is … more


  • 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


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