Articles

Here you will find all the latest news from the SCE team. In this section we will feature news about what we have been up to, recent mentions in the press, information about the work we do in the community and lots more.

Monthly Archive February 2015

Breastfeeding and employer responsibilities

An increasing number of employers are receiving requests from women returning from maternity leave to provide them with “breastfeeding facilities” i.e. somewhere to either breastfeed or express and store breast milk. This has raised the issue of whether employers have a ‘legal obligation’ to provide such facilities, and where they are unable to do so, whether they are falling foul of the Equality Act 2010. 

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Misconduct Investigations: Leave No Stone Unturned?

When investigating an employee over alleged misconduct we are often asked the lengths to which an employer needs to go in examining the evidence before them prior to making the final decision of whether to dismiss, apply a lesser sanction such as a warning or indeed take no further action at all.

While this is a difficult question to answer with blanket advice, as naturally each instance of alleged misconduct is different and some will require more investigation than others, the term ‘reasonable’ is invariably the go-to term used in the advice provided.

In particular when an employer has a situation where the matter is factually heavy and there are a lot of avenues that could be explored, the question of whether the employer has to investigate every defence put forward by an employee is often central.

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Cumberbatched: The Importance of Terminology

Many readers will have come across the incident in the wider media last week involving the actor Benedict Cumberbatch, wherein he used the term “coloured” to describe black actors while giving an interview on an American talk show. While he has since apologised profusely for use of the term, the furore that followed immediately after the initial remark has shined a light on attitudes to such terminology on both sides of the Atlantic.

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