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 October 2016

Will These Legal Issues Scare Employers This Halloween?

Halloween is definitely a ‘fun’ time of the year, as celebrations range from trick or treating, pumpkin carving contests, adult costume contests to parties with alcohol. For employees’ they all encourage interaction and workplace engagement but for employers’ they all open the door for potential liabilities and concerns. So what are the 5 top legal issues that employers need to be aware of to avoid a scare this Halloween?

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Flexible Working Requests On Return From Maternity Leave

Flexible working requests are often misunderstood.  The legal right which presently exists is that employees have a right to request flexible working; it is not a right to work flexibly.  Recent case law has confirmed there is no obligation on employers to accept an employee’s request to work flexibly when they return from maternity leave.  As long as employers deal with such requests reasonably and have genuine business reasons for rejecting the request, the employment tribunal will not find fault with the decision. Here we take a look at two such recent cases.

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Seminar on accidents in high risk workplaces

Last month we ran a free seminar on accidents in high risk workplaces, at the Grosvenor Casino in Central Leeds.  We wanted to deliver a seminar which was focused on the health and safety and employment law implications of accidents based on feedback we had received on key concerns for businesses.

After some open networking and breakfast, Sarah Dykes, Health and Safety Consultant, opened the seminar with a look at some scary accident statistics before moving on to discuss the costs to a business.  Did you know that in 2014/2015 accidents were estimated to cost businesses £14.3 billion in respect of absence and ill health?  Wow!  Sarah highlighted that, in addition to costs covered by insurance, there were a whole host of uninsured costs that employers can face because of accidents.  Sarah then finished off by providing some valued advice on how to deal with accidents after they have occurred.

It was then over to Mandy Walton, Associate Employment Law Solicitor, who tackled the topic of employee absence due to accidents.  Mandy gave hints and tips on how to manage staff absence initially after an accident and then on a longer-term basis should the employee be absent for some time.  Mandy then took attendees through reintegrating employees back into work after a period of absence before a whistle-stop tour of disability discrimination.  Mandy concluded by talking through an ill-health dismissal procedure and gave practical pointers for dealing with the same.  Were you aware that employees who are dismissed on the grounds of ill-health may be entitled to full pay during their notice period, even if they have exhausted all entitlements to company or statutory sick pay?

We were delighted to receive some excellent feedback from the event, with attendees rating the content and style of the speaker as excellent.

Roger Etchells of Episode Limited, ISO consultancy specialists, dropped us an email after the event saying “thanks for the excellent seminar you ran. As a small business owner, it is invaluable to have an insight to my responsibilities, and even though Episode specialises on management systems, including health and safety, I learnt a lot that will be vital for our clients to understand. I will be suggesting SCE to our clients in future as they need the pragmatic, common sense approach you have.” 

Amanda Kaplanski of Shot Blast Media Limited, industrial video production service specialists, said she was “very impressed” with the seminar, adding “You stayed behind at the end to answer questions and offered as much information possible. It was easy to see you have a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of employment law and a genuine desire to help others. Your passion certainly shines through your work!”

We were thrilled with the feedback from our attendees, with all present stating they would recommend the seminar to others.  We will be running another seminar next year with the hope of replicating this year’s success.  

If you feel your business would benefit from having this seminar delivered in house, or you have any other employment law, HR or health and safety training needs, please contact me on 0113 350 4030 or at mandy.walton@scesolicitors.co.uk.

When are Post Termination Restrictions Enforceable?

There is a common misconception amongst employers that if a contract is signed by an employee then the clauses contained within it, will be enforceable, regardless of the fact that a revised version might be substantially different. Where post termination restrictions, which predominantly relate to non-solicitation, non-dealing and non-competition, are unilaterally imposed, they may not be enforceable unless some form of consideration is paid.  

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