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 November 2016

AFSA annual conference and awards dinner is a huge success

As you may have read, last week we headed down to London to participate in the Asian Fire Service Association’s annual conference and awards dinner.  As a firm, we are committed to equality and diversity and it was a delight to be surrounded by so many people who share our passion for work forces that are culturally diverse.  

The event kicked off in style with a warm welcome from the hosts, London Fire Commission Ron Dobson and AFSA Chair Diane Dunlevey.  As the morning progressed, there was a thought provoking Q&A session with key personnel from the fire service which brought with it some challenging questions about how the fire service can achieve its desire for cultural inclusion.  

The afternoon brought with it a series of workshops and our very own Samira Cakali presented her top tips on avoiding employment tribunal claims, with a focus on discrimination in the workplace.  The interactive session led to some interesting discussions relating to the delegates own experiences and the feedback we received was excellent.  Delegates found our workshop relevant to their needs and rated the content and delivery as excellent.

The end of day one saw the evening come alive with culture as the awards dinner commenced.  The black tie event brought with it a burst of colour with many of the attendees donning beautiful cultural attire which left us speechless.  The awards nominees were truly inspiring and were recognised for their commitment to the promotion of equality and diversity.  We were honoured to sponsor and present the award for Champion of Equality and Diversity to Katie Cornhill of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for her accomplishments.  The evening also saw West Yorkshire’s very own Balvinder Bains take home the award for Positive Action and Mohammed Ali the award for Outstanding Endeavour by an AFSA Member.  We would like to offer our congratulations to all of the award winners and nominees.

Day two began with the history of AFSA before moving on to discuss how the fire service could embed equality, diversity and inclusion at its heart.  The morning continued with a number of key speeches, including how human rights can be protected in Britain before an interactive session which showed why diversity is a reality but inclusion is a choice.  After lunch, four more workshops were offered up to the delegates before the conference was brought to a close.

Samira Cakali, Director of SCE Solicitors said of the event “It was a pleasure having been asked to present at the conference particularly as diversity is an issue very close to my heart. It was great to see so many people working towards a common goal”.

Mandy Walton, Associate Solicitor at SCE Solicitors said “I’ve always been passionate about equality and diversity and to be involved in the AFSA conference and awards was truly inspirational.  It’s encouraging to see so many people working towards such an important goal.”

We would like to thank the AFSA team for looking after us so well during the conference and for allowing us to be part of such a wonderful event.

SCE Solicitors head to London for the AFSA National Conference

We are looking forward to participating in our first Asian Fire Service Association National Conference in London next week, at the Wembley Holiday Inn on 24th and 25th November.  The event, titled “The changing role of the fire service – The role of culture and inclusion” will also include AFSA’s Awards Dinner. 

The event will be thought provoking and celebrate the many exceptional achievements of the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) and will share knowledge and best practice amongst the delegates and across the public sector.

A key emphasis for the conference is member development and there will be a mixture of leading speakers, including the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and interactive workshops, one of which will be provided by SCE Solicitors.  

Our workshop at 2pm on Thursday 24th November will give an overview of Employment Tribunals.  We will be providing key insights and advice on how to avoid them by discussing the risk employers currently face, the cost to employers, the law and case law examples, together with our top tips on minimising claims.  The seminar will also have a keen focus on discrimination in the workplace.  

The Awards Dinner on Thursday evening provides an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contribution of the FRS staff and those from partner organisations that go about their work to ensure everything they do is personal, fair and advances the benefits of diversity.  SCE Solicitors is happy to announce that we are also sponsoring the award for champion of equality and diversity and are excited to present it to the winner.

AFSA now represents 32 fire and rescue services and non-fire services and has established a position as an important voice for inclusion within the sector by regularly collecting the views of the FRS and using opportunities to inform FRS reform.  They keep up-to-date with the latest thinking and expert opinion on key equality related matters for the FRS and other bodies with the public sector and beyond.

SCE Solicitors became corporate members of AFSA in August this year as it complements the firms desire for equality and diversity.  Samira Cakali founded SCE Solicitors in Leeds in 2011 because she wanted to provide clients with high quality legal advice, on time, on budget and in a personal and supportive manner. 

What is Sexual Harassment in the Modern Workplace?

The run up to the US Presidential elections these past 18 months, has thrown up some interesting issues, however, what has caught my eye are the sexual harassment allegations against Mr Donald Trump. While, I make no judgements as to whether or not there is any merit in any of the allegations, I thought it would be worthy of highlighting what would constitute sexual harassment in an era where the workplace is becoming more laid back and, boundaries become blurred.  

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Don’t Get Burned By Playing With Fire

Under health and safety law, the employer, owner or occupier is responsible for fire safety within non-domestic premises.  The ‘responsible person’ must conduct a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain appropriate and adequate fire safety measures that minimise the risk to lives that fire could pose.  The onus to do this also falls on landlords, freeholders, managing agents and those, such as B&B and guesthouse owners, who welcome paying guests.

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Firefighters Attacked on Duty; Accidents at Work

As bonfire night approaches, we were deeply saddened to read in the local news last week that firefighters in Bradford had been attacked by vandals on three consecutive nights while they were trying to put out fires in the West Yorkshire area.  The vandals launched fireworks at the crews when they were answering emergency call outs.  It’s so sad to hear these brave individuals were attacked while simply trying to do their job.  The job firefighters do is, naturally, not without risk, but to have their lives endangered by mindless acts is deplorable.  Thankfully, none of the firefighters involved were injured but what if they were not so lucky?  Here we take a look at some considerations for employers when their employees are injured at work through no fault of their own.

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Employment status: Uber drivers found to be workers

There was a flurry of excitement in the SCE office last Friday.  One contributing factor was the arrival of the employment tribunal’s eagerly anticipated decision on whether Uber drivers were employees, workers or self-employed.  Back in August 2016, we first reported on the case.  The Judgment landed mid-afternoon on Friday and we spent our weekend considering the 40-page document to bring you this breaking news!

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