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 March 2018

LEGAL UPDATE: Fit for Work Assessments to End

The Government announced in Improving lives: the future of work, health and disability that the Fit for Work assessment scheme is to end on 31 March 2018 following low referral rates.

The Fit for Work referral service introduced in 2014 was set up to help employers manage sickness in the workplace and provided free access to occupational health professionals for people who are off work for four weeks or more. Once an employee reached, or was expected to reach, four weeks of sickness absence they could be referred to Fit for Work by their GP or their employer. However, the scheme has had poor take-up and after months of uncertainty over its future, the Government is set to pull the plug on the scheme at the end of the month.

The abolishment of the Fit for Work scheme came after the Government released its ambitious proposals to get one million more disabled people into work over the next 10 years.

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LEGAL UPDATE: Termination Payments – What is changing on 6 April 2018?

A new tax regime takes effect from 6 April 2018 in relation to payments in lieu of notice (PILON), alongside other significant changes to the taxation of termination payments. These changes reflect the Government’s stated intention to “tighten and clarify” the income tax treatment of termination payments. In this article we will look at exactly what is changing and how it will affect you.

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LEGAL UPDATE: Changes to Statutory Payments

As we are approaching another tax year, the Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”) has announced proposed revised amounts for various statutory payments from 1 April 2018

Statutory Maternity Pay/Statutory Paternity Pay/Statutory Shared Parental Pay

 These are all currently £140.98 (or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate). The weekly rate will increase to £145.18 with effect 1 April 2018. 

To qualify, the employee must have average weekly earnings of at least:

  • £116, if the baby is due on or after 15 July 2018. 
  • £113, if the baby is due on or before 14 July 2018. 

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)

The weekly rate increases so that it is payable at 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings for the first six weeks, with the remainder of the adoption pay period at the rate of £145.18 (or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less than £145.18) with effect 1 April 2018. 

To qualify, the employee must have average weekly earnings of at least:

  • £116, if the matching or notification occurs on or after 01 April 2018.
  • £113, if the matching or notification occurs on or before 31 March 2018.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

The weekly rate increases from £89.35 to £92.05 with effect 6 of April 2018. To be entitled, the employees average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit, which is increasing from £113 to £116.

National Living Wage (NLW)

The NLW for workers aged 25+ will increase to £7.83, the standard adult rate for workers aged 21-24 will be £7.38, and the development rate for workers aged 18-20 will be £5.90.

This change in rates will mean employers will need to carefully plan their budgets for 2018/2019 and, if necessary, prepare for amendments to their policies and other documentation in relation to family-friendly benefits for April 2018.

If you need help and advice in relation to rate changes, please do not hesitate to contact me or the employment team on 0113 350 4030 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk.

If you would like to be kept up to date with employment law and dispute resolution updates, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and dispute resolution practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

GDPR seminar with guest speaker E_Radar

On Tuesday 13th March SCE Solicitors, with guest speaker Will Roebuck from E_Radar, held a full day workshop at our offices in Leeds, to explain the GDPR obligations for Employers.  The sell-out session was a huge success and received outstanding feedback. 

From the completed surveys –

• 80% said that the seminar met their expectations and the other 20% said that their expectations were met over and beyond.

• When asked about the style and content of the speakers 60% said that it was good and the other 40% said that it was excellent.

• All the attendees said that the workshop was relevant to their needs, with 60% of them saying it was very relevant.

• All the attendees said that they would recommend the workshop to colleagues.

When asked what they most enjoyed, one attendee said the “Guest Speakers – cleared up a number of questions”.  Other comments received included – 

“Simply delivered and comfortable group. Structured. Feel much less scared. Great day! Thankyou!”

 “Very informative. Good information, easy to understand – good handouts”

“Structured way forward in how to deal with employees for GDPR”

“Understanding my obligations and legal basis – start an action plan”

We also received numerous positive comments about the lunch and refreshments provided for the delegates.  We do like to look after clients.

Our top takeaway from the seminar was that – ‘Consent’ is only one lawful basis for processing, but there are alternatives. 

Consent is not inherently better or more important than these alternatives. Consent is appropriate if you can offer people real choice and control over how you use their data. But if you cannot offer a genuine choice, you should consider using an alternative, such as ‘Legitimate Interest’ or ‘Contract’.

‘Contract’ will particularly apply for businesses in relation to processing employee’s data, as there is a contractual obligation to process that data.

SCE Solicitors has also produced a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) template and shared it with our MyHR clients.  If you would like to receive a copy of the DPIA template or would like help and advice regarding GDPR, please do not hesitate to contact me or the employment team on 0113 350 4030 or at Richard.Newstead@scesolicitors.co.uk.  


SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Our top 8 tips to prepare for the GDPR

If you run a business, the GDPR will probably be on your radar by now. Although preparing for the new rules may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. 

When it’s introduced on 25 May 2018, the GDPR will apply to all UK businesses that handle personal data. As a result, every organisation that collects, processes or stores personal data should be taking steps now to ensure it can achieve compliance. 

Here are our top 8 practical tips to get ready for the GDPR

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How will GDPR impact your recruitment process?

The General Data Protection Regulations (“GDPR”) is a new set of European regulations that will overhaul existing Data Protection laws and come into force on 25th May 2018

The regulations are going to have far reaching consequences for how business look after their personal data, and to enforce these new regulations GDPR will also allow for significant fines for companies who breach these new rules.

Recruiters especially should make sure that they are transparent when processing candidate data during hiring. They should also ensure candidates can exercise their rights under GDPR.

When sourcing CVs

When asking candidates to send in CVs, you’re asking for personal information. Whether this is via a job board, an employment website, or directly via an email, you need to provide information on how the data will be processed (or used), how long it will be retained for, and if the data they shared with you will be transferred overseas (if, for example, you have multiple offices).

You will also be required to provide more information around how an individual can determine if you hold data on them, how they can check what this, how they can rectify the data it if is incomplete or wrong, and how they can enact their ‘right to be forgotten’. 

Security for CVs

Once you have received the CV, you will need to ensure you have a secure process that covers the storage of electronic documents with personal information. This may be in the form of recruitment or HR software, or in password protected files. You will also want to review who is able to access these, and for how long they are kept.

You should also be reviewing your document management systems. Agencies may make you agree to destroy copies of CVs or personal data, but the individual who sent in the CV may also make requests to find out what data you hold on them and amend or remove their data from your system. 

Erased, rectified, restricted or not processed

Under GDPR workers will have extended rights so, in addition to a right to inspect personal data held about them, workers may be able to insist their data is erased, rectified, restricted or not processed at all. Combined with a much tougher enforcement and penalty regime for non-compliance, businesses who ignore GDPR tread a very thin line. 

By understanding more about how GDPR will impact your business, you can negate any negative impact, and help potential employees reap the benefits of feeling more secure when they give their personal data to your company.

If you need help and advice regarding GDPR, please do not hesitate to contact me or the employment team on 0113 350 4030 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk.

If you would like to be kept up to date with employment law and dispute resolution updates, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and dispute resolution practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day and for more than a century people around the world have been marking this day.  

Different countries around the world celebrate it in different ways, from national holidays for women to giving flowers.  This year the theme of International Women’s Day campaign is #PressforProgress and the BBC are running a 100 Women campaign.  Read more on the BBC News article – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-42824064?SThisFB 

At SCE Solicitors we have many wonderful women working for us and think today we are perfectly justified in celebrating them.  This year Courtney Janotta, a paralegal at the firm, has been given the spotlight; let us take you through her journey.  

“My mother always knew I’d be a lawyer…I guess mothers know best. I’ve always felt that I was given a voice to use, but I didn’t know I’d be able to turn that into a career. 

I started out at university by studying marketing and business because I didn’t know what to study, and I felt unengaged. I even tried transferring to another university in their business department but realised it wasn’t for me.  

Finally, I realised that I could study anything I wanted to, so I transferred to study political science and absolutely fell in love. Law is a post-graduate degree for Americans, and I felt that a political science would be a good bachelor’s degree to get the foundation I needed to study law, particularly research and analysis. 

After a study-abroad course to the UK I knew I wanted to study law across the pond, but nobody I knew had ever studied law abroad and my professors and university counsellors struggled on how to advise me. It had turned into my dream, so I found a way and was overjoyed to be accepted into Leeds University.   

Working as a woman in employment law feels such a natural fit for me. I enjoy the ability to get tucked into research, developing legal arguments, and advising clients.” 

To find out more about more about who we are at please visit the SCE team page on our website or if you follow us on Twitter – SCEEmpLaw – you can help us to celebrate some ofthe other wonderful females that work with us.

We hope you join us in celebrating the women in your business this International Women’s Day. 

In the name of equality, and before anyone asks, International Men’s Day is on 19th November and has only been marked since the 1990s. It is celebrated in over 60 countries, including the UK. (Find out more by reading the BBC News article).