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Our Well-Being Room: one year on

Last year we held the official opening of our well-being room. We planned the room in great detail involving all of the staff in its creation. Our own, Hannah and Jennifer designed and painted the feature wall. The idea was to make it bright and colourful giving the effect of lots of light.

A year in and we have decided to reflect on the positive effect our well-being room has had on our staff and others who have come to use it (prior to the lock-down restrictions).

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SCE to Carry the Burden

As more local lockdowns have been announced, there needs to be more awareness around mental health. Many people are struggling to adjust and are feeling more and more isolated.

As many of you know, SCE are committed to supporting Leeds Mind and as it is coming up to a year that we started our support and opened our well-being room, we couldn’t not get involved in the latest challenge that Leeds Mind have sent our way.

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SCE Fundraiser as Total Warrior is postponed

As many of you know, SCE Solicitors have chosen Leeds Mind to support and raise money for. Leeds Mind aims to help people build on their strengths, overcome obstacles, and become more in control of their lives. This Sunday 28th June the team were set to take part in Total Warrior, sponsored by Leeds Mind.

https://www.totalwarrior.co.uk/

Due to Covid-19, unfortunately SCE’s plans to take part in Total Warrior 2020 have been postponed until June 2021.

Although Total Warrior may be cancelled, we can still come together to raise money for such a great cause. That is why we have decided to create some new challenges for ourselves throughout the month of July.

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Samira Cakali Named as a UK Top Rated Solicitor

Samira Cakali is pleased to announce that she has recently been named as a UK Top Rated Solicitor. She has received this commendation thanks to the outstanding reviews written by her clients on VouchedFor.co.uk, the review website for professionals. 

Aside from being a ringing endorsement that she is among the most respected in the legal profession, Samira was featured in a guide to the UK’s Top Rated Professionals which was distributed in The Sunday Telegraph newspaper.   

Samira has expressed her joy at being labelled as the most renowned in her field: “Being selected as a Top Rated solicitor means a lot to me, because I’ve been selected as a result of the support from my clients. This demonstrates that I am achieving what I set out to achieve when I set the firm up– to provide excellent client care.”

Almost everyone will seek the services and advice of a solicitor at some point in their lives, but it can be difficult to know who to trust. Client reviews are a powerful resource when it comes to identifying the right person in the legal profession therefore Samira is delighted that her reviews are now easy to find on VouchedFor.co.uk. 

You can access all of her great client reviews on her VouchedFor profile: https://www.vouchedfor.co.uk/solicitor/leeds/10551-samira-cakali#

Samira Cakali Qualifies as a Mental Health First Aider

In August our Samira Cakali qualified as a Mental Health First Aider (‘MHFA’). In this article she discusses the scheme and how having a Mental Health First Aider could vastly improve your business and have a positive impact on the amount of disability claims that land on your desk. 

Why is mental health awareness in the workplace so important?

Mental ill health is the biggest reason for sickness absence and by far the largest cost to employers across the UK. Investing in staff wellbeing saves money in the long run – workplaces that prioritise mental health have more engaged, productive and loyal employees, who are less likely to need time off sick. 

What does the training involve?

MHFA is a two-day training course. The course is based around a five-step action plan for providing first aid to those suffering with their mental health. The course instructor educates the attendees on a variety of areas of mental health, how to spot the early signs of an issue and shows them how to apply the action plan in each case, which includes preserving life and guiding someone to appropriate sources of help. Areas that are covered are those such as: depression; suicide; substance misuse; anxiety; self-harm; eating disorders; personality disorders; and psychosis. 

What do businesses stand to gain from having a mental health first aider?

Both employers and employees stand to gain significantly from organisations having mental health first aiders. Training in MHFA will give employers the confidence to have these conversations, listen to their employees and therefore be able to understand how their employees feel and what support they need. When employees feel supported and able to discuss their concerns, they will feel better-able to continue to attend work and therefore sickness absence levels are likely to reduce. 

Are claims less likely if you are a MHFA?

The Equality Act 2010 (‘the Act’) places an obligation on employers to make reasonable adjustments for employees who are suffering from a disability under the Act. A mental health condition amounts to a disability under the Act if it has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the employee’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities. If an employer fails to make reasonable adjustments, it risks facing a disability discrimination claim. 

A MHFA-trained employer will be better able to have conversations with employees suffering from mental health conditions. This in turn will enable the employer and employee to work together to ascertain what reasonable adjustments can be put into place to assist the employee. If the employee subsequently issues a claim for an alleged failure to make reasonable adjustments, the employer will then stand a far greater chance of being able to defend such a claim. However, if an employee feels supported, they are also less likely to issue a claim in the first place.

Further details about MHFA training can be found at mhfaengland.org

If you need help and advice regarding mental health in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact Samira or the employment team on 01133 50 40 30 or at samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk

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SCE Solicitors Appoints a New Trainee Solicitor

SCE Solicitors expansion shows no sign of slowing down following the opening of a brand new office in Horsforth last month and now the appointment of a new trainee solicitor, Emma Roberts

Emma joined SCE in December 2017 as a Paralegal providing Employment and HR support. Emma advises both employers and employees from a broad range of sections on various employment law issues, including advising on disciplinary and grievances, termination of employment, and responding to internal employment disputes and tribunal claims. 

She also assists Director and Head of Employment, Samira Cakali, in the running of the firm’s myHR service where she supports businesses in the day-to-day management of their staff.

Emma studied Bachelor of Laws at the Open University whilst working as a Litigation Assistant at a law firm in Leeds. She then went on to complete a Diploma in Legal Practice and Master of Laws at the University of Law in Leeds.

Speaking about her appointment, Emma said “I am very excited to be a part of the SCE team as the firm continues to grow and strengthen its legal offering to clients across Yorkshire. I feel very fortunate to be training at a firm that truly invests in its people.

Samira said “Emma, has been an exceptional paralegal, she has quickly become an invaluable member of our small team and I am extremely pleased we have been able to offer her a training contract. She is methodical, detailed and has excellent client care, all the skills which I believe will equip her to become an excellent solicitor.” 

Emma will now spend the first six months training in the Employment Law Department in Horsforth before moving on to another two departments over the next 18 months, leading to her qualification as a Solicitor in March 2020. 

SCE offers three specialist service areas consisting of employment, commercial litigation and data protection. If you would like to find out more information about SCE, you can contact them on 01133 50 40 30 or at info@scesolicitors.co.uk 

If you enjoyed this article and would like to be kept updated on Employment Law & HR, Commercial Litigation and Data Protection issues, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter

SCE Solicitors Celebrates Manchester Gay Pride

Having lived in Manchester for a long time, I know that Manchester Pride is a huge event for me and the rest of the Manchester LGBT community.  So, to celebrate the upcoming festivities we here at SCE Solicitors celebrated our own diversity with a ‘pride party’. We pride ourselves on being a diverse team, despite our size, and we encourage others to do the same.

Having a diverse workforce is a commercial no-brainer. It allows businesses to use people’s different backgrounds, knowledge, skills and expertise to create an environment where employees can learn from each other and produce innovative ideas. Employees will also feel valued and supported, which increases their productivity. Workplace diversity builds a good reputation for any business. Being known for being fair and diverse is likely to attract a wider pool of applicants for any vacancies and will attract loyalty from the socially conscious.

It also encourages a mutual respect for others, which is vital to protect against claims of discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 protects those who have one or more of the 9 protected characteristics from discrimination. The protected characteristics are; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. Even if you, as an employer, do not yourself discriminate against the protected employee, you can still be held liable for an employee’s conduct if you cannot show that you have done everything in your power to prevent such behaviour. Therefore, it is imperative that employers have effective Equal Opportunities and Diversity policies, staff and management training, and a zero-tolerance approach when dealing with acts of discrimination.

If you are an employer or an individual and you have questions about diversity and discrimination in the workplace contact me at eve.king@scesolicitors.co.uk or call 01133 50 40 30.

Manchester Gay Pride begins today, Friday 24 August 2018, and ends on Monday 27 August 2018. 


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.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to be kept updated on HR and Employment Law issues, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter