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Tag Archive

3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (17 January 2019)

Disabled Shop Worker Wins Tribunal Award From M&S Over Lift Key

An Employment Tribunal (ET) has made an award of £1,000 against Marks and Spencer after a delay in providing a disabled shop worker with a lift key to allow him to reach the toilets more easily.

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3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (3 January 2019)

UK Government Annouces New Code Of Practice To Tackle Workplace Sexual Harassment 

A new statutory Code of Practice will be developed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in order to guide employers on their legal responsibilities regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. This was one of 12 actions recently announced by the UK government as it makes confronting workplace harassment a priority.

The announcements are in response to the July 2018 recommendations of the UK Women and Equalities Committee, which called for (1) putting sexual harassment at the top of the UK government’s agenda; (2) requiring regulators to take a more active role in tackling harassment; (3) making enforcement processes work better for employees by setting them out in the Code; (4) cleaning up the use of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) used in employment contracts and settlement agreements; and (5) collecting robust data on sexual harassment in the workplace at regular intervals.

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3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (27 December 2018)

Does an Employee Have a Right to a Statement of Employment Particulars When Employed for Less Than 2 Months?

Yes, if they have worked continuously for at least 1 month, held the EAT in Stefanko and others v Maritime Hotel Ltd.

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The Legal Risks Around Mismanagement of Mental Health Issues

Wednesday was World Mental Health Day, a good time for employers to look at their legal obligations towards staff who are suffering with mental health issues.
In this article we bring you up to speed with some of the issues which surround mental health in the workplace and provide you with a broad outline of some of the potential claims that might arise if you mismanage an employee who is suffering with mental health issues.

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Our All New 5 Step Guide to Reducing Sickness Absence in the Workplace and Preventing Discrimination Claims

Managing sickness absence is a pivotal part of the successful running of your business. Letting sickness absence get out of control can mean that be business is not as productive, or efficient, as it could be. However, mismanagement of sickness absence can lead to a disability discrimination claim which could cost your business thousands of pounds.

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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 www.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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Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

Last week saw social media awash with the hashtag #MentalHealthAwarenessDay which had people sharing positive messages and generally discussing mental health. While, it may seem that we are a little late into the discussion, given its importance we decided that it’s never too late. 

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Reasonable adjustments for disabled job applicants

As lawyers, we know employment law can be a minefield for many employers out there.  The recruitment process is the start of any employment relationship and comes with its own obstacles as you must ensure any recruitment process is fair and objective.  Employers can expose themselves to risks of claims from job applicants if the recruitment process is discriminatory in any way.

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Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Employees

What could be viewed as a reasonable adjustment for a disabled employee is a question that has been debated for some time.  Some adjustments appear straightforward whilst others are viewed as going beyond what would be considered reasonable.  A recent case in the news puts pay protection on the list as a reasonable adjustment.  Here we take a look at the case in point and offer some tips on some other adjustments that have been considered reasonable.

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