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Tag Archive

It is time to refresh HR policies and practices for 2021

2020 was a tumultuous year with employers having to respond rapidly to the challenges of the pandemic and it doesn’t look like it is easing any time soon. Culturally the world has shifted too, with the Black Lives Matter movement bringing momentum to improving equality and diversity at work. The end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 means an end to free movement and has implications for UK employment law.

As we now enter a further lockdown this is a good time to review and refresh HR policies and practices after a fast-paced 2020 and to get ready for the challenges of the new year.

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Ensuring your Workplace Offers an Inclusive and Supporting Environment for Trans Employees

New research undertaken by ACAS, Supporting Trans Employees in the Workplace, published in August 2017, exposes that employers are failing in their efforts to understand the issues concerning their trans and intersex employees. 

Whilst transphobia and discrimination are extensively reported, little research has previously been conducted into the experiences of trans or intersex employees in the UK, which has larger implications for both managers and employees in the workplace. 

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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 presents at the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Conference; Diversity in the workplace

Our own Samira presented at the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Conference in conjunction with the Asian Fire Service Association (ASFA) on 18 July 2016 in Leeds. The event concentrated on the importance of equality and diversity in the workforce and how this could be achieved in the emergency response units also.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, an important body in providing a vital service in ensuring the safety of the local community, have recognised that their employees do not reflect the community of West Yorkshire. By that, they recognise in West Yorkshire ethnic minority firefighters make up 3.8% of full-time firefighters, compared with 18.2% of the population. Statistics taken from the Department for Communities and Local Government also show just 4.4% of full-time firefighters in England and Wales are from non-white communities. 

The conference focused on the importance of diversity, specifically focusing on engaging with their community and positive action.  

Given her expertise in employment law and discrimination, Samira was asked to provide guidance as to the importance of diversity and ensuring ‘positive discrimination’ remained within the confines of the Equality Act 2010. 

8 Step Guide to Help Reduce the Risk of Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination is a complex and sensitive area of the law as set out in the Equality Act 2010 (EQA). It covers all areas of employment including job advertisements, the recruitment process, terms and conditions of work, conduct during employment and even at ‘work do’s’. The EQA also covers dismissals and work-related matters arising after employment has ended, for example giving references.

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