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Tag Archive

SCE Solicitors Opens New Office in Horsforth

SCE Solicitors has opened a new office in the centre of Horsforth. 

The firm, which already has an office in Park Square in Leeds has chosen Jason House as the location for its new office. 

The new office will be led by Director and Head of Employment, Samira Cakali

Samira said “I am pleased to be opening our second office in Horsforth as part of our growth strategy. The second office not only provides us with more space but also shows our ambition to compete in the Leeds market.”

“Research published, and announced, at last year’s Leeds Conference, named Leeds as the fastest growing legal centre and as clients and employees move towards a more agile way of working I believe having a North Leeds office will allow us to attract the right clients and talent.”

Senior Associate and Head of Litigation, Richard Newstead added “All of the team are excited at the firm’s expansion with the opening of a second Leeds office. The move has given us the ability to offer additional services to our clients such as in-house training and seminars. 

“The new office provides us with much needed additional space. It will offer superb facilities for our solicitors, staff and clients including on-site parking facilities.”

If you would like to find out more information about SCE Solicitors and their new Horsforth office, you can contact them on 01133 50 40 30 or at info@scesolicitors.co.uk

Pictured (L to R): Emma Roberts, Eve King, Richard Newstead, Samira Cakali and Jennifer Hoult. 

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New Year’s Resolution Two; Review Your Staff Handbook

Last week we kicked off the New Year with our first recommended business New Year resolution to get your employment documentation in tip-top shape. If you missed our article on reviewing employment contracts, check it out here.

This week, we move on to staff handbooks. Do you have one in place for your employees? When was it reviewed? Is it up to date? Is it a short handbook containing some general rules or is a lengthier document covering your policies and procedures? Has it been issued to staff and do you have evidence staff have read and understood the contents? Here are our top tips for what a staff handbook should include.

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Have Yourself A Merry Little, Stress-Free Christmas Party!

So, December is upon us once again and as we all concur about the year passing by in a flash, the festivities build.  December sees the start of Christmas party season within the workplace.  From office-based lunchtime functions, to post work beverages, to all expenses paid Christmas parties and everything in between; whichever category of celebration you fall into, it’s worth thinking about how to ensure your Christmas do runs smoothly.

Here are our top tips for ensuring your festive function is stress-free!

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Seminar on accidents in high risk workplaces

Last month we ran a free seminar on accidents in high risk workplaces, at the Grosvenor Casino in Central Leeds.  We wanted to deliver a seminar which was focused on the health and safety and employment law implications of accidents based on feedback we had received on key concerns for businesses.

After some open networking and breakfast, Sarah Dykes, Health and Safety Consultant, opened the seminar with a look at some scary accident statistics before moving on to discuss the costs to a business.  Did you know that in 2014/2015 accidents were estimated to cost businesses £14.3 billion in respect of absence and ill health?  Wow!  Sarah highlighted that, in addition to costs covered by insurance, there were a whole host of uninsured costs that employers can face because of accidents.  Sarah then finished off by providing some valued advice on how to deal with accidents after they have occurred.

It was then over to Mandy Walton, Associate Employment Law Solicitor, who tackled the topic of employee absence due to accidents.  Mandy gave hints and tips on how to manage staff absence initially after an accident and then on a longer-term basis should the employee be absent for some time.  Mandy then took attendees through reintegrating employees back into work after a period of absence before a whistle-stop tour of disability discrimination.  Mandy concluded by talking through an ill-health dismissal procedure and gave practical pointers for dealing with the same.  Were you aware that employees who are dismissed on the grounds of ill-health may be entitled to full pay during their notice period, even if they have exhausted all entitlements to company or statutory sick pay?

We were delighted to receive some excellent feedback from the event, with attendees rating the content and style of the speaker as excellent.

Roger Etchells of Episode Limited, ISO consultancy specialists, dropped us an email after the event saying “thanks for the excellent seminar you ran. As a small business owner, it is invaluable to have an insight to my responsibilities, and even though Episode specialises on management systems, including health and safety, I learnt a lot that will be vital for our clients to understand. I will be suggesting SCE to our clients in future as they need the pragmatic, common sense approach you have.” 

Amanda Kaplanski of Shot Blast Media Limited, industrial video production service specialists, said she was “very impressed” with the seminar, adding “You stayed behind at the end to answer questions and offered as much information possible. It was easy to see you have a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of employment law and a genuine desire to help others. Your passion certainly shines through your work!”

We were thrilled with the feedback from our attendees, with all present stating they would recommend the seminar to others.  We will be running another seminar next year with the hope of replicating this year’s success.  

If you feel your business would benefit from having this seminar delivered in house, or you have any other employment law, HR or health and safety training needs, please contact me on 0113 350 4030 or at mandy.walton@scesolicitors.co.uk.

Employment status: self-employed, employee or worker?

Employment status always seems to rear its head from time to time.  The latest case to hit the headlines concerns the taxi hire firm Uber, with some of its drivers pursuing an Employment Tribunal claim stating they are workers with employment rights rather than self-employed, as Uber alleges.  Whilst we await the outcome, it serves as a prompt reminder that employment status can be somewhat confusing for both employers and employees.

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HR and Employment Law in a GPs Practice

The inherent difficulties of operating a practice day to day are, of course, substantial. One area that can often be neglected in the pursuit of superior quality standards and patient care is HR and employment law.

While this question may present no problems when all is running smoothly, there is however a wealth of legal issues potentially lurking beneath the surface for the unprepared practice manager. So what can go wrong? 


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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. 

Protection for workers on Zero Hour Contracts

Workers under a zero hour contract are not guaranteed working hours yet some employers have used exclusivity clauses to prevent those engaged under such an agreement from working for another organisation, or to exclude workers from doing so without the employer’s consent. In May 2015 these exclusivity clauses were declared unlawful however there were no penalties associated with the ban and workers had no power to enforce it.

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Dealing with employees unable to attend work due to the Yorkshire floods

I think everyone would agree with me when I say that the floods that have hit parts of Yorkshire have been devastating. However problems arise when employees come into work late or cannot physically get into work due to disruptions with transport, school closures and severe weather warnings. This situation gives rise to the following questions:

1. What are the rights of employees and 

2. How can employers ensure that they apply a fair policy given the circumstances of an individual and taking into account their business needs.

Here’s a guide to help you all get it right. 

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