Thursday, 28 October 2010

Seminars lift the lid on new rules

Shropshire employers must take note of the latest radical changes in equality law if they want to avoid a host of tribunal claims.

That’s the message from our Alpha Team who have organised two seminars to lift the lid on the dramatic shake-up.

John Mehtam, for the team, said: “The Equality Act 2010 came into force earlier this month, and has brought the most significant changes in Employment Law for 50 years.

"But there may be employers across the county who are not fully aware of the implications the changes will have.
And this is dangerous, because failing to comply with the new rules could leave employers facing a host of tribunal claims and paying out a fortune in compensation.”

So we are planning two free seminars on Wednesday, November 17, at our offices in Euston Way, Telford, and employers can choose from a morning or afternoon session.

“We’ll explain the changes which have radically transformed the way employers deal with their staff, and help company bosses discover how to avoid the pitfalls,” said John. “We’re also extremely pleased that leading barrister Sophie Garner, from St Phillips Chambers, will be joining us for both presentations, and she will explain to delegates what their new responsibilities are, and how they can avoid expensive employment tribunal claims.

“The new Act has included a major overhaul of the equality rules covering discrimination, behaviour, harassment and interview techniques, and for local employers, our presentations could prove invaluable.”

The event is open to any employer but places are limited and need to be booked in advance by emailing

Monday, 25 October 2010

Health check warning for employers

Shropshire company bosses must be wary when it comes to asking about the health of any potential new employee.

John Mehtam, from our Employment Law Team, said the rules had changed with the introduction of the Equality Act earlier this month.

“Employers are now strictly limited in terms of when they can ask health-related questions during the recruitment process. The new rules will affect the way companies manage potential candidates, and all businesses will need to review their procedures and application forms.”

John said employers could only ask health-related questions prior to a job offer in certain circumstances.

“You can ask these questions before you offer the person a job if you need to decide whether the applicant can carry out the essential duties that the role involves, such as heavy lifting. But if this is the case, you must think about reasonable adjustments which could be made to help the person carry out the role.

“You can also ask such questions to monitor diversity and to take positive action, or to make sure the candidate has a disability where the job genuinely requires the post holder to have a disability, such as a counselling role. And if employers fail to comply with the new rules, their company could face limitless fines if a successful claim for discrimination, victimisation or harassment is filed against them.”

John said the new Act had also introduced major changes on third party harassment, discrimination, powers of employment tribunals, and pay secrecy. “The Act reinforces existing legislation on discrimination, and it’s vital that employers ensure they are meeting the new criteria or face serious consequences.”

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Overseas links for Telford firm

Martin-Kaye LLP Solicitors have taken part in an international assembly of lawyers in London.

We are a founder member of the IAG organisation, which gives professional firms from all over the world the opportunity to network and share business ideas.

Our Senior Partner, Graham Davies, said: “It was great to be able to take part in an IAG meeting in the UK, as it’s a rare opportunity to bring members from far and wide to this country. The meetings are held all over Europe, and are an invaluable way to cement our relationships with international lawyers.

“Many of our Shropshire clients have increasing business interests overseas and often require legal support in the most unusual places – currently we have local businesses with issues in Holland, the USA, India, China, Italy and Australia.
By joining forces with other members of the IAG organisation, we can call on support wherever our clients need it.”

During the two-day event, Graham also took part in a presentation about dispute resolution in the UK and the cost implications of taking proceedings in the UK.

The assembly was held over the same weekend as the Royal Parks Half Marathon and the IAG organisation entered an 15-strong team of runners, including Martin-Kaye's Louise Clowes. “We took part in the Corporate Challenge, which requires each runner in a team to complete the full race distance of 13.1 miles – the times of the fastest six team members are then added together to find the fastest team.

“I finished in just over one hour 52 minutes, raising £150 for the PDSA, and our team finished in 36th place out of 85 teams.
We were really grateful for the support of the crowd, particularly the other IAG members who had been attending workshops and seminars, and who came out onto the Embankment to cheer us on.”

Pic: Louise Clowes celebrates completing the Royal Parks Half Marathon