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Equality & Diversity

An employee says she was racially harassed by a senior manager, and submits a lengthy grievance. An ex-employee brings an Employment Tribunal claim, saying he was forced to resign by a colleague who told him his sexual orientation offended his religion.

Your Board asks whether you have conducted an equal pay audit, and if not whether you should. You need to overhaul your diversity policies and training programmes.

Who do you turn to?

Our team has unrivalled strength in depth in advising on all issues related to equality and diversity, which include some of the most important and challenging on the HR and legal agenda today. These include:

  • Employment Tribunal litigation for discrimination based on sex (including equal pay), pregnancy / maternity, race, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or gender reassignment, and associated claims for harassment and victimisation
  • Advice on any issue with an equality / diversity angle, such as handling the exit of a persistent poor performer with a suspected disability, complex grievances, and redundancy dismissals impacting maternity leavers
  • Advice on “family friendly” matters: policies on maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave and pay; requests for flexible working; time off for dependants; and issues around surrogacy and IVF
  • Equal pay is gaining a higher profile, as Tribunals have new powers to order equal pay audits, and mandatory gender pay gap reporting comes into effect. In addition to our experience in dealing with complex equal pay disputes, we help clients conduct equal pay reviews and audits and manage the associated (and significant) legal risks, and can assist in complying with pay gap reporting obligations
  • Our dedicated training team is experienced in conducting manager training on equal opportunities, diversity, family rights and flexible working, and training for all staff on their equality obligations. This can have an exclusively UK focus, or where desired we can make this relevant for cross-border workforces

Related items

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What’s happening in employment law in 2023?

05 January 2023

There’s lots happening in employment law all of a sudden. 2023 looks set to be a year in which major employment law changes are shaped and fleshed out. From the post-Brexit reform agenda to a series of private members’ bills, key caselaw decisions to other planned developments, there is much change on the horizon, and little time for us to get our heads around it. Here’s our annual round-up of what to expect.

Employment

What's happening in employment law in Ireland in 2023

05 January 2023

The whirlwind of workplace and employment law developments we saw in 2022 is set to continue with multiple proposals for reform in the pipeline, including requirements on employers to deal with flexible and remote work requests, the introduction of a national living wage and other reforms flowing from the EU. Here’s our annual round-up of what to expect.

Employment

What’s happening in employment law in Northern Ireland in 2023?

04 January 2023

With the continuing lack of a functioning Executive and Assembly in Northern Ireland, employment law remains more or less in stalemate. That said, the active post-Brexit reform agenda impacts Northern Ireland and the decision in an important holiday pay case is expected. Here’s our annual round-up of what to expect.

Contract breaking up is never easy

When can a termination discussion be without prejudice?

15 December 2022

For a discussion to be “without prejudice” there must be an existing dispute between the parties. A recent EAT case helpfully clarified when a grievance will count as a dispute for these purposes.

Modernising flexible working - day one “right to request” but no “right to have”

08 December 2022

The government’s response to consultation on flexible working proposes a “day one” right to request and various other changes to the current rules, but stops short of more radical reform.

John Lewis ad spotlights children in care - and a potential gap in diversity initiatives?

17 November 2022

This year’s John Lewis Christmas advert has highlighted the challenges faced by children in care and their foster families. This follows a recent review calling for care experience to be a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. As John Lewis commits to becoming the employer of choice for care experienced young people, this article considers if there is a gap in current diversity initiatives.

Data analysis

Updated Comparative Table of employment law developments in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

10 November 2022

Do you need to stay up to date with current and proposed employment law developments across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland? If so, our updated Comparative Table, prepared in conjunction with Legal Island, will be a handy reference guide.

Hybrid working arrangements

26 October 2022

Following the widespread experience of employees working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, some employers are starting to implement hybrid working arrangements on a longer-term basis.

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