Employment Law Roundup 2021
In the last year, our Employment Law team have seen a steep rise in reports of discriminatory treatment in the workplace. The largest increase is where employees with mental health problems have experienced discrimination because of their disability.
In October 2021, we launched our campaign, Disability Matters, to educate employers on their legal duties and to help employees fight for their rights.
The response was overwhelming from both workers and from employers who needed guidance. We were also approached by employee representatives from a number of organisations, including Mind and ESRA. They asked for training on how to support the employees they were working with. This included how to best represent employees bringing formal grievances about unfair treatment and dealing with employers’ failures to consider and make reasonable adjustments.
We are now running free training for employee advisors and trade union representatives for all our campaigns. This will run alongside the training we have always offered employers on how to manage people fairly. We realise there is a great need to support employees and workers who are being discriminated against. This can be seen where disabled people are being disproportionately selected for redundancy or unfairly dismissed.
We plan to repeat our Disability Matters Campaign every year to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10 October.
This January 2022, we will once again run our annual Mind the Bump Campaign to stamp out pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace. This is in response to Maternity Action’s survey which found that more than a third of pregnant women fear losing their jobs due to safety concerns about Covid. Also, over two-thirds of pregnant women surveyed said they were fairly or very worried about catching Covid due to their work.
In March 2022, to coincide with International Women’s Day, we will be running Diversity Matters, our campaign which will concentrate on different types of sex discrimination in the workplace.
Our campaigns provide free information, training and advice and this is a vital part of our firm’s ethos.
We can’t change the world but we can make a difference to individuals in our communities. We also want to help businesses who want to be fair employers but have limited resources. This is why we work with organisations such as Community Works to provide free training to the charitable and not for profit sector.
This month we won an important case for a local teacher discriminated against because he is autistic. His employer has been found to not only have unfairly dismissed him but also to have victimised him for complaining about this unfair treatment. It is heart-warming to see that our client’s perseverance and resilience in bringing his case together with the hard work of our Employment Law team has paid off.
We are now all looking forward to taking a Christmas break and we wish you a happy and safe New Year.