Category Archives: Ch ch ch changes

changes on the horizon.

The pursuit of statutory protection for individuals who are non-binary or inter-sex


The pursuit of statutory protection for individuals who are non-binary or inter-sex

The Women and Equalities Committee performs a critically important cross-government role in respect of trans equality. In July 2015 the Committee launched an inquiry considering how far, and in what ways, trans people still have yet to achieve full equality and how outstanding issues can be effectively dismissed. The inquiry acted as a catalyst for debate and also highlighted that the Committee’s Advancing Transgender Equality action plan (from 2011), remains largely unimplemented.

A central finding of the Women and Equalities Committee report (published in January 2016) was that the terms “gender reassignment” and “transsexuals” in the Equality Act 2010 are outdated and misleading and may not cover wider member of the trans community. The Committee recommended that the protected characteristic should be amended to that of “gender identity”.

That recommendation was rejected in the government response which considered that the protected characteristic, as defined, fully complies with its obligations under the Equal Treatment Directive; which is short hand for saying we are not obliged to (and therefore will not) go any further. The government’s response cross referred to the definition in the Equality Act 2010 of treating someone less favourably because of a protected characteristic, and highlighted that it is not necessary for the person to actually have the protected characteristic themselves. It suggested that wider categories of transgender people, such as cross-dressers, non-binary and gender fluid people are protected if they experience less favourable treatment because of gender reassignment; for example, if they are incorrectly perceived as undergoing gender reassignment when in fact they are not; or are incorrectly perceived to be male or female.

There is not, however, any specific statutory guidance on (or consideration for) those who are gender fluid. The Equality and Human Rights Code of Practice specifically refers to individuals being provided with protection where they are “as part of the in process of reassigning their sex, someone is driven by their gender identity to cross-dress, but not where someone chooses to cross-dress for some other reason. The Women and Equalities Committee quoted current statistical data which specifies that some 650,000 people in the UK are “likely to be gender incongruent to some degree”.

It is clear that there is a lacuna in the current law as the Equality Act 2010 does not currently cover those who are non-binary or inter-sex (those who are born with a physical sex anatomy that does not fit medical norms for female or male bodies). As the government continues to review the equality law landscape post Brexit, now is the appropriate time to reform and extend statutory protections to those who are non-binary, and also inter-sex individuals.

Philip Henson

Partner and Head of Employment Law, DKLM LLP

p.henson@dklm.co.uk

 

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Piglets at Deen City Farm


PigletsCome on Down to Deen City Farm in South West London to see the piglets. They were born in December 2015. http://www.deencityfarm.co.uk/portfolio/location/

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Bloomon – new Shoreditch Start up


Bloomon ShoreditchWonderful London start up. Seasonal flowers, delivered straight from the field to your door, in the evening after work. http://www.bloomon.co.uk/how-it-works

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A short introduction to UK employment law for SME’s


A short introduction to UK employment law for SME’s

Employers in England and Wales are required to give employees whose employment is to continue for more than one month a “written statement of particulars of their employment”. This information is commonly included in an employment contract. The clauses which are required pursuant to the Employment Rights Act 1996 include:

  • The level of pay (or the method of calculating it) and the intervals at which the employee will receive payment;
  • The hours the employee will be required to work;
  • Holiday entitlement and holiday pay;
  • The employee’s job title, or a brief description of the work;
  • The length of notice which the employee is obliged to give and entitled to receive to terminate the employment;
  • The employee’s place of work;
  • Information relating to pensions and pension schemes; and,
  • Information on disciplinary and grievance procedures.We recommend that our clients include additional clauses in their contracts of employment to further protect their business. Examples of such clauses include:
  • Additional protection
  • Intellectual Property – Provisions for the rights to anyintellectual property created by an employee to be the property of the Employer;
  • Confidential Information – Clauses restraining an employee, both during and upon termination of their employment, from divulging confidential and commercially sensitive information to any person, company or organisation unless expressly permitted to do so by the employer.
  • Restrictive covenants – clauses restraining an employee, following the termination of their employment, from enticing clients and/or employees away from their ex-employer, or working for a company which is competition with their ex-employer for a specified period, (ordinarily between 3-6 months).
  • If seeking to enforce such provisions employers have to be able to show a legitimate proprietary interest that is appropriate to protect, and show that the protection sought is no more than is reasonable having regard to the interests of the parties and the public interest.
  • Garden Leave clause – Such a clause is commonly invoked when an employee has tendered their resignation. The employee who has tendered his or her resignation remains an employee for their notice period and are paid in the usual way; but they are not required to carry out work, unless specifically instructed to do so by their employer.  “Garden leave” describes the traditional view that during this period senior employees would be tending their garden at home.
  • The aim of garden leave is to keep employees out of the market place long enough for any information they have to go out of date, or to enable that employee’s successor to establish themselves, particularly with customers.
  • Warranty confirming eligibility to work in the UK – A clause containing a warranty from the employee that they are eligible and entitled to work in the UK.
  • Reasonable changes – Although an employment contract is legally binding between employer and employee, a clause may be included which permits the employer to make “reasonable” changes to the terms of the contract (such as minor administrative matters which will not fundamentally alter the terms of the contract) without the employee’s specific consent.Employment law services from DKLM LLPIf an employee raises a claim against your business we can advise you on the most commercial and cost effective way of resolving that dispute.Call us today on 020 7549 7872We look forward to working with you.Philip Henson, Partner and Head of Employment LawTelephone: 020 7549 7872  DKLM LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. ©DKLM LLP.www.dklm.co.uk
  • Disclaimer: This update is published by DKLM LLP. Please note that the information and any commentary on the law contained in this update is provided free of charge for information purposes only. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. DKLM LLP accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this update. Further specialist advice should be taken before relying on the contents of this summary. No part of this summary may be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the prior permission of DKLM LLP.

 

www.dklm.co.uk

Email: p.henson@dklm.co.uk

Contact details:

Please call us today to discuss how we can help with any employment law related issues.

We develop a tailored strategy to defend proceedings in the Employment Tribunals, or Court, or by negotiation or mediation.

We provide a partner led commercial and confidential service for employers.  We guide you through the best HR practice from grievance and discipline procedures, performance management, redundancy processes and TUPE transfers to preparing settlement agreements (formerly known as compromise agreements).

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DKLM LLP appoints David Semmens as Partner and Head of Private Client


DKLM LLP appoints David Semmens as Partner and Head of Private Client 

London, 3 February 2014

DKLM LLP is delighted to announce the appointment of David Semmens as a Partner and the Head of our new Private Client department.

David was previously the head of private client at a prominent law firm in the West End of London. He advises on all aspects of private client work including trusts, estate planning, wills, on and offshore tax planning, and the administration of estates and property. David qualified as a solicitor in 1979, and has significant experience of working with high net worth individuals, family offices, and entrepreneurs.

Alan Dixon, Managing Partner of DKLM LLP says: “I am delighted to welcome David to DKLM as a Partner and Head of our new Private Client department.  David’s appointment is yet another milestone for DKLM as we continue to expand to new areas of practice to meet the needs of our clients. David brings a wealth of experience having built a substantial reputation as a trusted private client lawyer in the UK, and internationally – most notably with his professional client based in Switzerland.

David will provide bespoke and confidential advice on wills, trusts, estate, and tax planning to our high net worth and celebrity clients; and he will work closely with our corporate, residential and commercial property teams in London, and our associated offices in China.”

Notes for Editors:

DKLM is a commercial London law firm with an international focus. Since the firm was founded in 2004 DKLM has built two additional floors at their Tech City office to meet the demand for their services. The firm has doubled in size in five years, and as DKLM enters its 10th year of successful business it continues to expand by opening a new Private Client department.

DKLM has a strong expertise in the following areas of practice: commercial property law, corporate law, dispute resolution, employment law, immigration, private client and residential conveyancing.

Strategic Association with Zhonglun W&D Law Firm – In 2012 DKLM entered into a strategic association with one of mainland China’s largest, and most highly regarded, law Firms (Zhonglun W&D Law Firm). The alliance provides our clients and professional contacts with access to over 400 lawyers in 11 associated offices across China and associated offices in Hong Kong, Riyadh, Lyon, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg.

Contact:  Alan Dixon

Managing Partner

E: a.dixon@dklm.co.uk

T: Tel: 0207 549 7895

W: www.dklm.co.uk

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Employment lawyers say take down the mistletoe at the Christmas party


Employment lawyers say take down the mistletoe at the Christmas party

HR practitioners often cringe when the words Christmas party are mentioned. Many employment lawyers on the other hand see a spike in work levels due to swathes of grievances and claims emanating from Christmas parties.

As the party season reaches its tumult it is worth carrying out a risk assessment, and consider how you might be able to reduce the risk of possible grievances/ employment tribunal claims.  Common grievances from Christmas parties include: sexual harassment/violence and excessive drinking. Consider:

  • Whether you really need to have mistletoe hanging in the middle of the dance floor?
  • Will your entertainment or speakers offend anybody on the evening? Should they be briefed beforehand?
  • Consider having non-alcoholic drinks available to give more options, and perhaps to limit the amount (or type) of free drinks available.
  • How would arrests for violent offences affect your business reputation internally and externally?

1. How can you avoid discrimination?

  • Do not pressure everyone to attend the Christmas party if they do not want to on religious grounds. Ask about special dietary requirements beforehand.
  • Have you invited members of staff who are away from the office on maternity/paternity leave?
  • Does the venue provide reasonable adjustments to prevent discrimination against any members of staff with disabilities?

2. How can you remind staff that employment related rights do not fizzle away when the champagne corks are popped as they cross the parapet to the Christmas Party?

  • Have you reviewed your current staff handbook/staff policies; or arranged staff training?
  • Should you circulate, or display, your staff handbook or specific policies (e.g. sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination, use of illegal drugs, equal opportunities, and disciplinary rules) prior to the party?
  • Are there any specific matters you need to emphasize such as fire exits and where not to smoke etc?

3.  How can you learn from the ghosts of Christmas past?

  • Have you told staff that any Secret Santa gifts should be inoffensive?
  • Have there been any physical fights?
  • Have members of staff used the company credit cards for unauthorized expenses?
  • How do you deal with post-party absenteeism?
  • Have you received complaints of sexual harassment? If so, how were these investigated?

4. How can you ensure that your employees get home safely?

  • Issue advice about not drinking and driving.
  • Will you arrange taxis for staff or circulate telephone numbers of registered taxi companies?
  • Will you send a link to websites of public transport so that staff can make their own arrangements, or suggest that they check the time of their last bus/train home?

 

By Philip Henson – Partner and Head of Employment Law DKLM LLP (www.dklm.co.uk) p.henson@dklm.co.uk

 

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Commercial Property Solicitor position – DKLM LLP (London)


Leading London law firm DKLM LLP seeks commercial property solicitor Location: EC1/Tech City PQE: 5+
Who we are looking for:
You will be a commercial property solicitor with 5 years+ PQE with strong academics and experience with a top tier law firm. You will be able to handle a large volume of good quality commercial transactions.
You will be commercially focused and take pride in building close and lasting relationships with clients. Strong interpersonal and presentation skills coupled with a client driven approach are essential. A substantial following is not required but you will need to demonstrate excellent business development and marketing skills.
The successful candidate will be joining a renowned commercial property team dealing with all types of property transactions for a diverse client base including: commercial leases and renewals; acquisitions and disposals; landlord and tenant matters; mortgages and re-mortgages and some offshore work.
About DKLM LLP
DKLM is a 7 partner firm, based in Tech City. The firm has doubled in size in five years. As we enter our 10th year of successful growth we have plans for further expansion. In 2012, DKLM signed a strategic association with one of mainland China’s largest, and highly-regarded, law firms (Zhonglun W&D Law Firm). The alliance provides our clients and professional contacts with access to over 400 lawyers in 12 associated offices across China.
We have strong expertise in our core areas of practice: commercial property law, corporate law, employment law, litigation, dispute resolution, immigration law and residential conveyancing.
The PQE identified above is a guide only and does not preclude applications from those with more or less PQE.
No agencies please.
Thank you for your interest in DKLM LLP.
DKLM LLP is an equal opportunities employer

TO APPLY Please apply by sending your CV and a cover letter (quoting ref:CP/PH) to: vacancy@dklm.co.uk

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