Employment Law Changes

New Discipline and Grievance Complaints Procedures

Employment law is about to undergo quite a radical change, with an amendment to the existing Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/752) which are currently in force. This law is in place to establish statutory procedures that must be followed if and when a grievance complaint is raised by an employee to an employer.

Well Managed or Harassed?

Old law used to extend employee protection from the “office bully”

Bullying and harassment should not have to be tolerated by anyone. The law has developed significantly over the last 40 years to protect individuals at work from discrimination based on sex, race, disability, religion and, most recently, age. Further recent developments now mean that the days of the “office bully” are now numbered.

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 was enacted to stop stalking and other forms of criminal harassment. For nearly 10 years, the law was on the statute books but was ignored by employment and matrimonial lawyers. Following a series of high-profile cases, new life has been breathed into the act. The act can now be used to punish an office bully or even a “mother-in-law from hell!”

Open Source – What is it?

Free Software Foundation LogoIf you have been living on planet Earth for the past few years, you have probably heard somebody mention the term “open source”. It could have been a geeky friend rabbiting on about how they use Linux now instead of Windows, or maybe it was the tech support guy mumbling something under his breath about Internet Explorer not being as good as Firefox. It doesn’t really matter where you heard it, but the chances are that you have.

Fears That Redundancy Law Changes May Lead to Increased Job Losses

Redundancy LawGiven the current financial climate, it may not have been the best time for the law to change regarding statutory payments for redundancy. With the economy already suffering an increasing number of job losses week on week, there are fears that this new increase to statutory redundancy payments may result in an even sharper rise in the number of people being made unemployed.

Redundancy pay is calculated on the basis of age and length of service. The number of weeks pay is multiplied by the current statutory rate. The law currently states that an employer is obliged to pay employees up to £330 per week if they are made redundant after two years of continuous service. There are further criteria that are taken into consideration which an employer has a statutory duty to be mindful of.

These are:

Employees under the age of 22

Assisted Suicide Law: Should It Be Changed?

Assisted SuicideNotwithstanding that criminal law specialist legal secretaries’ and PAs’ work diaries are hardly brimming with such enquiries from clients, this area of law still conjures up some of the strongest thoughts and opinions from all of us, no matter which side of the fence we choose to stand on over the issue. Indeed, it may be fair to state that this subject probably represents one of the most controversial issues that currently shrouds our legal system.

How I Gained Employment as a Legal Administrator

Heather Jones, a Student Member, shares her success after completing the Legal Secretaries Diploma course.

We are all aware that the credit crunch is biting big time, and the perception is that there are no jobs out there, so just sit tight and wait for the ‘gloom and doom’ to pass. However, my recent experience proves that even in the current climate, having a positive attitude can help you achieve what you desire. I would like to share it with other students and advise you all to strive and ‘believe in yourself’.

Preparing a Court Bundle

Preparing a Court BundleA vital step when approaching trial

If ever the saying “time is money” were true, then it must be when you talk about lawyers. With the guideline hourly rate for a partner regularly exceeding £200 an hour, any steps which help to reduce the time spent on a case are worthwhile taking. 

Profile - Seamus Ryan, Tutor

Seamus RyanBecoming a tutor with the Institute of Legal Secretaries

I started teaching shortly after I finished law school. I found the experience terrifying but exciting. Fortunately, the butterflies went away quickly but the excitement of exchanging ideas with others never did. I was aware of a hands-on training course for legal secretaries when I was teaching the National Association of Paralegals course in the late 1990s. I found that with both courses the practical approach to legal study was very refreshing. In 2005 there was an opportunity to provide training for the Institute that I was very happy to take up.

My background and legal experience

Developing a Positive Attitude

Positive AttitudeAttitude is a mind-set. It is the way you look at things mentally. When things are going well a positive attitude is easy to maintain. But we're all human and something will always happen to test our positive mind-set. So when that happens, here are the top 10 tips to help you bounce back and regain a positive outlook:

1.    Nurture your funny focus. While it's not appropriate to laugh away all serious problems, laughing can help you transfer your focus from the problem to possible solutions.