Registration and coffee
Discrimination: Hints, Tips and Solution-Focused Answers for Employers
Tue 4 July 2017
The Caledonian Club 9 Halkin St London SW1X 7DR
Answers to 11 Thorny Questions: Directly from 8 of the UK's most sought-after lawyers
This conference is now over
Discrimination: Hints, tips and solution-focused answers for employers
Chaired by: Peter Frost of Herbert Smith Freehills
Peter is immensely experienced, a great communicator and at the forefront of developments. He defended the Church of England against indirect discrimination in the recent headline case.
What is expected of you if a disability (such as depression or anxiety) is manifesting itself through low level unfriendliness, attitude or non-team player traits (i.e. the condition is difficult to measure and can't be seen)?
Answered by: David Whincup of Squire Patton Boggs
David is a "leading light" and gifted public speaker and Heads the London Employment Practice. He always gives far more than is required when assisting his clients. "He seems to know everything".
What do you do with the employee who submits serial grievances of discrimination/harassment/victimisation because of his or her protected characteristic?
What if all the grievances are found to be unsubstantiated?
Answered by: Caspar Glyn QC of Cloisters
Caspar is "amazing... scintillating... and fiendishly brilliant". He reached a settlement for snooker referee Michaela Tabb, following allegations of sexual discrimination brought against World Snooker.
In terms of phased returns, adjusted workload and protected pay, what is the practical solution to employees with a disability such as early onset dementia (diagnosed or undiagnosed); whether they are in their 50s, 60s or 70s?
Answered by: Helen Farr of Fox Williams
Helen is a sought-after commentator, appearing frequently in the Press and on TV/Radio. She brings a huge number of cases to the table and is known for her clear, concise and commercial advice.
In a male dominated working environment, how do you redress the balance and avert indirect discrimination, with reference to flexible working opportunities, access to training, promotion criteria etc.?
Answered by: Sarah Henchoz of Allen & Overy
Sarah is "truly exceptional and insightful"; "the person you want when dealing with a complex matter". She worked with Deepmind Technologies on the employment aspects of their sale to Google.
What do you do about the inherent fear of dismissing employees who cannot sustain a good level of attendance because of a long-term condition?
What if the employee can not or simply will not engage with you?
Answered by: Anne Pritam of Stephenson Harwood
Anne is "brilliant... a joy to work with... and a problem solver". She has a real gift for providing straightforward, user-friendly advice on complicated problems faced by HR.
When do well-intentioned managers with an instinct to make life easier for employees with protected characteristics inadvertently take away power and so become discriminatory?
Answered by: Paul Fontes of Eversheds Sutherland
Paul is regularly quoted in The Times, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, The Lawyer and Legal Week. "He looks beyond the immediate question to ensure there are no hidden issues facing clients".
In a redundancy situation, should you remove associated illnesses from sickness data e.g. headaches/colds from being stressed, broken bones - which could be linked to arthritis etc.?
How far must you go into understanding a disability?
Answered by: Mark Landon of Weightmans
Mark takes a "creative approach to problems, and is especially helpful if you have something a bit tricky to deal with". He is a trustee of the "Changing Faces" disability charity.
Close of conference
** All speaker quotes are taken from Chambers Directory, Who's Who Legal and Legal 500