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Answers to 8 Thorny Questions: Directly from 7 Supremely Talented Lawyers
Registration and coffee
Dismissal: Hints, tips and solution-focused answers for employers
Chaired by: Catherine Taylor of CMS
Catherine is “a complete star: immensely experienced, a great communicator and at the forefront of developments.” She is joint author of ‘Employment Law Checklist’.
When, and by how much, do you amend trigger points and progress warnings for frequent short-term absences and or under-performance because of a difficult mental health condition?
Answered by: Gareth Brahams of Brahams Dutt Badrick French
Gareth is renowned for taking on and beating some of the largest employers and LLPs in the world. He is "flawless as a lawyer - exceptional in every respect."
How much do you need to put up with before dismissing a technically sound employee because of a persistently poor attitude, e.g. lack of care, ignoring manager requests, undermining others, poor relationships in team?
Answered by: David Whincup of Squire Patton Boggs
David is a "leading light" and highly gifted public speaker. He always gives far more than is required when assisting HR clients. "He seems to know everything."
Stress and anxiety
In a grievance, disciplinary or redundancy consultation situation, what do you do - proactively - if the employee responds by taking long-term sickness leave, for reasons of stress or anxiety?
Answered by: Claire Darwin of Matrix Chambers
Claire represented Samira Ahmed in her claim against the BBC for unequal pay. "She's prepared to get off the fence and give you clear and straightforward advice."
Dismissal and re-engagement
Using practical examples, how do you control - and overcome - the risks of running a dismissal and re-engagement process, e.g. when a pay scheme is changing?
What counts and what would move a tribunal?
Answered by: David Reade QC of Littleton Chambers
David is "acclaimed for his skill in deeply complex employment cases.” "He is a creative thinker; very helpful in getting you out of a tight spot."
Bullying and harassment
How and when should employers call out banter and tackle it?
At what point does it become harassment?
What if both parties have participated or the harassed party does not wish to make a formal complaint?
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 user-friendly advice on complicated problems faced by HR.
In a capability or disciplinary process how do you deal with an employee with a drug or alcohol addiction, particularly when there may be an underlying disability?
Answered by: Paul Fontes of Eversheds Sutherland
Paul is "one of the real stars of UK employment law." "His advice is razor sharp and practical." "He looks beyond the immediate question to ensure there are no hidden issues."
Close of conference
All speaker quotes are taken from Chambers Directory, Who’s Who Legal or Legal 500