What to expect from the Employment Law Exchange
The first thing we hope is that your interest and any queries will be responded to. You can attend one of our half-day, regular meetings for free and if, as a result ,you decide to join the Employment Law Exchange we will not charge you for that session.
So; what are these half day sessions like?
The first thing to note is that in order to maximise discussion and to be able to respond to individual questions, the group is kept small. It is also made up of people who regularly attend and who come for a friendly and relaxed session.
Arriving at the venue
When you get to the venue you will be directed to the meeting room. However, because we know law can be very taxing, we start off with drinks and pastries! But, more importantly, at every meeting we have a Special Topic. This might be on recruitment, wellbeing, working time, legal issues around pay, dealing with under-performing staff, too many staff absences etc. We distribute a quiz at this time, so you can gauge where your understanding is of the special topic is? We try not to get too competitive about this, but the quiz does set the scene for our later discussions. We also get a sense from this that law is not always clear cut or uncontroversial.
More details of the meetings
We start by looking at the ‘big picture’ of legal developments that, although they derive from non-UK courts and law –making are vital for us because all UK employers are bound by then. Included here are important EU developments and cases from the European Court of Human Rights. We then focus on law making in the UK ,with upcoming legislation and other changes. The aim throughout is to try to understand what the legal changes are aiming to achieve and then think about the important questions of how best for employing organisations to respond appropriately to law. What changes might need to be made? What options are possible? What might suit your particular organisation?
It’s probably about now that we need a break and a nibble to eat, but this also provides the opportunity for members to discuss the law with colleagues and to consider, perhaps, how easy the changes will be to absorb or, how much preparation and planning will be required.
After the break we return to consider key case-law from UK courts and tribunals. This is the part most members enjoy, because they can relate to the facts and issues. We try to extract from the cases important practical issues. Such as, what the employer in the case under discussion get wrong? What options did they have and why did the court not support them? Disputes inevitably arise but what are some of the ‘golden rules’ about how they are handled?
We tend to group the cases under three headings-matters to do with contract terms; equality issues and related topics and cases that deal with workplace change, including dismissals and topics like TUPE! We then, in groups consider hypothetical case studies that relate to our Special Topic. Members generally engage strongly with this part of the meeting, as they can relate to the dilemmas and problems but often have some really interesting ways of dealing with things.. We conclude with the ‘answers’ to the quiz-though these are sometimes (And probably correctly) disputed and then move to have lunch together, sometimes, with a visiting speaker. Discussions can then carry on.
The notes, quiz and other materials from the day are published on the member section of the website, can be downloaded and then used in –house by members, if it is helpful, members also have access to the various ELE guides. Follow-ups to the issues discussed are posted on the website and, of course, specific issues can be discussed by members in the members only part of the website.
We then all go home(or back to work) -tired but happy!
ELE Sample materials
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