Introduction to Employment Law

This event is in the past
Thu 18th Nov, Fri 19th Nov 2021
Birmingham (National)
Venue Address:
Park Regis Birmingham
See programme
Event Type:
2-day residential
Spaces Available


  • Residential: £480 + VAT until 31 August 2021.  From 31 August 2021 £600 + VAT. 
  • Non- residential: £360 + VAT until 31 August 2021. From 31 August 2021 £450 + VAT.


We also offer the following discounts on the full fee:

  • There is a 30% discount for members outside the Midlands region
  • There is a 50% discount for the voluntary sector
  • There is a 50% discount for pupil barristers and barristers under 2 years call
  • Please note only one discount will be applied per booking.

ELA two day residential course organised in association with PEN, the Network of Employment Law PSLs

Thursday 18 - Friday 19 November 2021

Venue: Park Regis Birmingham, Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DT

Fee: Non- residential: £360 + VAT until 31 August 2021. From 31 August 2021 £450 + VAT.
Residential: £480 + VAT until 31 August 2021.  From 31 August 2021 £600 + VAT. 

The non-residential fee includes dinner at the Park Regis in the evening of Thursday 18 November.

The residential fee includes bed and breakfast and evening dinner at the Park Regis on Thursday 18 November.

A 30% discount for members outside the Midlands region, or a 50% discount for the voluntary sector,  pupil barristers and barristers under 2 years call is available on the full fees in the alternative, with no booking deadline.

Day one runs from 9.30am to 5.45pm, with dinner in the evening at 7pm. Day two runs from 9.00am to 4.30pm.

The course aims to give your newly-qualified assistants a chance to hit the ground running with an intensive foundation course in the essentials of employment law. ELA and PEN have pooled their expertise to provide a practical as well as legal grounding in the following key areas:

  • Employment status
  • Recruitment
  • General principles of the employment contract, changing terms of employment
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Redundancy and collective consultation
  • Whistleblowing      
  • TUPE
  • Disciplinary and dismissal processes
  • Managing sickness
  • Discrimination     

The course combines lectures and case studies to help delegates:

  • Understand the basic law needed to handle a typical newly-qualified workload
  • Apply their legal knowledge to the practical realities of managing the client's needs. The employee's and employer's perspectives will be considered in all the sessions
  • Gain the confidence to act without excessive supervision and hand-holding

All sessions are conducted by highly respected employment law practitioners, who speak from the perspectives of substantial experience of representing both employers and employees.

Introduction to Employment Law – Day One
18th November 2021

Registration and tea/coffee

Introduction from the Chair

10.10am Employment Status
Simon Rice-Birchall, Kate Sheehan and Emma Humphreys, Eversheds Sutherland LLP

  • What do we mean by “employee”, “worker”, “self-employed”?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Reminder of statutory definitions (ERA, WTR, EqA, TULRCA)
  • Applying the common law tests – personal service, control, mutuality of obligation
  • Highlighting key cases
  • Agency workers – status/rights
  • Taylor Review/Good Work Plan proposals

Tea and Coffee

11.30am The Contract of Employment/Changing Terms and Conditions
Simon Rice-Birchall, Kate Sheehan and Emma Humphreys, Eversheds Sutherland LLP

  • Statutory particulars, highlighting changes as of April 2020
  • Nature of contractual terms i.e. express, implied, incorporated, statutory
  • Common clauses and their effect e.g. IP, confidentiality
    • Variation of contract terms – options/risks
    • By consent
    • Contractual right to vary
    • Collective agreement
    • Unilateral imposition
    • Dismissal and re-engagement
  • Breach of contract by employer or employee – potential claims/remedies


Restrictive Covenants
Craig Rajgopaul and Navid Pourghazi Blackstone Chambers

  • Confidentiality provisions
  • Explanation of common covenants
    • non-competition; non-solicitation of customers and employees; confidential information
    • garden leave clauses and the interplay with covenants
  • Enforceability and the importance of drafting
  • Other covenants e.g. options, team moves, projects, repayment of training costs, deferred compensation, 'no show' clauses


Redundancy and Collective Consultation
Charlie Frost and Joanna Galbraith, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP)


  • Redundancy as a potentially fair reason for dismissal
  • Definition of ‘redundancy’ and three redundancy situations
  • Individual vs collective redundancy processes
  • Overview of an individual redundancy process, relationship with ACAS Code and strategies/suggested approaches (including documentation required, meetings, companions, consultation, selection criteria/pools and appeals)
  • Compensation and redundancy payments (statutory, contractual and other enhanced payments)
  • Unfair / discriminatory redundancy and potential claims
  • Suitable alternative employment and trial periods

Collective Consultation

  • When the duty to consult on collective redundancies arises
  • Content of information and consultation
  • Who to consult with, including where recognised union refuses to participate
  • Interaction with Information and Consultation Regulations
  • Practical issues in managing consultation process: notification to BIS, Q&As for staff, preparing scripts for managers, privilege on advice

Comfort Break

Simon Stephen and Emma Bufton, Gowling WLG

  • Who gets protection? – extended definition of worker
  • What amounts to a protected disclosure?
    • Qualifying disclosure – subject matter, made "in the public interest", reasonable belief of worker
    • Made to the right person – s43C-H
  • Automatic unfair dismissal/ detriment/ confidentiality
    • Reason or principal reason – and whose reason does it have to be (Jhuti)
    • Disclosure "materially influences" treatment
    • Vicarious and individual liability
      • Timis v Osipov and significance
  • Confidentiality clauses and their limits
  • Remedies
    • Interim relief
    • Compensation
  • Practical matters: whistleblowing policies, whistleblowing officer, confidential telephone hotlines, useful resources

Close of day one


Introduction to Employment Law – Day Two
19th November 2021

Chinwe Odimba and Francesca Baker, Clifford Chance LLP

  • Different types of TUPE transfer
    • Ordinary TUPE
    • SPC
  • Effect of TUPE
    • ELI
    • Automatic transfer
    • Protection against dismissal
    • Duty to inform and consult
    • Reg 4(9)/4(11)
  • Key practical issues to consider
    • Identifying types of TUPE
    • Negotiating and drafting TUPE provisions
    • What to do when a client involves you too late(!)
  • TUPE litigation
  • Key points for Claimant and Respondent lawyers to consider


Beverley Sunderland, Crossland Solicitors

  • What is a dismissal?
    • wrongful dismissal
    • constructive dismissal
    • unfair dismissal
    • fixed-term contracts
    • vanishing dismissals
  • Unfair dismissal
    • Who can claim unfair dismissal? (incl exclusions, qualifying service & territorial jurisdiction)
    • Fair reasons for dismissal
    • Fairness of dismissal
      • Acas Code
      • S98(4)
      • Range of reasonable responses test
      • Procedural fairness
  • Automatically unfair reasons for dismissal
  • Remedies in the Employment Tribunal


The Disciplinary Process
Anvita Sharma and Katharine Savage, Hogan Lovells International

  • ACAS Code of Practice
    • The investigation
    • What is required (Burchell; A v B; Roldan; Turner)
    • Before you start (clear allegation, check disciplinary policy, consider time scale, confidentiality etc)
    • Suspension
    • Police involvement
    • The investigator (who should conduct the investigation?)
    • Role of the investigator
    • Obtaining evidence (incl reluctant witnesses)
  • The Disciplinary Hearing
    • Information to be provided before the disciplinary hearing
    • Right to be accompanied
    • Requests to postpone
    • Disciplinary officer
    • Procedure at the hearing (incl adjournments for further investigation)
    • Decision considerations (standard of proof, alternatives to dismissal, consistency etc)
    • Communicating the decision
    • Appeals


Managing Sickness Absence
Linda Jones, Pinsent Masons LLP

  • Employer's obligations
  • Contractual terms and Company policies
  • Short term/intermittent absence
  • Long term absence
  • Obtaining medical advice
  • Data protection issues
  • Disability and sickness absence
  • Dismissal special considerations


Kiran Daurka, Leigh Day and Mark Green, 3PB

  • Who is an employee for the purposes of the Equality Act?
  • Protected characteristics
  • Focus on disability and religion/ belief
  • Main types of discrimination
    • Direct
    • Indirect
    • Harassment
    • Victimisation
  • Proving your case – implications of the burden of proof rules
  • Additional protection against disability discrimination
    • Pre-employment questions about health
    • Discrimination arising from a disability
    • Reasonable adjustments
  • Circumstances in which an employer or others can be liable for discrimination
    • S39/ 40 – employees and applicants
    • S41 – contract workers
    • S108 – relationships that have ended
    • S109 – vicarious liability and reasonable steps defence
    • S110 – individual liability
  • Remedies and settling claims
    • Compensation
    • Recommendations
    • Using confidentiality clauses appropriately
  • Useful resources
    • ACAS and EHRC codes of practice/ technical guidance (especially on sexual harassment)

Comfort break at around 3:45pm

Close of course