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BBC Pay Gap Exposure : A call for women to unite

Why do we get exercised by a few high paid BBC employees whose pay has revealed such a yawning gender and race pay gap? There are so many good reasons and these have recently been articulated by those women shocked to find just how big the pay difference is between them and their male peers.    The BBC are not alone. In 2009 … READ MORE…

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Supreme Court Rules that Fees in Employment Tribunals are Unlawful

The Supreme Court has delivered a hugely significant judgment on fees in employment tribunals in the case of Unison vs Lord Chancellor today. This is a huge step towards addressing the fact that thousands of employees have been denied access to justice since the fees were introduced. Although legal aid has long been almost entirely absent from employment tribunals, the … READ MORE…

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The Power of an Apology

Why do lawyers always advise their clients never to apologise – even when there has been some mismanagement, misunderstanding or misrepresentation? Of course, an admission of liability is (generally) to be avoided but an apology does not necessarily involve an admission. YESS sees so many employees who just want an apology. Yes, they also say that money is not important, it … READ MORE…

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International Women's Day

  International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate and reflect on extraordinary women across the globe. We marvel at women’s ability to survive and stay strong in what, to us, seem like circumstances we cannot imagine surviving. I listened in awe to the story of Muzoon Almellehan this morning who, at the age of 14, championed access to education … READ MORE…

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The Journey to YESS – Three Years On

Getting to YESS was no more than an abstract speck in the horizon four years ago.It developed during many long walks in the Chilterns, discussions with friends and colleagues and support from so many people including Paul Statham, Byrne Dean, Elaine Heslop and others.  The name was changed many times, as was the structure of the organisation.  We worked to … READ MORE…

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Life's too short to litigate : Is ADR the answer and how?

Camilla Palmer QC (Hon) and Emma Webster Justice Minister, Lord Faulks, recently said: ‘Looking back over the last 15 years we are not where ADR was promised to be. Most business people don’t know what ADR stands for… People are still wedded to the court system.’ It is hard to argue with this assessment or with his concern about ‘enormous’ … READ MORE…

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Lawyers who make your blood boil

We’ve all experienced the nastiness, aggressiveness & competitiveness that happens during litigation. If you are a lawyer not inclined to be like this (and many are not) it takes some self-control not to get furious and want to hit back, playing the ‘tit for tat’ game.  This behaviour often leads clients to want their lawyer to be equally aggressive and … READ MORE…

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Emma and Camilla to become joint CEOs of YESS

By Emma Webster and Camilla Palmer Emma I heard about YESS through a friend. It sounded like an intriguing project at a time when I was fed up with private practice, had two small children and needed flexibility but did not want to compromise on the quality of the organisation where I worked. I did not (if I’m honest) foresee … READ MORE…

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Getting to YESS : Dispute resolution without litigation

WORKPLACE DISPUTE RESOLUTION WITHOUT LITIGATION Life is too short to litigate: this is the view of most employees.  Most disputes can be resolved by constructive dialogue between the parties if they focus on finding a solution rather than legal threats. Camilla Palmer, summarises the experience of YESS in achieving resolution without litigation. Workplace disputes are enormously varied.  They include failure … READ MORE…

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Taking the ‘A’ out of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

Removing the ‘A’ from ADR is key because dispute resolution should be the norm – in all cases – not ‘alternative’ or ad hoc or occasional. I would argue that the first essential step (in most cases) is to avoid disputes by ‘AIRing’ the issues to prevent a dispute arising.  This will not work in all cases, for example, serious … READ MORE…

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Life's too short to litigate