Latest News

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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Top tips on breastfeeding in the workplace

Breastfeeding, like all topics related to parenting, comes with emotional baggage. And, like all other parenting related topics it is all too often seen as incompatible with working life. Yet many women want to return to work whilst still breastfeeding. This poses logistical difficulties that employers often refuse to acknowledge or accommodate. Few women are aware of their right to … READ MORE…

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Relationships at Work are Key to Our Mental Health

Few ‘awareness raising’ weeks are as necessary as Mental Health Week. That is because awareness – and a willingness to discuss it – is still so low. Despite wellbeing, mindfulness and campaigns like #timetotalk, employees are still reluctant to talk about their own mental health struggles and if they do, employers often do not know how to respond This year’s … READ MORE…

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SPL one year on – reasons to be cheerful?

By Liz Gardiner   The first anniversary of Shared Parental Leave (SPL) has passed with a flurry of reports on emerging trends.  Headlines of low take-up hide a more complex situation and there is good news on pay for some parents considering whether they can afford to share. Working Families findings about employers Working Families research[i] among a wide range … READ MORE…

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Two major reports on gender inequality: call for action

The EHRC have just released their research and recommendations on the huge incidence of pregnancy/maternity discrimination. This comes on the heels of the MPs’ report showing the significant intractable and insoluble pay gap. Both are a shocking indictment about how women are treated at work. The pay gap: what MPs say The 19.2% gap between men’s and women’s pay has … READ MORE…

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Key asks for International Women’s day – in UK workplaces

The gender pay gap, the part-time pay penalty, the Mummy track and the long hours’ culture have been with us for decades. They are all related. It is a vicious circle which discrimination law has done little to break. It goes like this Employers often view men as the main earners. They may get a fatherhood bonus with a pay … READ MORE…

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Life's too short to litigate