Strikes, stress, holiday entitlement and relationship breakdown are the hot topics in the spotlight at Baines Wilson’s latest employment law seminars.

The business law firm is hosting half-day sessions in Carlisle, Kendal, Lancaster, and Preston addressing pressing issues for employers such as the recent increase in industrial action and trade union activity.

Joanne Holborn, partner and head of employment at Baines Wilson, said: “We haven’t seen strike action on this scale since the 1970s and 80s.

“This is a worry for employers, so we’ll be looking at the procedures unions have to follow – notification and ballots – before they take any sort of action.”

The seminars also deal with the processes employers should follow when an employee takes time off citing stress.

“Often employers think they can’t talk to the employee,” Joanne said. “But if the employer is hands off, the problem will never be resolved. If they talk to the employee, often they can fix it and the employee can come back to work.”

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There are major implications too in a recent Supreme Court ruling on calculating holiday entitlement in the case Harpur Trust v Brazel.

Joanne said: “Many employers don’t realise this applies to them. It affects anyone on a zero-hours contract or potentially students who work during their holidays.

“In some instances, the employee could be entitled to receive more in holiday pay than they earn from their time in work.”

The sessions will look at how employers should handle breakdowns in relationships at work.

“Employers do need to deal with this,” Joanne said. “There are processes to follow. If one party isn’t happy, it can stray into sexual harassment.”

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The seminars are hosted by Joanne and her colleagues in the Baines Wilson employment law team Tom Scaife, Caroline Rayner, and Heather Bottomley.

They are aimed at HR professionals and business owners and anyone else with responsibility for employees, providing an update on case law and legislative changes and a chance to raise questions on any employment law or HR matter.

The first is at The Auctioneer, Carlisle, on Tuesday March 14, to be repeated at J36 Rural Auction Centre, near Kendal, on Thursday March 16, Lancaster House Hotel, Lancaster, on Wednesday March 22, and Brockholes, near Preston, on Tuesday March 28.

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