Banner Jones Solicitors

Business owners urged to review training policies following landmark judgment

Chesterfield’s Banner Jones Solicitors are urging business owners and employers from across the region to review their equality training policies and practices, after a landmark judgment found that one company had failed to take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent the racial harassment of a member of staff.

The ruling in the case of Allay (UK) Ltd v Gehlen found that while the brokerage firm had delivered training on staff equality, it had become stale in the 20 months that followed.

The business had also failed to respond appropriately to claims of harassment from an employee and had therefore failed in its duty under the Equality Act 2010. Allay was ordered to pay compensation in the amount of £5,036.63.

In response to the Judgment, law firm Banner Jones has launched a comprehensive range of Employment Law training packages.

Katie Ash, Head of Employment Law at the firm, said: “In our experience, the vast majority of businesses take their duty under the Equality Act very seriously, and they want to do all that is necessary to prevent the harassment and bullying of staff. Rightly so.

“What’s different in this case, however, is that while Allay (UK) Ltd had policies and training in place, they had failed to ensure that they had regular refresher sessions in place and that they actively followed up with staff to make sure that they were acting in an appropriate way.”

Katie explains that employers can defend claims that they are vicariously liable for the discriminatory actions of their workers where they have taken ‘all reasonable steps’ to prevent them from acting in such a way, and had the employer in this case delivered more regular training they may not have lost the case.

The Employment Tribunal also made some interesting observations on how training should be provided and they said that ‘brief and superficial’ training is unlikely to have a substantial effect in preventing harassment or have long lasting consequences.

By contrast, ‘thoughtful and forcefully presented’ training is more likely to be effective, and last longer.

The Judgment also found that with regards to how regularly training should be refreshed that if it becomes clear that harassment is still occurring and/or that staff didn’t understand the training, the employer needs to take further steps i.e. to improve and refresh the training.

Katie adds: “As the Judgment says, if training involves no more than gathering employees together and saying, ‘here is your harassment training, don’t do it’, before sending everyone back to work, it is unlikely to be effective or long lasting.

“Instead, the reasonable steps that employers should take include having well-drafted equal opportunities and anti-harassment and bullying policies in place, ensuring that all workers are made aware of those policies and understand them, that appropriate training is given, regularly, and that complaints are dealt with in the right way.

“Where this happens – where the training is regular and of a good standard, and the employer was unaware of the continuing harassment – then the reasonable steps defence might still succeed.

“The fundamental learning point for employers is to make sure that equality policies and training are of a high quality and updated regularly. “

The Judgment has prompted Banner Jones to develop a number of new training packages for clients which covers all of the necessary areas of Employment Law right through the employment lifecycle, from how to deal with recruitment through to how to deal with termination of employment, including redundancies.

Katie added: “Our clients who have already undertaken the training have said how much better it is that their line managers are able to deal with situations and that just giving them enough knowledge to deal with situations lawfully has been a real benefit to their business.”

Full details and costs can be found here

Banner Jones supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Banner Jones Solicitors retains ‘Leading Firm’ status in the UK Legal 500

Chesterfield-based Banner Jones’ Family Law and Personal Injury teams have retained their Tier 2 ranking in this year’s Legal 500 for the 9th year in a row.

The annual publication, which assesses the strengths of law firms across the world, is acknowledgement of the continued great work of Banner Jones over the last 12 months, and the quality of the services they provide.

A full-service firm which covers all aspects of family law, Banner Jones’ award-winning family law department consists of two specialist teams; a family law team and a care proceedings team.

Known for its customer service led approach, the firm represents a range of private clients including individuals eligible for legal aid through to high-value business owners.

As part of this year’s Legal 500 ranking, work highlights included the management of a complex care proceedings matter involving identification of a parent outside jurisdiction, as well as acting in a financial remedy case worth £1.5m.

The firm’s formidable personal injury team, which is led by Simon Wright, and which has particular expertise in serious injury and abuse claims, has also retained its Tier 2 ranking,

Work highlights cited by the Legal 500 included acting for a client who sustained a serious injury at work to secure a £1.6m settlement, as well as representing a client in a historical sexual abuse case in order to secure both costs and damages totalling £110k.

Commenting on the rankings Banner Jones’ Chief Executive, Simon Wright, said: “This is fantastic recognition of the hard work and dedication of both our East Midlands-based family law and personal injury teams.

“Despite the challenges faced over the past year or so, our colleagues have continued to put the needs of clients at the heart of all that they do, and that determination has been reflected in the cases overseen, and those that they have settled.

“Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of those who support our legal teams, and this accolade is also received in recognition of those who contribute to the day-to-day running and continued success of the business.”

Banner Jones Solicitors supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Banner Jones Solicitors

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Home, Love Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Chesterfield Champions get into the festive spirit

A number of Chesterfield Champions have been getting into the Christmas spirit this season, whether it’s been through charitable donations, donning those festive jumpers or embellishing their businesses with dazzling decorations..

We’ve been so impressed to see the community spirit well and truly alive here in Chesterfield, despite the challenges posed by covid-19. So we’re showcasing some of our favourite festive stories and photos from our fabulous local businesses!

Wishing all our champions, businesses and residents a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Christmas Jumper Day 2020

A number of Chesterfield Champions sent us photos of their teams wearing some truly excellent knitwear on Christmas Jumper Day, which took place on Friday, 11th December in aid of Save the Children. Well done to all those who took part and donated!

Mortgage 1st

The team at Mortgage 1st raised a fabulous £140 for Save The Children by sporting their Christmas jumpers in the office and eating Christmas jumper day cakes!


Natalia and Daniela from Salute sent us this adorable photo of their little helper getting cosy in one of their jumpers… You can find out more about their Christmas hampers here.


Rosewood Wealth Management

Donna, Shannan and Abigail have at Rosewood have certainly been getting into the festive spirit this year! The team have been collecting toys for the Nightingale Ward at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, along with decorating the outside of their business with a fabulous reindeer model… Not forgetting those all-important Christmas jumpers!

Banner Jones Solicitors

We love this collage of Christmas jumpers put together by Banner Jones solicitors! A huge well done to all who got involved…

Charity Appeals and Donations

Many of our Champions have worked hard to ensure those who are less fortunate are able to enjoy Christmas this year. Whether it is collecting toys to help Santa deliver presents to Chesterfield children, or donating to local foodbanks so families are able to enjoy a proper Christmas dinner, Chesterfield’s businesses have shown true community spirit. Here’s a few examples:

Greatest Hits Radio’s toy appeal and festive jingle campaign

The team at Greatest Hits Radio North Derbyshire have been incredibly busy this year. Back in November they launched their Mission Christmas Toy appeal, which has provided gifts for underprivileged children across the region. But they certainly weren’t finished there! Now, the team have launched the Christmas Eve Jingle campaign to raise festive spirits, by asking people to gather on their doorsteps to ring a bell at 6pm for two minutes on Christmas Eve. Find out more here.

Chesterfield FC toy appeal

Chesterfield FC’s Community Trust have been keen to support local residents ever since they took over the ownership of the football club back in the summer. This Christmas has been no exception, with the Spireites collecting hundreds of toys for local children.

Bridge Help Foodbank Appeal

Chesterfield Champions and other local businesses have rallied around the Bridge Help appeal to support Chesterfield Foodbank this Christmas. The company matched all donations of luxury items with essential food, including cereal, long life milk and tinned goods.

Specsavers foodbank donation

The team at Specsavers Chesterfield generously donated supplies to Chesterfield Food Hut this Christmas, along with paying for all of the charity’s costs until February 2021. The money will be put towards covering costs and providing 250 hot meals per week to the most vulnerable in our area.

Central Technology and BRM Solicitors gift Smart TV’s and Netflix licenses to Ashgate Hospicecare

Chesterfield’s Central Technology and BRM Solicitors have generously gifted Ashgate Hospicecare a total of three smart TV’s to help the charity to help upgrade it’s patient rooms and enable patients to view films and TV shows on Netflix. 


Spreading festive cheer in Chesterfield 

A number of Chesterfield Champions have come up with new and creative ways of bringing people across the town together this year, and there’s still time for you to get involved with some of them!

Spire Radio Christmas Carol singalong

With many Christmas Carol Concerts cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Middlecroft Community Group have teamed up with Spire Radio to hold a one-off special on Spire Radio on Friday 18th December from 6pm.

Make sure you join the on-air team for some festive fun!

Team spire

Crooked Spire festival of lights

With their regular Christmas schedule disrupted due to the pandemic, the team behind Chesterfield’s most famous landmark have still managed to put together a range of festive features and events this Christmas.

Carol singing will be taking place outside the Church from 1.00pm for 20 minutes each day from the 17th until the 24th December, along with a dazzling display of light being projected onto the spire from the 16th December until the 31st December.

Festive Brass

Dazzling Decorations on Chesterfield’s high-street

Make sure you head into Chesterfield Town Centre to take a look at the wonderful decorations in our local independent shops. And while you’re at it, you could enter the S40 Local Advent Town competition by spotting the numbers of the advent calendar in the windows of some stores!

Here are some of our favourites:

Adorn Jewellers

Fred’s Haberdashery

Shop Indie

Don’t forget you can find out more about local festive events, activities, gift ideas and shopping times over on our Christmas In Chesterfield pages.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Blog, Business, Christmas, Destination Chesterfield, Featured, Leisure, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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