Categorized | news

Umbrellas in Alderley Edge

Breaking news here from our intern, who, rather than focusing on researching and writing about tax affairs and business administration is, as always more concerned with the fashion world, who tells us that last week, Coleen Rooney was spotted last week in Alderley Edge with an umbrella costing a whopping £185.

But, while we’re talking about news from the great British countryside, a story that caught our eye this week is of a solicitor

Imagine what a normal person like you or I could do with that sort of money! We could buy 180 normal person umbrellas off eBay with that. Probably.

But while we’re talking of news in the great British countryside, a story that did catch our eye is one of an employment solicitor (of all things), who is suing a government legal department for a trip to the farm.

Yes, you heard right. The solicitor, who was employed by the Government Legal department via an umbrella company, is taking them to court because he didn’t want to go on a company away day to a city farm, claiming it would exacerbate his asthma. How we at UCHQ long for a team away day amongst the animals, where we’d likely get considerably more sense than we ever do from anyone here.

But, back to the story. The solicitor is claiming disability discrimination, claiming his manager suggested the trip was outdoors so unlikely to affect his asthma. He is claiming a number of other things too, but they are all a tad tedious. He is however also claiming for being given less favourable treatment as an agency worker. That, to us, is interesting. We don’t know where the line lies. Work as a seamless part of the business, and IR35 can bite you in the butt. Stand slightly to one side, and you’re claiming you’re not being treated the same. It’s small wonder that some businesses are being put off from the idea of hiring contractors when there are more pitfalls than a farm track, when it comes to HR.

The case continues, but in the meantime, do try and be clear from the outset with any company you contract for of any health issues and adaptations you may need to do your job. We’re all for everyone having the right to work and being fully supported to do so, including any special measures an employer (of contractors or otherwise) needs to make. But, on the other hand, we feel cases like this, which suggest there is far more to the story are a case where there was possibly more that could have been done on both sides before this got to a court situation.

Openness, honesty and trust are fundamental in all walks of life, be they farm walks or city ones. Best carry an umbrella, just in case of the occasional sh*t shower……

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