19 April 2022

Trains, planes and automobiles (well, maybe not the planes!)

I felt so sorry for everyone who tried to fly away on an early Easter break. So many flights were cancelled, with would be travellers being told, just as they were ready to board the plane, that their flight would not be leaving as scheduled.  Even if the flight wasn’t cancelled they faced huge queues through security, while being barked at by security staff as if they were very naughty children.  And yes, I know that security staff must get mightily hacked off with some people who seem to leave their brains at check-in, but perhaps they should remember that travellers are the customers and should be treated appropriately.  After all, it is only too easy to forget you are harbouring a tiny amount of a forbidden substance in the depth of your carry-on luggage. No, not that type of forbidden substance, but I once nearly caused an ‘international incident’ at Sumburgh Airport, Shetland, when my hand luggage was systematically taken apart because hidden in its depths I had one of those miniscule tubes of toothpaste that airlines provide on long haul flights.

Rather red-faced I was eventually allowed to board the flight!

The week before Easter was also the first week of the Law on Tour and luckily we had no flights booked, just car and train journeys planned.

Law on Tour is always great fun, not only because our delegates are so brilliant but also because I get to spend time with my colleague, John Fenton, who is great company.

However, he does come with some defects.  On the drive to our Leeds venue on Monday John, as always, declared that this time he would definitely not go to sleep and would keep me company the entire journey.  True to form, we had barely reached the Heathrow junction of the M25, when I saw him doing his nodding dog impression.

Just for the avoidance of any doubt, I was driving!

In other news, I’m sure you won’t have failed to notice the furore over P&O Ferries decision not to consult about mass redundancies, and the Government’s subsequent announcement that it will be issuing a statutory code of practice on changing contracts lawfully, or as the more frenzied reports have headlined - “dealing with the fire and rehire culture”.  This is one of our headline topics on the Law on Tour and in that session we discuss the well-trodden path of changing contracts lawfully.

You may also have seen two weeks ago that the Equality and Human Rights Commission re-stated its guidance on single sex spaces, clarifying the law concerning the protection provided under the protected characteristics of ‘sex’, and ‘gender reassignment’, and advising that service providers may lawfully maintain ‘biological female’ spaces in certain situations.

While the guidance relates to service providers, there is plenty of information that employers could adapt to their own particular circumstances.

This is a subject that we will discuss briefly on the Spring Law on Tour next week, but that will feature in our Autumn Tour.

I’ll be sure to wear my hard hat!

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