Law imitating life? Following the #MeToo movement and widespread media coverage of workplace sex discrimination, employment practitioners report a rise in related causes of action.
Hot topics in the legal world and updates on legal matters funded on CrowdJustice - all in this week’s Justice Beat.
Quote of the day
“People are held for years without any plan for release.” - Parents want to protect children with autism and learning disabilities from unlawful detention.
Working parents’ plight
1. #MeToo generated huge awareness of discrimination against women, in and out of the workplace, and now employment practitioners are reporting a significant increase in cases involving unfavourable treatment following maternity leave. 71% reported claims where hours were reduced following return to work and 84% reported increased use of NDAs following maternity-related disputes in the last year.
2. Meanwhile, fathers taking paternity leave will be disappointed by a recent Court of Appeal ruling on parity of pay, Employee Benefits reports. Two appeals were taken together - one concerned direct and the other indirect sex discrimination - but both were dismissed. The Court held that new mothers recovering from childbirth are in a materially different position from men taking shared parental leave.
Crown won’t prosecute? Do it privately.
3. Cuts to public services have a lot to answer for these days. Criminal law practice is among the hardest hit areas, but there’s an interesting new trend. Cuts to police and CPS funding are causing more and more people to seek redress by turning to private prosecutions, the Times reports. A prospective prosecution of Boris Johnson, alleging that he intentionally misled the public while campaigning to leave the EU, is just the tip of the iceberg.
4. The next question is: how to pay for these kind of proceedings? Increasingly, individuals and companies are raising funds online to pay for the legal work in bringing a private prosecution. In a guest post on our blog this week, Evan Wright, partner at JMW Solicitors, explains how funding options like CrowdJustice “play a vital role” for those who couldn’t otherwise afford to prosecute.
Lift off: Legal Access Challenge launches
5. “A legal services market in which only one in three individuals with a legal problem get expert advice isn’t working as well as it should be...” says innovation hub Nesta, and we couldn’t agree more. Nesta has joined forces with the SRA to launch a new initiative: the Legal Access Challenge - seeking digital technology solutions to help individuals and SMEs resolve their legal problems.
From 6pm this evening, our founder and CEO Julia Salasky is speaking at the Challenge’s launch event, alongside a fantastic panel line-up. We hope to see you there!
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This week on CrowdJustice
Parents who believe the Government is failing children struggling with school attendance are raising funds to take action against the Secretary of State for Education; veterinary surgeon and business owner Dr Lesley Herd is raising funds to hold her local council to account for damage caused to her practice; and a news reporter is raising funds to defend a defamation action.
Want to learn more about funding for legal action?
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