Jan 2020 – Retaining key Employees

Businesses’ Human Resources Departments constantly invest time in developing initiatives for talent acquisition and key staff retention, including reviews of appraisals systems and training opportunities. In this month’s bulletin, we would like to introduce two examples regarding the “election”.

Lewis Silkin LLP

The Chairman of Lewis Silkin LLP recently sent an email to all the employees, inviting everyone to be actively involved in the General Election on 12th December. Of course, those who did not wish to take part or exercise this opportunity were under no pressure to do so; this would apply without any consideration of party affiliation whatsoever, and was simply an opportunity even for those who wished to support the electoral process on an entirely neutral basis (e.g. helping with voting registration).  We felt it was important, as a firm, to do our small part to ensure that each employee had the opportunity to exercise those democratic rights and get involved. Employees were therefore granted an optional day’s leave (in addition to their normal holiday entitlement) to take some active part in the election campaign (e.g. canvassing, volunteering and so on).

McEleny v Ministry of Defence

Many tribunal cases have considered different beliefs and whether they might qualify as philosophical. One case with relevance to Brexit was McEleny v Ministry of Defence, which concerned an electrician who, away from work, was an elected councillor for the Scottish National Party. He was politically active and most of his free time was taken up by SNP activity, including running two times for deputy leader of the party.

The tribunal found that Mr McEleny’s “unshakeable” belief in Scottish independence amounted to a philosophical belief. The question of how a country should be governed was a serious one, and self-determination of people related to a “weighty and substantial aspect of human behaviour”. Mr McEleny was therefore entitled to protection against discrimination in respect of his dismissal.

Importance of thinking outside the box

It is often said that thinking outside the box is very important to develop business. This is also said to be true for Human Resources. Creative ways of being a good employer is important to businesses for retaining good staff. Thinking outside the box makes good leadership.

Creating a positive work environment

Businesses should be constantly thinking of new ways of communicating to employees and creating a positive working environment.


If you have any questions or want tips on how to be a better employer, please don’t hesitate to contact Yoko Nakada on yoko.nakada@lewissilkin.com.