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Are you able to "switch off" when you leave the office?

May 17, 2017 at 9:00 AM

A third of UK employees say remote access to work means they can’t switch off – literally.

Computer Keyboard

A new report from the CIPD finds many workers are experiencing problems working away from the office and highlights the need for better guidance on flexible working.

The survey of over 2,000 UK employees found that workers are divided on whether remote access to the workplace is a good or bad thing. Two-fifths of UK workers admit to actively checking their work mobile or emails at least five times a day outside of working hours. Nearly a fifth feel they are under surveillance with remote access to work, making them feel anxious and impacting on their quality of sleep.

However, on the other side of the fence, almost a third say they feel empowered by having remote access, more than half say it helps them to work flexibly and more than a third say it makes them more productive.

There is no question that remote access can help with flexible working and has a significant role to play in opening up some jobs to those unable to access them before. Equally, with growing uncertainty over the skills and jobs market, it’s more important than ever for businesses make best use of all the talent available by encouraging an inclusive and flexible workplace.

Although the merits and pitfalls of remote access will continue to be debated, employers can help protect the business and anyone impacted by remote access, by issuing clear guidance and encouraging employees to speak out if they have any concerns or are struggling in any way.

You can download a full copy of the CIPD/Halogen Software outlook here.

About the Author

Kelly Pashley-Handford Photo

Kelly Pashley-Handford is an experienced and CIPD qualified Human Resources (HR) Manager with extensive generalist and operational HR expertise, which is further supplemented by over 20 years with the business.

Kelly finds her role incredibly rewarding and is passionate about delivering a diverse range of HR solutions both internally and to external business clients.

Walk to School Week - Keeping Your Children Safe

May 15, 2017 at 9:00 AM

"Have you cleaned your teeth? Have you finished your breakfast? Have you got your school shoes on?"

Walking School Bus

Does this sound familiar to you? Well between the 15th and 19th of May 2017, our family will be swapping their school shoes for their trainers as we join in with Walk to School Week 2017.

It’s a known fact that walking to school makes children feel happier and healthier but also reduces congestion and pollution outside of the school gates and in general.

Childhood obesity is rising fast and children need at least 1 hour of physical activity a day, so walking to school is a fantastic way to get some of that exercise. Children who are physically active on the way to school burn off some of their excess energy, meaning that they are able to settle down and focus well in lessons.

It benefits the people who walk with the children to school as they also get fit from the exercise and once you know how long the walk will take you, your journey to school will be much less stressful than being at the mercy of traffic. You might find that walking to school actually saves you time and money as the amount you spend on fuel will also go down!

There are many additional benefits to be had when walking through green spaces such as parks, for instance it can help you feel happier and calmer.

Unfortunately though, we don’t all have the advantage of finding a route to school that is quiet or traffic free and whilst there is no doubt that walking to school carries many benefits, there are still some scary statistics in that around 5,000 children under the age of 16 die or are seriously injured on Britain’s roads each year and nearly two in three road accidents happen when children are walking or playing near the roadside.

Parents therefore often have real concerns about the safety of their children on the walk to school, especially when crossing roads. Fortunately though, there is now a much greater awareness of the need to make walking to school both easier and safer and many initiatives have been tried and tested, such as the use of walking buses meaning that your child can walk to school with other trusted parents. Schools also provide road safety training and children are made aware of safe routes to school. Other initiatives include "park and stride" and the use of hi-visibility clothing.

Children need assistance dealing with the traffic environment until at least the age of 10 as they are not equipped physically or developmentally to make the crucial decisions to keep them safe. Teaching them road safety to allow them to walk to school and reap the various benefits of doing so will though stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

Like learning to drive a car, children need practice and experience to walk in the traffic environment.

Although children may think they can handle crossing a road by themselves, remember that they:-

•  Are easily distracted and focus on only one aspect of what is happening;

•  Are smaller and harder for drivers to see;

•  Are less predictable than other pedestrians;

•  Cannot accurately judge the speed and distance of moving vehicles;

•  Cannot accurately predict the direction sounds are coming from;

•  Are unable to cope with sudden changes in traffic conditions;

•  Do not understand abstract ideas - such as road safety;

•  Are unable to identify safe places to cross the road;

•  Tend to act inconsistently in and around traffic.

Overall, Britain has one of the best road safety records in the world and the number of child casualties has declined over the years and we can all play our part in developing a child’s road safety knowledge and skills.

Less than half of primary school children currently walk to school so why not join us at Spencers and our families as well as thousands of others across the country celebrating the benefits walking to school can bring.

We at Spencers have worked with a number of local schools to promote road safety through age appropriate presentations and quizzes and will be repeating our education programmes this year too so if you know of a school who might benefit, please contact us.

About the Author

Stephanie Robinson Photo

Stephanie Robinson joined the business in 2002 and has an extensive background in personal injury including handling road traffic accidents involving cyclists, pedestrians and motorcycles.

Stephanie became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2009.

Brain Injury Awareness – Getting the right help

May 10, 2017 at 9:00 AM

The 8th – 14th of May 2017 is a week dedicated to Brain Injury Awareness. There are different types of acquired brain injuries including a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which is a brain injury caused by a trauma to the head, for example in a road traffic accident or fall.

Action for Brain Injury Week

Brain injuries are often misunderstood by many. Having the right treatment, help and education available for sufferers as well as family and friends is vital to enable sufferers to adapt and move get on with their lives.

The effects of a TBI can vary greatly depending on the severity, location and type of injury.

We have recently settled a claim for a client who suffered a TBI following a road traffic accident. As a result of the brain injury he suffered many symptoms including low mood, anxiety and loss of self confidence, forgetfulness, difficulty in keeping to the point, compulsive checking, insomnia and fatigue, unsteadiness and giddiness.

I work within the Serious Injury Team at Spencers Solicitors. Part of our role as representatives for clients is to ensure that we send them to see the correct type of medical expert and seek the correct treatment to assist recovery. For this particular client, we arranged for him to see a neurologist and were able to arrange neuropsychological treatment.

The client was very determined and a couple of months post-accident returned to work on a part time basis and then gradually back to full time. He had very understanding employers and returned to his busy and demanding role in which he was highly valued. He tried to maintain his working life and tried to overcome his struggles despite the dramatic effects of his TBI by using techniques he had learnt at therapy.

The client was able to successfully implement the techniques he learnt at therapy within his home and work life throughout the course and afterwards; he was better able to recognise difficulties as they arose and manage them, he used anxiety, confidence and memory strategies, he prioritised his work and set reminders for himself and having daily routines and coping strategies also helped with his anxiety. All of the techniques he learnt at the therapy sessions helped him to return to a life as ‘normal’ as possible.

Headway has a mission to promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provide information, support and services to survivors, their families and carers.

Headway North Derbyshire is our local branch of Headway to support those of all ages from Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

We are holding a cake and coffee morning on Friday 12th of May to raise money for Headway North Derbyshire who is dedicated in supporting brain injury sufferers and their families. Please feel free to come along to our office and join in.

About the Author

Sarah Wright Photo

Sarah Wright is a Chartered Legal Executive within our Serious Injury Team.

Sarah, who joined the business in 2008, has extensive practical experience handling personal injury cases including road traffic and credit hire claims. Sarah was admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2014 and assists the Serious Injury Team on a diverse range of cases including road traffic accidents, employers’ liability, occupiers’ liability, criminal injuries and medical negligence.

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Brain Injury Awareness Week – Life after a brain inury

May 9, 2017 at 9:00 AM

You may recall that I recently wrote a blog about a gentleman who suffered a brain injury in an accident and as a result went on to develop epilepsy.

‘Action for Brain Injury Week’ takes place from 8th – 14th May 2017. It’s a high profile campaign where groups, members and supporters across the whole country join together and campaign to improve life after a brain injury. The week is organised by one of the leading charities in this field, Headway. They are a UK charity that works to improve life after brain injury. They provide support, services and information to brain injury survivors, their families and carers. On Friday 12th May Spencers will be holding a Hats for Headway Cake Bake with all money raised going to North Derbyshire Headway.

Action for Brain Injury Week

I work within the Serious Injury Department here at Spencers Solicitors, and many of our clients have suffered life changing injuries, including traumatic brain injuries which can give rise to epilepsy, and part of our job is to try and help them rebuild their lives and get them the support they need.

In a split second a head trauma can dramatically change a person’s life. Recently we settled a claim for a gentleman who was involved in a road traffic accident in 2011. He was driving along a main road when another vehicle pulled out from a side road and hit him. The accident has affected this man’s life and his family’s forever. He was told he had suffered a moderate brain injury. The effects of the brain injury became more apparent over time in that he had short term memory problems, difficulty finding words, problems with numbers, impaired concentration, sleepiness, depression; lots of the awful things associated with having a brain injury.

In terms of his future he will never be able to work again, he requires a considerable amount of daily care and has ongoing treatment needs. Helping this gentleman made me realise how important charities like Headway really are.

Headway was hugely supportive to our client and he benefited from their services so much. They gave him a sense of purpose, focus and motivation which had such a positive impact on his mood.

He attended Headway twice a week. The programme they set up for him involved lots of different activities, including day trips to the zoo, fishing, painting and cooking. It gave him something to talk about with his wife and family when he came home, unlike before when he sat at home feeling isolated with nothing to talk about. Attending regularly also gave his wife the break she desperately needed and she was able to relax knowing that her husband was being well looked after by professional people who understood his needs. The staff at Headway gave him lots of help and support in coping with the challenges he faced in everyday life. They helped him learn new skills, regain lost ones and helped him re-integrate into society.

Problems arising from a brain injury are not always obvious to other people, in fact it is often referred to as a “hidden disability”. Having a brain injury completely changes a person’s life along with the people around them. Getting in touch with Headway can really make a huge difference.

About the author

Laura Reaney  photo Laura Reaney is a litigator within Spencers Solicitors Complex Injury team. Laura has extensive experience in dealing with claimants that have complex and serious injuries, and over the years has worked on various cases including those involving back and spinal injuries.


Brain Injury Awareness Week from 8 – 14 May 2017 - Hats off for Headway

May 8, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Come and share cake and coffee on Friday 12th May 2017 between 11am and 3pm to help raise funds for a great local charity, Headway North Derbyshire. The event will be held at Spencers Solicitors Spire Walk Chesterfield (near B&Q!). There will be various raffle prizes and a prize for the person who wears the silliest hat.

Action for Brain Injury Week

Every year the national charity Headway UK hold “Hats of for Headway” during Brain Injury awareness week. This year Spencers are hosting an event to help raise funds and awareness for the local Headway North Derbyshire.

We know that brain injury is generally misunderstood, while those whose effects are largely hidden, can struggle to get the help and support they need.

What is a Head Injury?

Head injuries can range from a superficial cut, graze, or bump to serious harm to the internal structures of the brain which are often invisible to the eye or high resolution scans. Head injuries all too often go undiagnosed or untreated leaving those who sustain injury and their families confused about why or what is causing them to feel strange and act out of character.

Typical Symptoms or Effects of Head or Brain Injury

The symptoms of head injury fall into 3 basic categories:-

• Physical - headache, dizziness, feeling sick, light sensitivity

• Psychological - depression and anxiety

• Cognitive- difficulties concentrating, forgetfulness, difficulties rationalising or thinking, impulsivity, increased anger lack of inhibition etc.…

Headway UK has a very helpful and informative website which is packed with information for anyone affected by brain injury. Headway North Derbyshire is a local gem and resource available to people with brain injuries and their loved ones.

Headway North Derbyshire are a local self-funding charity They meet on the first Wednesday of each month at the Chesterfield Community Centre on Tontine Road between 7 and 9pm in an informal and relaxed environment. They hold a variety of other social events and outing throughout the year. Many who use the services of Headway say they do not know what they would have done without the help and support they provide. Brain Injuries can be very socially isolating. Headway North Derbyshire’s regular social meetings can offer the opportunity to meet with other survivors and their families to make friends and have fun.

Head injury can be a subtle foe resulting in people and their families struggling to cope with extra demands thrown at them but with the right support and treatment, life can be easier.

If you have had an accident and suffered a head or brain injury help can be found by contacting Emma Melia at Spencers Solicitors who is a lead litigator in Spencers specialist Serious Injury team on 01246 266 674 or emma.melia@spencerssolicitors.com Emma Melia has over 20 years’ extensive experience as a solicitor in serious injury litigation.

About the author

Emma Melia PhotoEmma Melia is a Solicitor and lead litigator within Spencers Solicitors' catastrophic injury team. Emma has over 17 years' experience helping people who have suffered life changing injuries.

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