Recovery of Debts of £10,000.00 or less: The Small Claims Track - how it works.

If you are a small business or individual and are owed monies you can issue a county court claim against the debtor (once you have given sufficient notice of your intention to do so).  If a claim is issued and not defended you may apply for a Judgment against the debtor and thereafter enforce that Judgment by a method that is most appropriate.

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Driving and dementia - that very difficult discussion.

Driving and dementia - that very difficult discussion.

Like many of his generation, my father-in-law was a very proud man; a gentleman of a chivalrous age. He enjoyed the freedom that his car provided and heaven forbid the thought of being driven anywhere other than by taxi and, deary me, what an extravagance that would be!

Following his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease he had trouble understanding (or perhaps accepting?) the impact that the illness naturally had on his day-to-day life – and, in particular, upon his ability to drive.

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Advocates to have specialist training for sex cases.

Advocates to have specialist training for sex cases.

Ministry of Justice secretary Chris Grayling announced that publicly funded advocates, will have to undergo specialist training before being allowed to take sexual assault and rape cases under government plans to make the court process less traumatic for victims of crime.

By March 2015, the Ministry of Justice said it will be a requirement that all publicly funded solicitor and barristers must undertake 'approved specialist training' on working with vulnerable victims and witnesses in serious sexual cases.

It gave no further details. 

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Power of Attorney - all you need to know

Power of Attorney - all you need to know

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you had an accident, a stroke or developed dementia? We all hope to remain healthy as long as possible, however, there may come a time where we need help managing our affairs. A Lasting Power of Attorney gives chosen individuals legal authority to manage your affairs should there come a time that you not able to yourself.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows you to appoint nominated decision makers (attorneys) to make certain decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to make them for yourself.

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Bid to ban rip-off deals on pensions

Bid to ban rip-off deals on pensions

PENSION firms are to be banned from giving retirement advice in a bid to prevent the unscrupulous from ripping off savers.

Millions of workers are now set to get a better pension deal after Chancellor George Osborne yesterday announced the separation of sales from advice.

People will get free independent information about retirement options under a guidance guarantee which starts next April.

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"What's on the horizon"

"What's on the horizon"

What to expect……

30th/31st July – Holiday Pay

We've recently reported on the ongoing saga that is holiday pay, see articles here and here dealing with who is entitled to what and when. The cases of interest to all Employment Law Practitioners and Employers at the moment are Neal v Freightliner Ltd and Fulton and another v Bear Scotland Ltd which are due to be heard at the Employment Appeals Tribunal on 30 and 31 July 2014. 

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Pensions: enrolment and partnerships

Pensions: enrolment and partnerships

An employer must automatically enrol ‘eligible jobholders’ into a qualifying pension scheme. An eligible jobholder is a ‘worker’ who works or ordinarily works in the UK, is aged between 22 and state pension age, and receives ‘qualifying earnings’ which exceed the £10,000 annual earnings trigger for auto-enrolment.

As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, LLP members are now deemed to be workers for whistleblowing legislation purposes. The Pensions Act 2008 also uses a very similar definition for ‘worker’, and on this basis it is very likely that, for the majority of LLPs, their members will be ‘workers’.

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Equality impact

Equality impact

The Administrative Court recently quashed a council’s decision to revoke a London soup kitchen’s licence to operate in an authority-owned car park (Blake and others v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2014] EWHC 1027). The court found that the council had breached its public sector equality duty (PSED) in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

In giving judgment on 7 April 2014, Mrs Justice Simler stressed the ‘need for clear well-informed decision-making when assessing potentially grave adverse impacts on some of the most vulnerable members of society… in the current economic climate’.  

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Golden Years: Pension payouts

Golden Years: Pension payouts

According to national figures many pensioner's incomes have risen by nearly £1,000 a year and they now receive almost as much as the average salary.

Pensioners worried over paltry returns on their savings and rising bills are finally seeing the financial pressure ease. It is the first time in three years that pensioners’ incomes have been recorded as going up faster than inflation.

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Big bold global push to beat Dementia

 Big bold global push to beat Dementia

Dementia "one of the greatest enemies of humanity" says PM David Cameron

In December 2013 the G8 summit on dementia was held in London. Its aims were to:

  • stimulate greater investment and innovation in dementia research
  • improve the prevention and treatment of dementia
  • improve quality of life for people with dementia

This focus on the issues raised by dementia nationally and globally was repeated at the recent G7 dementia summit where David Cameron delivered a speech  calling for a "big, bold global push” to beat dementia.

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Right to request flexible working from 30 June 2014

Right to request flexible working from 30 June 2014

Once again it’s all change in the world of Employment Law and HR.

From 30 June 2014 the statutory request for flexible working will extend to all employees providing they have 26 weeks' continuous employment at the date the request is made.

Only one request may be made under the statutory scheme in any 12-month period and must be made in writing. The rights do not extend to agency workers or self employed.

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Forced Marriages Policing Act 2014

A new law has been passed by the government in England and Wales making it a criminal offence to force people into marriage.

From today, parents who force their children to marry can be punished by up to seven years in prison. Previously, courts have only been able to issue civil orders to prevent victims being forced into marriage.

The law will give victims the confidence to come forward and protect thousands of people each year. It will apply if people are forced into marriage in England and Wales, as well as to UK nationals at risk of being forced into marriage abroad

This new law has been welcomed by many different religions and groups’ throughout the world.

The complete article by the BBC news will bring a better definition regarding forced marriages in relation to the Criminalisation - under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.   

Nicola Haines Trainee Solicitor

 

Weight in the workplace

Weight in the workplace

You may have heard that the European Court of Justice is to consider the  test case of FOA, acting on behalf of Karsten Kaltoft   and the issue of whether obesity in and of itself can amount to a disability. The implications of a judgment that this was the case could be very far reaching and as the problem of obesity continues to increase this is an issue that employers should give some thought to.

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World Cup 2014

World Cup 2014

With only a few days away from kick off we wanted to remind employers of the helpful advice and guidance issued by ACAS concerning the World Cup.

Although fairly straight forward, the guidance is well worth a read dealing with:

  • Annual leave
  • Sickness absence 
  • Flexibility
  • Social Networking and Websites
  • Drinking or being under the influence 

Good communication with staff will be essential over the next month. Deal with any issues that may crop up promptly, fairly and reasonably following your own internal procedures. 

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The Small Claims Track - How it Works

The Small Claims Track - How it Works

Recovery of Debts of £10,000.00 or less:
 The Small Claims Track - how it works

If you are a small business or individual and are owed monies you can issue a county court claim against the debtor (once you have given sufficient notice of your intention to do so).  If a claim is issued and not defended you may apply for a Judgment against the debtor and thereafter enforce that Judgment by a method that is most appropriate.

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Child contact

Child contact

With the school summer holidays a matter of weeks away, there are families that will be tackling the matter of shared care after the family unit has been divided.  Today, approximately 26 per cent of households in this country that have dependent children are headed by a single parent.  According to the charity Gingerbread, there are two million single parents today in Britain.

Many of these families will have been through separation or divorce; some will have been through both.  Not only is this an emotionally difficult time but when children are at the heart of the family it can be extremely stressful.

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A probate time bomb

A probate time bomb

“As rising house prices increase the amounts at stake, and more and more home-made wills are being written, we are sitting on a ‘probate time bomb’,” says Barrister Dennis Sharpe of Field Court Chambers.

He said: “The average house price has now risen to the level at which, in the absence of a will, the courts will apply rigid rules to the distribution of an estates’ assets. This can often lead to large sums being given to children or grandchildren ill-equipped to deal with such sudden riches, or to surviving parents who didn’t expect to receive monies.”

“We are also finding that using ‘write your own will’ kits can lead to contested probate claims. This is especially prevalent where beneficiaries of the will have helped a relative to write it, an avenue which allows, in certain circumstances, for the will to be contested.”

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