Divorce is an incredibly stressful and emotional time for couples and families. Much thought and care is given to matters concerning any children of the family, the family home and any joint assets. One area of increasing importance is that of family pets and who gets to keep them.Read More
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.Read More
Writing for small business website Ben Wilson of e-cigarette company Freshcig gives his opinion on the new laws to enable more consideration of flexible working patterns.
Since the government made a number of major employment changes recently as it looks to support better working conditions for employees, but do they help business owners?Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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’.Read More
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  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’.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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
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.Read More
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
- 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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
“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.”Read More
If you also follow our Kidwells HR website, you will have seen an article earlier this year regarding ACAS Early Conciliation which is due to come into force for claims made on or after 6th May 2014. ACAS have now posted some guidance on how this will proceed.
The guidance is in the form of an “Early Conciliation Explained” leaflet and I have set out the main points of this below:
For the relevant claims, it will become mandatory for a Claimant to inform ACAS when they wish to make a claim. It is not mandatory for the Claimant to enter into Early Conciliation should he wish to proceed to Tribunal. However, it is advised in order to attempt to settle any claims before they reach proceedings which will benefit both Parties involved.Read More
A review in 2011 found that the most vulnerable children were being disadvantaged by the sheer length of time that care and supervision cases were taking to resolve which was on average 56 weeks.Read More
Legal costs of any dispute can soon outweigh the issue that people argue about; Lawyers are supposed to know this but time and again I see lawyers with such large costs that a party simply cannot face the costs of settling. The thrust of relieving the courts of the workload of hearings is to encourage disputing parties to try and settle at Mediation [ADR] but again this in itself creates costs and sometimes makes the matter harder to settle. The case of PGF II SA v OMFS Company 1 Limited  EWCA Civ 1288 has been reported in the Law Gazette where they say this case “...has given its strongest support for alternative dispute resolution since its decision in Halsey v Milton Keynes General NHS Trust  1 WLR 3002. More significantly the case considered, for the first time as a matter of principle, the following question: what should be the response of the court to a party which, when invited by its opponent to take part in ADR, simply declines to respond to the invitation in any way?” in my opinion, the directions from this case are just worse than the understanding before.Read More
Many people have the false perception that when they die their possessions will automatically go to their loved ones, regardless of whether they have a Will. By having a valid Will you can ensure that your possessions go to the people that you choose. With a valid Will in place you are also preventing your loved ones from a great deal of expense, delay and distress that may arise if you die intestate (without a valid Will).
What is a Will?Read More