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Samuel Phillips Law Blog

Employment

Coronavirus – Employment Issues

By Robert Gibson

As of 27 February 2020, 7690 people have been tested in the UK for Coronavirus. All bar 15 were negative. The risk has been raised in the UK from low to moderate by the Chief Medical Officer. Coronavirus is a virus which typically causes fever and a cough. In the elderly or those with compromised immune systems, the symptoms can be much more severe, even life-threatening.

Wills, Probate & Trust

Your tax year end checklist

By Sarah Bowes

When the clock strikes midnight on 5th April, millions of pounds of tax allowances and exemptions will be lost without being used. We caught up with Simon Davis from The Grove Private Wealth Limited to get his top tips for maximising your allowances, whatever stage of life you are at.

Employment

Managing Through Financial Distress – Redundancy

By Robert Gibson

A recent report by Begbies Traynor, corporate recovery and insolvency experts, suggests that as many as 494,000 UK businesses are in significant financial distress. This number of almost half a million businesses is the highest in 16 years and 81% up on figures reported in 2016. This suggests that uncertainty over the political landscape, specifically Brexit, has played a major part in the commercial downturn.

Employment

Is it Time to Take Executive Search In-House?

By Robert Gibson

Most organisations have well-drafted and rehearsed recruitment procedures and for 99 out of 100 vacancies this process works for you. But what about the executive hire? How do you ensure that you land the best possible candidate available for the package you have on offer? Do you outsource?

Employment

Increase in Disability Discrimination Cases

By Robert Gibson

A recent research exercise commissioned by the Financial Times has identified an upturn in claims related to disability discrimination. As with other claim classifications disability cases fell away with the introduction of tribunal fees in 2013 but since their removal in late 2017 cases have steadily returned to previous levels. According to the latest statistics they have now surpassed those seen before 2013.

Wills, Probate & Trust

How long would your business survive without access to the business bank account?

By Sarah Bowes

Your banking app or internet banking service being down for just a day can be hugely inconvenient. Imagine that it was not just being unable to view your statement or make new one off payments, but that all of your accounts were actually frozen.

Employment

Ethical Veganism – a “philosophical belief”

By Robert Gibson

Jordi Casamitjana claimed he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports because of his ethical veganism.  The employer however states that he was dismissed for gross misconduct and the ruling has no effective bearing on the decision to sack their Head of Policy & Research.

Employment

Testing…testing…1,2,3 – Employee Espionage

By Robert Gibson

Technology has its role in the workplace, but should an employer be on the receiving end of its use if a phone or other device is used to secretly record meetings? 

Employment

Gig Update – Shift Sharers Entitled to Benefits

By Robert Gibson

There’s been no shortage of Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decisions regarding employment status in the gig economy and we start the year with another: Stuart Delivery Ltd v. Mr Warren Augustine.

Commercial Property

What are property searches and why do you need them?

By William Jarvis-Smith

As with any significant financial investment, it usually pays to find out as much as you can about the commodity that you are investing in. Property is no different. In property matters, information is usually power, in this case, the power to act quickly in walking away from a bad deal or to renegotiate its terms; or at least to anticipate and prepare for its negative consequences.

Employment

Be Present for Christmas – How to Manage a Works Party

By Robert Gibson

December should provide an opportunity to reflect on the hard work of the year and have a little festive fun. Unfortunately, "fun" for a large proportion of the adult population, in this context, means one thing; the chance for a good session paid for by their employer.

Employment

Cutting Remarks [R Lovelady vs Daniel James Hair & Beauty]

By Robert Gibson

A Colwyn Bay Hair Salon has failed in its defence of an unfair dismissal claim brought by an employee stylist due to the fact the employer was found to have pre-determined the outcome before fully investigating.

Employment

2020 Vision – The Upcoming Changes to Employment Law

By Robert Gibson

Find out about important upcoming changes to Employment Law coming in 2020.

Employment

Over Half of UK Adults Will Work Past Retirement Age

By Robert Gibson

Working Beyond Retirement – Research indicates over half of the UK working population would continue to work beyond their official retirement date.

Employment

Supermarket Sweep – ASDA Introduce New Employment Contracts

By Samuel Phillips

1000 staff are holding out against the Walmart owned supermarkets new terms. We look at the details and lessons we can learn from such a process.

Employment

You’re Joking, Not Another One!

By Robert Gibson

Brenda from Bristol summed up the mood of the nation back in 2017, but now we’re truly in Groundhog Day territory with yet another Brexit Delay and General Election. We revisit the main points of concern for UK business.

Commercial Property

It’s a bargain, but I’ve got to move quickly

By Phil Dean

My client has a great business plan, a great idea and an amazing opportunity and all she needed was a property to base her plans from, she’d searched for a few weeks finding nothing and then “PING” a new property dropped into her in box, in need of work but within budget and ideal for her requirements.

Wills, Probate & Trust

Is your client due an Inheritance Tax Refund?

By Sarah Bowes

In 2017 the Inheritance Tax Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) was introduced. The calculation of this allowance can be incredibly complex.  In fact, it is so complex that HMRC have actually been calculating the tax due from estates incorrectly in some cases.

Wills, Probate & Trust

If you’re considering divorce, or in the midst of divorcing, don’t overlook making immediate changes to your Will

By Stephen Robinson

Going through divorce is one of the most stressful experiences in life. On the Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale, it ranks higher than imprisonment and is second overall.  It is akin to grieving upon the death of a loved one.

Wills, Probate & Trust

Where there’s no Will, there’s a way

By Catherine Taylor-Wilson

The grieving process can be traumatic and highly emotional, which can often be made significantly worse once family, friends and loved ones look to sort out the deceased persons affairs. From time to time, we deal with families where their loved one did not leave a Will, or in some cases, where they have been left out of the Will entirely.

Wills, Probate & Trust

How to make giving your child a deposit inheritance tax efficient – lifetime giving explained

By Sarah Bowes

Lifetime giving done well can be an ideal way of passing on wealth and seeing the benefit, whilst also saving tax on your death. The problem is that the tax rules are both unnecessarily complicated and often misunderstood.

Employment

Business Owners’ Peace of Mind through Employment Protection from Samuel Phillips Law

By Robert Gibson

Samuel Phillips Law, with 100 years of legal experience behind it, offers an Employment Protection Scheme to cost-effectively and smoothly address complex issues, which could include employment tribunals. The scheme gives you peace of mind to focus on growing your business with easy access to local expert advice and support.

Employment

Holiday Pay and Permanent Part Year Workers

By Robert Gibson

In the case of Brazel v The Harpur Trust, the Court of Appeal recently ruled that the Working Time Regulation (WTR) approach to holiday pay, for permanent workers who only work part of the year, should be adopted and their leave allowance should not simply be pro-rated.

Employment

Claimant Takes a “Privileged” Position

By Robert Gibson

In legal matters such as employment disputes and other forms of litigation the term of legal privilege occasionally rears its head. But what exactly is “legal privilege”?

Employment

Don’t Just Book It…Plan It

By Robert Gibson

On the 5th July 1841 a young Mr Cook organised a rail excursion between Loughborough and Leicester taking passengers through the Leicestershire countryside, little knowing he was forming the World's first travel agency.

Wills, Probate & Trust

So just how secure is your business?

By Phil Dean

Everyone who’s run a business has woken up in cold sweats over deadlines, staff, buildings, anything of detail in the business but very few have sat back and looked at the biggest risk to their business… their not being in it.

Employment

Brexit – The Final Countdown

By Robert Gibson

They do say a week is a long time in politics...and boy after last week's political maelstrom they are not kidding. As it happens, we had prepared the following article ahead of the events and as we now know, matters have somewhat shifted.

Employment

The Importance of Discovering and Handling the Truth

By Robert Gibson

What to do if an employee hides the true reason for their absences. In a recent case [A Ltd vs Z] an employee was highlighted as having a poor absence record and this fact was questioned by a new employer.

Employment

Pet-ernity Leave?

By Robert Gibson

We are a nation of pet lovers, dogs, cats, ponies or pygmy bunnies. So, what happens when that longstanding pet passes and you’re left with a large or not so large hole in the family home?

Wills, Probate & Trust

Making your Will? Don’t be like Aretha – make sure your wishes are shown a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T

By Sarah Bowes

Aretha Franklin died on 16 August 2018. Just over a year later there are still ongoing court proceedings about her Will… or should that be Wills. 

Employment

Conducting the Perfect Interview

By Robert Gibson

OK, in reality, it’s unlikely you’ll ever consider you’ve run a faultless interview. From preparation on your part to the odd dress sense of the candidate, something nearly always crops up.

Employment

Two Recent Employment Tribunal Cases

By Robert Gibson

Here we explore two very recent cases where employers of well-known organisations have fallen foul of the procedural requirements necessary in circumstances they found themselves in.

Employment

Keeping Your Cool

By Robert Gibson

Like Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis would testify, “some like it hot”; but unfortunately, not everyone and record-breaking high temperatures are raising some very serious concerns about the working environment.

Wills, Probate & Trust

Samuel Phillips Law helping Make a Will month to succeed

By Sarah Bowes

Samuel Phillips Law is taking an active part in this year's St Oswald’s Hospice’s Make a Will month. It means that throughout June, it will offer Wills at a special rate and donate the fee to St Oswald’s.

Wills, Probate & Trust

Property Trust Wills reduce the worry of care home fees

By Stephen Robinson

When couples make a will, the majority are unaware that they can increase the amount of money they can pass on to their heirs through a Property Trust Will in a way that mitigates care fees.

Commercial Property

How important is your phone?

By Phil Dean

In the world of commercial property most things don’t change very quickly, we’re still reeling from the arrival of the Land Registration Act 2002 and discussions about CVA’s stopping landlords getting rents...

Employment

Managing Mental Health at Work – PTSD

By Robert Gibson

Unfortunately, with one in four of us likely to be impacted by some form of mental health problem in any one year the scale of the challenge remains huge.

Employment

Fixed Term Contracts – Own Goal or Winner?

By Robert Gibson

Unusually for the Premier League Rafa Benitez, Newcastle United’s beloved manager, found himself coming towards the end of his three-year contract but without a firm offer that would entice him to stay.

Litigation

North East police officers launch international training venture

By Adam Chaffer

Three North East senior police officers have set up a company to offer police training around the world.

Employment

Religious Freedom vs Foul Play

By Robert Gibson

Israel Folau is an Australian rugby player who found himself sacked as a result of an Instagram post in May which caused uproar and breached Rugby Australia’s code of conduct.

Employment

Driving adjustments for disabled workers

By Robert Gibson

Failing to stick to an organisation's own policy is a clear red flag in such situations and regardless of the steps taken in this case, HMRC failed to apply consistency to their adjustments.

Litigation

Spotting Unfair Prejudice

By Adam Chaffer

There is no one reason why people seek to invest their money into a company. The rationale can range from wanting to seek a return on the success of an organisation to investing in ensuring a company can succeed.

Litigation

Japanese Knotweed – Tying up the value of your property in ‘knots’

By Claire Farrell

Bank holiday weekend is approaching and the majority of us will be looking forward to lazy sunny afternoons in the garden; barbeques with a cold beverage, or two, after another hectic week at work. But would you know what to do if you saw this plant lurking in your flower beds or encroaching upon your boundaries?

Employment

NDA Prescription a misdiagnosis for whistle-blowers

By Robert Gibson

A recent case has highlighted the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) within the public sector and in particular the NHS.

Litigation

Resolving your disputes with the Rural Payments Agency

By Adam Chaffer

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is an executive agency of DEFRA who are responsible for paying out over £2 billion each year to support the farming and food sector. 

Employment

The four day working week – could it work for you?

By Robert Gibson

The call for a change in the UK’s core working week has been made by the Trades Unions Congress (TUC) and increasingly businesses are giving this controversial option serious consideration.

Employment

The Appeal of Appeals

By Robert Gibson

Quite often we find ourselves reporting on cases where, despite the decisions made by a company to dismiss an individual, their case is lost due to an inability to follow due process. Here follows yet another example of this inability to follow a set procedure.

Employment

Is Your Business Wrapped Up in Presenteeism?

By Robert Gibson

Recent research by health insurance company Vitality highlights a worrying workplace trend, that of presenteeism. This term relates to employees who find themselves driven, obligated or in fear tipping up to work when they’re unwell.

Employment

Better Rights for ‘Gig Economy’ Workers

By Robert Gibson

In an effort to improve the rights of casual or more commonly termed ‘Gig Economy’ workers the European Parliament has approved new minimum terms.

Litigation

Samuel Phillips Law Launches New Litigation & Dispute Resolution Team

By Sharon Boyd

A new Litigation and Dispute Resolution team has been created at Newcastle-based Samuel Phillips Law. The team, led by Claire Farrell, has already recruited Adam Chaffer, and plans to grow further this year. 

Employment

Pimlico Plumbers Payout Blocked

By Robert Gibson

Plumbing and heating engineer Gary Smith was successful at the Supreme Court where he was able to assert his rights as an employee rather than a “gig worker” during a tenure where he was encouraged to engage as a self-employed contractor.

Employment

Employment Law Changes – April 2019

By Robert Gibson

Details behind the important employment law changes that will apply to employers in the UK in April 2019.

Employment

Brexit Endgame

By Robert Gibson

What of the future of employment legislation in the UK post Brexit?  A topic worth reminding ourselves of as we enter into the final chapter of what has been a tortuous, protracted and fraught process.

Samuel Phillips Law

God is a Woman* – maybe – but Baroness Hale is President of the Supreme Court

By Jennifer Goldstein

My colleague Claire Farrell, Head of our Civil Team, appeared at my desk waving a copy of February’s Vogue at me; that worked. My head was full of asset schedules; such a random act got my attention. 

Residential Property

Samuel Phillips Law Promote New Partner

By Sharon Boyd

Following a year of significant growth, investment and transformation, Samuel Phillips Law is delighted to announce a second appointment to their Partnership team this year with the promotion of Jane Fiddes, Head of Residential Property at the Grey Street firm.

Litigation

Key considerations when preparing your business for a dispute

By Adam Chaffer

Whether you are seeking to take legal action against an another individual or a business or alternatively you are responding to legal action commenced against yourself or your business there are a number of key considerations to contemplate before instructing solicitors.

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