Biz-Care is a short-term, easy-in/easy-out employment law rescue package to support business owners and HR managers with bespoke, and current legal advice and guidance during the COVID-19 crisis.
We appreciate that crisis management combined with cash flow issues, adds extra strain to making decisions about your workforce. If not managed properly, knee-jerk or panicked decisions can ultimately end up with you in an Employment Tribunal. This is something we are committed to helping you avoid.
With Portugal and Ireland introducing legislation and a code of practice preventing workers from being contacted “out of hours” by their employer is it time for the UK to address the work/life balance.
For as long as I can remember, there has been an ongoing debate surrounding the fees charged by conveyancers. The optics of this debate are invariably set from two viewpoints: ‘We don't charge enough' and ‘They charge too much’.
It’s 1 October. The morning after the 18 months before. In scenes contrasting with the opening pictures of the film 28 Days Later, I half expected to awake to our city centres strewn with the bodies of conveyancers, ties wrapped around heads and clutching bottles of whatever had been their poison the night before. It was a time for celebration, after all.
If you and your spouse reconcile at any time, even after the pronouncement of Decree Nisi (but before Decree Absolute) you can ask the court to cancel the Decree Nisi and dismiss the Petition. If you have a solicitor acting for you, make sure you inform them straightaway that you wish to stop the divorce.
A Decree Absolute ends your marriage but unless you have a clean break order, your ex-spouse could make financial claims against you in the future. Your ex-spouse could make a claim against assets and money you acquire after you divorce, for instance claim for a share of your bonus or inheritance or any windfall. There is no time limit for making a claim, so it could be many years before a claim is made by your ex-spouse.
It is usual for your pension fund to be treated as an asset that should be divided between you and your spouse upon divorce. This will not always happen. Particularly if you both have pension funds with a similar value.
As far as any creditors are concerned the debt belongs to the person whose name it is in. It is therefore imperative that you continue to discharge any debts in your sole name or you run the risk of a county court judgment and a poor credit rating.
If you are considering a divorce, a major concern is likely to be how you will pay for legal advice. At a time when finances are often already under considerable strain, fears about potential costs of legal fees puts many people off obtaining early legal advice.
Ideally you and the other parent will agree living and contact arrangements for your child following your separation. Usually, differences of opinion can be resolved through conversation and compromise. Try to consider what’s best for your child and put your own feelings to one side. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, then the next step would be to attend mediation.
A common problem within divorce proceedings is that one party simply refuses to cooperate and ignores the divorce petition. If you anticipate that your spouse will hold up the divorce proceedings or refuse to cooperate, it would be unwise to base your divorce petition on 2 years separation or adultery - which both require your spouse’s active involvement to progress the divorce.
Going through a divorce is difficult for any couple, especially when it comes to dividing up assets. Past and future inheritances are often looked upon as a bolster in the family’s financial situation and many question if this will become part of the ‘marriage pot’ which is divided up on divorce.
A rarely talked about aspect of going through a divorce is – “Who gets the dog if we divorce”? As it stands in law, pets such as dogs and cats are considered property just like cars, handbags and furniture. This means that if there is a dispute over a pet the Courts will not in the first instance consider the pets welfare in the same way as they would for any children.
The general position is that the giving of an engagement ring is presumed to be a gift, meaning it is assumed that the person who receives it should keep it, however there can be exceptions to this rule.
Almost certainly, provided that the marriage ceremony complied with the local customs and laws of that country. For example was the correct notice given? Were the required number of witnesses present ? Was it necessary to have a religious ceremony as well as a civil ceremony ? If the local laws and customs were followed the marriage will be recognised in England.
Limitation dates arise from the Limitation Act 1980 and create deadlines for when various types of claim must be issued at Court. Whilst the applicable deadline varies between different types of claim, the purpose of limitation dates is clear and consistent: to bring a certainty and finality to litigation.
The Government plans to remove the £20 per week uplift for those receiving universal credit from October. We investigate the impact of the removal of this covid-19 related benefit bonus, which affects 2.3m in work.
Changes in working patterns due to Covid-19 led to a significant increase in mental health and wellbeing issues. Increasingly employers are looking to engage a variety of initiatives to support their staff as working from home continues. One very effective option is to introduce or broaden mentoring programmes. We look at the subject in greater detail, what exactly is mentoring and how can it help your organisation?
The Government’s furlough scheme is set to end 30th September so we thought it might be a good time to look at the implications, options and why we believe planning now, if not already undertaken is essential for employers.
The recent resignation of the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, over his affair with his aide Gina Coladangelo, has played out in front of the nation’s media. Many people have called for Martha Hancock to ‘bleed him dry’ and ‘take him for all he’s got’, but does an affair really make a difference to the financial settlement?
Multi grand slam winning tennis professional and World number two, Naomi Osaka, hit the headlines due to her open admission of her struggles with depression and anxiety. Her unfortunate withdrawal from Roland Garros a warning for employers to engage effectively in such circumstances.
In a world that is seeing an increasing use of temporary workers those organisations created to herd and provide a level of support and security to contractors are benefitting, but not necessarily by ethical and appropriate means. A recent Guardian investigation highlighted the results of the operational pros and cons of Umbrella Companies and the results were quite shocking.
David Barrow is a hugely experienced Project Management Executive and during a long successful career at Texas based engineering company KBR, risen to the level of Director albeit his more recent promotions caused the trigger for what proved the end of his tenure.
Divorce “blame game” is set to end. Ministers announced yesterday that the long awaited “no fault divorce” will mean that from April 2022 divorcing couples will no longer have to blame one another for the breakdown of their marriage. Currently, a person wishing to divorce either has to make allegations about their spouse’s conduct or wait until they have been separated for at least 2 years.
How many of you recruit someone for £30,000 - £50,000 or more. You go through first and second interviews, maybe you pay a recruitment agent. You have proper “on boarding” processes as they are now called. But then what do you rely upon?
A well drafted Will should be enduring and cover a lot of ‘what ifs’. For example, it should include replacement executors and beneficiaries. However, we can never predict the future and it is therefore extremely important that you review your Will every few years and after any major life changes.
The recent ruling handed down by the UK Supreme Court, Uber vs Aslam, has already created a tsunami of “like” claims. Unsurprisingly fellow gig workers engaged by Uber since 2015 are now coming forward to recover compensation for minimum wage and holiday pay.
The incessant bombardment of news related to Covid-19, mostly bearing heavy messages of death, infection rates and strain on the NHS is affecting most of us.
How can we not be affected by the constant round of daily stats and latest notification of job losses making staff even more anxious over their own job security?
With the positive news of various vaccine’s now approved by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the prospect of finally managing Covid-19 to a point where we can return to a “normal”, lockdown free existence seems within reach. Unfortunately, along with this long-overdue series of vaccine good news stories we’ve also had an unsettling trend of communities casting doubt on the efficacy of the treatment and suggesting, when offered they would refuse the injection.
We often kid ourselves that we are an organised person, we may admit that OK, we can be a little messy now and again, but life right now is messy, right? Anyone who’s working from home and possibly sharing their workspace with a partner or other family members, perhaps home-schooling too, is going to face the dilemma of dealing with clutter. That’s a fact.
Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney in October 2007. If you made an EPA before 2007, this can still be used, however, if the donor (that is the person who made the EPA) has lost or is losing capacity, you will need to register the EPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used. An unregistered EPA can be used whilst the donor still has capacity.
Family mediation is a process that resolves disputes involving children and/or financial issues following separation. The sessions are led by a fully trained, independent mediator who is neutral and will not take either side.
As part of mediation week, we have put questions to our very own resident Family Mediator, Jennifer Goldstein. We are keen to find out more about family mediation and how it used to help separating couples. Jennifer is a Senior Partner at Samuel Phillips Law, specialising in Divorce and Family Law. She has been an accredited Family Mediator since 2015.
On Monday 4 January 2021, the Prime Minister announced that schools and colleges are to be closed to most pupils until at least half term in February. This last-minute change has, understandably, worried parents and employers.
Taking place between 18 – 22 January 2021 is Family Mediation Week. The aim is to raise awareness of mediation and how it can help separating families reach an amicable agreement about family-based issues. Many couples going through a separation or a divorce do not know that mediation is an option for them.
The UK has struck a deal with the EU which at its heart sought to secure a tariff and quota-free trade deal. To achieve this agreement, after a tortuous four years of posturing, compromises have naturally been made.
In a slight departure from the usual legal and HR focussed articles we thought, in light of the latest lockdown and its implications for working parents we provide a piece that may support your staff in such a position. Please feel free to share this with your employees if you think it may offer some insight and support at this very difficult time.
Jaguar Land Rover assembly line worker Vic Rumbold had suffered many years of ill health, so bad was his sickness record that each year of his 20-year career at JLR his sickness days exceeded at least 10. His employer estimated the days missed which equated to a massive 808 shifts had cost the business was in excess of £95k.
In what now feels like the proverbial Groundhog Day, at 8pm on 4 January 2021, the UK was moved into its third National Lockdown. Echoing the announcement made at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the Prime Minister yawped his now familiar slogan instructing the nation to 'stay at home'.
England will return to many of the toughest restrictions imposed in March last year as the new variant of coronavirus spreads rapidly across the country. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced last night that England will be placed under a third national lockdown. The new restrictions will become law on Wednesday and are expected to last until mid-February.
Over the last 11 days, the team at Samuel Phillips Law have been updating you on the changes to the various areas of law we deal with which will come into effect once the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020.
For the most part, it is UK regulations and legislation that affect commercial property in England, rather than EU legislation. There are some regulations, such as the Energy Performance Regulations and Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations, which are derived from EU Directives, which could now be subject to review by the UK Government. However, complete repeal of these particular regulations is unlikely, given the UK’s statutory and international treaty commitments to reduce carbon emissions.
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. As a result, the transition period will end on 31 December 2020. Businesses in the UK that process personal data are currently required to adhere to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) and the UK Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018.
Although Brexit has very little direct impact on the law relating to Wills, Probate and Trusts, we are very aware that it will have a considerable impact for many of our clients who may need to revisit their lifetime planning as a result.
With the law underpinning the conveyancing process being governed by the country in which the property is located, the legal process surrounding buying and selling property will remain predominantly unchanged; irrespective of whether a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit is achieved. Less resistant to the impacts of the upcoming changes, however, will be the property markets, mortgage lenders and, ultimately, the developers themselves.
Many businesses, particularly those dealing with EU entities, will have audited their commercial contracts throughout the Brexit transition period. However, as we approach the end of the transition period, fresh audits of existing contracts should now be considered. The difficulty many businesses are facing is, given that so much is undecided and last-minute discussions are continuing, it is not yet clear how their contracts will be affected.
Parental abduction is when one parent removes or keeps a child from the country they normally live in, without the agreement of the other parent. A parent can only travel abroad with their child if everyone with parental responsibility agrees. Without this, a child cannot be removed from the UK, as this would be abduction - a criminal offence in the UK.
The EU Succession Regulation deals with the ability to choose the country whose law will apply to your estate when you die. This is important as if there is a difference in the law between the country where you made your Will and the country where the asset is it can lead to the wishes in your Will not being able to take effect.
On 31st December 2020, the UK’s transition period for leaving the EU will end ushering in significant changes to UK private and commercial law. But what exactly will those changes mean for UK property law – and what will buying and selling your home post-Brexit look like?
Experts are predicting a surge in litigation and appeals if proposed Brexit regulations published by the UK government are introduced. This is because, if enacted, the draft European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Relevant Court) (Retained EU Case Law) Regulations 2020 (the Act), would give greater freedom to the UK's domestic courts to overturn EU case law after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020.
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. As a result, free movement for nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) (and Switzerland) will end on 31 December 2020. From 1 January 2021, the UK will operate a new points-based immigration system and EEA citizens moving to the UK to work will need to obtain a visa in advance.
Under current EU regulations, subject to certain criteria being met, married couples can choose which country their divorce takes place. This allows an EU citizen to travel around Europe and choose a Court which they believe will give them a more favourable divorce settlement. Commonly known as “Divorce Tourism”.
With 2020 proving to be one of the most testing and stressful years most can recall, employers are looking to the works end of year party as an overdue opportunity to thank staff and allow them time to let off some steam.
One common misconception is that a works event held away from the office or outside normal working hours, removes your organisations liability from any incidents that might occur. That’s simply not true.
Keeping an eye on what we need to monitor and manage as Brexit deadlines loom large on the horizon. It’s true, the “B” word has started to appear again after the Oxford English Dictionary confirmed the rise in prevalence of words related to the Pandemic saw the word “Brexit” drop by an amazing 80% in 2020.
The first lockdown was difficult for many couples. Not having the opportunity to spend time away from each other, juggling home-schooling with homeworking plus financial and health worries put an extraordinary strain on many marriages. This has left many couples wondering whether their relationship has sufficient immunity to survive another lockdown.
The Chancellor has extended the extended furlough scheme which will now remain in force until 31 March 2021 and will be reviewed in January. Individuals on furlough, whether full-time furlough or flexible furlough receive 80% of wages capped at £2,500. The pay cap is proportionate to hours not worked so if you are absent four days out of five the cap is £2,000, three days out of five £1,500.
Over a third of those currently employed are now working from home, including half of those who normally worked in an office before lockdown. In a new survey by Ipsos MORI, 6 in 10 (59%) of those now working mainly from home say it is not a challenge, while 40% admit to experiencing at the very least, fairly challenging circumstances.
At first consideration you might expect the average UK worker to be desperate to get back to the “normality” of their working environment, to meet colleagues not seen for months save for a “Brady Bunch” Zoom collective and a sense of identity rekindled in routine. There’s also the opportunity to be free of the same four walls and as much as you love them, have space from the children and partner (probably a bonus for them too) so you can re-establish working relationships and get to know what’s really happening behind the scenes.
A recent finding of an Employment Tribunal has added fuel to the call for greater clarity concerning the definition of a “worker”. This case O’Eachtiarna and others v CitySprint (UK) involved five cycle couriers who were engaged by CitySprint. The couriers claimed they were entitled to holiday pay as they were “workers” for the company a point that was contested by the respondent.
If you are considering a divorce, a major concern is likely to be how you will pay for legal advice. At a time when finances are often already under considerable strain, fears about potential costs of legal fees puts many people off obtaining early legal advice. Paradoxically paying for legal advice can save you money. A solicitor will help you to understand your entitlements enabling you to make informed decisions and ultimately achieve a better settlement.
Rishi Sunak has just issued the summer statement and has outlined details of a job retention bonus scheme. Guidance is to be issued by 31 July, which I suspect means in practice 5.00 pm 31 July 2020. The requirements of the scheme seem to be quite simple.
Redundancy selection criteria is one of the most contentious areas within redundancy. It need not be. As the acronym suggests “keep it simple stupid”. You can have objective criteria (eg attendance). You can have subjective criteria (eg attitude). In effect, as long as the criteria you select are not utter drivel eg “karma” that is fine. The key issue is to draw up clear guidelines of what you mean and how you score with examples.
1 July is the day that the Flexible Furlough Scheme starts. Those who have been on furlough and are going to remain on furlough do not require anything. Leave them alone. To those you are intending to potentially return to work under the Flexible Furlough Scheme either part time or increasing hours or flexible hours then there needs to be a Flexible Furlough Agreement issued and preferably signed.
There are no hard and fast rules about drawing up selection pools. However the good news is, there is more than one way in which to create a selection pool and as long as your way is reasonable, that is good enough, even if there is another way that is also reasonable. The first question you ask yourself is what is the area of work that is changing? This could be a geographic change such as closing a depot or a change in the type of work which the business is performing.
The law requires you to look at means of avoiding redundancies before you proceed to them. It takes some time for the redundancy and notice costs to unwind and for wage savings to manifest themselves. Finally, when you lose staff you lose customer contacts and organisational knowledge. Is it worth it if you are potentially going to have to recruit in the foreseeable future thereby incurring recruitment and induction costs.
In this article, senior partner Robert Gibson explores the three different types of redundancy, including common mistakes in how employers term redundancies. Robert also details the most common types of challenge and advises on the best way to avoid the three main pitfalls facing employers.
Redundancy is where you close all or part of your business or employ fewer people to run it. You begin any redundancy process by asking the question why – what has changed. What steps have you taken already to try and save costs (bank, landlord, suppliers). Going forward what does the “new normal” look like. Take a little time to set down some basic facts and figures in a simple business overview.
On 12 June 2020, HM Revenue and Customs published further updates to the official guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The updated guidance now includes details of how the scheme is to be wound down between July and October this year, as announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 29 May.
This is going to make a huge difference to sorting out your affairs following the decision to separate. Faced with the inevitable – resistant former Spouses are likely to be more willing to negotiate an agreement in relation to finances and children. Our outdated Divorce law 1973, has been a frustration for Family Lawyers for decades. We go into marriage freely and should be able to leave marriage freely. The Family Team at Samuel Phillips offer experienced advice and guidance.
A lease is a contractual agreement between a Tenant and a Landlord and will generally last for a fixed period of time, commonly known as the term of the lease. There are a number of reasons that a Tenant may wish to leave the premises before the end of the term. This article explores Tenants' rights into what can potentially be the complex task of terminating their commercial lease early.
There’s a growing body of opinion amongst leaders of countries and corporations that a four-day week may well be the answer to a phased return to work. New Zealand’s impressive PM, Jacinda Ardern, discussed the option during a recent Facebook live broadcast. Specifically referencing the need to boost the tourism sector she identified that 60% of the industry’s income was generated by locals.
There’s a strong possibility that the forthcoming launch of the Government’s Track and Trace system aligned with concerns over health and safety at work, as employees start to return, may lead to an increase in disputes between staff and employers.
Here below please find a summary of the Chancellor's recent notification (29th May) highlighting revisions to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) aka “Furlough”. From 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part-time. Individual organisations will need to decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work. The employers will be responsible for paying their wages while in work.
A common concern amongst separated parents is that if anything were to happen to them, their child could be sent to live with a parent with whom they have had no contact or do not have a good relationship with. Another concern is that their child may be forced to move away and will lose contact with their extended family and friends who’ve had an important role in their life.
Tax planning during lockdown might seem like a strange concept, but if you are fortunate enough to be in the position of having surplus income or capital, now might actually be a key time to consider your position.
The Department for Business Enterprise and Industrial Strategy has published guidance on Wednesday 13 May about holiday entitlement. It is guidance and subject to interpretation by the Courts but as I happen to agree with it, I venture to suggest it is good guidance.
We are now receiving mixed messages from the Government along the lines of return to work but stay at home. We are not sure whether to use public transport or walk ahead of it. As for the kids, they’ll get back to us on that one. Still as long as we stay alert all will be well.
The Government has today launched what may well prove to be an extremely popular loan scheme. Application forms are completed online with any of the approved banks. The business bank will tell you which are the approved banks. I think this is a potentially good piece of news. Not as good as a grant but a whole lot better than the ill-fated coronavirus business interruption loan scheme.
The Government’s job retention scheme is due to end on 30 June 2020. Employees can be subject to notice whilst on furlough. In previous postings I have indicated they are probably entitled to full pay, albeit there is a counter argument, with the employer recouping furlough monies from HMRC.
Settlement Agreements are the only way by which a potential claim to an Employment Tribunal can be lawfully compromised. For such an Agreement to be enforceable, it must be in writing, specify the particular complaints to which it relates and the employee must have the benefit of independent advice from an adviser who has the benefit of professional insurance, or in the case of an accredited trade union representative is certified by the trade union as being qualified to give advice.
Settlement Agreements (formerly known as Compromise Agreements) are the only means by which to compromise potential Employment Tribunal claims where proceedings have not been issued. Settlement Agreements are creatures of statute and the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) states that in order for a Settlement Agreement to be enforceable there must be a written agreement, which refers to the claim, identifies the parties and the employee must take independent legal advice on the agreement from someone who holds a policy of insurance to give such advice (e.g. a solicitor).
There are many ways in which an individual can leave his or her employment. Often this involves complex legal procedures which can easily go wrong. The easiest and most dignified manner in which an individual can leave, is by consent. This involves protected conversations under Section 111A ERA 1996.
Things will never be the same... that’s the conclusion people are coming to during this enforced period of lockdown. It’s important therefore to assess the impact of new technology and new ways of working when considering the future after lockdown. What will the office structure of the future look like? What will be the new "normal"?
In this Webinar, NE1 welcomes Robert Gibson, Senior Partner at Samuel Phillips to discuss the legal implications of the Furlough Scheme from an employer's perspective alongside highlighting common pitfalls and how to avoid them.
In today’s vlog, Robert Gibson turns our attention, not just to his relaxation of formal wear (!), but to what businesses need to do to prepare when lockdown is eventually lifted by the government. There is much speculation as to when restrictions are likely to be lifted and when they are lifted, how that will take place. Now that businesses have got over the shock of furloughing their staff and the new "normal" routine is actually starting to feel normal, what better time to take stock, plan and prepare the re-starting of your business?
A day will come when we will not speak of Furlough. Sadly that day is not today. There was a Treasury Direction to HMRC on 15 April followed by yet another update to Government Guidance on the Job Retention Scheme on 17 April.
Yesterday (15th April 2020) the Treasury issued a Direction to HMRC regarding operation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) under the auspices of the Coronavirus Act 2020. The Direction (perhaps) gives us the final guidance on how the scheme will operate and any changes are likely to be minimal (we hope).
The COVID19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has, in some cases, had a detrimental effect on many relationships as couples are forced to spend time together 24/7. For those going through a divorce, or considering a divorce, Jenny Goldstein and Sarah Ward of Samuel Phillips Law, answer your questions as to how the COVID19 outbreak is affecting proceedings and should you be going through a relationship breakdown, what your options are during this time.
The Parliamentary Select Committee made an announcement yesterday (Wednesday 8th April 2020) that HMRC’s online portal for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will open on 20th April 2020 with a view to the first payments being made to employer’s on 30th April 2020. Please do ensure that your online PAYE is functioning and up to date.
What are the possible implications if you’re on furlough and your employer asks you to work? We appreciate that employees are concerned as to whether they will still have jobs when the crisis resolves and businesses are doing all they can to survive. However our advice to employees is that they should stop working whilst on furlough leave. They should raise the issue with their employer and inform them that they are concerned that the arrangement is illegal and tell them that they are not going to work whilst on furlough.
As a follow on from the identification of an employee with Covid-19 symptoms we thought it appropriate to review the rules around Statutory Sick Pay. The simple rule is that any employee who is unfortunate enough to contract coronavirus will be subject to the same process as any other sickness absence in terms of payment. If your policy is that you only pay statutory sick pay (SSP) during sickness absence, that is the policy you should adopt, subject to meeting the qualifying criteria. SSP is payable from day one; there are no “waiting days” where the reason for the absence is coronavirus.
Firstly, ensure that your managers and supervisors are all aware of the key signs and symptoms of Covid-19. Brief them as to the protocol to follow when a member of staff exhibits Covid-19 symptoms. You should identify any members of your workforce who would fall under the “social shielding” category despite the fact these individuals will have had a letter requesting them to be isolated for 12 weeks they may still be coming to work. These members of staff may have underlying health issues that are not obvious.
The UK Government’s response to support both business and the employed has been an unprecedented move to help shore up the economy amidst the unfolding crisis of the Coronavirus pandemic. One primary initiative is the very American sounding “Furlough” as part of a job retention scheme. Furlough is indeed a US term used to describe a leave of absence. In terms of the UKs response to Covid-19 it aims to offer employers a practical option to retain staff whilst the country enters and works through its “lockdown” phase of social distancing to limit the spread of the virus.
We know that in terms of SSP, you cannot receive SSP and furlough at the same time and this is likely because both are government benefits. When an employee returns from sick leave and is fit for work, you can put them on furlough leave then. We know that holiday accrues during furlough leave and that employees/workers can carry over up to 4 weeks holiday in the next 2 years. We also know that Employers can require employees/worker to take holiday during furlough provided that they give twice as much notice as the leave they are required to take.
At the moment I am finding it hard to remember a time pre Covid-19. Before that it felt like Brexit had been with us forever. But, if you think back very hard, before all of that, when Boris was still the Mayor of London, you might remember an announcement that the inheritance tax threshold would be increased to £1M. Well today, 6th April 2020, is the day when that announcement finally becomes reality….. well sort of. In reality, having the full allowance available depends on many things, including the contents of your Will.
Picture the scenario, the staff called together, and the MD says I’m terribly sorry, we’re going to have to close the business due to the CO-VID 19 pandemic but the good news is we can pay you 80% of your salary as we can reclaim the cost under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The HR manager sends out a letter to staff confirming what the MD said. The letter may or may not offer a right of appeal. Are the staff truly on furlough leave? Can the company recoup 80% of their wages (up to £2,500 each)?
This is a tricky subject as we don’t have Regulations yet, only Government guidance. That guidance says if you’re furlough by an employer you can’t do any work for that employer during the furlough period. It also says that if you have two jobs you can be furloughed by one or both jobs and receive 80% of your salary (up to a maximum of £2,500) from one job or both jobs. That doesn’t however answer the question as to what happens if you take up a new job whilst furloughed by your employer.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 25 March 2020, meaning this emergency piece of legislation is now, officially, law. But what affect has this had on residential tenancies? In the first of this two-part blog, Commercial and Litigation Solicitor Thomas Cumming considers the affect of the Coronavirus Act 2020 has had on possession proceedings under both Section 21 Housing Act 1988 and Section 8 Housing Act 1988.
The Government ordered lots of workplaces (e.g. pubs, cafes non-essential shops) to close over the last couple of weeks but some remain open for business. For those that businesses that haven’t been ordered to close, those employees who can work from home; must do so and employers are under an obligation to set them up so they can work from home.
Many employers rushed to make redundancies when businesses were first ordered to close down at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK. Redundancy is a fair reason for dismissal if it is handled fairly. Fair process includes consultation, the duty to consider suitable alternative employment (if any) and the payment of a Statutory Redundancy Payment. If the redundancy was unfair employees firstly need to contact ACAS’s Early Conciliation service and if the claim cannot be settled that way then a claim can be issued online in the Employment Tribunal.
On 26 March 2020 Rashi Sunak announced support for the self employed; namely a taxable grant of 80% of average earnings calculated over the last three years up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. It is available for those with trading profits of up to £50,000 per annum and whose majority of income is from self employment.
The scheme applies to employees who have been furloughed meaning that they have been put on a period of leave during which they are not required to work. The employer must agree with the employee that they will be placed on temporary leave (furlough leave) and this then allows the employer to recover 80% of the employee’s wage costs or £2,500 per calendar month whichever is lower.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent yesterday 25 March 2020. It confirms some of the announcements that were made last week regarding payment of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) in relation to Coronavirus. The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into force on 13 March 2020 and amended the SSP rules such that those who self isolate are deemed incapable of work for the purposes of claiming SSP.
Some businesses have been ordered by HM Government to close, e.g. pubs, clubs, restaurants, leisure facilities. Some have been permitted to stay open supermarkets, petrol stations, chemists etc, but may have elected to close anyway on an individual basis.
Our residential department is now working and functioning remotely from the office so clients and referrers please feel reassured that it is business as usual. Whilst some people may be cautious about proceeding with their transaction during the state of lock down, there are many for whom it is crucial as they need a safe home or they may be currently living with elderly parents and do not wish to put them at any risk.
We are living in worrying times. For many of us, our major concern is not for our own health, but for the health of our loved ones, particularly the elderly or those with underlying health issues. When faced with so much uncertainty and worry it can be reassuring and comforting to know that there is a practical way for us to be of use to those we love.
All of the uncertainty as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic is making people worry about all sorts of things. It is unsurprising that one of these is their Will. Our Wills, Probate and Trusts team have thought carefully about this and have developed solutions which ensure that you will still get the same excellent service, tailored advice and protection from Samuel Phillips Law, whilst also maintaining social distancing and complying with the latest government guidance.
The Coronavirus pandemic is creating special challenges for all of us, not least separated parents. Co-parenting children when separated is not without its challenges at the best times. With schools now closed and social distancing strongly encouraged, as family lawyers, we are increasingly being asked for advice on how to manage shared care arrangements.
As the responsibility of policing the tax liabilities of consultants moves to the “fee-paying” client and broadens from public to now include private businesses we thought it timely to look at the practicalities and IR35 compliance. We would, of course, advise all our readers to take professional advice when putting new policies and procedures in place and the following is simply a suggested guide to assist in efforts to remain compliant.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.