In order to bring a claim against your employer at an Employment Tribunal (ET), you must complete an ET1 claim form. It is vital that you complete this form correctly, as once your ET1 form has been sent, you cannot change anything on it unless you get permission from the ET. You may wish to amend your claim form due to an error in your initial submission, or because more information has come to light that wasn’t apparent before. Whether the ET will agree to amend the claim form depends on what the changes are and their significance to your case. In this article, our Employment team detail the facts that the ET will consider when deciding whether to allow amendments to a claim form and they examine the case that provides a guiding influence on the process.
We are pleased to announce a new string to our Employment Law bow, with the appointment of Natasha Young as External Training and HR Manager.
Natasha has 20 years experience of working in HR across a range of sectors and is also a Fellow of the CIPD. In her new role with the Hampshire law firm, Natasha will be working with local employers in two main areas, namely providing training and in-house HR support.
A diagnosis of mesothelioma will be a devastating one and will mean making significant changes to your life for both you and your family. A diagnosis due to exposure to asbestos in the workplace will mean that you are entitled to make a claim for compensation to help you with the necessary costs for care and to cover loss of earnings. Catriona Ralls, Industrial Disease specialist within our Personal Injury team, explains more here about how much you may be entitled to claim and how we can support you and your loved ones at this difficult time.
Throughout an employee’s tenure at your business, you may well pay for them to attend various training sessions, but can you recover those costs if they leave? The answer to this depends completely on the employee’s contract or the terms of any training agreements they have signed. If there is no contractual right that allows you to reclaim payment, the money cannot be recovered. You may be able to offset the amount owed against the money the employee is due to receive during their notice period; however this comes with its disadvantages. In this article, our Employment team detail on what grounds you can reclaim training costs, the risks involved and what considerations you’d need to make in regards to National Minimum Wage.
In the recently reported case of Akita and another v Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland  EWHC 1712 (QB) (31 January 2019), the High Court has allowed an appeal against the dismissal of a claim following non-attendance at Court. The appeal related to the application of Civil Procedure Rule 39.3, which permits the Court to strike out a claim if the claimant does not attend the trial of the matter.
Superior Style Home Improvements Ltd (Superior Style) has been fined £150,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for failing to comply with Regulation 21 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/2426) (PECR).
In the case of Al-Ko Kober Ltd v Sambhi  EWHC 2409 (QB) (13 September 2019) the High Court has granted summary judgment in favour of Al-Ko Kober Ltd and its marketing director against the defendant, who manufactured a competing product (stabilisers for towing caravans), for their claims for defamation, malicious falsehood and breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998).
The High Court recently determined the question of whether a notice of assignment of a debt was valid where it stated an unverifiable date of assignment.
Individuals have the “right to be forgotten” under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which means they have the right for their personal data to be erased upon their request. A recent case has confirmed that the territorial scope of the right applies solely within the EU and not worldwide.
With the current uncertainty surrounding the British economy, it is fair to say that businesses are considering their long term options, with many now looking to sell. Naushad Rahman, Partner in our Company Commercial team, explains some basic steps you should bear in mind when preparing for such an eventuality and how we can support you, your business and your employees through what can be a traumatic transition.
Using other people's corporate and brand images without consent is obviously asking for trouble. But what about using other types of image for commercial purposes? The internet is awash with free-to-view images and there is an understandable temptation to appropriate them in some fashion for one's own use, without ever verifying whether or not those images are still subject to copyright and, if so, seeking an appropriate licence from the copyright holder. Brian Bannister, Company Commercial Solicitor, explains here the best option for you when using images for commercial purposes.
The Law Commission has announced that electronic signatures can be used instead of a handwritten signature on nearly all legal or contractual documents following a lengthy consultation. Helen Porter, Partner in our Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, here explains more about the move, the areas of legal practice where there are still exceptions and what this means for businesses.
The breakdown of a relationship will always be a difficult time for all concerned, especially when there are children involved. It is understandable that there may be animosity following the divorce or separation, which can lead to conflict when making arrangements for your children or for the finances. While you may wish to go straight to Court, in most cases you will need to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to determine whether Family Mediation could be an alternative to the Court process. Sam Miles, Family Partner and Mediator, explains here why you may need to consider Family Mediation, and the exemptions that may apply.
Both agile working and flexible working are becoming more common in modern workplaces; but to effectively implement either of these approaches, employers need to understand that while similar in many ways, they are different in what they aim to achieve. In this article, our Employment team detail what flexible working and agile working are, their objectives and the positive and negative impacts of both.
The Government’s proposal to abolish section 21 notices has caused a feeling of uncertainty amongst landlords as to how they will go about regaining possession of their property if a tenant refuses to leave after the fixed term of their tenancy agreement expires. The Government has stated that the purpose of the abolishment is an attempt to remove no fault evictions so as to provide renters with the security of having a tenancy that cannot be ended through no fault of their own. The National Landlord’s Association have specified that “over 96% of landlords would consider the leaving the market without section 21”.
Releasing equity could be the right option for you if you are looking for an injection of funds; however you should be sure to research and seek the right advice so that you choose the optimum plan, particularly if you are considering moving property in the future. While equity release does not commit you to staying in your property, the various plans available may have certain restrictions on the types of properties you move to. Zoe Fellows, Equity Release specialist, explains more here about equity release and whether you can move once you have released equity.
No-one knows what the future holds, which is why it is vital that you make plans while you can. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is one of the most important legal documents you can write to make these plans and without one your loved ones would need to go down the long and costly route of applying to be your Deputy. Caroline Johnstone, Associate Solicitor in our Private Client department, explains here how an LPA can help you to protect your future, and what could happen if you don’t have one in place.
It isn’t an uncommon occurrence for an employee to return from holiday, only to claim to be ill and be delayed in returning to work. If the employee returns and presents a foreign medical certificate as evidence of their sickness, you should treat it as legitimate unless you have evidence that it is not, or evidence that the employee is not really sick. In this article, our Employment team detail what you should do if an employee is sick during their holiday and requests the time off be considered as sickness absence and not annual leave, as well as where you stand in regards to Statutory Sick Pay.
If you have been exposed to asbestos during your working life and you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, such as mesothelioma, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation against your former employer. This will be a life-changing diagnosis, and we appreciate that you will be wondering where to turn for support and advice. Deborah Foundling, Industrial Disease specialist in our Personal Injury team, explains here how we can support you and your family through a claim for compensation and how we can connect you to our wider network of professionals.
Following the recent success of our new brand and website at the beginning of 2019, we are delighted that this project has been shortlisted for the Best Business Development/Marketing Award at the annual LawNet Awards 2019. Ed Voller, Managing Partner,...
Family Mediation is an entirely voluntary process and neither party can be forced to attend if they do not wish to. It is understandable that you may feel nervous or apprehensive about talking to a stranger about difficulties you are having in reaching agreement on certain matters following a divorce or separation. Claire Knight, Law Society accredited and Resolution trained Family Mediator, here explains how Family Mediation can help you reach an agreement and what happens if your former partner does refuse to attend.
The case of Zulu and Gue v Ministry of Defence illustrates how a small action on a photograph can amount to discrimination.
Mr Zulu and Mr Gue were two former soldiers who served with the 3rd Battalion at Melville Barrack in Colchester. On Mr Gue’s door was a photo of himself and Mr Zulu. After someone had drawn a swastika, a Hitler moustache and a racist remark on the photographs on Mr Gue’s door, Mr Zulu and Mr Gue claimed they had been victims of racial discrimination.
If your employer has notified you that your role is at risk of being made redundant, they are obliged to consider whether there is the possibility of offering you alternative employment so as to avoid redundancy. You can refuse the role if one is found, but you should be cautious as doing so on unreasonable grounds will mean that you are not entitled to your statutory redundancy payment. In this article, our Employment team details what your employer must do to offer you an alternative role and for what reasons you can turn down the role and still receive your redundancy pay.
Recently, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published figures showing that deaths caused by mesothelioma reached 2,523 in 2017, with the majority of cases stemming from contact with asbestos in the workplace. This shows that, despite the use of asbestos in the UK being banned completely since 1999, the after effects are still being felt. Here, Catriona Ralls, mesothelioma specialist within our Personal Injury team, details why we need to still take precautions when dealing with asbestos.
A Deputyship Order would be issued when a person can no longer make decisions for themselves concerning their health, welfare, financial or property arrangements and they have no Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place. Caroline Johnstone, Associate Solicitor in our Private Client team, explains here who can apply to be a Deputy, the responsibilities and how we can support you in your duties.
If you suspect an employee of misconduct, it is of vital importance that you carry out a full and thorough investigation to make sure any disciplinary action you take has a solid foundation and is fair and reasonable. When explaining your findings, you must ensure that proper evidence is fully considered and used to avoid any claims of unfair dismissal.
If you are considering bringing an Employment Tribunal claim against your former, current or a potential employer, you will have to go through ACAS Early Conciliation before you do so. This is the process that employees and individuals are required to enter into before they are able to bring claim to an Employment Tribunal (ET). It is designed to try and resolve disputes, if possible, before they reach the ET; in this article, our Employment team details how to start the conciliation process and how long it could take.
Mesothelioma is an asbestos related disease which can take many years to develop following the initial exposure to asbestos. The latency period for developing symptoms following exposure is typically between 20 and 50 years explains Deborah Foundling, Industrial Disease specialist in our Personal Injury team.
Suspending an employee is never a decision to be taken lightly. If you suspect an employee has committed an act of misconduct and wish to suspend, you first must ensure that it would comply with certain circumstances for it to be an appropriate action. In this article, our Employment team discuss under what circumstances it is appropriate to suspend, what considerations you should make before suspending and what happens once you have suspended.
Downsizing and equity release are effective ways to fund your plans for later life, or to help a loved one onto the property ladder. They both have their pros and cons and the right option for you will depend on your own personal situation. Zoe Fellows, Associate Solicitor and Equity Release specialist, explains here why equity release may be right for you, and why more people are choosing this option opposed to downsizing.
We understand that if you are struggling to agree on arrangements for your children or your finances following a divorce or separation, you will be looking for support from those around you, such as your family and friends. Family Mediation can help you resolve and explore the options, and you may wish to have this support network around you during this time. In most cases, Family Mediation is just for the parties directly concerned, namely you and your former partner. Claire Knight, Law Society accredited and Resolution trained Family Mediator, explains more here about who can attend and how Family Mediation can help you.
While flexible working is a much more common occurrence than before, requests are not always granted. If your request is rejected, your employer could allow you to appeal their decision. In this article, our Employment team detail what criteria has to be met in order to first make a flexible working request, how you can appeal if your request is rejected and what you can do if your appeal isn’t successful.
The recent prorogation of Parliament meant that the Government’s proposed change to the basis of the calculation of the fee paid by the Executors to apply for a Grant of Probate, which proved highly controversial, could not be implemented as intended. We reported earlier this year how this proposed change appeared to have been agreed in principle, with the motion to approve the Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order scheduled for a vote in the House of Commons and an initial implementation date of April 2019 set. Kevin Horn, Private Client Partner, explains more here about the increase, why it caused such controversy, and what the future may hold for the increase.
Most likely, there have been times when work has been too busy for us to take a proper lunch break, but what happens if there is no data or record of when this happens?
The case of Hallett v Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust illustrates the importance of ensuring employees take their contractual breaks and the financial implications for not doing so.
The traditional working structure has been undergoing a transformation in recent months and with the advent of technology and programs like Skype and Slack, employees being able to work remotely or from home is becoming more common place. In turn, this has led to an increase in flexible working requests so employees can have a better work-life balance. If an employee does make that request you can trial a flexible working arrangement; in this article, our Employment team detail what to do if a flexible working request is made and when to use a trial period.
Being granted a Deputyship Order can take several months. If you find yourself having to apply to become a Deputy you may also be considering the responsibilities you now face. Caroline Johnstone, Associate Solicitor in our Private Client team, explains more about when you may need to make an application of this nature and the steps involve
The length of time Family Mediation can take will depend on your own situation and the particular arrangements you are looking to resolve. In our experience, individuals require between two and four sessions, lasting approximately one to two hours each, however there are no restrictions on how many sessions you can have. One of the many benefits of Family Mediation is that we will work to a timetable that is practical for you. Claire Knight, Resolution trained and Law Society accredited Family Mediator, explains here what can be discussed in Family Mediation and how long it may take to reach an agreement.
Fostering a positive atmosphere in the workplace is important and employees that get along and enjoy working together is always a welcome sight to employers, but what happens if that friendliness is over stepped?
It is well known that pregnant employees are entitled to time off to attend antenatal appointments, and rights for partners are now being extended. The introduction of Shared Parental Leave is one example, and rights to accompany a pregnant woman to an appointment have also been revised. In this article, the Employment team discuss who is eligible to attend antenatal appointments and what your employers might request from you.
Most of us will spend the majority of our time at work, and it is our employer’s legal duty to ensure we work in a safe environment. This is not always the case however, with the Health and Safety Executive reporting 555,000 injuries occurred at work in 2017/18. Sustaining an injury in any situation will be life changing, but if it happens at work you may also be worried about approaching it with your employer for fear of dismissal or detrimental treatment. Aimee Brown, Personal Injury Executive, explains here what you should do if you have had an accident at work and how we can help you move forward with your life
The case of Kuppala v HBOS illustrates the importance of factoring in a known disability when considering issues of misconduct. Employers should make sure to fully investigate how a known disability could have impacted the misconduct and whether dismissal is a fair decision.
As an employer, the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff should always be a top priority. Occupational Health is a key component in achieving this goal and in this article, our Employment team detail what Occupational Health is, when you should refer to Occupational Health and what preventative measures they can assist with.
A Grant of Probate is the legal document that allows you to administer the estate of a loved one who has passed away. There are some circumstances when this may not be needed, and if there is not a Will then you will need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration. Bill Pollinger, Executive in our Private Client department, explains here what this legal document is, how to apply for it and how we can help you understand your role in carrying out the probate and estate administration.
The cost of Family Mediation will depend on your own personal circumstances as that will determine how many sessions you need. There are three separate costs to consider; the first for the Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM), the second cost for the Mediation sessions themselves and the third cost for the preparatory work involved. Claire Knight, Resolution trained and Law Society accredited Family Mediator, explains more about the costs involved and why Mediation can be more cost effective than going to Court.
Recently, a bus driver from Norwich was suspended from work while he is investigated under disciplinary policy for refusing to drive a bus with its number in rainbow colours.
When interviewing for new employees, you may well encounter a candidate that discloses a prior conviction to you. If that conviction is “spent”, then you must treat the applicant as if the conviction never happened, and in many cases it is unlawful to refuse to hire a candidate based on that fact. However, there are some circumstances where you can lawfully reject and applicant with a spent conviction, and in this article our Employment team detail those circumstances, as well as what a spent and unspent conviction is.
Equity release is an increasingly popular way for individuals to fund their retirement or help a loved one onto the property ladder. In recent years the practice has become more regulated in order to protect those releasing equity, namely with the introduction of the Equity Release Council (ERC) in 1991. We are delighted to have now joined the ERC; here Zoe Fellows, Equity Release specialist, explains more about why we have joined and how we can help you if you are considering equity release.
Many developments across the Solent region are currently in limbo following the decision of several local authorities to halt the grant of planning permissions for new houses and tourism related projects. This follows advice from Natural England after record levels of nitrates were found in the Solent. Jenny Colvin, Partner in our Commercial Property team, here explains why nitrates are impacting planning permission, which local authorities are affected and when you may be able to apply for planning permission.
If you are offered a settlement agreement by your employer, depending on your role and the circumstances of you leaving the business, it is likely it will include restrictive covenants. There are several types of restrictive covenant that could be included; in this article, our Employment team explains each of them, what makes them enforceable and if you can negotiate the restrictive covenants with your employer before signing your settlement agreement.
If you’ve had an accident that has left you with an injury, you may be wondering how to make a personal injury claim for compensation. It is important that you know your rights and the information you need to gather to ensure you see the best result to enable you to rebuild your life. Molly Puntis, Personal Injury Claims Handler, here takes you through the basics of how to make a personal injury claim, and explains how we can help you in more ways than claiming compensation.