The Government has overnight published new guidance for those who are currently buying or selling a property. In light of the current restrictions on movement across the UK and the importance of self-isolating, it is understandable that this will...
On Friday 20 March, the Chancellor announced the concept of Furloughed Leave in response to the economic uncertainty caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As part of this announcement, the Chancellor explained that a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) would be set up to allow “all UK employers… to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.” This has been referred to as Furloughed Leave. Here, our Employment team explain what Furloughed Leave is, who it applies to and how employers can apply for the grant.
As an employer, there will be times when something, such as a complaint or a whistleblowing claim, is brought to your attention that will require investigation. The case of Fairhall v North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust illustrates the importance of an employer properly investigating and dealing with an employee’s request to instigate the formal whistleblowing procedure and the issues that can arise from any subsequent dismissals.
At an age where it may be challenging to access more traditional mortgage finance, equity release can supply you with the funds for your future plans. The money generated from equity release can be used for any purpose you have in mind, such as a once in a lifetime holiday, home improvements or even assisting a loved one in the purchase of their own property. In this guide Associate Solicitor and Equity Release specialist, Zoe Fellows, details everything you need to know about equity release, including what it is, how long it can take, the safety of it and how it can impact Inheritance Tax.
Having an individual that is said to be engaged on a casual or zero hours contract is not enough to determine their status.
Whether they are a worker or employee will largely depend on the nature of your working relationship in practice. The terms "casual contract" and "zero hours contract" are often used interchangeably by employers and there is a large degree of crossover between the two types of contract. In this article, our Employment team detail the differences between a casual contract and a zero hours contract, and how Employment Tribunals (ET) have been viewing them.
Interviews can sometimes be a difficult task. Depending on how many applications you receive and how many positions you have available, you could be interviewing multiple candidates over a number of weeks and it important that detailed notes are kept for you to review when deciding who, if anyone, to hire.
Although some employers may treat appraisals as no more than a tick box exercise, or find conversations on poor performance difficult, they are important. While there is no legal requirement for you to carry out appraisals with your employees, they can be useful in monitoring and supporting their performance. How often they should be held will depend on your business, but the more regularly they are scheduled, the better. In this article, our Employment team explore this in further detail and also explain why you should hold appraisals, what should be included in them and what can happen if you don’t hold them.
Buying a property is an exciting and momentous life milestone. Whether you are looking for a new home for an expanding family, or you are looking to start your climb up the property ladder, buying a home can be a complicated one and it’s important to understand the steps that will see you settle in to your dream property. In this guide, Conveyancing Executive, Sabrina Skerritt, details the three stages to buying a property, shares her top tips and details how we can help you if you’re a first time buyer.
The case of Beaney v Highways England illustrates the importance of an employer properly investigating and dealing with complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace.
The commute to work can be difficult at the best of times, but adding adverse weather conditions into the equation can mean employees may find it impossible to get into the office at all, but what does that mean for their pay? As an employer, you might decide to temporarily close your business due to the weather conditions, in which case your employees would still be entitled to their pay. However, where your business site remains open, you are under no obligation to pay employees who do not attend work due to transport disruption, unless this is provided for in their employment contract. In this article, our Employment team detail the considerations you will have to make in regards to closing your business due to weather conditions, as well as alternatives you can offer your employees if they cannot attend work.
In response to a written question posed to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Government has indicated that it has no plans to implement the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market ( (EU) 2019/790 ) (the...
The Commercial Court has recently held in the case of Alafco Irish Aircraft Leasing Sixteen Ltd v Hong Kong Airlines Ltd  EWHC 3668 (Comm) (22 November 2019) that a commercial lease which made provision for a party to recover "all reasonable...
The European Patent Office (“EPO”) has recently refused two applications on the basis that the applicants had named an Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) system called DABUS as the inventor (Case: Grounds for the EPO decisions...
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and the Competition & Marketing Authority (CMA) have issued joint guidance to influencers and affiliates to assist with making their advertising clearer and that consumers are aware of the advertising. The published...
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) have issued a joint statement re-iterating the need for insolvency practitioners and other FCA-authorised firms to be...
Coronavirus has now been declared as a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation and, at the time of writing, two cases have been confirmed in the UK. The risk of the spread of coronavirus in the UK continues to rise and so employers should be considering how they should act if an employee intends to travel to China, contracts the virus in the UK or is absent from work. Gina McCadden, Employment Solicitor, here explains the facts about the virus and how employers can take steps in accordance with the law.
Selling a Commercial Property at Auction is becoming increasingly popular, and there are many advantages over the conventional method of selling. Joe Taylor , Solicitor in our Commercial Property team explains more about the benefits of selling at...
In most cases where there is a dispute between business parties, it is likely that you will be told to try and resolve matters through Alternative Dispute Resolution. Mollie Leak , Solicitor within our Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution ...
The case of Harkness v Holland and Barratt illustrates how a failure to make reasonable adjustments resulted in a successful constructive unfair dismissal claim.
Over the last decade, organisations in all sectors have made huge strides in supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees and creating an inclusive workplace. However, there is still work to be done as many LGBT people in the UK still choose not to disclose their sexuality at work. Research has also shown that LGBT job seekers are 5% less likely to be offered a job interview than heterosexual applicants with comparable skills and experience. In this article, our Employment team list our top ten tips for supporting LGBT employees, as well as explain the law protecting them and what positives can come from a more diverse workplace.
All workers are entitled to make holiday requests throughout the year and running a business means you need to be ready for such requests with the appropriate policies, pay structure and cover in place. Our Employment team explain here the key facts...
Following a divorce or separation , you may be struggling to have conversations with your former partner or spouse regarding your children or financial arrangements. With your history and potentially fraught breakdown of your relationship, you may be...
In certain lines of work, it is common for employees to be paid on a commission basis as opposed to more traditional means. However, workers who you pay wholly or partly on the basis of sales made or deals completed must still be paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW). In this article, our Employment team detail what payments do and do not count towards the NMW, when you have to pay the NMW and what to do if your commission only workers are required to be at work for a certain amount of hours.
Whether you are a landlord for a commercial or residential building, you will have certain responsibilities in relation to the presence of asbestos in your building. Alexandra Savage, Commercial Property Solicitor, explains more here about those obligations and the steps you should take if asbestos is discovered in your building.
Research conducted last year by organisation Remember a Charity shows that currently two thirds of UK adults do not have a Will, meaning they run the risk of dying intestate and having their estate distributed according to intestacy rules. The statutory legacy sum is due to rise on 6th February which will entitle surviving spouses and civil partners to a larger sum of the estate when their partner dies intestate. Jane Cox, Private Client Partner, urges people to use this news as an incentive to find out more about getting a Will written and what the consequences are of not having one in plac
Apprenticeships are one of the most common ways for employers to effectively train skilled workers for the future. When deciding whether to take on an apprentice there are many considerations you must make, one of which is what to pay them. Apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and in this article our Employment team detail how much you have to pay your apprentices according to their age or how long they have been an Apprentice with you, how to hire an apprentice and how to make sure your Apprenticeship Agreements are compliant.
The world of Employment Law is one that can move fast and with multiple Employment Law changes coming into effect from April 2020, as an employer, it’s important for you to be aware of them. In this article, our Employment team details the six key legislation changes to look out for in 2020 as well as how they might affect your business.
Following the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in May 2018, there has been little news of fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). That is until recently, when the ICO issued its first penalty notice on 17 December 2019 to a pharmacy in London. Brian Bannister, Solicitor in our Company Commercial department, reviews the circumstances of the fine and how other organisations can avoid the same situation.
Whether you are selling your home to make more room for a growing family, or you are looking for something smaller now that the nest has become less occupied, our aim is to make your move as stress free as possible. We also understand that selling your home can be an emotional time if you are selling the property that you shared with a loved one, or a family home that your children grew up in. Here, Conveyancing Executive, Sabrina Skerritt, provides the ultimate guide for selling your home by detailing each step of the process, how to prepare your home for viewings, as well as selling your property through auction.
As an employer, at some point, you may well have to deal with a case of whistleblowing. If this happens it is very important to go through the proper processes to address the claim. Not doing so can leave you open to potentially expensive and damaging tribunal claims, as seen in the the case of Royal Mail v Jhuti, which illustrates the wide scope afforded to whistleblowing protection and shows the need to be sure and clear of the reason for any dismissal.
In the UK alone, there are around nine million women aged between 40 and 60 who could be experiencing symptoms of menopause or perimenopause (menopause transition). Three and a half million of these women are employees over 50 with a wealth of experience and skills to offer, but how is the menopause and the associated symptoms dealt with in the workplace? While perimenopause and the menopause are not specifically protected by law, as an employer, you should make every effort to support your employees in this situation. In this article, our Employment team detail how you can support employees going through the menopause and what symptoms they may experience, what the law says about the menopause, and how to manage the general workforce when making adjustments
The advent of social media and instant messaging services like WhatsApp, has given an employers an additional avenue to promote their businesses and communicate with their employees, but they so also present significant dangers that become very apparent in the case of Mr K Krabou v Tower Hamlets Homes.
In the situation that you wish to terminate an employee’s employment immediately and have them not work their notice period, this can be done using a payment in lieu of notice (PILON). This would pay them for their contractually agreed notice period. In this article, our Employment team explains why you might want use a PILON, what can happen if you don’t include the option to use it in all employee contracts, and the difference between a PILON and garden leave.
The Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) was introduced in April 2017 to enable families to leave, on their death, more of their estate to direct descendants without having to pay Inheritance Tax. With the amount about to rise once more in the coming tax year 2020/21, William Ware, Partner in our Private Client team, here explains why it is important that families understand their rights regarding the RNRB, and why it can make all the difference when your home is registered jointly with your spouse or civil partner.
In the constantly shifting landscape of Employment Law it can be difficult to keep up to date with the latest cases and updates, particularly at the start of a new year. Here, our Employment team detail the high profile cases of 2020, explaining how they could impact you and your business, and how you can stay up to date throughout the year.
One of the most significant changes that will impact businesses in 2020 will be the expansion of the rules regarding IR35. Employers should be acting now to prepare for this change, or they could face significant financial and reputational consequences from HMRC. Natalie Rawson, Associate Solicitor in our Employment team, explains more here about the change and how we are supporting businesses to prepare now.
We knew that 2019 was going to be a busy year for us here at Warner Goodman LLP and it certainly didn’t disappoint. With a new image, new system, new office, promotions and celebrations, it has certainly been a year of change for us. Ed...
When operating a business, at some point you may be faced with issues of bullying or harassment between colleagues. With the advent of social media, employers now have to be vigilant against the threat of cyberbullying as well. To deal with cyberbullying, you should make sure that you have comprehensive policies to prevent it, as well as clear and consistent consequences if it occurs. In this article, our Employment team explain how to manage cyberbullying in the workplace, as well as what constitutes cyberbullying and what risks are involved if you fail to deal with it correctly.
As Inheritance Tax (IHT) is calculated based on the size of your estate, releasing equity in your home would reduce the value of your property and therefore lead to either less Inheritance Tax payable upon your death, or your estate may fall under the threshold completely, provided the equity released is spent and not invested. It is important that you consider the wider impact this has on your estate and your future beneficiaries; Zoe Fellows, Equity Release specialist, discusses here how equity release affects Inheritance Tax and how we can support you if you decide you would like to release equity in your home.
It is not uncommon for a business to accidentally over pay an employee and it can happen for a variety of reasons. If it does occur, you may be wondering if you can reclaim any money mistakenly paid. Employees are protected by law from deductions from wages being made unlawfully, however, you are able to reclaim from employees in certain circumstances, like an overpayment of wages. Here, our Employment team go into further detail on when you can reclaim money from an employee, what to consider when doing so and how to do so staying on the right side of employment law.
On Christmas Eve, 1919, history was made. Helena Normanton became the first woman in England and Wales to join the Inns of Court; the first step towards qualifying as a barrister. This made her the first female lawyer in the history of this country. This followed the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 obtaining Royal Assent on 23 December 1919, which amended the previous law that precluded women entering into the legal profession. Jenny Colvin, Commercial Property Partner, follows the path of Helena Normanton and celebrates the legacy she left for females in the legal industry today.
Once you have made the decision to divorce, we know that you will be keen to finalise the details as swiftly as possible to allow you to move forward with your new life. The first step is to apply for your Decree Nisi and once that is granted you can apply for your Decree Absolute; we are often asked whether we would recommend applying for the Decree Absolute at the earliest opportunity or whether it would be more prudent to wait. Sam Miles, Family Partner, explains here why it could be in your best interests to wait to apply until the time is right.
Living and working in a multi-culture and multi-faith society leads to an array of religious holidays and festivals; however there is no requirement for you to give employees additional time off to celebrate them. In this article, our Employment team discusses how to deal with holiday requests around these festivals, what you can do if you can’t grant a request, as well as detailing a case that serves as an example of what can happen if requests are not handled correctly.
Family Mediation is an alternative way to resolve disputes with your former partner if you are divorcing or separating; however, there is often some confusion over the roles of a Solicitor and Family Mediator, and whether a Solicitor should be appointed to coincide with Mediation. While a Solicitor is there to advise you legally throughout your divorce or separation, a Family Mediator will work with both you and your former partner to help you to make joint decisions involving your children or finances. Sam Miles, Family Partner and accredited Family Mediator, here explains the difference between a Solicitor and a Mediator and the roles they have to play.
Although it only happens once every four years, the extra day that comes with a leap year can catch employers out when it comes to paying their employees. Whether or not you need to pay them for the extra day depends on if the employee is salaried or is paid hourly. In this article, our Employment team detail the difference between a salaried employee and one who is paid hourly in regards to a leap year, as well as how the changed date for the May bank holiday could affect holiday entitlement next year.
The death of a family member or friend will be a devastating time, changing your life and leaving you with many different arrangements to make, all while you try and grieve and come to terms with what has happened. Making arrangements for the probate application will be one of the first things you need to do, and we are often asked whether this needs to be done when there is no Will. While there are certain situations when probate is not needed, the presence of a Will is not one of those. Sue Nicholson, Associate Solicitor in our Private Client team, explains more here about when probate is and is not needed, and how we can support you through this time of change in your life.
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.