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.
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.
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